Is the air inside your home as clean as it should be?
COVID-19 is still a mystery in many ways, but there’s one thing we do know: It’s more easily transmitted indoors. That’s the case for all kinds of viruses, bacteria, and germs. This year, many of us have hunkered down at home in order to stay safe. But what can we do to help make sure our home is safe? Whether you’re trying to limit the spread of germs, reduce irritants and allergens, or simply feel more comfortable, there’s one easy thing you can do right now: Improve the air quality inside your home. Here’s how….
We all want to think of our homes as a safe haven. The truth is that bacteria, viruses, germs, irritants, and allergens love lingering in indoor spaces, and that includes your home. It all comes down to air quality, and poor indoor air quality can have a negative impact on your health.
We’re all a lot more aware of the spread of germs these days, but you may have been feeling the ill effects of poor indoor air quality long before COVID-19 took hold. If you suffer from allergies or asthma, dry skin in the winter or frequent colds, your air quality at home may be part of the problem.
Your home can also be negatively impacted by poor indoor air quality. Too much or too little humidity can lead to mold, cracking, and splitting of wood floors and furniture, chipping paint, and static electricity.
The good news: The air quality in your home can be improved
The average forced air heating and the cooling system move about 1.4 million cubic feet of air per day. The air is drawn into the system from all the rooms in your home, then passes through the ductwork to your system, where it runs over the heating and cooling elements. The heated or cooled air is pushed back through the ductwork and into the rooms in your home.
Installing good filtration and air purification at the system’s core can help make sure all that air is cleaned and purified each time it passes through.
If you haven’t had your home air quality addressed in the past few years, you may be surprised at what’s available. Advancements in air filtration, air purification, and humidification technology make cleaner indoor air more accessible than ever to homeowners.
Here’s a snapshot:
- Home Air Filtration Systems
How often do you check and replace the air filter in your furnace? It should be checked every 2-3 months and may need to be replaced just as often depending on the number of people and pets in your home, as well as the home’s size, flooring, and the type of filter. If your current filtration system is a simple 1-inch standard media filter, you can make a significant improvement in your homes air quality by upgrading to an electronic air cleaner or a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter.
|FACT: Standard 1-inch media filters capture just 2% of airborne particles
FACT: 98% of all airborne particles are smaller than 1 micron in size; particles 5 microns and smaller can enter our lungs.****
FACT: Electronic air cleaners capture 97% of airborne particles….and capture particles as small as 0.30 microns
Robust filtration from electronic and HEPA air filters help remove more bacteria and viruses as well as the very tiny particles in the air that aggravate allergies and asthma. An added bonus? Better filtration can reduce the visible dust on your furniture and it also helps your heating and cooling system work more efficiently by reducing dust buildup on the fan and motor inside the system.
- Home Air Purification Systems
Air filtration and air purification have a similar goal: reduce or eliminate the irritants, bacteria and other elements that lower air quality in your home. While filtration is designed to trap irritants, purifiers are designed to attack and kill or neutralize bacteria and viruses. A combination of purification and filtration offers the highest level of air quality for your home.
Check out the details below about purification systems!
- Whole-Home Humidification Systems
You’ve probably heard the saying that Minnesota has two seasons: winter and road construction. Our winters last far longer than average and are far drier. Low humidity levels can cause wear and tear on everything in your home – including the people in it. Viruses grow more readily and stay active longer in the air when humidity levels are very low, and dry nasal and throat passages are more prone to infections .*** If you already have a whole-home humidifier system but it’s not working as well as it should get an assessment to find out if a repair will suffice or if it needs to be replaced.
You don’t have to be an indoor air quality guru to tackle any of this. The trained professionals at Bonfe are experts at assessing, repairing, and installing humidifiers, air filtration systems, and air purification systems – in addition to air conditioning and heating systems. Bonfe offers same-day appointments and regular rates from 7 am to 10 pm seven days a week, as well as 24/7 emergency services. Bonfe technicians are taking extra safety precautions during this to time to help keep you (and them) healthy, such as masks, gloves, booties, hand sanitizer, and social distancing.
Imagine having the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re helping control the spread of particles, bacteria, and viruses in your home. That’s enough to make you breathe easier, isn’t it?
IONIZATION and UV Lights to Deactivate Viruses
In a lab-based test, the ionizing air purifiers we use at Bonfe were tested against the virus that causes COVID-19. After just 10 minutes, 84.2% of the virus was inactivated; after 30 minutes, 99.4% of the virus was inactivated.* While this technology can’t combat person-to-person transmission when you’re in close proximity to someone (e.g. if someone carrying the virus is speaking very close to you or sneezes in your direction), it is a powerful tool to combat the virus’s ability to linger in your home.
The air purifiers we use generate ions, which adhere to pathogens and pollutants, impact their molecules, and turn them into harmless compounds like air, water vapor, and nitrogen. The result: a healthier environment inside your home.
If you’ve been considering installing an air purifier, now’s the time. It’s a simple way to help keep your family healthier and more comfortable at home.
Residential UVC light systems can also be used to deactivate viruses. The UV light systems installed by Bonfe are 3 times more powerful than standard UV lights that are sometimes mounted in air conditioning coil enclosures to prevent mold growth. Lab tests have shown that in a typical residential heating and cooling system, with average airflow, a high microwatt UV lamp can effectively deactivate up to 85% of viruses in the air that passes by it.**
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS:
When used in combination, an ionic air purifier, a UV light, a humidifier, and an electronic air cleaner can significantly improve the air quality in your home.
These systems help reduce the number of particles, viruses, and bacteria from the air inside your home, and can also help maintain proper humidity.
Contact Bonfe today to have a technician visit your home and recommend an IAQ package that’s right for you.
* Tests were conducted using commercial volume ionization purifiers; residential systems use the same technology but were not independently tested.
** Dynamic Air Quality Solutions study of UVC lamps in 2400 CFM residential application
*** American Society of Otolaryngology
**** American Lung Association