DAYTON, Ohio — A study released by Aeroseal LLC found the pandemic has made indoor air quality (IAQ) an increasing focus of home improvement projects.

The study includes insights from 309 respondents, half of which are worried about IAQ during COVID-19.  Of those respondents, 67% are willing to pay for cleaner, healthier air – suggesting up to $2,000 is on budget for this HVAC-focused project.

Contractors Helping Create New Normal
It’s predicted that post-pandemic life will see a permanent increase in people working from home – full- and part-time. Spending more time at home is making homeowners more aware of their environment and more likely to make home improvements as a result.

Who makes these improvements is evenly split between the do-it-yourself route and hiring professional contractors. Regardless of this, 80% of homeowners are comfortable with contractors entering their homes during the pandemic. But they cite mask-wearing as being a critical measure to have in place. It reinforces the contractor is following COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearing gloves, social distancing, and clearly outlining the safety measures they have in place.

Awareness of IAQ Importance is Increasing
The study is the latest in a series commissioned by Aeroseal showing a greater awareness of IAQ. The company’s last study focused on people’s attitudes about returning to work during the pandemic. As more people return to work in a range of environments – including large and small offices, hospitals, schools, retail, and other small business spaces – they believe their workplace’s IAQ is the single most important factor in protecting their health and safety.

Remodeling Project

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“Air is not something we can see or easily clean, like your hands, a doorknob, or a table,” said Dr. Mark P. Modera, director of the UC-Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center, and advisor to Aeroseal. “Considering we already spent 90% of our time indoors before COVID-19 hit, it’s understandable more Americans are worried about indoor air quality.”

And while concern about IAQ has increased, it’s not clear if homeowners know how to address the issue. Of those respondents who are upgrading their home, or planning to do so, only 9% noted some kind of repair or upgrade to their HVAC system was being made.

Proper Ventilation is Key to Clean, Healthy Air
As these homeowner preferences come to light, scientists are stressing the importance of proper ventilation in preventing the spread of COVID-19. It’s being cited as being as important as social distancing, wearing masks, and washing hands regularly. A home’s HVAC system – the air conditioner, furnace, and ducts – must be working properly.

But the HVAC system cannot establish proper airflow and ventilation with leaky ducts. According to the Department of Energy, most homes have ductwork leaks. Leaky ducts take longer to remove contaminated air from a room. And by staying in the room longer, contaminated air increases the risk of infections spreading.

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