During a time when social distancing is an essential part of life, it can be unnerving to an HVAC specialist in your home. To minimize your fears and make certain your furnace and AC units are working effectively, we at Hoffner Heating and Air Conditioning are here to talk about how we’re handling service calls amid COVID-19. From electronic payments to using basement entries, we’re taking every precaution we can to keep our workers and your family safe.
How Hoffner Protects Your Family and Its Team
These are unprecedented times, and we’re doing our best to follow each best practice that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) puts forth. These best practices for essential businesses such as HVAC specialists include, but are not limited to:
1. Wearing a Mask, Glasses, Gloves, and Shoe Covers (Booties)
While supplies last, when we enter your house, we will have masks on. Don’t be alarmed if you see our team equipped with full respirators.
This precaution helps protect our workers and your family. Because COVID-19 can be transmitted through the eyes, we may also be wearing protective safety glasses.
In conjunction with masks and glasses, our team wears gloves while cleaning, fixing, or installing any HVAC equipment. Recently, we have also been using shoe covers to ensure we don’t track anything into your home. This best practice is essential as scientists found that SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) can be detected in the air for up to three hours and on surfaces for up to three days.
2. Ensuring Our Team and Our Customers Are Healthy
Basically, if any person on our team is feeling under the weather, they’re not working in the field. As an added precaution, we’re asking technicians to take their temperatures before they start their workdays.
We are also contacting our customers before entering their homes. While you are not obligated to tell us if anyone in the house is ill, we would sincerely appreciate you letting us know. This information will be considered confidential. When it’s the case that someone is sick, we’ll reschedule the appointment at a time that is convenient for you.
3. Prioritizing Emergencies
Spring is generally a mild season in terms of temperature. If it’s possible to open windows to stay cool or wear heavier clothing to keep warm, it’s important to do so in order to minimize the opportunities for COVID-19 to spread.
Conversely, if there are drastic changes in temperature and your system is down, please call us immediately. As the ASHRAE notes, “unconditioned spaces can cause thermal stress to people that may be directly life threatening and that may also lower resistance to infection. In general, disabling of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems is not a recommended measure to reduce the transmission of the virus.”
How can you tell if it’s an emergency? If you can’t stabilize the temperature in your house between 61 and 74 degrees, it’s time to call an HVAC specialist.
4. Keeping Everything Clean
Everyone on the Hoffner team is equipped with a bottle of hand sanitizer that we use before and after entering homes and businesses. The hand sanitizer we use is 60% isopropyl alcohol and above.
We will also be wiping down equipment, tools, and other surfaces with alcohol or bleach-based wipes. Please let us know if you have an allergy to bleach
5. Sending Paper-free Electronic Invoices
Hoffner isn’t exchanging any paper invoices. Every transaction is being completed online. Our invoice will be sent directly to your inbox. From here, you can use a credit card to quickly and easily pay your invoice.
6. Conducting Admin Duties from Home
We can assure you that anything that can be done from a computer is done remotely. Currently, our shop is empty, and we’re completing administration tasks from home.
7. Maintaining Social Space
For the safety of our staff and your family, we will maintain a minimum of six feet from every person in a household. Furthermore, if there is an alternative entrance to your home through a garage or basement door that allows us to gain access to your HVAC unit and is in a lower traffic area, please let us know. Often we’re able to get right to the unit, service it, and leave without ever entering the main areas of your home.
8. Recommending Air Purifying Products
A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter may catch some viruses. However, many home HVAC units can’t handle the thickness of the filter. That being said, please let us know if you’re interested in a HEPA filter, and we’ll determine if they’re compatible with your furnace and AC unit.
Because bacteria and viruses (including SARS-CoV-2) can remain airborne for hours, HVAC systems can increase disease transmission. For this reason, we strongly advise homeowners to consider installing an Ultraviolet germicidal light (UVGI) light. While there are no studies specifically measuring the efficacy of UVGI light on the most recent strain of the coronavirus, hospitals, water treatment facilities, and food and beverage distributors often use UVGI to kill bacteria and viruses.
At Hoffner, we’re able to install industry-leading, high output UVC twin “H” lamps in your HVAC unit to reproduce enough natural germicidal rays to kill germs and control allergens as they move through your air duct. It is proven to kill bioaerosols, including bacteria (streptococcus, pneumococcus, legionella, tuberculosis) and viruses (influenza, rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, SARS, and the common cold.)
It’s important to note that this not a chemical treatment and does not pose a threat to people, equipment, or indoor environment.
Hoffner Is Here for You
We know these are trying and scary times, but we want you to know that we’re here to help. Whether your system is down or you need us to install a UVGI system in your unit, we’re only a call or email away. Rest assured that we’ll be following and exceeding industry best practices and standards for every job. Simply visit our contact page or call us at 412-376-9080.