Broadley’s is still serving homes and businesses in Cape May and Atlantic counties. And, we’re taking plenty of precautionary measures to protect you as well as ourselves.
Every credible prediction says the COVD-19 pandemic will die down. Already, researchers started clinical trials for vaccines, and all models predict a rise then fall in cases.
It’s only a question of how long it takes, and that depends on how we all help to flatten the curve.
We’re open because your heating and cooling system plays an important role in your indoor air quality.
It’s also essential that people feel comfortable calling in the case of an emergency such as a carbon monoxide leak or burst pipe.
And, if we’re still inside when warm weather hits, your air conditioner should be working in great shape.
So, as everyone settles down this week, we wanted to go over some easy ways to make your home more comfortable and more healthy.
This article covers:
- Fresh Air Versus Air Conditioning
- Air Purifiers
- Air Conditioner Tune-Ups
- Cleaning and Staying Hydrated
- Using the Right Air Filters
- Broadley’s Safety Precautions
Along the way, we’ll suggest a few products and services. But, for the most part, we’re talking about simple things you can do yourself.
And, we’ll go into what we’re doing to keep everyone healthy while we continue working.
Most of these suggestions are good practice for every spring, anyway. They’re just more important this year.
Fresh Air Versus Air Conditioning
Keeping your windows open helps keep you healthy, because viruses or other contaminants that make their way in can circulate back out.
But, we know that summers are getting hotter and hotter. And, when everyone’s cooped up in the house, air conditioning becomes essential.
So, we recommend getting some fresh air every day, no matter what. Open your windows for at least a little while, run the fans, and try to get outside.
That goes for right now, too, especially if you’re still running the heat.
The fresh air helps keep you healthy while cleaning the air in your home. Just remember to stay at least six feet away from people.
The big item on people’s minds is air purifiers: Are they worth it, and will they work on the COVD-19 virus? Depending on the type of purifier you have, it can help. But, it’s not a silver bullet.
Long story short, these use ultraviolet light and hydro-peroxide plasma to purify the air and neutralize particles that pass through the system.
What sounds like science fiction is actually the same things that sunlight and lightning do, respectively.
The technology behind the Reme Halo has been tested and proven to reduce more than 99 percent of similar viruses in the RNA coronavirus subfamily.
Now, these have NOT been tested on the COVID-19 virus specifically. It’s too new, and researchers are prioritizing testing for people and controlling the outbreak.
So, we can safely and confidently say it neutralizes very similar viruses, including flu and ebola. And, either way, it drastically improves indoor air quality overall.
If your immune system is already compromised, if you have respiratory problems or are otherwise concerned about the air quality in your home, this is a great step.
Get an Air Conditioner Tune-Up
First of all, let’s clear up a misconception: Using an air conditioner will not make you sick.
At least, not if your cooling system is properly cleaned and cared for. That’s where the tune-up comes in.
Yes, poorly-maintained central air conditioners can contribute to illness. But, the keyword there is poorly-maintained.
Bacteria, mold, viruses, and other contaminants don’t come built-in to your AC. Instead, they build there if you let them.
Meanwhile, running your AC even just on the “circulate” setting when you don’t need it any cooler can help move air around and keep you healthy.
This year, a tune-up is more important than before. Before turning on your AC, have a professional inspect, clean, and optimize it.
This improves your air quality, increases your comfort, and lowers your energy bills.
Drinking plenty of water is always good advice, and especially when you’re sick. In this case, it’s also related to your HVAC system.
Air conditioners dehumidify your home along with cooling it. And, forced-air furnaces create dry heat because it doesn’t add moisture.
Right now, that’s all a good thing: Low humidity helps prevent the spread of viruses.
But, we’re all scrubbing our hands for 20 seconds or more (we, are right?) and using plenty of alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
As a result of all this, people prone to dry skin end up with small cuts or dried out mucous membranes in their noses. When that happens, you’re more susceptible to infections.
Fortunately, drinking plenty of water helps prevent that. So, when you’re ready to turn on the AC, be sure to keep hydrated.
Deep-Clean Your House
When your HVAC system circulates the air, it also spreads whatever is in that air: pollutants, allergens, and, yes: viruses.
So far, we know that the COVID-19 virus can live on various surfaces for more than a week. And, it’s transmitted through respiratory droplets, which scatter through the air when you cough or sneeze.
But, instead of staying in the room where they originated, those particles will circulate through the house once it enters your cooling system.
So, remember to keep the house clean and disinfected, especially once the weather gets warmer and you turn on your AC.
Once again, this is good practice overall — and it’s just about time for spring cleaning, anyway! So, if you’re having trouble getting motivated to start, maybe this will help.
Change Your Air Filter
Ideally, you should change your HVAC system’s air filter every three months. That’s every season. This way, it doesn’t get so clogged that it begins restricting airflow.
This year, you want to make sure you do this. And, you may consider a stronger filter.
The air filter in your HVAC system is a remarkably simple tool that does a crucial job.
It’s nothing more than a cloth screen that traps dust, dirt, and other pollutants, and they pass through the system. This way, they don’t circulate through the house.
Now, in terms of COVD-19 or any virus, the average air filter won’t do too much. The virus particles are small enough to pass right through.
However, some filters can screen out smaller particles, which may include some viruses and other pathogens. To find one, look for a MERV rating of 13 or more.
These block 98 percent of particles .3 microns or larger. For reference, a human hair is about 75 microns thick, bacteria are between .2 and 3 microns, and viruses are generally smaller than a micron.
Now, these filters won’t block all virus particles. But, if you’re concerned about your air quality, it’s a good step. But, you have to be careful about how strong you go.
The stronger the filter, the harder it is for air to flow through them. Eventually, this can damage your system or, at least, prevent air from circulating.
To be safe, call or email us at Broadley’s before you invest in a MERV filter. We’ll help you determine if it’s compatible with your system.
Broadley’s HVAC Safety Precautions
Anyone can carry COVID-19, so anyone you come in contact with can infect you if they have it. So, Broadley’s is taking every precaution we can to keep you and our staff safe. Here’s how:
- Video Conferencing for Service and Installation Inquiries
- Technician Hygiene and Sanitization at CDC Standards
- Closing the Office to Third-Party Vendors
- Only Key Personnel Reporting to the Office
All our techs are reporting straight to jobs from their home, and we’re asking anyone who exhibits cold or flu-like symptoms to take off.
Similarly, we may ask customers if they show any signs of illness before we send out a tech. And, please don’t be offended when they don’t shake your hand: a nod or tip of the hat, or wave is recommended.
As of now, we’re still handling servicing and installations. With these precautions in place, we’re reducing the number of interactions we have and making the ones we do have safer.
Hopefully, you’re all set with food, hand sanitizer, and, for whatever reason, toilet paper.
If so, you can call or email us about making sure your system is ready to keep you safe and comfortable as the weather gets warmer.
We hope you all stay healthy, and remember: As crazy as things seem to get, it won’t last forever, and we’ll all get through this.