Caring for your respiratory system in these times … and at all times.
Despite everyone’s worries over Covid-19, our indoor air has always had the potential to be two to five times higher than outdoor air on a ‘good’ day, according to the EPA. Indoor environments are key components in good or poor health. If we can find silver linings during this time, perhaps one benefit could be how people learned to be more conscious of the air they breathe through healthy habits and proper HVAC. The following recommendations for personal well-being are just as important when not grappling with a pandemic.
Wash those hands.
Handwashing is always important, but let’s face it: We are a rushed society. That 20-second scrubbing routine recommended by the CDC often becomes fifteen … ten … five … you get the idea. Make it a priority now and always. At the extreme, it could kill a deadly virus. In everyday life, you might avoid a cold that slows you down. There are things you can do during those 20 seconds besides sing Happy Birthday:
- Mull over a problem
- Hum/sing the theme to your favorite old sitcom
- Take a moment to breathe deeply
- Deep knee bends
Is hand sanitizer quicker? Maybe, but the CDC says it’s not as effective as soap and warm or cold water. Case in point: Soap and water break down the lipid membrane of the Covid-19 virus. If you have no other choice, make sure the hand sanitizer product label lists an alcohol content of at least 60%.
Be smart about indoor habits.
Candle or incense burning may impart a feeling of Zen, and we need all the Zen we can get at the moment, don’t we? However, when it comes to incense, it’s all bad news according to the EPA: “… exposure to the particulate matter present in incense smoke has been linked to asthma, lung inflammation, and even cancer.” Instead, gain a sense of peace with beeswax or soy wax candles with non-lead wicks and scented with essential oils. Take a pass on paraffin wax which can release benzene and toluene when it burns.
What about cleaners? Surely, some aren’t so great to breathe in. It’s important to specify, though. For cleaning purposes, safe and natural formulations might work just fine. Disinfection, however, is another matter. To prevent corona virus infection, up your disinfection of frequently touched surfaces and do so with something the CDC recommends for killing Covid-19:
- Diluted household bleach solutions
- Alcohol solutions with a least 70% alcohol
- Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants
Practice Pathogen Politeness.
It has never been more important to sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, and you should always wash your hands, arms afterwards. Clean up after yourself in the kitchen and bathroom. Keep that six-foot distance everyone is talking about if you have to go out and don’t be on top of each other indoors until this pandemic is through. Remember, the best HVAC system in the world cannot help if someone sneezes or coughs near your face.
Take a walk.
While, for the moment, we need to keep our distance from others, it’s still okay to take a walk, a bike ride … get some fresh air outdoors. In addition to a bit of cardio, you need Vitamin D (from the sun) to boost immunity, according to the National Institute of Health. So get out of the house each day.
Improve indoor air with mechanical ventilation.
At work, you may or may not have control over your building’s HVAC. But at home … where many of us are right now, you do! Balanced mechanical ventilation by way of energy recovery can bring in fresh air while eliminating stale, unhealthy air and simultaneously provide comfortable indoor temperatures. In fact, an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) can help prevent many ills:
- Lessens the circulation of pathogens through displacement of stale air and proper humidity levels
- Makes life better for those suffering allergies
- Saves money (that alone will help you breathe better!)
- Helps save the planet by reducing your carbon footprint
Wondering about filters? The filters used in your HVAC are not a one hundred percent cure-all. That doesn’t mean you settle for garbage filters, though. High-quality brands labeled higher than MERV-7 will up your percentage of filtering out pathogens, but check with an HVAC professional since some MERV ratings might be too high for your system and make matters worse. For extra protection against pathogens, you might consider adding a UV-C ultraviolent light system to sterilize your HVAC system.
What sort of ERV should you choose for the greatest benefits to your home and family?
For effectiveness and simplicity sake, choose a BPE-XE-MIR-200-i. These galvanized steel units are sized for residential and small office applications. The 200-i has two built-in fans, is nice and light for DIY positioning, and has a three-pronged plug. Simply plug it in and connect to new or existing ductwork! Have a bigger home? Our 300-i and 400-i is just as versatile but uses external fans. All three come with MERV-8 filters. And where most of the industry can only claim Energy Efficiency Ratings of 10? Well, BPE units range from 36 to 160. Money saved.
BPE ERVs …
- Offer 70% to 90% Thermal Efficiency
- Lower Heating/Cooling Costs by 75%-85%
- Handle Carbon Monoxide & Humidity
- Boast Energy Efficiency Ratings of 36 to 160 (industry standard is 10)
BPE, Inc. is dedicated to assisting in making your home a healthier place to be. We can help you choose the right unit for you home, show you how you in particular will save on your energy bills with a BPE ERV, and for a limited time, we have dropped the unit price of our best-selling unit, the BPE-XE-MIR-200-i. Give us a call. We’re rather certain you’ll be glad you did! 201.722.1414.