Stuck in a Healthier Home: Ventilation, Air Cleaners, and COVID19
Those of us in the home performance industry are getting a lot of questions these days about air purification related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our industry has long advised consumers that the best way to deal with any type of indoor air pollutant is to reduce or eliminate the source of pollution and then ventilate with clean outdoor air. But if you are quarantined with a family member who has COVID-19 your options to reduce the source are limited. And few of our homes have effective whole-house mechanical ventilation systems, and some lack even the most basic spot ventilation fans. Opening the windows is an option but sometimes the outside air can cause additional problems.
So, it is not surprising that the conversation turns very quickly to some type of air cleaner or filter. Are these devices effective? The good news is that the answer is that yes, some are. But they must be selected and used properly.
EPA Recommended Air Cleaners
The EPA has released two well-written publications over the past couple of years that provide a comprehensive resource for home performance professionals that can be viewed here.
The first is a summary document that is only seven pages in length. It is primarily intended for consumers but if you are not familiar with the complicated subject of indoor air quality it is a good place to start. The second is a technical document and runs to 74 pages. This one takes just a bit longer to digest but is a must-read resource for anyone in our industry.
Other IAQ Resources
So we know that having an air cleaner can help ventilate and protect against pollutants. But what can be done without an air cleaner in the home? Paul Francisco, a researcher and trainer at Indoor Climate Research and Training at the University of Illinois, shares simple things you can do at home to make your indoor environment safer now, and in the future.
Healthy Indoors Magazine has also been running a series of article and video shows about the various aspects of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. You can access those at https://healthyindoors.com/category/covid-19/