With the incidence of coronavirus on the rise nationwide, businesses and families are scrambling to guard themselves against the virus. In addition to the social distancing, health, and hygiene recommendations of the CDC, there are also other ways to slow the transmission of flu and viruses indoors. The best commercial HVAC service companies know this includes maintaining ideal humidity levels.
How Do Humidity Levels Help Slow Virus Transmission?
Studies from the National Institution for Occupation Safety and Health (NIOSH) show you may be at a decreased risk of exposure to flu and other viruses in a space with normal humidity levels than in a dry environment. At 23% relative humidity (RH), 70-77% of airborne flu particles were able to cause infection one hour after coughing, the dry air causing the particles to float in the air for a longer period of time.
What is the Ideal Humidity Level to Slow Virus Transmission?
To slow the transmission of flu and other viruses, an indoor humidity level of around 43% is best. The NIOSH study showed in an environment with 43% RH, only 14% of flu particles were able to remain airborne to cause an infection. This higher humidity level was equally effective on both small particles, which tend to float in the air longer, and large particles.
How to Monitor Indoor Humidity Levels
You can monitor the humidity levels in your home or office using a hygrometer, which can be ordered from an online retailer for as little as $8.
Options for Boosting Relative Humidity
If humidity levels are low, you can add moisture to the air with a humidifier. A humidifier is an easy and affordable way to raise humidity levels indoors and combat the risk of flu and other viruses. For this, you have two options:
- Portable humidifiers
Small and inexpensive, portable humidifiers only control humidity levels in a small space, requiring multiple units for adequate coverage in most workspaces, which costs more than an HVAC humidifier. Portable units also require daily filling with demineralized water and routine cleaning to prevent the growth of biological contaminants like bacteria and fungi that can pollute the air in your workspace.
- HVAC humidifiers
These humidifiers install as part of your commercial heating and air conditioning system. They control humidity in every room and level of your office. HVAC humidifiers connect directly to your business’ water supply, using your systems blower system and ductwork to distribute moisture through the air. Maintenance is minimal, including changing the humidifier pads and a thorough cleaning with diluted vinegar once or twice a year.
Stay safe and healthy through the coronavirus epidemic. Ensure superior indoor air quality with the help of H & H Commercial Services. Contact us and schedule a complimentary consultation from a qualified HVAC contractor to learn more about available options for improving indoor air quality in your workspace, including humidifiers, exhaust systems, and improved filtration, today.