Are those around you – at work, school, home, the grocery store – sneezing and sniffling with the flu? And how many tissues a day are you going through? Wherever you are, the heating and cooling HVAC system plays a big part in preventing or spreading colds and flu.
Cold and flu season has hit Americans hard this year. In fact, according to the CDC, over 5,000 people have been hospitalized already, and we’re only midway through the season yet.
We know that colds and flu viruses are easily spread from surfaces to airborne origins. Markets, clinics and many places of business, have learned to install disinfectant sheets or liquid dispensers. Take advantage of these whenever possible. It can also help to take more time wiping down surfaces at home or at the office, such as desktops, computer keyboards, cell phones and doorknobs.
What can You do to With your HVAC to Prevent the Spread of Flu at Home?
The first thing you can do is to purify the air flowing throughout your home.
Change Your Air Filter
We’re always stressing this, not only to provide cleaner, germ-freer air, but to protect your HVAC equipment and keep it running properly.
But, take a moment and look at the buildup of dirt on these filters. The dirty side may contain mites and other miniscule vermin, decomposed bugs and dead critters, and allergens from pollen and dust. Worse, it harbors an unsafe, unknown, level of cold and flu contaminants that you and your family are inhaling with every breath.
Research the best filter for your furnace and try to use a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) rated filter. These can trap extremely minute particles, including some germs that cause colds and flu.
Whole House Humidifier
These add much needed moisture to the air during the dry winter months. The right amount of humidity can keep a dry cough loosened and sinuses clearer. It will also lessen dry cracked lips, nose bleeds, and more. And so, do you have a humidifier? Remember to keep the collector plate cleaned to prevent the accumulation and spread of germs.
Another benefit people are likely less aware of is the role the mucus membrane plays in defending our bodies from germs and viruses. When the mucus membrane of the respiratory system dries out from low humidity, it greatly reduces our ability to fight off illnesses. Added to this, the illness may last longer, spreading further to family members.
Having a good humidifier is helpful to your sleep and overall well-being. Moisture in the air will decrease annoying coughing and congestion. People may even snore far less, helping everyone to get better rest at night. For more information Click Here.
And don’t forget dry flaky winter skin. A humidifier will keep you from spending money on tubes and jars of moisturizers. See you later, Alligator skin.
Additional Things to Check
Be sure the air ducts of your HVAC system clear of buildup or debris, and check them thoroughly for open gaps. These problems can add to poor air quality in your home. Dust will blow through the vents causing health problems. Already warmed air escaping from the ducts will increase your energy bill.
Did you know an UV light can often be added to your air handler? Ultraviolet (UVC) light is a natural component of sunlight and can eliminate bacteria, virus, odors and allergens by disrupting their DNA, rendering them harmless. So by having a UV light incorporated into your HVAC system, you’ll be restricting the volume of germs that get re-circulated throughout your home (or business). See our information about this by clicking here.
Don’t Let Your HVAC System Fail at the Worst Time
Another big concern this time of year that can definitely affect our well-being is for our heating and cooling system to quit working when it is bitter cold or snowing outside.
Is there an infant or small child in your home? Is someone already ill with a cold or the flu? Do you or a member of your family have special needs health wise, or is someone elderly?
So, think of the danger to any of these were the heat to fail at the worst possible time.
At Abel we are more than happy to send one of our expert technicians to perform a winter safety check. Think of the peace of mind and assurance this will provide during the months to come.
Call 952-472-2665 or Contact Us