Let me start by saying, I don’t believe in worst-case scenarios, and we are all hoping the warm weather arrives quickly and helps to prevent a major spread of the virus. However, I do think it’s part of my job to communicate with customers proactively so we can all work together to minimize impacts as much as possible. This information bulletin serves 2 purposes:
- To highlight the potential ways that the ability of our company (and others) to provide comfort to your home or business may be impacted.
- To provide proactive recommendations to minimize that impact.
You can also learn about our new appointment policy for responsible community health here.
Potential Impacts to Parts/Service
I was talking to a friend recently, and he said, “No matter what, if it’s the middle of summer, I’m getting my HVAC system fixed.” I agreed with him that most people feel the same way, but I highlighted the real challenges to making that happen if the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads beyond a certain critical point. Here are some potential complications that most people haven’t thought about when it comes to their HVAC systems:
- Interruptions in Supply Chain — It only takes one or two people at a factory to get sick and the rest of the workers may be quarantined. This can make the supply of parts and new systems unreliable and may lead to delays in restoring comfort to your home. The supply chain for most HVAC products is not as complicated as it could be. For some products, such as computers or cars, the final product is heavily reliant on production in Asia, ocean transport, and multiple warehouses. HVAC components are somewhere in the middle — There are lots of electronic HVAC components that are not domestically produced, and even the components that are made here have various interstate transportation, factories and distribution points.
- Unavailability of Service People — If some or all of our service people come under recommended or required quarantine, our ability to provide service to customers’ homes might be severely limited, or even halted completely for weeks at a time. We will make every attempt to take care of you, but preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our community would be the top priority. We are already making changes in how we provide your service to further that goal.
- Scarcity of Air Purification Products — There are indoor air quality (IAQ) products that can capture and kill viruses (and lots of other stuff) in your air. Now that more people are seeing value in having those in their homes and businesses, we are already starting to see the shortages in some products.
Of course we hope that your HVAC system doesn’t break, that everyone stays healthy, and that there will be minimal impacts to our economy, workforce and supply chain– But even if that is largely the case, there can still be isolated impacts. Here are some recommendations to be proactive and minimize the impact to comfort in your home or business:
Indoor Air Health — You may not think about it often, but your indoor air is turned over (the entire volume of air in your home circulating through the HVAC system(s)) many times per day. During this process. large particulates are captured in your standard air filters, but virtually everything else just remains in the air as it circulates. A properly designed purification system can capture and kill viruses, bacteria, nanoparticles, odors, VOC’s, spores, mold and more. This leaves your air much healthier and often leads to fewer respiratory issues.
Recommendation: If you haven’t considered an air purification system, now is a great time to think about it. We do anticipate some shortages in supply becoming acute in the near or medium term depending on the spread of the novel coronavirus in the US.
Proactive HVAC Maintenance — Inspecting and proactively repairing your HVAC system is highly recommended at all times but is much more important when you are likely to be spending more time in your home than usual and when a problem in the future could be more problematic to fix as described above.
Recommendation: If you don’t have a MonsterCare™ membership yet, you can request to sign up here. MonsterCare provides twice a year service to clean and service your system to make sure it operates reliably and efficiently. We are already expecting to be very busy through June providing maintenance to existing MonsterCare members, but we should be able to squeeze in a few more maintenance visits before the summer heat is upon us. For information on how we’re changing our appointments for responsible community health, read about it here.
Replace Very Old Systems Now — If you know you have an old system and you’ve been putting off dealing with it, you should consider taking action before the summer. Not only are new systems less expensive now than in summer, but if you wait until the old one breaks, interruptions to supply chain or service may leave you without air conditioning for an extended period of time.
Recommendation: Be proactive and replace your HVAC system if you think it needs it.
Below are a few articles related to air health in hospital settings. The core principles behind the IAQ products we recommend are the same as those used to keep hospital air clean.
- Importance of air filtration in hospitals and medical facilities
- Planning and maintaining hospital air isolation rooms | 2017-02-01
- A ventilation system proves effective at reducing hospital infections
- There is Something in Hospital Air
- UV-C Technology: Healing Hospitals
- NIOSH Update – NIOSH-Funded Study Simulates Hospital Room to Test UV System for Employee TB Protection
- Using Ultraviolet Germicidal Lights for Air Cleaning
- Transmission of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)