The Common Cold

The coronavirus and Covid-19 has commanded the bulk of media attention in recent months. Other diseases like heart disease and even cancer have taken a back seat to the pandemic. One almost forgotten ailment not even allowed on the “disease bus” is the common cold. The cold is almost always a mild sickness that may last a week or so and is easily treated with grandma’s chicken soup, a truly remarkable elixir. We’ve all experienced colds. They begin with that tell-tale scratchy throat, morphing into a full-blown sore throat, and followed by a runny nose and chest congestion as the virus runs its course. Aside from the chicken soup, OTC medicines help, along with a few days of rest. Another way to treat your cold is with your home’s HVAC system. People more prone to colds and allergies should always keep a fresh filter on the HVAC air return to remove allergens and other particulates. During the flu and cold season, a HEPA filter is advised to remove smaller particles. Next, make sure that the humidity in the room where you are curled up in a fetal position with a box of tissues is high enough to help reduce your symptoms. The HVAC is a natural dehumidifier for a hot summer day but in winter you may need a separate humidifier to add some moisture back into the air. Simply setting a pan of water by your bedside will help if you lack a humidifier. Viruses hate water and heat so the third way your HVAC system can help you recover from your cold is to keep your house a few degrees warmer. If your HVAC system is not “zoned”, then a simple space heater will work. Unfortunately, not even HVAC will cure a common cold.

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