Air Quality for Home Safety
on Wednesday, March 18, 2020
As air quality professionals, sometimes get questions about preventing illness. Much confusion surrounds the new coronavirus strain, COVID-19. We are not medical professionals here at C and K but we do hold a bit of relevant information on home air quality.
To provide you with clarity on the situation we’ve compiled our response to some frequently asked questions about coronavirus and indoor air quality.
First, here is some basic information on coronavirus from the World Health Organization:
(updated 3/18/2020; source: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus)
- Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as MERS and SARS. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
- Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
- In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
- Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
Q: Do you have air purifiers that can prevent viral/coronavirus infection?
A: An air purifier cannot guarantee prevention of infection, illness, or disease. We do offer products which are proven to reduce airborne pathogens.
The effectiveness of germicidal UV depends on the length of time a microorganism is exposed to UV, the intensity and wavelength of the UV radiation, the presence of particles that can protect the microorganisms from UV, and a microorganism's ability to withstand UV during its exposure.
Click here to download the results of a 2013 university study that shows the effectiveness of our Second Wind 2000 air purifier against various pathogens and bioaerosols. Please note that the coronavirus listed in this study is not our current COVID-19.
Q: How does a UV Purifier work?
A: These in home and hospital grade purifiers utilize a process called ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI). UVGI is a disinfection method that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV-C) light to kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions. UVGI is used in a variety of applications, such as food, air, and water purification.
UVGI systems are installed in forced air systems so that the circulation for the premises moves microorganisms past the lamps. Key to this form of sterilization is placement of the UV lamps and a good filtration system to remove the dead microorganisms.
Q: Is a UV air purifier safe for humans and pets?
A: Yes, UV air purification systems are safe for humans and pets when properly installed by a trained professional. The UV-C light from these devices is Just like the UV radiation from the sun, only more concentrated. Directly exposure of skin or eyes can cause the same issues as prolonged exposure to the sun. When properly installed the light and radiation is completely enclosed within your ductwork. This keeps occupants safe and creates a kill zone for microorganisms within the ducts.