Air Filters and Respiratory Health: Separating the Fact from Fiction
With the recent coronavirus outbreak, we thought it’d be a good time to educate our customer audience about how air filters impact respiratory health. There are so many scams out there during these tough days, so be watchful and arm yourself with the facts.
What Air Filters Can’t Do?
We’ve all seen commercials or advertisements for products that seem too good to be true. It’s hard to not believe them. We want to believe that these products are as good as they claim to be. With the right knowledge, you can keep from wasting money on products that don’t do just what they claim.
The Federal Trade Commission is advising consumers to be skeptical about scams during this time. Watch out for emails that claim to be from the CDC. There is no known vaccination or treatment as of now, so don’t buy into any of those claims. We’ve seen claims of teas, essential oils, and silver, as well as air filters, being able to fight the coronavirus.
We trust what the FTC has said about the teas and silver, but with over 40 years in the HVAC and air quality business, we take special offense to misinformation about air filters. The simple truth is — Any filter that claims it can kill or filter out the virus is trying to scam you.
What Air Filters Actually Do?
However, just because an air filter doesn’t kill the novel coronavirus, doesn’t mean that they aren’t beneficial to your health because they are. Like many health problems, symptoms can be more severe in certain environments. The World Health Organization estimated that nine out of ten people breathe polluted air. They say that leads to 7 million deaths a year from diseases like heart disease and lung cancer.
It’s all interconnected. Asthma rates among children increase if they sleep in a room with carpeting, which can be a big source of indoor air pollution. Secondhand smoke causes respiratory problems as well. The long and short of it is that the air you breathe impacts your respiratory health.
Air filters can help achieve superior air quality because of the science and engineering that goes into them. We utilize two main types of air filters — HEPA and UV — here at 3C Mechanical Technologies.
HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. These filters essentially use a similar process as your typical coffee filter. However, there is a big difference. While coffee filters are made of very thin paper, HEPA filters utilize densely packed fiberglass. As air passes through, extraordinarily tiny particles and pollutants are trapped behind.
These filters use the MERV rating system to measure how much they can filter out. Some of the highest rating filters can even trap smoke or particles as small as 0.1 microns, which is actually about the size of the coronavirus. That, of course, does not mean you are safe if you have one of these high MERV rating filters in your home since this process takes time and the biggest risk of contracting the virus is through physical contact with a contaminated surface or a contagious individual. Additionally, many HVAC systems can’t push air through such an intense filter. We can help you decide which filter system works best for you and your household.
Ultraviolet light has become more widely used as a disinfectant over the past few years. Research hasn’t fully bared out how UV light affects coronavirus, but UV light has been used as a disinfectant and harmed viruses and bacteria in the past.
Overall, air filtration and indoor air quality impact your respiratory health. We know that respiratory symptoms are exacerbated by air pollutants. If you are stuck at home, now is a great time to consider upgrading your system. Be wary of any guarantees or bold claims related to coronavirus and follow WHO and CDC guidelines to prevent transmission, such as washing your hands frequently.
If you’re interested in an Indoor Air Quality Assessment, fill out our form online or call us at (254) 315-4362. Our technicians are trained in cleanliness and take the utmost care and caution when helping your home.