Your Guide to Protecting Your Home from COVID-19

Now that most of us are spending more time at home, you might be wondering how you can protect your home from COVID-19. In addition to following government recommendations like physical distancing and frequent handwashing, there might be other ways you can stay safe. Although research is still emerging, UV air purifiers and specialized furnace filters may be able to help. 

Use Trustworthy Sources for COVID-19 Updates

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with secondhand information. For the latest updates on COVID-19, look to health authorities local to Hamilton and Burlington.

Can You Let Repair Personnel or Technicians into Your Home?

Heating and cooling companies are an essential service and remain open. Since your furnace, water heater, and other HVAC equipment are vital for keeping your home comfortable; Boonstra Heating and Air Conditioning is still available 24/7.

All of our technicians are taking extra care when entering your home. You can expect our usual clean uniforms and booties, as well as additional precautions. We’re frequently washing our hands and using hand sanitizer. We’re also practicing physical distancing, so please don’t be upset if we don’t shake your hand when we visit.

Finally, any sick employees are being asked to stay home from work. We ask you to give us the same courtesy and let us know if anyone in your home is feeling sick before we visit. That way, we can all take the appropriate precautions. 

Can Air Purifiers or Air Filters Protect My Home From COVID-19?

Air Purifiers

UV air purifiers are a type of air purification system that is designed to kill microorganisms, including viruses. As microorganisms pass underneath UV light, their DNA is damaged, rendering them harmless. 

While there is no research specific to COVID-19 available yet, there is research on UV light and other forms of coronavirus. Studies have shown that UV air purifiers are effective in killing  MERS-CoV and SARS coronaviruses, so it is possible that they are effective against COVID-19 as well.

Air Filters

Similar to air purifiers, there is no research specific to COVID-19 and air filters available yet. However, certain air filters are known to filter out particles about the same size as COVID-19

When looking for a filter capable of filtering out virus particles, look for an air filter with a MERV rating of at least 8. HEPA filters are one option, as they have a MERV rating of 17-20 that allows them to remove 99.97% of particles from the air. 

What Do Hospitals Use to Keep the Air Clean?

Because hospitals have such high air quality demands, they rely on highly-specialized equipment. Hospitals often use a combination of UV air purifiers, air filters, humidity control, and airflow management to help keep the air clean. In addition to these specialized systems, hospitals also have dedicated staff to maintain air quality, as well as strict sanitation protocols like frequent handwashing.

Some of this equipment, like UV air purifiers, can be installed in your home. That said, there are still many unknowns surrounding COVID-19 and whether air purifiers and air filters make a significant difference. There likely isn’t a downside, but they should be used in addition to other precautions like physical distancing and frequent handwashing. 

Person cleaning a mantle with a green cloth.

Simple Ways to Keep Your Home Safer

Wash Your Hands & High-Traffic Surfaces

We unknowingly touch our faces throughout the day, making handwashing one of the best ways to prevent infection. The World Health Organization handwashing guidelines recommend washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds. Wash all areas of your hands, including the palms, back, sides, and between fingers. 

After washing your hands, make sure to dry them thoroughly. It’s also not a bad idea to disinfect high-traffic surfaces in your home. Surfaces we touch all the time like doorknobs, light switches, and railings can harbour viruses even after you’ve washed them off your hands. 

Practice Physical Distancing

Only leave the house for essential errands, such as buying groceries, filling a prescription, or visiting a doctor. When you do leave the house, make sure you’re practicing physical distancing. Stay 2 metres (about 2 arm’s lengths) away from others at the grocery store or other public places. 

While you’re out, it’s also a good idea to avoid touching your face until you can wash your hands. Wash your hands as soon as you get home (and if you used your phone while you were out, you should probably clean that too). 

Stay Home

One of the best ways to keep your family and your community safe is to stay home. Staying home is especially important if you or someone you live with has symptoms of COVID-19. If you think you have COVID-19, call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000. Only call 911 for emergencies, like difficulty breathing. 

While these times might be uncertain, the team at Boonstra Heating and Air Conditioning is here to help. We’re spending more time at home than ever, so we’re available 24/7 to make your home as comfortable as possible. Contact us for assistance with any of your home comfort needs.

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