How Your HVAC System Can Help Prevent the Transmission of Airborne Viruses

When someone sneezes, coughs, or even talks, micro-sized respiratory droplets are released into the air. These droplets come with all sorts of germs attached, including highly contagious and infectious viruses. They settle on things people use every day like a cell phone, doorknobs, light switches, and the computer. According to scientific studies, these droplets and can travel up to 1 meter and last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. When the airborne droplets are touched or inhaled by people that are nearby, this causes the viruses and germs to spread.

Supported by a group of 237 doctors, infectious-disease physicians, and scientists, Donald Milton at the University of Maryland published a study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases that urges the medical community and public health authorities to acknowledge the airborne transmission of these droplet particles, especially indoors. They also call for preventive measures to reduce this type of risk. 

With everything going on, here are some easy ways for you or your business to optimize and make changes to your ventilation, HVAC system, and manage indoor airflows. These strategies will help prevent and limit the spread and transmission of harmful airborne particles.

Easy Ways to Prevent Airborne Viral Transmission:

Limit the number of people in a room, wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and wear a mask when needed

  • Open windows in places with basic HVAC systems. This pulls in outside air to increase the exchange of fresh air
  • Close windows in places with central HVAC systems to reduce indoor temperature changes. Air turbulence will remain low if a system doesn’t have to work hard to adjust temperatures.

How Your HVAC System Can be Adjusted to Reduce Risk of Spreading Airborne Viruses

Your HVAC system blows high-speed air. This airflow can go past someone who is sick, and help infectious air droplets travel to other people. 

Air Authority provides HVAC services to improve your indoor air quality in San Antonio. Here are some changes and upgrades that can be done to HVAC units to reduce high-speed airflow that carries these droplets:

  • Replace fixed-speed fan motors with variable-speed ones. This change improves the control of airflow, allowing you to reduce the speed.
  • Setup airflow-control systems. These are mostly used in spaces like labs or critical medical facilities and allow the control of pressure and humidity. 
  • Install an air purification system
  • Your HVAC technician can set up your system to increase the rate of exchange with fresh air from outside the home or building to reduce recirculation.
  • Systems can be left on overnights and during the weekend to increase air replacement and minimize airflow speed

Air Purification Systems for Preventing the Spread of Airborne Viruses
To have clean air circulating in your home or business, you need to start with a clean slate so to say. Air Authority provides Air duct cleaning and repairs, which is the system that the air flows through.

Air purification can then be done differently depending on your system and needs. Here is a list of the most common methods of Air Purification and how they are effective at cleaning airborne viruses:

  • Filtration:
    • Air is forced through fiber-based material or membranes
    • Virus Particles can become trapped, however, viruses will still be active
    • Efficacy varies, depending on the filter type
  • Irradiation:
    • USes electromagnetic radiation, commonly ultraviolet-C light to deactivate pathogens
    • Only practical where light can reach surfaces and many technical issues must be considered when installed
    • Cannot be used in occupied spaces as the light may be harmful to skin and eyes
    • Viruses are made inactive via the sterilization process
  • Thermal:
    • High intensity targeted heating
    • Can be deployed in stand-alone units or through HVAC systems
    • Requires air to be exposed to heat for significant periods thus may be difficult to apply when there is a continuous flow
    • Viruses are made inactive via the sterilization process
  • Other:
    • Includes ionized purifiers and ozone generators
    • Viruses are made inactive via the sterilization process

If you are looking for air purification services in San Antonio to improve your air quality, all we need is an electrical outlet to start. We will run a comprehensive test with our Indoor Air Analyzer in about 30 minutes. This test allows us to understand your home or business air quality issues so we can get started right away on fixing them. Included with your report are good, better, and best solutions to fit the specific needs of your home. 

We can tell you more about efficient air quality solutions including a full line of air purifiers, ventilators, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, UV lamps, and carbon monoxide alarms. Please give us a call today at (210) 290-8270 to learn more and schedule your indoor air quality test.