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Indoor Air Quality During a Pandemic Lockdown

indoor plants with ac in background

Kira_Yan/ Bigstockphoto.com

As COVID-19 has spread across the globe, we’ve been sheltering in place, social distancing, and staying home — this is life during a pandemic. With reports suggesting that the virus can aerosolize and linger in the air for hours, many even choose to keep their windows closed while inside their homes.

There’s a lot we don’t know much about this novel coronavirus, and people are doing their best to stay healthy and safe by staying indoors. While we’re locked down, though, things can get really stagnant inside our homes. Let’s talk about some of the ways you can improve indoor air quality during a pandemic. This is especially important for people that are ill or recovering from illness.

What COVID-19 Has Done to Air Quality

girl wearing face mask

Supawat B./ Bigstockphoto.com

How easily COVID-19 can be spread through the air is still being investigated, but we do know that there has already been a drastic change in the amount of pollution seen around the world. This is likely the result of fewer people commuting and production facilities running at lower capacity.

 

 

 

These before and after pictures give a glimpse of how much things have shifted and studies have already begun measuring the impact lockdowns have had on global air pollution. While no one would ever wish for a pandemic, a reduction in pollution could be one silver lining.

Air Filters and Air Ducts

One of the easiest and often overlooked ways to improve indoor air quality is to change your air filter. We recommend swapping them out at least every three months, but doing it more often is never a bad idea. Change air filters at least once a month if:

  • You’re staying inside your home for extended periods of time (such as during a lockdown).
  • You or anyone in your home lives with asthma, allergies, or another chronic health condition.
  • Your home is being renovated or was recently renovated.
  • Someone smokes in or around your home.
  • You have a large family or many people are staying in your home.
  • You have pets.

Take the additional step of keeping your air ducts clean and clear. You would be amazed by how much dirt, dust, and debris can build up inside of your ventilation system, spreading those particles throughout your home. Remove the registers in each room, vacuum inside them regularly, and consider having your air ducts professionally cleaned.

Humidity Levels

person holding humidifier

DimaBerlin/ Bigstockphoto.com

If you’ve lived in Richmond any length of time, you already know that we live in a humid climate. You might have grown used to it, but when humidity levels get too high, it can have a negative effect on indoor air quality. High humidity environments are breeding grounds for mold spores, dust mites, and other allergens, for example.

A portable dehumidifier can help combat the issue in specific rooms, but installing a whole house humidifier is an even better option. These work with your HVAC system to keep the humidity levels comfortable and healthy in every room of your house with minimal effort.

Keep Your Home Clean

Housework might not be the most exciting thing to do, but keeping a clean home can definitely improve your indoor air quality. When dust and allergens accumulate on surfaces and flooring, you’ll end up breathing in those particles to the detriment of your health.

Create a weekly routine so you can keep up with your chores. Sweep, vacuum, mop, and dust once a week (at least!), and change your bed linens, too. Do your best to minimize clutter and do a deep cleaning at the end of every month. You’ll be breathing easier in no time!

Indoor Air Quality in Richmond, Virginia

According to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, “Indoor air quality is ranked among the top environmental dangers” in our lives. We need to take it seriously, especially during a time when we are staying at home more than ever.

You might not know exactly where to begin, which is why we recommend reaching out to qualified professionals. W.G. Speeks has been serving residents in the Greater Richmond Region for more than 75 years, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

Whether you need suggestions for air filters, whole house humidifiers, or want to schedule a service appointment, our NATE-certified technicians are ready! We offer a free, no-risk consultation, and we’re taking extra precautions for safer visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud to be part of such an amazing community, and we look forward to working together. Give W.G. Speeks a call today — we’re here to help!