Now that it is colder in Geneva, you are relying on your furnace for clean, safe heat for your home and family. As we all socially distance and stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be asking what else can they do to ‘flatten the curve.’ While hand-washing and staying home remain the most effective means of limiting the spread of the virus, there is conflicting information surfacing about the role and efficacy of air-filters. The furnace repair service experts at All Seasons Heating and Cooling want to help.
Twice a year, it is suggested that a professional furnace repair service team check your HVAC systems as you change from heating to cooling (and back again.). System maintenance may include, but is not limited to:
Another service is to install new air filters. There are many options on the market, including HEPA filters.
The answer to the question you may be asking is not as simple as you think. Filtration in building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can be a part of an overall risk mitigation approach but is not generally regarded as a solution by itself. There is no direct scientific evidence of benefit, but some reduced exposure can reasonably be expected to remove particles that contain a SARS-CoV-2 virus. In order for filters to have any impact on infectious disease transmission, transmission has to occur through the airborne route, 1) filters have to be properly installed and 2) maintained in appropriate systems to treat recirculated air, and filters have to be appropriately designed for the building in which they are used. More importantly, in most buildings and in most situations, filters may be considerably less effective than other infection control measures including social distancing, isolation of known cases, and hand-washing.
High efficiency HVAC filters can capture small particles (such as viruses), and remove them from the airflow in your space. But they can’t eliminate the risk entirely. Properly installed higher efficiency filters can remove particles of a relevant size depending on their installed capture efficiency, but current information does not allow for specific recommendations. The problem is that the COVID-19 virus is so tiny. it’s possible that some particles may pass through even the highest efficiency filters.
Also to note: higher efficiency filters are more dense and don’t allow as much air to penetrate. That leads to decreased air flow through your system. If you were already struggling with a system that wasn’t performing well, it’s likely your system will have even more trouble cooling your space. Your system will also run longer as it struggles to achieve the set temperature, which uses more electricity and creates wear and tear on fans and other parts. High efficiency filters trap more dust and debris and must be changed more frequently, but the cost of high efficiency filters can potentially be up to three times the cost of a normal filter.
According to the National Air Filtration Association (NAFA): “In order for filters to have any impact on infectious disease transmission, transmission has to occur through the airborne route, filters have to be properly installed and maintained in appropriate systems to treat recirculated air, and filters have to be appropriately designed for the building in which they are used. More importantly, in most buildings and in most situations, filters may be considerably less effective than other infection control measures including social distancing, isolation of known cases, and hand-washing.”
Hospitals (and many healthcare facilities) have specially designed mechanical systems that can accommodate the levels of filtration that they need. They often rely on other systems to maximize the benefit from filtration: UV lamps, humidity control, airflow management. Most importantly, hospitals have dedicated staff who operate and maintain this equipment so that it provides maximal benefit. Obviously, homeowners can’t obtain this level of filtration but our furnace repair service technicians will help get your mechanical system, and your family, as safe as possible.
The furnace repair service experts at All Seasons Heating and Cooling repairs and maintains furnaces to keep Genevan families safe and healthy. At All Season’s Heating & Cooling, each furnace repair service technician is fully licensed, bonded, and insured. We offer emergency repair services, and warrantied installation and maintenance. Since the 1980s, we have been serving homes and businesses all across Fox River Valley with trusted heating and cooling solutions.
Serving all brands and units, we are your one-stop shop for all of your HVAC needs anytime. We offer emergency furnace repair services, and warrantied installation and maintenance.