IAQ vs. the Virus: Cleaner Air at Home, Lower Risk for the Family

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Many people can easily get rattled by recent coronavirus statistics. With over 600,000 people succumbing to the virus, you see a death toll that’s more than all the deaths of all great wars combined, from the Civil War to World War 2. And that alone is scary enough to give you those spine-tingling sensations running up and down your backbone.

But if you take a closer look at CDC guidelines against the virus, it’s essentially basic hygiene. Great example: washing of hands and the act of covering your hand every time you sneeze or cough. Now, you have to do it with more vigor.

Indeed, coronavirus has brought to our attention the importance of hygiene in our personal spaces. And that includes indoor air quality (IAQ), which refers to air quality around and within buildings. If we keep away common pollutants, we are a step closer to keeping the virus away. Below is a lowdown to get you started so you can learn how you can make things happen before it’s too late.

IAQ vs the Virus

Experts point out the most common mode of transmission of the virus is through inhalation. Research has shown that direct contact in small gatherings has a large role in its spread, especially in recent times. That’s reason enough why we have been advised to control our personal spaces by limiting social contact as much as possible.

This may not be an easy task as studies also show that about 40 percent of patients do not show symptoms and can infect others. So how best can we protect ourselves from this virus? And the answer could be by monitoring our indoor air quality.

Fresh Air

Happy woman looking out big bright window

Your home is safer if the air is fresher. This is when the stale air indoors is replaced by fresh air from outside. Most homes are ventilated through doors or windows or via drafts, unintentional cracks, and openings. In an average home, air exchange happens at a rate of 0.5 air exchange on an hourly basis. The higher this ventilation rate goes, the safer for you.

A slow exchange rate may not be so useful in limiting airborne viruses. It is better to have a higher rate. The ideal is six air exchanges per hour for a ten by ten-foot room. You do not necessarily need to measure your house exchange rate; try to make it better. And that is where ventilation comes in.

Open all windows as much as possible, your doors including. In addition, your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans should be allowed to run. You may assist in transporting the air outside by placing fans at windows. Even if it’s winter, you can try to get your window open halfway and use your heaters. All these combined will increase your ventilation.

Filtration

A backup approach to improving your indoor air quality is through filtrating the air. This provides additional safety. Know that this works by using filters to run the air. These filters have small openings that can trap airborne particles which may contain the virus.

Of course, you don’t have to install these filters yourself. It’s best you let the experts in. For one, you can solicit the help of a hygiene services contractor. This trained personnel can give your ventilation a timely boost. Even better, the best experts are multi-disciplinary capable of cleaning your water system and every facet of your environment.

Small accident hospitals, private businesses, and institutions make good use of these true professionals.

Your homes can be filtered either through a central heating system or air cleaners. You may also use both for maximum results. With central heating, the furnace filter should have less than eleven MERV. This value shows how well the filter removes airborne contaminants and particles. The standard value for most filters is MERV eight. By such an account, make sure to check the filter before installing or confirm this with your contractor.

Air cleaners are also good at eliminating airborne particles. However, their effectiveness depends on the room size. A big room will have more space and thereby harbors more air.

Self Protection

The fact that your indoor air quality is better now with your filtration and ventilation does not mean you should neglect the basic self precaution measures that have been hammered into our ears for the past year now.

Wear your masks when outside, and don’t forget your sanitizers. All your effort at purifying your homes’ air will be a waste if you bring the virus back home. Thus, it would be best if you also were wary of receiving visitors. In this regard, getting accustomed to online meetings is wise.

Rid Your Home of Dust Mites

Dust mites can be everywhere: your mattresses, pillows, wardrobe, furniture, carpeting, etc. A good way to address this is by reducing the humidity of your house below thirty or thirty-five percent. Dust mites thrive in humid air and will leave if the atmosphere is too dry. If you have dust mites at home, get rid of your humidifiers. They will leave after a while.

Avoid Secondhand Smoke

Smoking indoors is very bad and threatens your health. Not only are you endangering yourself but also others around you. Some risks of secondhand smoking include asthma, lung diseases, and cancer. Quite simply, make that decision. Do not entertain smoking inside your house and amongst your guests too.

IAQ is not just about greater comfort. When you keep the air around you clean and pure, you ensure everyone is in tiptop shape despite the pandemic.

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