Turn your humidifier ON!!!
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
Amidst the COVID19 environment, we’re seeing unprecedented measures by governments around the world to “plank the curve” and slow the spread of the virus. Our healthcare systems can’t handle the projected number of cases should no measures be put in place. These measures are so important, that our Canadian government has committed over $100 billion to support our economy. We all have a responsibility to do everything we can to do our part in the fight against COVID19.
First, we need to follow the directives of the World Health Organization. Everyone knows these measures, but it doesn’t hurt to say it again as they don’t cost a thing to implement.
- Wash your hands frequently
- Maintain social (physical) distancing (Remain 2m (6ft) apart)
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
- Practice respiratory hygiene (i.e Cough into your elbow)
- Stay home if you feel unwell
Since we’re all spending even more time than usual indoors, indoor air quality (IAQ) has been increasing important to our health. This becomes especially important in long term care facilities where those most vulnerable to COVID19 live. The most effective measure to improve IAQ in a building is to humidify! So, turn on your damn humidifiers! You don’t need to take my word for it. There are copious studies outlining the benefits of humidity on IAQ. Here are a few …
The Sterling Chart
The Sterling Chart has been around since 1985. It shows that at 40-60%RH, bacteria, viruses, etc. do not thrive.
Virus Viability on Surfaces
A study (Casanova LM et al, Effects of Air Temperatuer & RH on Coronavirus Survival on Surfaces) was conducted to to see the viability of viruses on surfaces at different humidity levels. Across all temperatures tested, the fastest inactivation occurred at 50%RH.
Bacteria Decay Rate
The viability of three species of bacteria (pneumococcus type I, staphylococcus albus and streptococcus haemolyticus) nebulized from a suspension, was measured in a climatic chamber with adjustable different relative humidity levels and temperature.
Relative humidity had a striking effect on the decay rate! Decay rates peaked in the vicinity of 50% for all three bacteria, most significant for pneumococci (see graph).
Just type #humidity into LinkedIn and you’ll find a thousand more references linking the importance of humidity to IAQ. If you have a humidifier in your building, TURN IT ON! If it has been idle for a number of years due to maintenance budget cuts, let’s revisit the cost of health. I recently had a retirement home customer, pre-COVID19, communicate that the cost of a flu spread throughout their 100 bed facility was ~$60,000.00. The costs were associated with medication, increased cleaning and other maintenance activities. They made the decision to humidify, making their facility much more resilient to spread of disease. I want facility maintenance staff and building owners to stop seeing humidification as a burden, rather an opportunity to improve IAQ. Let’s look at the full picture!!!
O’Dell can help you re-commission your existing humidifier or assist in upgrading you existing HVAC system with humidification. Who knows, we may find opportunity to improve your building efficiency in the process?
Stay Healthy! Contact O’Dell Today
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