airborne illness

Maintaining Your HVAC System to Prevent Airborne Illness

You take your vitamins and eat your greens. You get enough rest and use hand sanitizer. You’ve taken every reasonable measure to prevent COVID-19, and with it, the common cold and flu. Now things have opened back up, including your workplace. What can you do to make sure your business is safe for both your employees and the public? You can help prevent the spread of airborne illnesses in your workplace by making sure that the HVAC system is well-maintained. Poor ventilation leads to poor indoor air quality, which increases the potential spread of airborne diseases. In this blog article, we at Wayne Martin & Son Signature Air Conditioning, will explore how a well-maintained HVAC can keep everyone in your workplace healthier.

According to OSHA (more commonly known as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), poor indoor air quality is one of the major culprits to the spread of viruses and bacteria that cause respiratory infection. These microorganisms commonly thrive in conditions where humidity levels are uncontrolled due to poorly maintained ventilation, heating, and air conditioning systems. In these environments, the stagnant indoor air becomes contaminated with mold, bacteria, and viruses. This contaminated air then gets circulated throughout the building through the HVAC duct system.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agrees about the importance of proper indoor ventilation to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and other airborne illnesses. Specifically, the EPA “recommends increasing ventilation with outdoor air and air filtration as important components of a larger strategy.”

This issue has received more attention during the COVID-19 pandemic. As noted in a recent article from the Daily Commercial News, a worldwide collection of infectious disease experts petitioned the World Health Organization to address the issue of air quality inside public buildings. The bottom line is, once the air inside a building becomes contaminated, any bacteria and viruses contained within will continue to travel through the HVAC system unless something is done about preventing it.


How should you update and maintain your HVAC?

You don’t want anyone to get sick in your business. Fight back and take control of your air quality with these simple fixes:


  • Replace filters regularly—This is one of the most important, and also the easiest things to do for your indoor air quality. How frequently should change your air filters? The answer depends upon the type of HVAC equipment you have and your usage rates. At Wayne Martin and Son, we can help you decide how often you need to change your air filter as part of any routine service appointment.


  • Use HEPA air filters: HEPA filters are becoming a popular choice to help lower the risk of transmission of COVID-19, but depending on your system, these and other high-efficiency filters could do damage to your HVAC system. Definitely contact us first to be sure HEPA filters will work with your unit.


  • Regular inspections and maintenance: Filters, belts, condenser coils, electrical connectors, and all other parts of the HVAC unit need to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. That can mean lubricating, replacing, or repairing any of those pieces. When it comes to indoor air quality, maintenance of your ductwork is imperative. Repairing holes in ductwork can prevent airflow problems, while also helping to keep humidity levels properly maintained.


  • Keep it clean: HVAC systems and air ducts need to be cleaned regularly to keep them working properly. If an air duct develops a blockage or is covered in dust and contaminants it won’t be able to do its job. A professional HVAC repairman like the ones on staff at Wayne Martin and Son can make sure your entire system is clean during one of our routine maintenance visits.


  • Be alert: If you regularly perform air monitoring tests by checking the temperature in each space it will help to monitor your HVAC system’s ability to function. Likewise, you want to make sure there are no leaks, puddles, or water damage. Such a leak could be an indicator that your HVAC needs more refrigerant or that the central unit has frozen up. Meanwhile, know that any standing water can lead to mold growth. Any leaks and water damage should be repaired as soon as possible by our HVAC professionals.


When it comes down to it, you don’t want bacteria and viruses spreading through your workplace. It can cost more than you think. The average cost for a company that has 25 employees can be around $33,000 a year in lost productivity expenses when employees call out sick regularly. You can keep your business running strong, and safe, by making sure your HVAC remains well-maintained year round to provide you and your employees with the best indoor air quality.

At Wayne Martin and Son Signature AC we understand that people don’t feel comfortable trying to tinker with their HVAC unit. We can help. We provide quality HVAC repair, servicing, and installation to our customers throughout Southwest Florida. If you’re especially concerned about the air quality in your business, we also can install an air purification system. We also offer preventive maintenance and regular service contracts to homeowners and business owners. Call us to have one of our expertly-trained technicians conduct an analysis of your entire HVAC system, making sure it has the adequate capacity for your building.

To get started fighting seasonal health problems and prevent the spread of airborne illnesses in your workplace, you should submit a service request today or call us at (239) 462-4068. Wayne Martin & Son Signature Air Conditioning serves customers in the greater Fort Myers area, as well as the surrounding communities such as Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, Alva, and Bonita Springs.