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Houston air quality expert offers tips to limit indoor exposure to COVID-19 and flu viruses
News provided byHorizon Air Solutions
Sep 19, 2023, 7:03 AM ET
Horizon Air Solutions owner says homeowners should consider making improvements to their household's ventilation and air purification systems to fend off pollutants
HOUSTON, Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- With new COVID-19 variants on the rise and flu season around the corner, Horizon Air Solutions, a locally owned HVAC company serving Houston since 2016, says homeowners should ensure their homes have the proper ventilation and purification systems in place to combat contaminated air.
"Many homeowners think the air inside their houses is healthier than the air outside, but studies have shown that isn't always the case," said Jorge Bassante, owner and president of Horizon Air Solutions. "Indoor air pollutants are a growing concern, especially with COVID-19 and the flu virus on the rise. Many homes aren't ventilated properly and don't have air purification systems installed. Many others have dirty ductwork that can blow pollutants around the home."
In places like Houston, air quality suffers as a result of its warm, urban climate, which makes it predisposed to higher ozone levels. This can contribute to airborne illnesses such as COVID-19 and the flu. In Harris County, hospital admissions related to COVID-19 are continuing to rise on a weekly basis while they are down in the rest of Texas, according to news reports.
"With October designated as National Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Month, there's no better time to consider improving your home's air quality before it gets cold and we close our homes up again," he said. "There are a number of ways you can improve your home's air quality so your family can better protect itself from viruses like COVID and the flu."
Bassante said these include:
- Changing the HVAC filter regularly. This simple solution not only helps the HVAC system run more efficiently, it also helps the system circulate cleaner air.
- Controlling the humidity in the home. Humid and moist air breeds mold, while drier air keeps viruses active longer. Homeowners can use humidifiers and dehumidifiers to control their home's relative humidity. Homeowners can use a device called a hygrometer to test their home's moisture levels. The ideal humidity in a home should be less than 60% in the summer and between 25% and 40% in the winter.
- Using fans in the bathrooms and kitchen. Homeowners can rid their homes of moisture and contaminants created by gas stoves or electric burners by regularly using vent fans while showering or cooking.
- Ventilation improvements. Although it's generally a good idea to open windows, this isn't always possible in extreme heat or cold. Installing an HVAC system that draws in fresh outdoor air and expels stale indoor air is one alternative.
- Air purification systems. Air cleaning systems use mechanical filters, activated carbon filters, UV-C lights, charged ions and other air scrubbers to keep a home's air refreshed. A reputable HVAC company can help homeowners choose the system that will work best for their homes.
- Source identification and control. Identifying the source of a home's poor IAQ is half the battle, and once it has been identified, it can be controlled. An air quality expert can examine a home to find out if the source is asbestos insulation, a gas stove, building materials or outdoor sources like radon or pesticides that are seeping into the home, and then make recommendations on how to control the problem.
- Cleaning dirty ductwork. Many older homes have old ductwork. Ducts can be the source of built-up dust, debris and pollutants that are blown throughout the home. Homeowners should always hire a trusted professional in their area and not rely on fly-by-night operators.
Bassante said homeowners should always consult a professional if they believe they are exposed to dangerous substances like carbon monoxide, radon or asbestos.
"This isn't something you want to risk by leaving it in the hands of someone who isn't certified and trained on dealing with these substances," he said. "Make sure your HVAC contractor is licensed and insured and has the certifications necessary to operate in your state."
For more information about Horizon Air Solutions, visit https://www.horizonairsolutions.com/.
About Horizon Air Solutions
Horizon Air Solutions is a locally owned and operated HVAC company serving the Houston area since 2016. The company offers HVAC installation, maintenance and repair services, and are indoor air quality experts. Horizon Air Solutions offers licensed and insured contractors that are certified to practice in the state of Texas. The company offers affordable services with no overhead costs and can provide financing options to qualified applicants. Horizon Air Solutions also offers bilingual consultants and technicians to meet customer needs. For more information about Horizon Air Solutions, please visit https://www.horizonairsolutions.com/.
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SOURCE Horizon Air Solutions
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