Across the country, closed schools and offices have many families spending more time together in their homes, making home comfort a greater priority.
With concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, homeowners are looking for ways to keep their families safe. Here are a few tips for home comfort and safety during this challenging time.
Home Comfort & Safety
- Time to re-program your thermostats. If your family is spending more time at home, your thermostat may need to be adjusted to a more comfortable temperature during the day. If you have a smart Wi-Fi thermostat, this is as easy as using the app on your phone. If not, this may be the time to research options to upgrade your thermostats.
- Upgrade your HVAC filter. Look for a filter with a higher value MERV rating, which equates to finer filtration, meaning fewer dust particles and other airborne contaminants can pass through the filter. HVAC experts do caution that a filter cannot guarantee safety against the spread of a virus and note that the air quality benefits only occur when the fan on your system is running.
- Look at your home’s humidity levels. HVAC experts say homes and businesses should aim for relative humidity of 40-60%, because viruses are least viable in that range. A well-maintained home humidifier that keeps your relative humidity at the recommended level is a good idea.
Calling a Contractor
Most HVAC contractors are small businesses and they are doing what they can to offer their services safely under the guidelines set by state and local governments.
If you need to call a contractor to service your HVAC system, here are some precautions contractors have shared that they are taking during this time.
- Contractors are taking precautions like using social distancing during their own team meetings. They are washing frequently and sanitizing their hands. If you call a contractor to your home, feel free to ask them to wash or sanitize their hands and their tools before they work on your system.
- Many contractors use tablets to record their work and manage their billing. You should use a stylus on any contractor tablet or ask that they sanitize the screen before touching it.
- Some contractors are offering “no-contact” visits, where the HVAC system issue is shared with a phone call and even photos. The homeowner stays in another part of the home while work is completed. If this option appeals to you, be sure you ask your contractor about it.
- Skip the handshake. Contractors understand that keeping their teams and their customers safe is a top priority.
Since staying safe and keeping your family comfortable are top priorities, the HVAC industry will continue to work to ensure that products and services are available to support businesses and homeowners.
Sources on the HVAC industry response to COVID-19:
Coronavirus Crisis Leads HVAC Contractors to Protect Health of Their Staff, Customers
Coronavirus Prompts Response in HVAC Industry
EPA: Indoor Air Quality
Coronavirus and Other Contaminants: How Indoor Air Quality Can Affect Your Health