So your house is clean, but is that enough?
Because viruses transfer from person to person through things like sneezing and coughing, cleaning the surfaces of your home may not be enough to eliminate them or prevent the spread. A sneeze actually stays in the air for an extended period of time, until it is removed by a home’s ventilation system. However, the combination of cleaning surfaces, washing your hands and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze can help, you need something more powerful to eliminate it from your air.
How do you remove viruses from the air? according to a study done by the Harvard School of Public Health along with scientists from the Environmental Health and Engineering, Inc. (EH&E), Trane’s CleanEffects, can remove more than 99% of the common flu virus from filtered air.
“For many years, heating and air conditioning manufacturers have been working toward improving the air in our homes from things like dust mites and bacterias that cause allergies. Well, there are plenty of products that are really good at doing this, but now with the flu epidemic, it is good to know that as a heating and air conditioning service provider we have a proven product to offer homeowners,” said Scott Warwick, Senior Vice President of Direct Energy US Home Services.
Cleaner, healthier air is important for everyone, and especially so for the elderly and allergy or asthma sufferers.
While it’s not to say that, cleaning your home’s floors, fabrics and surfaces is not helping at all to avoid the spread of these germs. In fact, it is an integral part in keeping your home air free of many things that can cause health issues. With the addition of a whole house air cleaner, you are able to eliminate many more of those airborne particles that can cause illnesses.
(1) Health Awareness, Cleaning Surfaces May Not Be Enough to Avoid Getting the Flu
Cold & Flu Facts
- More than 200,000 Americans will be hospitalized from the flu virus this year.
- Over 36,000 people die from the flu each year.
- The CDC states that the H1N1 virus (originally referred to as "swine flu") is a new respiratory virus similar to Influenza A. (1)
- A whole house air cleaner (such as Trane CleanEffects™) removes nearly 99% of the common flu and Influenza A virus from the air.
- These things help eliminate germs, especially when combined with a whole house air cleaner
- Getting a flu shot
- Washing hands
- Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze
- Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
- The flu can appear at any time of the year, especially in temperate climates.
- Millions of people in the US contract the flu each year
- Flu spreads through the air and is highly contagious, therefore it can create epidemics in a community or school.
- Many people confuse the common cold and the flu, because symptoms are similar – see a doctor for a flu diagnosis.
- H1N1 (Swine Flu) virus was first detected in people in the United States in April 2009, and is spreading from person-to-person worldwide, probably in much the same way that regular seasonal influenza viruses spreads.(1)
- This virus was originally referred to as “swine flu” because laboratory testing showed that many of the genes in this new virus were very similar to influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs (swine) in North America. (1)
- Persons with increased risk of complications from this 2009 H1N1 have these underlying conditions include asthma, diabetes, suppressed immune systems, heart disease, kidney disease, neurocognitive and neuromuscular disorders and pregnancy. (1)
- Studies have shown that influenza virus can survive on environmental surfaces and can infect a person for 2 to 8 hours.
- There has never been a documented case of influenza virus infection associated with water exposure, such as drinking fountains or swimming pools.
- Swine flu is an epidemic, but by comparison an estimated 600 people die of tuberculosis, about 1,400 people die from strep and 2,704 people die from a common asbestos-related lung cancer in the United States every year. (2)
- Symptoms of H1N1 are
- high fever
- muscle aches
- respiratory congestion
- runny nose
- diarrhea(less common)
- Bird Flu, people who became infected with the H5N1 strain or avian flu caught it directly from birds. It has not been proven that H5N1 can be spread from person to person.
1) Source Center for Disease Control.
2) Source ABC News report, May 2009
New Study Results Show Breakthrough Technology Removes Common Flu Virus From A Home’s Filtered Air
Study Reveals Trane CleanEffects™ Removes More Than 99 Percent of the Influenza A Virus
During flu season and throughout the year, families are exposed to viruses that circulate in the air they breathe indoors, so taking measures to prevent illness makes sense. Getting a flu shot, eliminating germs on surfaces through cleaning, and washing hands often are important steps to avoid getting the flu. Yet, many people are still susceptible to the virus in the air in their home. The main way influenza viruses are spread is from person-to-person in respiratory droplets of coughs or sneezes. Now, first-of-its-kind research conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, in collaboration with scientists at Environmental Health and Engineering Inc., (EH&E) shows that Trane CleanEffects™, a whole-house air filtration system, removes more than 99 percent of the common flu, or influenza A virus from the filtered air.
Because of the similarities among types of influenza viruses, Harvard and EH&E researchers concluded that Trane CleanEffects will remove more than 99 percent of other forms of the virus, including influenza B, influenza C and avian influenza (also a strain of influenza A virus) from the filtered air.
The tests involved releasing the common flu virus into the air inside a test heating, ventilation and air conditioning duct. The removal efficiency was calculated from the amount of the common flu virus measured in air samples collected before and after passing through the Trane CleanEffects system.
“By removing the vast majority of the common flu virus from a home’s recirculated air, the average airborne concentration of the virus in the home is reduced, thereby lowering airborne exposure to the virus for household occupants,” said Dr. David MacIntosh, instructor at the Harvard Extension School, and principal scientist at EH&E.
Trane has received Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) registration from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Trane is the clear industry leader in EPA compliance for FIFRA as the first whole-house air cleaner to obtain a FIFRA registration number.
“In a home with central forced air and a conventional 1-inch filter, the average virus particle would recirculate through the home about seven times before depositing on a surface or being transported outdoors. That’s more than enough time to breathe in the virus, and cleaning the air in your home is an important step to improve the health of your home environment,” said Dr. David MacIntosh, instructor at the Harvard Extension School and principal scientist at EH&E.(1)
“People with allergies and asthma are potentially at a greater risk of catching the airborne flu virus. Additionally, patients with asthma may have a more severe course of the flu because of their underlying airway damage. For this reason, we recommend that anyone with asthma take all measures to prevent acquiring the flu. These test results are very important because they demonstrate that installing a whole-house air cleaner, such as Trane CleanEffects, can add another layer of protection against the flu for patients with allergies and asthma,” said Dr. Paula Busse, M.D., allergy and immunology specialist, Mount Sanai Medical Center.
Trane CleanEffects utilizes patented breakthrough air cleaning technology to eliminate allergens and particles you don’t want in your home, such as dust, pollen, bacteria, pet dander, mold spores, smoke and now the common flu virus. It even removed particles as small as .1 microns – 1/1,000th the diameter of a human hair – the size that eludes most air cleaners. To put this in perspective when it comes to the common flu, a single influenza virus is around .1 micron in diameter. Trane CleanEffects is 100 times more effective than the standard 1-inch filter found in most home central systems, removing up to 99.98 percent of airborne particles and more than 99 percent of the common flu virus from the filtered air.
- Provided by Trane® 2009