Health and HVAC: How to Combat Back-to-School Germs

Health and HVAC: How to Combat Back-to-School GermsFighting germs with HVAC systems becomes particularly relevant at this time of year. Back-to-school often means back to viruses, bacteria and other common communicable illnesses kids pick up in the crowded classroom. Infection can spread rapidly when introduced into your home environment because most of these microorganisms are airborne. However, this also means fighting germs with HVAC can be one factor in helping maintain a healthy household. Here’s how certain HVAC components, or available additions to the system, can work together to keep indoor air quality germ-free.

Efficient Filtration

Common airborne bacteria and germs come in sizes ranging from 0.5 microns up to 5 microns. High-efficiency pleated HVAC air filters with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) between 8 and 12 will capture up to 85% of airborne pathogens in the larger range and up to 50% of those down to as small as 1.0 microns. Since all the air in your house circulates through the HVAC filter many times per day, controlling the spread of certain germs by improved filtration is viable.

Humidifier Options

Viruses flourish in dry air with relative humidity below 40%. During winter, low humidity is often the norm, so cold and flu viruses are transmitted more efficiently. Adding a whole-house humidifier to your HVAC system—or using individual room humidifiers—to keep indoor humidity at 50% can have an anti-viral effect on your home environment. Research by the Mayo Clinic proved that operating a humidifier for just one hour can kill about 30% of airborne viruses inside an enclosed structure.

UV Light Technology

Ultraviolet light is another germ-killer that can be added to your HVAC system. Many viruses and bacteria are killed by exposure to ultraviolet wavelengths, a safe component of natural sunlight. UV light tubes specifically designed for HVAC systems can be installed inside home ductwork to continuously expose the circulating airflow to the germicidal effects of ultraviolet light. UV exposure also kills mold spores.

Ask Paitson Bros. about these and other ways of fighting germs with HVAC components and available extras. We’ve been Terre Haute’s go-to source for healthy indoor air quality solutions since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859. 

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  • Life's Journey &quo...
    By Jeff Paitson
  • About Jeff

    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

    Jeff’s belief is that the business belongs to Jesus Christ; therefore 10 percent of the company’s profits go toward the Maryland Community Church.

    Jeff is a Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce member and in his spare time, he enjoys photography.
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  • About Ethan


    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

    An Eagle Scout, Ethan spent four years as a non-profit executive with the Boy Scouts of America before joining Paitson Bros. as a comfort advisor and later General Manager. In that role, Ethan has brought a renewed enthusiasm for customer care, integrity, value, and service to Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning.

    Ethan enjoys singing and was a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. He also enjoys playing and coaching soccer, spending time with his family and two young boys, and volunteering his time and resources with his church, Terre Haute First Baptist Church, which he has attended from a very young age.
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