For the first time in nearly 50 years, the United States is facing dire consequences from a global pandemic. As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the country, it has elevated the topic of indoor air from an afterthought to top-of-mind. Even though prior to the pandemic, nearly ninety percent of our day was spent indoors where, according to the EPA, the air is up to 5 times more polluted than the air outdoors.
Weighing the Risks of Going Out
Americans weigh the risks of eating in restaurants, drinking in bars, going back to work, and sending children back to school. States have been forced to try to walk the tightrope of balancing those freedoms and mandating public health measures such as mask-wearing, social distancing, and cleaning.
President-elect Joe Biden detailed how his incoming administration would address those concerns on his transition team website. His website states that the government would provide money to help businesses reopen safely and to “pass an emergency package to ensure schools have the additional resources they need to adapt effectively to COVID-19.”
HVAC System Upgrades Needed
An HVAC system equipped with proper ventilation, humidity, and air filtration can potentially help reduce the transmission rate of airborne viruses. Although it is not going to eliminate COVID-19, it will allow businesses, their customers, schools, student’s parents, and public health directors to both reopen safely and adapt effectively – requirements of President-elect Biden’s emergency package.
For many schools, the current HVAC systems are antiquated and are in need of revamping. Equipping schools and businesses with proper HVAC systems is not cheap, but utilizing the power and magnitude of the federal government to implement this type of overhaul is the only way to move toward a healthier future.
Reduce Airborne Diseases with HVAC System
These updates will even help when dealing with seasonal illnesses like influenza or other respiratory illnesses like allergens and asthma. While airborne diseases may affect the body differently, they all transmit through the air. By controlling humidity, increasing ventilation, and purifying the air – indoor air gets cleaner. The effectiveness of these mechanical solutions increases amidst other protocols such as mask-wearing and social distancing.
Healthy Air Better for Everyone
The benefits of providing healthy indoor air quality standards stretch beyond just physical health too. Multiple studies have established that healthy air contributes positively toward increased creativity, attention, and productivity. A study found that people who worked with a pollution source, such as carpet, were less productive than those who worked in a room without a pollution source.
Lastly, healthy air should be a right for everyone. Equipping schools and businesses with proper HVAC equipment will help to ensure that future generations are healthier and better protected from future airborne diseases. In addition, If every business and school were capable of providing healthy indoor air, then the government could establish national indoor air standards, per recommendations from leading indoor air quality experts. This type of initiative by the incoming administration is a start to help provide healthy air to everyone and allow people to breathe a little easier amidst a global health crisis.