How to Help Eliminate Airborne Viruses During Holiday Gatherings

3 people sitting around a coffee table on a couch drinking

The holidays bring joy and laughter into the home, but the weather and the crowds can also welcome airborne viruses. How can you clear the air and protect your home to keep your loved ones safe from sickness? We cover some tactics for how to kill airborne viruses in your home. After all, the home should be a safe place this holiday season.

How to Kill Airborne Viruses

It's easy to clean the floors and counters in anticipation of holiday guests, but how exactly do you clean the air? Here, we demystify how to improve air quality and shed light on how to eliminate airborne viruses in your home.

  • Turn on a humidifier. In winter, the air becomes very dry. As you heat the air in your home, it becomes even drier. Unlike bacteria, viruses thrive in dry environments. Humidity and viruses, on the other hand, don’t agree. So, run the humidifier during the holidays.
  • Clean your air vents regularly. How often should you clean your air vents? Schedule a professional cleaning every two or three years to keep the pathogens low in your home. Schedule cleanings more often if you have pets or a family member has allergies.
  • Increase air flow. Proper air circulation exposes your system to more fresh air and fewer pathogens. To increase circulation, open the windows and doors, turn on fans, and start up the kitchen or bathroom exhaust fan when the family is around. Your HVAC system can also significantly increase airflow. Turn it on and fit it with a high-grade filter to ensure you capture as many bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens out of the air as possible.
  • Purify the air in your home. An air purifier can increase the level of your air quality, reducing pathogens. Many purifiers also include technologies that kill airborne viruses and bacteria even smaller than a HEPA filter can catch.

Related Content: How and When to Change Household Air Filters

Eliminate Airborne Viruses with Technology

As scientists learn more about how to eliminate contaminants on a micro-level, they develop more effective ways to purge pathogens like airborne viruses and bacteria. These are some novel technologies you will find in air purifiers and other home sanitizing devices.

  • Ultraviolet light can help clear your home of viruses. While not all UV light works, UV-C is a type that effectively kills bacteria and viruses. Because of this, it's commonly used in hospitals for disinfection. Home device manufacturers have begun incorporating UV-C in tools for you to disinfect household items as well. These tools aren't as strong as the hospital equipment, but they can help you keep your home virus free this holiday.
  • Photocatalytic oxidation is an ionic process that can eliminate contaminants as small as 0.001 microns. By comparison, HEPA filters can only clear particles as small as 0.3 microns. This technology works by activating UV light photons with a catalyst of titanium dioxide. The reaction causes the airborne contaminants to fall in liquid form as water, carbon dioxide, and detritus, leaving the air purified.
  • Bi-polar ionization dissects molecules to extract airborne contaminants. With oppositely charged poles, the technology tears water vapor apart into hydrogen ions and oxygen ions. During the process, dust, mold, bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants clump together, increasing their mass. With greater weight, the pathogens fall from the air.

Improving Your Indoor Air Quality in Austin

There are several ways you can prepare your home to be free of airborne viruses for the holidays. You can increase air circulation, regulate humidity, or add new technologies to purify your home.

Our team at Precision Heating and Air® specializes in indoor air quality in the Austin area. For comprehensive service purifying the air in your home, request service online or call 512-379-6385.
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