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The Francis Home Environment Blog

COVID-19: How to Protect Your Home

Woman wearing a face mask in Ottawa to protect from COVID 19

The novel coronavirus has effectively changed the world as we know it, at least for the time being. As the globe takes measures to manage the spread of the virus, you may be wondering just how safe you and your family are while you lay low in your homes.

You may also be wondering who you can turn to, whether it’s for the latest information on the virus or any repairs or help you need around your house. At Francis Heating & Air Conditioning, we want you to have the best information possible and to know that if you have a home comfort issue, we’re ready to serve you.

Local Resources

COVID-19 is on everyone’s minds right now, and a lot of people have their own opinions on the matter. In the interest of keeping you safe during this uncertain time, it’s essential to discern what is fact and what is fiction.

We recommend the following sources for the latest information about COVID-19 in Ottawa:

Is It Safe To Let Technicians & Repair People Into My Home?

The majority of the country has been forced home due to the pandemic, possibly straining your HVAC system and other utilities in your home. Because of this, you may be wondering if it’s safe to allow repair technicians into your home if you’re experiencing problems with your home utilities.

As an essential service, we at Francis Heating & Air Conditioning are taking every precaution possible so we can still serve you to the best of our abilities while keeping you, your family, and our employees safe.

On top of our regular practices like wearing clean work attire and booties, we will also be carrying hand sanitizer as well as washing our hands as frequently as possible. 

Our employees will also be practicing physical distancing whenever possible.

If any of our employees feel sick, they will be asked not to come to work that day. If you have a family member at home with cold or flu-like symptoms, please let us know when you book your appointment so our staff can take the right precautions so we can serve you safely.

Can Air Purifiers & Air Filters Prevent COVID-19?

While scientists are not yet sure if COVID-19 is airborne or not, this doesn’t mean there aren’t other contaminants in your HVAC system that could affect your health. Air filters and air purifiers are designed to help remove a variety of airborne particles from your home, including dust, dust mites, smoke, toxic fumes, and even some viruses.

Air filters can help by removing larger particles from your air, including dust, dust mites, and other particles that are around the same size as the COVID-19 virus. However, not all air filters are of the same quality, so make sure you’re using air filters with a MERV efficiency rating of 8 or higher.

Air purifiers harness the power of UV light to rid your home of contaminants in your air and HVAC system. UV lights are installed into your HVAC and can help kill viruses that could float around in your home. UV lights need to be appropriately fitted to your HVAC system, requiring a technician to install.

What About Hospital Filtration Systems?

Hospitals use specifically designed HVAC and filtration systems to help ensure patients are breathing the cleanest air possible. They may use a combination of UV lights, humidity controls, and airflow management systems to keep the air clean while also relying on a dedicated staff to manage these systems.

A combination of air purifiers, air filters, humidity controls, and airflow management systems can help reduce infections from other viruses, which could increase your risk of having a weakened immune system.

Hand sanitizer and a mask on a counter top for COVID 19 protection.

How To Keep Your Home Clean & Safe

Wash Your Hands & Don’t Touch Your Face

Medical officials across the country can agree on one thing: wash your hands as much as possible. COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for a long time, making almost everything you can touch a potential carrier of the virus.

Whenever you handle something without gloves on, it’s in your best interest to wash your hands as soon as possible. Wash your hands using soap and water and lathering for at least 20 seconds before rinsing your hands. Make sure you wash your palms, the back of your hands, and in between your fingers.

It’s also imperative that you refrain from touching your face, especially after touching anything. If you need to sneeze or cough, do so in your elbow or in a tissue. Make sure you throw the tissue away straight away and wash your hands.

Disinfect Surfaces

Because of the fact COVID-19 can last so long on surfaces, you should be disinfecting surfaces in your home routinely. Some high touch surfaces include:

  • Toilets
  • Counters
  • Toys
  • Electronics
  • Doorknobs

The government has a list of disinfectants you can refer to so you know what to look for when you go out shopping for supplies.

Practice Physical Distancing & Stay Home Whenever Possible

If there is only one term to take away from all the advice provided by officials, let it be physical distancing. 

Physical distancing asks people to practice being at least 2 metres apart from each other as much as possible. While there is no science to support that COVID-19 can spread airborne from person to person, but it can spread if someone sneezes, coughs, or breathes on you.

Finally, one of the best ways to protect yourself and others is by staying home whenever you can, especially if you’re sick. If you do go out, please follow the recommendations provided by the government so you can do your part to protect our Ottawa community.

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