When chilly winter weather settles in, it heralds the arrival of cold and flu season. Since your HVAC system is running to keep your home comfortably warm this time of year, it's smart to use it to reduce your risk of getting sick over the winter.
Here are four HVAC system upgrades that can help you combat the flu, colds and other easily-transmitted viral and bacterial illnesses:
#1 WHOLE-HOME HUMIDIFIER
Various studies have revealed that bacteria and viruses that go airborne with coughing and sneezing remain suspended much longer when the air is too dry. This shows that low humidity makes it easier for cold and flu germs to spread between everyone in the household. You can lower this risk by having a whole-home humidifier added to your HVAC system to maintain proper moisture levels.
#2 AIR CLEANER
Your standard HVAC system air filter is only designed to capture large particles that might harm the equipment, but it doesn't improve air quality. Adding an air cleaner to your HVAC system can amp up its filtering ability significantly. The most effective air cleaners available today can remove up to 99.7 percent of airborne germs as tiny as 0.3 microns.
#3 ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT
Ultraviolet (UV) light has been successfully used to kill viruses and bacteria in various settings, and it can help keep your air supply sanitary too. Your HVAC pro can install a UV lamp designed specifically for use with HVAC air handlers to eradicate germs so they can't be recirculated through your ductwork each time the blower cycles on.
#4 ENERGY RECOVERY VENTILATOR
Controlled ventilation using an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) is an effective way to remove stale, germ-laden air from your home and replace it with fresher outdoor air. It gives you a way to conserve energy and humidity too, because an ERV retains heat and moisture from the stale air before it's sent outside.
Visit our Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical website for in-depth information on most HVAC topics, or to learn more about optimizing your HVAC for cold and flu season, just give us a call at (408) 868-5500.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).