Tips For Cold and Flu Season

Winter is known as the time for sweaters, crackling fireplaces, and drinking lots of hot chocolate.

Most people believe that staying at home more during the winter is a good defense against the cold, but in reality, it is actually the opposite. Your health may tend to worsen in the winter because of your home. Poor indoor air quality can be the direct root of many seasonal illnesses.

Tip #1: Change Your Air Filter Regularly

Studies by the EPA have determined that indoor pollution can be as much as 100 times worse than outdoor pollution. If your house is inadequately ventilated viruses and bacteria can get trapped and then continue to circulate throughout your indoor air space. This becomes more true if you have a dirty air filter. A clogged air filter can cause your system to work much harder and possibly malfunction. A regular schedule of changing your air filter can significantly help curb colds and flu. Air filter replacement schedules tend to fluctuate anywhere between every 30 days up to every 3 months.

Tip # 2: Take Your Filtration Up A Notch

Install a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) filter. A MERV filter delivers high-quality with a rating that effectively traps viruses, bacteria, and other particulates. MERV ratings will go from 1 to 20, with 20 being the highest. Let one of our highly-skilled technicians determine the filter that will work best for your HVAC system.

Tip # 3: Have a Whole-House Humidifier Installed

We heat our homes in the winter to keep them warm and cozy, but doing so can also dry out the air throughout our living space. It is a fact that humidity can drop to 10 percent, which is as dry as the Sahara Desert. Cold and flu viruses thrive on low humidity because it increases their chance of survival and transmission. A whole-house humidifier will create moisture to ensure that your entire home will be humidity-free.

Tip # 4: Add An In-Duct Air Purifier

Thoroughly cleaning your kitchen countertops, dusting your furniture, and vacuuming your floors will not eliminate airborne flu and cold viruses. But adding an in-duct air purifier, directly installed in your HVAC, will remove these particulates. It will also remove contaminants such as dirt, dust mites, and pet dander that can contribute to or even worsen flu and cold symptoms.

Tip # 5: Install Ultraviolet Lights

When ultraviolet lights are installed in your HVAC system, they create the same sterile air quality found in hospitals. UV rays kill viruses, bacteria, and allergens by destroying their DNA. When placed near the air handler, they prevent these contaminants from being released into your indoor air.

Tip # 6: Have Your Heater Inspected

It would help if you had your heater inspected and tuned up before the weather becomes cold. Viruses love cooler temperatures, so the warmer your house is, the less likely they will survive. Proper heating can protect you from these seasonal illnesses. Try to keep your thermostat at a minimum of 68 degrees.

Tip # 7: Install A Low-Level Carbon Monoxide Detector

Symptoms from continuous exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can mimic the symptoms of colds and flu. Conventional CO monitors don’t sense these small amounts, but a low-level detector can give you a warning so that you have plenty of time to take action.

Tip # 8: Have Routine Maintenance Performed

Maintaining a consistent maintenance schedule on your HVAC system is one of the most important things that you can do during flu season and year-round. Manufacturers recommend that you have routine maintenance completed on your HVAC System annually. If you neglect to have regular maintenance performed on your system, you may not be entitled to your warranty in the event something breaks down. Regular maintenance is also imperative to avoid any air conditioning system issues, as you cannot predict what will happen to your unit.