During times like we are having with the COVID-19 Pandemic, we’re all hyper-aware/sensitive about our health and the health of those near us, our family and our co-workers. And if you are reading this article, it’s likely that you are in the role that makes or guides the decisions and choices about items that can directly affect how healthy our living and work environment is.
Many, many things we have no control over in these times, but there are a couple things we can affect positively; the Indoor Air Quality of where we live and work, and the vendors/sub-contractors that we choose to come into contact with.
Indoor Air Quality
If your home has any type of conventional ‘Central Air’, then there are filters and Air Purifiers and Humidifiers that can greatly enhance the quality of the air we breathe. Generally, the equipment that is installed on a property is often pretty basic and was installed with, or at the same time, as the original unit. And although Humidifiers are most common in the drier areas of the country, higher quality Air Filters and Air Purifiers are becoming more and more common in homes and workplaces.
We always recommend a high-quality Air Filter on every Central Air System, and we 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+ years old.
- A good Air Filter we recommend is a simple 4” to 5” wide Media Air Filter, and 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 to 6 months, depending on the occupants and environment.
- The standard 1” or 2” particulate filters that come with the equipment hardly filter much at all and we don’t recommend them.
- Over the years, we have 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 and more people are wanting. There are several Air Purifiers that do a reasonable job on various types of contaminants. 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.
You can learn more about the RGF Reme-Halo Air Purifier in the videos below!
Both the good quality Air Filters and Air Purifiers are available anywhere in North America, but I strongly recommend that a HVAC professional install the units, so that the whole system can be considered and best utilized.
Vendors and Sub-Contractors
Service Plumbing and HVAC are Essential Service Providers, and 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 on-line before they come out to work. Some things that should be considered are…
- Daily screening of technicians for fever and/or any signs of sickness, and no one displaying any can work and go to a client’s home or office.
- Through 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’ with clients using ‘no contact’ greeting methods.
- Maintaining minimum social distancing at all times, and/or offer no-contact procedures if the client would prefer. Whatever distancing the client prefers should be honored, 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 everywhere possible for all necessary documentation; contracts, work-orders, work-authorizations, receipts etc.
We have all lost a measure of 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 & Nite Plumbing & Heating, a 66-year-old family owned and operated plumbing and heating business in Lynnwood, Washington.
Bruce can be contacted by email at: Bruce@dayandnite.net
Day & Nite Plumbing & Heating Inc.
16614 13th Ave. W. Lynnwood, WA 98037