Our world has forever changed thanks to COVID-19. Indoor Air Quality in our homes is even more of a priority. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to serious health ailments. Stagnant air in homes and in the workplace combined with indoor moisture becomes a breeding ground for molds, viruses and bacteria causing a variety of health-threatening upper respiratory illnesses.
According to the United States EPA website on indoor air quality, proper maintenance of heating and air conditioning equipment are very important in controlling common biological contaminants in your home. Those contaminants include mold, dust mites, pet dander (skin flakes), droppings and body parts from cockroaches, rodents and other pests or insects, viruses and bacteria. Many of these biological contaminants are small enough to be inhaled. Maintaining your heating & cooling equipment, therefore, is very important. Keeping the relative humidity in your home between 30% and 50% will help control mold, dust mites and cockroaches.
The following are a couple of products Hetter Heating & Cooling recommends to help homeowners improve their home's indoor air quality:
"85% of American homeowners are not aware that pollution may be worse inside their homes than outdoors." American Lung Association
Trane CleanEffects Electronic Air Cleaner
Trane introduced the revolutionary CleanEffects electronic air cleaner fifteen years ago. This game changer in the industry boasts efficiencies better than that of a HEPA (commonly used in hospitals everywhere). CleanEffects is 99.98% efficient down to .3 microns and delivers 100 times the amount of clean air that a standard 1-inch filter does, not to mention eight times the amount of clean air of a HEPA system.
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) has been recognized by the FTC and the EPA as a fair and objective comparison of air cleaning technologies. The efficiency of the air cleaning device and the amount of air it cleans both affect the CADR. The CADR of the TraneClean Effects system stands heads and tails above the rest.
Trane utilizes breakthrough technology verified by professors at the Harvard School of Public Health. In fact, researchers at Harvard in collaboration with scientists at Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc. (EH&H) evaluated the ability of the Clean Effects to remove human influenza A virus, which is the common flu, from the air. These tests involved releasing the common flu virus into the air inside of a test duct. The removal efficiency was calculated from the amount of the common flu virus measured in air samples collected before and after passing through the air cleaner. The conclusion of the testing was the Trane Clean Effects removed more than 99% of the common flu virus from the filtered air. Because of the similarities among types of influenza virus, the implications of the test are that the Clean Effects whole-house air cleaning system will remove greater than 99% of other forms of the virus including Influenza B, Influenza C, and Avian Influenza (also a strain of Influenza A virus).
Aprilaire 1210 Media Air Cleaner
Aprilaire’s 1210 media air cleaner is equipped with innovative filtering media that can give you exceptionally clean air throughout your home. These units permanently trap pollen-sized particles, helping to minimize the risk of asthma and allergy attacks. The 1210 also permanently traps mold spore particles (3 microns and larger) at a rate of 70%.
"There is yet no cure for the common cold. The most important preventive measure would appear to be the proper regulation of humidity." New York State Journal of Medicine
Aprilaire 600 Automatic OR manual bypass humidifier
The Aprilaire 600 Automatic humidifier is installed in your existing HVAC duct system with an outdoor sensor so it will automatically adjust with the temperature outside. These units can adjust up to 80,000 times per day.
The Aprilaire 600 Manual humidifier is installed in your existing HVAC duct system as well, but any adjustments to humidity levels must be done manually. This is the least expensive whole house humidifier option. Both humidifiers offered here can be controlled by installing a one of a few different select touch screen thermostat options that offer relative humidity display.
"Humidity reduces the incidence of respiratory infections and speeds recovery from the common cold." Dr. William J. Hitschler
is the percent of moisture in your home’s air as compared to what it could hold. As we mentioned earlier, the optimum relative humidity level is between 30% and 50%. The average American home in February – the driest indoor month of the year – registers a relative humidity between 10% and 15%. In comparison, the Sahara desert’s average relative humidity comes in around 25%. Relative humidity is not only important for comfort, but for maintaining good health as well.
According to a number of clinical studies, our immune system functions at its optimum when the relative humidity in a home ranges between 45% and 65%. Research has shown that Pneumococcus (bacterial pneumonia), Staphylococcus (staph bacteria), and Streptococcus (strep throat bacteria) are eliminated up to 20 times faster at a relative humidity between 45% and 55%, than at levels above 70% or below 20%.
Low humidity can also lead to aggravated skin allergies and dehydration, characterized by symptoms such as dry skin, chronic joint and muscle pain, raspy throat and sore eyes. Clearly, when considering the matter of indoor air, temperature is not the only item to contemplate. For many families, a whole home humidifier not only provides the right amount of moisture for total comfort, it is also an important tool in helping to combat the airborne bacteria and allergens that are a fact of modern life.
Also, it is commonly known that dry indoor air will pull moisture from walls and hardwood floors thereby creating damaging and unsightly cracks. The following is a case in point: A cubic foot of wood can hold up to three pints of water at 60% relative humidity; That same cubic foot of wood can only hold up to one pint of water at 10% relative humidity.
Proper humidification allows you to feel warmer at lower thermostat settings, according to the EPA. You can save up to 4% on your heating bill for every degree you lower your thermostat.
Reme Halo germicidal lamp
Manufacturers of the Reme-Halo air purifier like to refer to it as the next generation of IAQ technology. This product features a higher Ionized Hydro-peroxide output which gives it a faster kill rate for airborne microbials. The manufacturer – RGF Environmental Group – contends this higher output drops more particulates from the air bringing relief to those who suffer from allergies & other respiratory issues.
This product currently has not been tested for COVID-19 – the Coronavirus. There are a limited number of facilities capable of testing for the Coronavirus & their focus is on prioritizing testing as it relates directly to the recent outbreaks. RGF is currently evaluating testing options with partners in the US & China. COVID-19 is a member of the enveloped RNA coronavirus subfamily. While RGF does not have testing specifically on COVID-19, they do have validated test results showing 99+% reductions on similar viruses. These viruses, like COVID-19, are also ‘enveloped’ or protein jacketed virus types. RGF, however, is quick to state that – at present – they make no medical claims.
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