Cold and Flu Season: How it Affects Your HVACCold and flu season is just around the corner. That means you will want to do everything you can to prevent getting sick. Here are a few ways to do so:

  • Get your flu shot.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Don’t touching your mucous membranes, where the flu virus gains entrance to the body.
  • Wipe off surfaces, such as the handles in grocery carts and on gym equipment.
  • Breathe out when walking past anyone who is sneezing or coughing.
  • Use your HVAC system to improve indoor air quality.

HVAC to the Rescue

Your HVAC system can help you fight the flu this winter. Always use a good quality, pleated air filter, rated at least MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) 8. These filters trap air particles that may cause respiratory irritation, such as allergies and asthma, and lead to diminished resistance. The filter should be changed frequently to work properly.

However, to trap viruses, you will need a HEPA (high efficiency partiulate air) filter, which could slow down the air flow and damage your system. You can have your HVAC system modified for a HEPA filter, but there may be a better alternative.

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) technology, installed in your HVAC system, uses two strategically positioned ultraviolet light bulbs to kill viruses and other pathogens as they are drawn through the HVAC system in the return air. The bulbs are long lasting, but must be changed when they grow dim in order to be effective.


Adding humidity to your home’s air will actually help minimize the flu virus’s ability to transfer from host to host. The added moisture in air forms droplets to which the virus adheres as it is coughed into the air. The droplets sink, minimizing chances that others will be infected. You can add humidity by boiling water, adding plants to the home, or taking long showers, but the best way is to install a humidification system in the HVAC.

To learn more about using your HVAC system to control the flu bug during cold and flu season, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).