As the novel coronavirus continues to rampage across the United States, messages about the importance of social distancing and staying at home are everywhere. Your home should be a COVID-free sanctuary where you can feel safer and avoid contributing to the spread of the virus. You may need to take a few steps to get there if you haven’t already.
Here are some simple ways to keep the coronavirus out of your house and make sure the air you’re breathing at home is healthy for you and your family. When COVID-19 restrictions relax, these habits can still be adopted to reduce transmission of cold, flu, and other viruses.
Create a Disinfection Station in Your Home
Gather cleaning and disinfecting supplies and set up a decontamination station in your home, ideally near the door you will be entering and exiting. You can set up a simple card table with masks and gloves for going out and disinfectant spray for packages and grocery items coming in.
You can also set up a dedicated trash can and laundry basket with lids to put contaminated trash and clothing to be washed immediately upon coming inside. Head to the shower right away if you’ve been in a crowded area or were out of your home for an extended period of time, such as if you’re an essential worker.
Practice Safer Habits When Outside
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that your risk of bringing the coronavirus into your home increases when you are closer than 6 feet with other people, especially in closed spaces that are poorly ventilated. Spending time with other people outside of your home in groups of more than 10 people also increases your risk.
The CDC recommends avoiding people who do not live in your home and when this isn’t possible, to wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet apart, and wash your hands with soap and warm water as often as you can.
Wear your mask properly over both your nose and mouth and consider double masking if you will be exposed to crowds or will be going indoors where ventilation may not be adequate.
Disinfect Surfaces in Your Home Frequently
Make sure you’re disinfecting high-touch areas in your home often. Handles are particularly important, including those on doors, toilets, showers, microwaves, refrigerators, ovens, and other appliances.
Wipe down counters with a weakened soap solution or disinfecting wipes daily, or more often if you have individuals in your home that have to go to work. You can also sanitize the air using disinfecting spray or by burning dried sage. Contrary to popular belief, medicinal smoke has been shown to reduce aerial bacteria by 94% and may also have an effect on viral particles.
Keep Your Home Air Clean
The quality of your indoor air plays a significant role in your overall risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. If you do choose to use medicinal smoke in your home, be sure there’s adequate ventilation.
Don’t burn candles or incense and avoid using fragrance sprays. These usually contain chemicals that pollute your air and can trigger allergies, asthma, and other upper respiratory symptoms, which is the last thing you want during the global spread of a deadly respiratory virus.
Your home’s heating and cooling system is a major contributor to how clean – or dirty – your indoor air is. For example, if you burn wood to heat your home or have a central HVAC system with dusty ducts, there are likely hundreds of thousands of small ash and dirt particles suspended in your air that you’re continually breathing.
A ductless HVAC system, however, does not require ducts and is easy to keep clean by regularly rinsing the filters and having the unit professionally cleaned seasonally or even quarterly. You can also install a home air purifier that traps particulates and uses UV light to disinfect the air pulled through its filters.
Take Extra Steps If You or Someone You Live with Is at Risk
If someone in your home is high risk, you may need to take more stringent precautions. For example, if you live with someone who is elderly or immunocompromised, the CDC recommends that everyone in the household be as careful as they would if they themselves could also become gravely ill.
You should double mask, use hand sanitizer frequently, and be extra vigilant about the space between yourself and others. Cancel engagements if you can and only go where you absolutely need to. Remember that the more people you come into contact with, the higher your risk is of carrying the virus home to your loved ones. You may not feel unwell or ill, but your family members could become extremely sick or even die from the coronavirus.
You may want to consider setting up “clean air” areas in your home, such as a bathroom and bedroom that your at-risk loved one can use exclusively. Other family members – especially those who have to leave the home regularly for work or other essential activities – should wear a mask when entering these clean areas or spending time with the at-risk person.
Contact N.E.T.R., Inc. to Learn About Cleaner Air & HVAC During COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic has generated worldwide awareness for the importance of clean indoor air and good HVAC ventilation. At N.E.T.R., Inc., we’re dedicated to helping reduce the spread of the coronavirus by providing education about healthy air and installing safe, high-quality HVAC equipment in homes and businesses.
Contact us today to learn more about improving your indoor air quality or to get a quote for HVAC system installation or repair by calling 781.933.NETR (6387).