A possible COVID-19 super-spreader on the loose isn't even human. It's heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. As of writing this newsletter, Georgia is 4th in the nation in COVID-19 cases. In Georgia and elsewhere, air-conditioning systems might be spreading airborne infections when people gather indoors to escape the summer heat.
A ducted HVAC system creates air currents more likely to carry larger viral particles even further. That's how 10 people from three families eating in a Guangzhou, China restaurant became infected earlier this year, according to Chinese health officials.
The jury is still out whether COVID-19 can travel through your house. We recommend several options:
1. Install ultravation lights (99.9 rate of reduction after 30 minutes)*
2. Install an I-Wave (99.4% rate of reduction after 30 minutes)*
3. Install a PureAir System (90% rate of reduction of MRSA)*
4. HEPA Filtration (99.7% rate of reduction after 25 minutes)*
5. Have your duct cleaning
Air filters also will help, though they're not always practical. A HEPA, or High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter effectively removes small particles — 99.7 percent of particles.
An intriguing technology, UVC light, is a type of germicidal lamp that zaps microorganism like coronavirus. It's been used since the late 1800s to kill microorganisms — bacteria, mold, yeast and viruses — that affect indoor air quality.
Researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, using far-UVC light (222 nanometers) that cannot damage the skin or eyes, added to previous research on killing airborne influenza viruses to demonstrate an effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The researchers, using a misting device, added coronaviruses to the air. After low exposure to a far-UVC lamp, 99.9 percent of the virus had been killed. The researchers now estimate that far-UVC light at the current regulatory limit would kill 90 percent of airborne viruses in about 8 minutes, 95 percent in 11 minutes, 99 percent in 16 minutes and 99.9 percent in about 25 minutes.
What could this mean in the fight against COVID-19 as people gather indoors? More places will have a UV light in their air circulation system, keeping more people safe.