Dr. Jeff Gusky has been at the forefront of the conversation around using humidification to combat COVID-19. Dr. Gusky, who also works as an emergency room physician, first made headlines when he started measuring humidity in indoor space throughout the Dallas area nearly six months ago.
Visualizing Hope to Help Visualize Healthy Air
His most recent initiative, Visualizing HopeTM, is the first of its kind in the United States. Roma, Texas, a small border town, has installed sensors inside several municipal buildings and businesses to measure the real-time absolute humidity. Dr. Gusky, who works in Dallas, collaborated with local physicians in the county to initiate this project.
According to the city’s website, residents can also check the absolute humidity levels on their smartphones and decide to visit places with safer air.
Absolute humidity measures the total amount of moisture in the air and unlike relative humidity, it does not take temperature into consideration and ranges from 0-30. Good, indicated by green on the above map, ranges from 10-24.
Relative humidity on the other hand, which is a measure of the percentage of water vapor in the air, does take temperature into consideration. The optimal range for relative humidity is 30-60 percent.
Dr. Gusky’s hope is that by helping people visualize Healthy Air with a color-coded map, they will be encouraged to be more aware of air quality and the important role that it plays.
Dry indoor air is a catalyst for transmitting airborne viruses. The body’s immune response and its initial defense system which consists of cilia and mucous membranes in the nose decreases in dry air. In addition, airborne viruses in dry air are smaller and lighter than their humidified counterparts. This means they are suspended in the air longer and can travel farther distances. They are also harder to detect and stand a better chance of getting past your body’s natural line of defense.
From his research, Dr. Gusky found that absolute humidity “turns on cell-mediated immunity in our lungs.” This activation involves white blood cells, which help the body fight disease and improve the body’s immune response.
“The answer as to why hundreds and millions of people in the poorest places on earth have an immunity to the virus is because there is a different kind of herd immunity, said Dr. Gusky. “There is another branch of immune system that doesn’t have to be educated by either a vaccine or becoming infected…It’s called cell-mediated immunity.”
Keeping your home’s air properly humidified is important in restricting the transmission of airborne viruses.
Products to Humidify Your Home
An Aprilaire humidifier can help make sure the air in your home is properly moisturized. With a myriad of offerings to fit your needs, you can easily combat dry winter air. For added convenience, our humidifiers come with dual sensors to monitor the humidity inside the home and the temperature outside so you can set the humidity you want and forget it. Each humidifier is designed and manufactured in the United States and comes with a 5-year warranty.
For the most effective virus protection, consider investing in a whole-home Aprilaire Healthy Air System™. The Healthy Air System offers a three-part award-winning approach to virus protection complete with humidity control, fresh air ventilation, and air filtration. The system also has a suite of applications beyond virus protection to help make the air inside your home healthy.
To get started, contact a Healthy Air Professional in your area and let them know you want Healthy Air Solutions in your home.