Although we enjoy blissfully mild temperatures year-round here in Southern California, the colder months bring in sweaters, hot tea, and all the pumpkin spice. But there’s something else that Fall brings that’s not as lovely; and that’s flu season. Colds and viruses spread any time of year. But in the coldest months between December and February is when peak spread happens.
The Best Way to Prevent Flu
Of course, for the most effective way to prevent catching or spreading the flu virus, the CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine before flu season begins, usually by the end of October. However, getting the flu shot anytime will help protect you through the rest of the flu season.
Besides the vaccine, there are some preventive actions you can take to stop the spread of germs. The best things to do are to avoid close contact with people who are ill, wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Many viruses, including the common cold, the flu, and even COVID-19, are airborne. So, your HVAC system can also help to prevent spreading illness.
Air Circulation is Your Friend!
Here in Southern California, many residents turn off their HVAC system in favor of opening the windows and letting that fresh air in the home. This is a great way to keep your utility bills low and improve the air quality of your home, as long as the air outside is truly fresh!
In those cases where you have windows and doors closed, but you don’t need heating or cooling, we recommend turning your HVAC into fan-only mode.
It may seem counterintuitive to add airflow when viruses are airborne. Research shows that stagnant air can be detrimental to your indoor air quality (IAQ). To improve the air movement through your home, keep the blower in your system on with fan mode, even if you aren’t warming or cooling the air. The bonus is that air will travel through your air filter, cleaning the air as it recirculates. Just make sure you’re replacing your filter regularly!
Indoor Air Quality Products
Besides washing your hands and keeping your house sanitized, you can equip your HVAC system with IAQ superpowers! Adding an indoor air quality product can significantly improve your home’s IAQ, which protects the health of your family. Our team can recommend the best solution for you depending on your needs.
A whole home air purifier is a brilliant choice for any home, since it has been tested and proven to kill cold and flu viruses. It doesn’t get much better than that! Plus, it’s installed out of sight inside your ductwork, quietly destroying cold and flu molecules as air passes through.
Another option for SoCal homeowners is a humidifier. Adding humidity can improve your overall comfort, reducing that itchy skin feeling and eliminating static discharge. But a humidifier is also great for controlling the spread of the flu virus. The National Institute for Health says transmission of the influenza virus depends on both temperature and humidity. Adding a bit of moisture can reduce the ability of a cold virus to spread.
Fight Back Against Colds and Flu with your HVAC!
During this flu season, allow Canoga Park Heating & Air Conditioning to help you improve the health of your home. We understand the specific indoor air quality concerns that homeowners in San Fernando Valley face. Call us anytime for an indoor air quality evaluation!