With the pandemic going on and lockdown in Ontario, people spend even more time at home. Closed areas are proven to have worse air conditions if not appropriately maintained. Many companies relate coronavirus and HVAC system cleaning, claiming that the virus can spread through the system, and if cleaned, the risk is lower. Is it the case?
What is the relation between coronavirus and HVAC system cleaning?
Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a form of a virus that cannot live long without a living body. It is known that viruses, bacteria and other contaminants can live in HVAC systems. They may spread through air particles. Indoor air quality is crucial to maintain, especially at times when we spend more than 90% of your time indoors. That includes frequent air ventilation (open windows and doors when possible) and cleaning the HVAC system if there is a severe sign, according to EPA (discussed below). What about coronavirus and HVAC system cleaning?
Recent studies show that there is no direct link between coronavirus and HVAC system cleaning. The virus is strongly resistant to its environment; it is susceptive of 80% of humidity levels and over 30 degrees of Celsius of air temperature.
Landlords, office owners are advised to turn off the recirculation system if it is a part of the HVAC system during virus spread.
Should you clean your HVAC air duct system, how and how often?
As we see, there is no direct relation between coronavirus and HVAC system cleaning; however, HVAC system maintenance requires cleaning in several cases.
According to EPA, you have to clean your HVAC system if:
- There is visible mold, dust, debris or other contaminants in the system. Dust and debris can be released to the indoor area through the air particles. Sometimes, you may feel moldy smell or other unusual odour. Mold can grow inside of the system creating difficulty to observe it. In these cases, it is better to have a professional for the complete system testing.
- There are insects in the system
EPA advises hiring a professional company that has only positive reviews from the customers with good experience. The company must reinstall every part accordingly and appropriately after the cleaning process. The price and time for service are also essential factors. Get estimation before you let a company begin the job.
What to do to prevent the spread of coronavirus?
As we have discussed, there is no direct relation between coronavirus and HVAC system cleaning. By cleaning the system, the risk of the virus spread does not change.
Prevention measures for the spread of coronavirus are widely discussed in media. We have a separate blog post devoted to the tips for cleaning and disinfecting your home during coronavirus.
- First clean, then disinfect.
- Use soap and water for personal and home cleaning.
- Use at least 70% alcohol solutions for disinfecting purposes.
- Give time for the chemicals and soap to kill the virus; leave the surface wet for some time before drying it.
To prevent the HVAC system from mold and other contaminants, avoid extra humidity, again, ventilate the room air frequently and monitor all the accessible parts of the system for pollutants regularly.