As the US is the worst-hit country by COVID-19, homeowners in the US are worried about their health and asking questions about the effectiveness of HVAC filtration in fighting COVID-19. In this article, I’ll answer few FAQs about COVID-19 and HVAC filtration. But before that, I’ll tell you about a recent finding by the WHO about the airborne nature of COVID-19.
WHO Acknowledges Airborne Nature of COVID-19
On 6th July 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledged the airborne nature of the COVID-19. Previously, the health organization claimed that the virus only spread through droplets, not by air. But after an open letter from a group of scientists claiming that they have found evidence that the virus spread through the air, the WHO finally acknowledged that COVID-19 is airborne.
So, what does it means? It means that you have to maintain social distancing, and you’ll have to wear masks all the time to protect yourself from the virus. Also, after this acknowledgment, the importance of HVAC filtration is more than ever as it can prevent airborne viruses from entering your space.
Now, I’ll discuss a few FAQs about COVID-19 and HVAC filtration.
FAQs about COVID-19 & HVAC Filtration
1. Can HVAC Filters Protect People from COVID-19?
HVAC filters these days are very much effective in blocking small particles. However, there’s no evidence that the HVAC filters can prevent COVID-19 droplets from entering your space.
COVID-19 droplets are bigger in size compared to other virus droplets, but it’s still small compared to other particles that most air filters can restrict. However, if you use high-efficiency HVAC filters in your air conditioner, there’s a good chance that the filter can prevent those microdroplets from entering your space.
So, the bottom line is, if you want to use an HVAC filter to prevent COVID-19 droplets from entering your space, you’ll have to make sure that you’re using a high-efficiency air filter. Otherwise, you may not be able to prevent any COVID-19 droplets from entering your space.
2. What Type of Air Filter Should I Use to Prevent COVID-19 from Entering My Space?
As I mentioned earlier, you should use a high-efficiency air filter to prevent COVID-19 droplets from entering your home. Besides, ULPA and HEPA air filters have the highest rate of effectiveness. However, in some HVAC systems, you cannot use these air filters. To use these air filters in those HVAC systems, you’ll have to make some modifications, and it’ll cost you money. But if your air conditioner is capable of handling HEPA or ULPA filter then you can use them to prevent COVID-19 virus from entering your home.
So, what should you do if your HVAC system doesn’t support HEPA or ULPA filters? You can try a high-efficiency air filter that has a MERV rating between 14 to 16. These filters are very efficient compared to regular HVAC filters. Again, if your HVAC system doesn’t support these filters too, you can try MERV 13 HVAC air filters. This air filter is very efficient, and you can use them in almost any HVAC system.
3. What is MERV Rating?
MERV rating is developed by ASHRAE and stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. MERV rating ranges between 1 to 16. Higher the value is, the more efficient your air filter is to block microparticles from entering your space. The ideal MERV rating starts from 13. However, many HVAC systems don’t support a high rated HVAC air filter. In those cases, you can use a MERV 13 HVAC air filter. MERV 13 HVAC filter is almost compatible with any type of HVAC system.
4. How Frequently Should I Change I Change My Air Filter in Pandemic?
Generally, the ideal time for changing an air filter is between 60 to 90 days. However, in this pandemic, your air filter will have to work harder to protect yourself from the virus. As a result, it will need frequent changes. That’s why it’s recommended that you should change your air filter every 35 to 50 days. By doing this, you can reduce the chance of getting infected by the virus. Also, while changing the air filter, make sure that you’re wearing protective gear because air filters in your HVAC system can contain COVID-19 droplets, and if you get exposed to those, you can be infected by the COVID-19.
See the summary of this content – FAQs about HVAC Filtration & COVID-19 [Infographic]
By the way, are you looking for an HVAC system for your home?