“Whatcha gonna do, brother, when the flu season comes after you?” … Sorry to go all Hulk Hogan on you, but the time to fight the flu season has arrived. And while a flu shot is probably the best way to combat the sickness, there are ways your HVAC system can help too.
We don’t have to tell you how bad the flu sucks. Headaches, runny nose, stuffiness and the overall feeling that you just want to die are no fun for anyone. Obviously nobody wants to get it. But if you do and you’re at home recovering, or if you simply want to prevent it, your HVAC system can help you fight the flu.
Indoor Air Quality
Fighting the flu has a lot to do with indoor air quality. The Sunshine State is known for high heat and humidity. And just about everybody in Florida has a central air conditioning system. Air conditioners remove humidity from the air. But over time, an AC system can provide a breeding ground for germs, mold and allergens that can worsen the flu.
Poor indoor air can make you just as sick as outdoor air. And if your indoor air quality is poor, it could lead to some serious illnesses, including the flu. Mold, bacteria, dirt and other allergens can all contribute to or worsen symptoms of the flu. Indoor air can also be compromised by too much or too little humidity. Airborne contaminants like pet dander, dust mites, germs, dust and pesticides can do the same.
How your HVAC system affects indoor air quality has a lot to do with how clean and properly maintained it is. After all, you’re breathing recycled air. So the effectiveness of your air conditioning system removing pollutants greatly affects your health. Lower air quality may not be directly responsible for the the flu. But poor air quality can worsen its conditions by affecting the respiratory system and can prolong the symptoms of a cold or flu.
Here are some measures you can take to help fight the flu with your HVAC system:
Add an Air Purifier
Ask a professional certified HVAC technician to add an air purifier to your AC system. Doing so can provide cleaner, healthier air and reduce your family’s exposure to the bacteria and viruses that contribute to the flu.
Get UV Lights Installed
Professionally installed Ultraviolet or UV lights can also help kill bacteria and allergens by sterilizing the air supply. UV lights are commonly used in laboratories, hospitals and food manufacturing plants for better air quality and sterilization.
By having UV lights installed inside your HVAC system, you can enjoy the same sterile air quality required by hospitals to help keep patients healthy. Ultraviolet lights can be placed near the air handler to kill bacteria and viruses so they don’t get dispersed into the air you breathe. And they can also help keep the evaporator coil mold-free, as well as purify and sterilize the air coming from return vents and air ducts.
Upgrade Your Air Filtration
Air filters with higher Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings are available to improve your home’s air quality. These higher MERV filters are more effective at trapping viruses, bacteria and other contaminants than standard air filters to better protect you from the flu. But before you replace your standard air filter with a higher MERV rating filter, contact an AC professional to find out which filters work best for your AC system.
We will never stop stressing the importance of changing your air filter regularly. That’s because old dirty filters hold germs that can be filtered throughout your home, which will increase your chances of getting the flu. A clean, strong air filter can prevent bacteria and germs from passing through your home. So it’s important to change your air filters regularly if you really want to fight the flu.
Indoor air humidity can affect the survival of germs and viruses in your home. And while germs and bacteria have been shown to thrive in low humidity, high humidity can cause an increase in mold and mildew growth. Your HVAC system plays an important role in humidity control. So by scheduling an appointment with an HVAC professional for an inspection and regular maintenance, you can keep humidity control in check. If your HVAC system is poorly maintained, your indoor air quality suffers. Have your system inspected to make sure it’s doing its part to help you fight the flu.
If you read our blog, you already know about the importance of duct cleaning. Dirty, clogged or damaged air ducts not only negatively affect your indoor air quality, but also increase your energy bills. Mold growth and contaminants that contribute to the flu can also breed in your air ducts. That’s why duct cleaning is recommended as a preventive measure to fight illnesses like the flu. Through duct cleaning, we use sophisticated and highly effective equipment such as a rotobrush to eliminate mold, mildew, bacteria, dust and odor-causing microorganisms.