Reducing the Spread of Infectious Diseases with Your HVAC System

With people spending more time indoors than ever before, indoor air quality has become more top of mind than ever before.  People want to make sure that the air their family is breathing is safe so that their home can keep them safe rather than make them sick.  The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that indoor air is often more polluted (typically two to five times more and occasionally 100 times more) than outdoor air.  Most of the “respirable” dust and particles people breathe into their lungs is a fraction of the size of a grain of sand.

Infectious diseases spread by several different routes. Many viruses including influenza, the common cold, and other diseases spread by the airborne route. The spread can be accelerated or controlled by heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.  This post explains your HVAC System, its capabilities of controlling the spread of infectious diseases, and how polarized media filters and high-output germicidal UVC lamps can help.

In the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)’ position document on Airborne Infectious Diseases, they explain how the spread of infectious disease from an infected individual to a susceptible person, known as cross transmission or person-to-person transmission, by small airborne particles that contain microorganisms.  Small particles, which stay airborne for hours at a time and can be transported long distances and can be transported through ventilation systems.

Good indoor air quality (IAQ) depends on a number of factors, including effective filtration, which provides the primary defence for building occupants and HVAC equipment against particular pollutants. Today’s higher standards in filtration, coupled with rigorous attention paid to filter selection, helps to produce cleaner, purer air and reduce IAQ-related problems.

Your HVAC System – The Lungs of Your Home

HVAC Diagram

The HVAC system in your home are the lungs of the building.  While the system is operating, it is “breathing in” through the return air vents and “breathing out” through the supply air vents.  Having proper air flow in a building can help control the spread of airborne contaminants by drawing the air and airborne particles into the HVAC system and preventing it from lingering in the space.  What happens from there will depend on how your HVAC system has been designed and what type of filtration and air cleaning equipment you are using.

Furnace filters are rated based on their minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) and is a scale from 1-16.  The higher the MERV rating, the finer the particulate can be blocked by the filter.  A MERV 6 filter can block lint, household dust, and pollen.  While a MERV 13+ filter can block contaminants such as bacteria and viruses.  When looking at this, you may immediately think that you should just go and buy the highest possible MERV filter.  However, MERV 13 filters will not work with most HVAC systems due to air flow resistance.  The furnace filters with a high MERV chokes the furnace of air, reduces air circulation, decreased indoor air quality, and potentially damage to the furnace.  Often a MERV 8 filter is a good safe bet as a middle ground.

A Better Solution for Improved Filtration

Solace Air Polarized Media FilterCombining ease of installation with low static pressure (for lower energy consumption and system wear), Our 1” Air Cleaners are high-efficiency whole-house electronic air cleaners with an equivalency rating of MERV 13.  As tiny sub-micron particles and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) pass through the central heating and cooling system, they become polarized. The polarized particles get larger as they join together with other polarized particles and collect on a disposable low- static polarized media pad with an activated charcoal center screen.

Our air cleaners remove difficult odours and provide an efficiency of 97% for particles down to .3 microns in size. The 1” panels fit directly into existing filter racks or filter grilles and are powered using simple 24V wiring connected to the central HVAC system.

Leading 90% filtration efficiency, a full aluminum frame, and five layers of filtration protection, make this big seller. For those with allergies, asthma, respiratory ailments, and extremely dust sensitive environments, this is your choice. 

Control the Spread of Germs and Viruses with High-Output Germicidal UVC Lamps

ContaminantsControl of seasonal influenza has for decades relied on large-droplet (large droplets from a sneeze or cough that fall to the ground within 1.2 meters).  However, there is evidence suggesting a far greater importance for airborne transmission by small particles.  Small particles have the opportunity to be spread by your HVAC system without the proper precautions.

In addition to standard daily hygiene practices, you can be proactive by adding high-output UVC lamp to your HVAC system to purify the air without the pressure drop risk associated with a high MERV rated standard filter.  With a a high-output UVC lamp installed into the ductwork of the HVAC System, you can sterilize airborne viruses, bacteria, and germs as they pass by lamps rendering them harmless and incapable of reproducing.  This is the same technology that is used to prevent the spread of viruses in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Modern PURAIR® can provide you with the same equipment that is used in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.  For more information or to receive a free quote contact Modern PURAIR or call us at 1.800.996.3878.   Our polarized media filter air cleaners provide high levels of filtration with low pressure drop and our high-output germicidal UVC lamps kill or deactivate airborne viruses, bacteria, germs and other bioaerosols that travel through your HVAC system and recirculate throughout your home.