7 Things You Should Know Before Calling an Air Condition Service During COVID-19
It’s summer, which means it’s hot outside. That means homes across the country have their air conditioners running all day.
This is a normal thing that happens every year. What isn’t normal right now is the COVID-19 pandemic. Now people are more concerned about air quality than ever before. It’s left many people wondering about the safest way to handle air conditioning needs.
In a pandemic situation calling an AC service is suddenly something you have to think twice about. The good news is if you take the proper precautions and go into it aware of the risks you can actually make adjustments so that your air condition system is less likely to transmit any kind of virus.
There Are Three Primary Reasons to Call an Air Condition Company During the Pandemic
Many people get an annual tune-up simply to make sure everything is running as it should. And in normal times, that was highly advisable. With fears of spreading COVID-19 still running high, scheduling AC service when it’s not an immediate need isn’t recommended. However, here are three scenarios that may warrant a visit from an AC tech.
The Air Conditioning Unit Isn’t Working
In many parts of the country, like Texas and Florida, going without AC for even a day is extremely uncomfortable. It can even be potentially dangerous for some people as heat indexes in these states can often go (and stay) above100 degrees Fahrenheit.
If the AC system isn’t working definitely line up a service call right away.
Tune-Up the AC for Better Electricity and Efficiency
Have you noticed that the air conditioner doesn’t seem to be working as well as it normally does? There could be some underlying issues that are affecting the performance of your equipment. Right now a lower electricity bill can help out families that have been impacted by the pandemic.
AC Tune-Up for Better Air Quality
Air quality is important at any time of year and many people with preexisting conditions may benefit from cleaner air.
AC Service Providers Have Different Safety Protocols
All businesses are having to take extra precautions these days, but the COVID-19 safety requirements vary from state-to-state. And in many places, the requirements aren’t strictly enforced. Many businesses are also choosing to go above and beyond the minimum mandates of their states.
When you are comparing AC service providers make sure to ask the company about their COVID-19 protocol. Specifically, what steps do they take before and during the service to avoid spreading the virus? At the very least the company should require that technicians:
- Wash or disinfect their hands before entering a home.
- Wear a mask at all times.
- Wear gloves while working on equipment, filters, or ductwork.
- Practice social distancing at all times.
If safety is a top priority, go with the company that you feel takes the most precautionary measures to protect their employees and clients. This includes asking you if anyone in the household has been ill or has symptoms of COVID-19.
ASHRAE Has Provided Guidance for Technicians
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has created its own safety protocol for COVID-19. These guidelines are meant to serve as safety measures for AC technicians that work on HVAC systems.
Ventilation and Filtration Are the Most Important Factors
Organizations like ASHRAE and researchers have noted that AC system changes should focus on filtration and ventilation. Homeowners can change their standard filters more frequently to help improve air quality. During the summer when the AC is running constantly, it is recommended that homeowners change the air filters at least once a month.
There Are Special Air Purification Options
There have been great advances in air purification systems. Air condition companies can already improve indoor air quality with specialized filters and lights. Two options include:
It’s possible to use intense UV light (known as germicidal lights) to kill viruses and bacteria.
MERV 16 Air Filters
A filter with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of 16 offers the highest filtration rate available. It will provide superior air filtering for 3-6 months.
It’s Never a Good Idea to Disable the AC System
The last thing you want to do is disable your AC system. The stagnant, hot summer air is not only uncomfortable, it can be more dangerous. Disabling the AC system during summer can also cause extreme thermal stress. If it’s hot enough it can put people at risk for serious medical conditions like heat stroke.
Just one more reason it’s important to get your AC back up and running as quickly as possible if it’s not working.
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