The global coronavirus (COVID-19) health emergency is changing the context in which we are doing business. We know this situation is unprecedented, and you may face uncertainties within your own businesses.
We’re here to help make you as successful as possible. Many of you have been asking about the effectiveness of indoor air quality (IAQ) solutions on this virus. Following is accurate information about the virus and our solutions so you can make responsible and truthful recommendations to homeowners who are reaching out and asking for solutions.
The bottom line is this: there are no IAQ products on the market that are 100% effective against protecting your customers against contracting the respiratory virus. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recently issued its position on airborne infectious disease transmission and discusses three methods that may help mitigate the spread of airborne viruses: ventilation, particle filtration and ultraviolet (UV) lights. While the position statement does not specifically address COVID-19, it contains some helpful information regarding the role of HVAC in transmission and mitigation.
In addition, the information below is intended to help you have informed conversations with customers on cutting down airborne transmission.
Q: How effective are your UV lights in reducing the virus?
A: The UV Air Purifier with the AirBright™ Odor Absorption System deactivates and neutralizes airborne contaminants like mold, bacteria and viruses in the home’s duct system. But it has not been tested with the recent coronavirus (COVID-19). Please be weary of any company claiming they offer solutions that kill this particular virus.
Q: Where should UV lights be installed for maximum effectiveness?
A: We suggest installing the UV AirBright System on both the return and the supply side of the furnace system. UV disinfection systems for HVAC are an ideal proactive measure to complement proper filtration.
Q: How can I help my homeowners know what's in the air?
A: Indoor air quality can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. And IAQ is a real issue: 95% of homes have a measurable air quality problem that can be fixed. IAQ can be challenging to understand because homeowners can’t easily see, touch or feel poor air quality. This makes it hard for them to know if they have an IAQ issue or what to buy to clean or improve it. You can perform an Air Quality Assessment in a home and get real-time IAQ data to learn about potential IAQ challenges. From there, you can offer whole-home solutions informed by data and backed by science.
Q: What other solutions do you have that clean the air?
A: The average person breathes about 20,000 times per day, so helping them keep their air clean remains our priority. The F300 Whole-House Electronic Air Cleaner can capture a significant amount of airborne particles as they pass through this system – compared to a standard one-inch furnace filter. It has a filter cell that needs to be washed out every 6-12 months. The F200 Whole-House Media Air Cleaner and the F100 Whole-House Media Air Cleaner are similar to the F300, but they use paper-based media filters.
Q: How long does the COVID-19 virus stay airborne – and could these solutions even help?
A: According to the World Health Organization, the virus is transmitted through droplets, or little bits of liquid, mostly through sneezing or coughing. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonoses unit, said, "The coronavirus can go airborne, staying suspended in the air depending on factors such as heat and humidity." Scientists are specifically looking at how humidity, temperature and UV lighting affects the virus droplets as well as how long it lives on different surfaces. We'll continue to monitor their studies of UV light.
Keep in mind that IAQ solutions will only help treat the flow of the air that is in the ductwork, not living on hard surfaces throughout the home or floating in the air. Consider turning the fan to move the air continuously in the home so the air remains circulating through the vents and air-cleaning systems. And also encourage continuously cleaning common hard surfaces with disinfectant.
Additional Helpful Tips/Resources
As families spend more time indoors and separated from social activities, the quality of the air they breathe and their critical networks in their home become even more critical. As you operate in this new normal, we've heard the following solutions from many of you – and wanted to share more broadly, in case it is helpful.