With the flu season still in full swing, chances are you're looking for ways to protect yourself against the influenza virus and the various symptoms it brings. One way of doing just that involves taking better care of your HVAC system. Following these simple care tips not only keeps your heating and cooling system in great shape, but you'll also reduce the spread of the cold and flu virus.
Invest in a Better Air Filter
Not only should you check and change your air filter on a regular basis, but you should also consider how well your current air filter is performing. Most modern HVAC systems come with basic fiberglass air filters that keep dirt and debris at bay, but prove ineffective at controlling airborne bacteria and viruses.
MERV's the word when it comes to finding a better air filter for your HVAC system. Upgrading to a pleated air filter with a MERV rating of 7 or higher can significantly reduce the spread of flu virus particles throughout your home.
Maintain Proper Indoor Humidity
Chapped lips and itchy skin aren't the only things to worry about when it comes to dry winter air. It can also play a major role in spreading the flu virus. In low-humidity environments, flu virus particles attach to lighter and finer droplets, allowing them to travel farther, survive longer and have a better chance of spreading.
Increasing the humidity makes those droplets larger and heavier, which in turn makes them more likely to sink instead of staying aloft for long periods. Because of this, adding moisture to the air can actually curtail the spread of the cold and flu virus.
Most experts recommend keeping your home's relative humidity levels between 35 and 50 percent, depending on outdoor temperatures and your own preferred level of comfort.
Consider Installing UV Lamps
As it turns out, there's some truth to the old saying "sunlight is the best disinfectant." Ultraviolet light, specifically UV-C light, is instrumental in rendering a broad range of potentially harmful microorganisms inert, including the flu and cold virus.
Installing a set of UV lamps inside of your HVAC system can help bring this germ-killing light to places inside of your unit where bacteria and other growth are likely to linger. Not only does it prevent flu viruses from thriving inside the HVAC unit, but it also prevents mold, mildew and algae growth that could block airflow and reduce performance. Germicidal UV lamps are relatively affordable and last for up to a year before needing replacement.
For more information, contact companies like Soco Air Conditioning.