During times like the COVID-19 Pandemic we’re all hyper-aware about the health of our families and co-workers. If you’re reading this article you might be the one who chooses the items that directly affect how healthy your living and work environment are.
Many things we have no control over these days, but there are a few we can affect positively; the Indoor Air Quality where we live and work, and the service providers we choose to come into contact with.
Indoor Air Quality
If your home has any type of conventional ‘Central Air’, there are filters, Air Purifiers and Humidifiers that can greatly enhance the quality of the air you breathe. Generally, this equipment is often pretty basic and was installed at the same time as the original unit. Although Humidifiers are more common in drier areas of the country, higher quality Air Filters and Air Purifiers are becoming popular in homes and workplaces.
We always recommend a high-quality Air Filter on every Central Air System, and always recommend that an Air Purifier be seriously considered; especially if the occupants are at risk due to respiratory health issues, allergies, or are 60+ yrs. old.
- A good Air Filter we recommend is a simple 4” - 5” wide Media Air Filter. The replaceable filter can be made from several things depending on what filtration is needed: anything from a simple particulate unit to a Carbon Unit to a high-quality HEPA (High-efficiency particulate air) Filter for ultra-filtration. It should be changed every 1 - 6 months, depending on the occupants and environment.
- The standard 1” - 2” particulate filters that come with the equipment hardly filter much at all and we don’t recommend them.
- Over the years, we’ve found that the Electronic Air Filters don’t end up protecting the consumer very well, because almost no one seems to maintain them (wash them) often enough. An average family with one pet would need to service it at least monthly.
Along with a good Media Air Filter, an Air Purifier offers an additional level of protection that more people are wanting.There are several Air Purifiers that do a reasonable job on various containments.In my home and office, we have a unit called the RGF Reme-Halo Air Purifier. I like it because instead of using strong Ozone or UV lights, when it’s on it disperses an Oxidation ‘Plasma’, consisting of Ionized Hydro-peroxides, which are more ‘friendly’, because after the oxidation of the pollutant (bacteria, virus, VOCs, odors, smoke etc.), it reverts back to oxygen and hydrogen.
Both good quality Air Filters and Air Purifiers are readily available, but I strongly recommend that an HVAC professional install the units so the whole system can be considered and best utilized.
Vendors and Sub-contractors
Service Plumbing and HVAC are Essential Service Providers. All companies providing services in homes and offices should be practicing careful, thorough protocols to protect themselves and their customers during this time…and you should be able to see what they are doing online before their visit. Some things to consider are…
- Daily screening of technicians for fever /or any signs of sickness, and no one displaying any can work and go to a client’s home or office.
- Thorough disinfecting of all items used on every job before going to the next one.
- Wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment during service.
- Practicing ‘no physical contact methods’ with clients.
- Maintaining minimum social distancing, and/or offering no-contact procedures if the client prefers, with the CDC guidelines as a minimum.
- Hand washing often and properly.
- Hand Sanitizer used often and properly.
- Completely sanitizing ‘shared-use’ items like tablets, recommending clients use personal pens.
- Utilizing digital solutions when possible for documentation; contracts, work-orders, work-authorizations, receipts etc.
We’ve all lost some influence over our situations during this crisis, and the effects have narrowed our focus. Now more than ever job one is the health and safety of our families and co-workers. During our confinement the quality of the environment inside our homes, and who we choose to come in contact with, are circumstances we can and must control. I’m hoping the information I’ve shared will help you to that end.
Bruce Davis, Sr. Licensed Journeyman Plumber Licensed Electrician, HVAC/R Electrical Administrator, HVAC/R
Certified WA State C.E.U. Instructor
Bruce Sr is President of Day and Nite Plumbing and Heating, a 66-year-old family owned and operated plumbing and heating business in Lynnwood, Washington. Bruce can be contacted at:Bruce@dayandnite.net
Day and Nite Plumbing and Heating Inc. 16614 13th Ave. W. Lynnwood, WA 98037 800-972-7000
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