Coronavirus: is there a correlation between air quality and respiratory viruses?

May 3rd, 2021

As the Coronavirus Pandemic continues into its second year around the world, clean and safe air remains top-of-mind for Canadians. Industry terms familiar to our team are now becoming part of daily household and workplace conversations:

  • aerosol spread
  • airborne contagions
  • respiratory droplets
  • masking, double masking
  • negative pressure room
  • respiratory tract infection, to name a few.

Taking measures to increase the quality of air in our homes can help us add another layer of protection against the rapidly spreading Coronavirus. The clean air specialists at Solution D’Air in Gatineau take a few minutes to explain this correlation between air quality and respiratory viruses, such as COVID-19. We hope that these industry insights will help you make informed decisions about how you would like to take control of the indoor air quality in your homes during and after this worldwide pandemic.

Indoor air quality and Coronavirus

So many of us are spending all day, every day in our homes as we observe public health restrictions and stay-at-home or lockdown orders. It’s natural to have questions about whether or not the air in our homes is keeping us safe. What effect does the quality of our indoor air have on the COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses in terms of spreading and contagion?

Let’s look at what we know about how respiratory viruses are worsened by polluted air.

Poor indoor air hurts everyone and can have lasting health impacts for some. The Canadian Lung Association points out that “People with asthma, allergies or lung disease can be greatly affected by poor indoor air quality.  Poor indoor air quality can affect development in children and has been linked to lung disease later in life.”

How? Pollution plays a major role in the spread of viruses by weakening our respiratory tracts and taking away the natural protection that the tract is meant to provide. Harmful air particles also weaken our immune systems by causing inflammatory reactions, and it’s even suggested that chemical pollutants can change the structure of viruses themselves and make it easier for them to penetrate the mucous membranes and to multiply.  Scary stuff.

Common symptoms of exposure to poor indoor air include:

  • Headaches, fatigue, and shortness of breath
  • Worsening allergy and asthma symptoms
  • Sinus congestion, cough, and sneezing
  • Eye, nose, throat, and skin irritation
  • Dizziness and nausea

We know that over the past year, people with pre-existing respiratory conditions are at a much higher risk of complications and severity of illness from COVID-19. And the fact that mould, mildew and high humidity in the home are the major culprits of poor indoor air quality, we can safely conclude that taking steps to increase our indoor air quality can help keep us stronger and more ready to fight the Coronavirus should we be exposed.

Taking control of the air we breathe

As we explained in our post “The importance of cleaning your ducts regularly”  airborne particles  floating around in the air including flakes of dead skin, hair, pet dander, microorganisms from cat litter (toxoplasmosis), pollen, mold spores, fungi, and even rodent feces collect in your HVAC ducts.

Combined with humidity, your ducts become “the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, mold, mites and allergens.”  If you’re unable to have your ducts cleaned soon, at the very least we recommend removing your floor vents and hand wiping as much of the duct as you can safely reach, and changing your furnace filter.

Don’t feel trapped by your indoor air. Take control of your home’s indoor air quality and breathe easier.

In addition to cleaning your air ducts and filters, we also offer 10 Simple Ways to Ensure the Air Quality of your Home. Check them out and start fighting the Coronavirus with another layer of protection in your home today.

From the entire team here at Solution D’Air, we hope that you and your family are staying safe and well. If you have any questions about how to improve your indoor air quality, please don’t hesitate to contact us. As an essential service, we continue to support our Gatineau region clients with all of their heating, cooling, and air cleaning needs.

Note: the information contained in this blog article is meant for reference only and should never replace advice given by a medical doctor or the instructions from your local health authorities when it comes to dealing with COVID-19 or any respiratory virus.