With the beginning of the colder weather in the Midwest and winter looming in the horizon, the majority of us will be spending the majority of our time indoors. Once the winter sets in it has been found that we spend 90% of our time indoors within closer proximity to one another either at home or in the office.
The common cold and flue can reach epidemic proportions during a typical winter. A recent Yale University Medical Study found that seasonal cycles can play a very important role in the spreading of respatory illness. The key outbreaks of Sars Covid-1 and Sars Covid-2 the virus’s that cause Covid-19 have been found to develop during the cold winter months. It has been determined that the two (2) biggest factors contributing to the spread of those viruses are the change in temperature/humidity and human behavior.
Anotherwords differences in temperature and humidity affect how transmissible virus’s are. In this Yale study, it suggests that cold, dry, unventilated air both at home and in your office greatly contributes to the spread of he common cold or flue during the cold winter months. When the temperature drops outside and the furnace kicks on in your home the humidity in your house can drop to 20%. When the humidity drops this low it is easier for airborne particles to spread in the air. When you sneeze or cough these aerosols because of the dry air will stay around longer.
The Yale study found that mice in an environment of 10-20% relative humidity have a far greater chance of contracting and aerial virus in their lungs. The study also found that the dry air exposure in the lungs with 10-20% humidity are much more susceptible to a viral infection. It also found outdoor humidity can
also accelerate the viral spread. The Yale study concluded that relative humidity levels of 35-55% is ideal for containing the virus.
Even if you social distance at 6 feet in an inside environment, thru air distribution by your furnace running in dry air the virus can spread thru aerial transmission to 60 feet. There are no current regulations on minimum indoor humidity in the United States. However during this pandemic as workers begin returning to offices it is vital you make preparation and check on your humidity level to make it harder for this virus to spread.
With the beginning of the colder weather in the Cincinnati area it is essential that you have a by-pass humidifier on your heating system to maintain at least 35% humidity. We recommend the Aprilaire #600 by Pass Humidifier with a seperate humidistat control to maintain 35-40% humidity to help prevent aerial spreading of any virus’s including Covid-19. You can actually be more comfortable at a lower temperature in the winter if more humidity is added to the air. Now more than ever it is critical to have a humidifier on your heating system either in your home or office.