Can Coronavirus Spread through Air Conditioning?
Masks, ventilation and vaccination are our best bets against coronavirus. With the emergence of the delta variant and its impact on children, we need to follow mitigation strategies indoors and outdoors to lower the risk of exposure. The heat drives people indoors and you are more likely to touch surfaces or breathe contaminated air. The SARS-CoV-2 virus remains airborne and is the dominant route of transmission. Crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces can have higher carbon dioxide levels. So essentially you are just breathing someone else’s air. Social distancing, hand hygiene, vaccination and wearing face masks are some ways to lower the risk of infection.
In addition to this, ventilation improvements - maintaining air conditioning and optimum indoor air quality is critical to keep the virus contained. The virus spreads more easily indoors than outdoors, and the concentration of viral particles is higher indoors than outdoors. Viral particles can get dispersed more easily in the open than indoors. However, an aircon can help to remove moisture from the air and allow the virus to thrive in the dry air. All these factors make indoor ventilation and air conditioning maintenance essential.
Strategies to improve indoor air quality:
- Open doors and windows to keep the space well-ventilated
- Go outside as often as possible
- Check the indoor air quality with carbon dioxide monitors - they will indicate high levels of carbon dioxide and you could take action to remedy the airflow
- Use an air purifier to keep the indoor air quality clean
- Ensure the exhaust fans in restrooms or kitchen are functional
- Use ceiling fans to circulate air and reduce the buildup of stagnant air pockets
- UVC light can be used to kill airborne viruses and germs
What actions are required for air conditioning systems?
Well-maintained air conditioners are essential to minimise the risk of coronavirus. Frequent aircon servicing and ventilation are critical to improving indoor airflow.
Precautions should be taken to avoid situations wherein air from infected individuals is circulated in the premises. If someone in the building is infected, the respiratory droplets can remain suspended in the air and get circulated exposing other people.
Air conditioners work well when they are maintained properly. A seasonal tune-up is ideal to ensure the aircon is working in optimum condition. Ensure your aircon filters are cleaned and replaced according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Regular maintenance ensures faults are found early on and fixed before they become big issues. Plus, deep cleaning and sanitisation will eliminate dirt, microbes and mould from the system.
One size doesn’t fit all and different buildings will have unique HVAC systems - settings, ventilation, and condition. A specialist will be able to inspect your aircon, improve the HVAC hygiene and come up with a plan to reduce the risk of COVID-19.
What does this mean for you? It is very important to inspect and review the air conditioning and ventilation systems within your home to reduce the risk of environmental exposure, so speak to your local air conditioning expert as to servicing and maintenance options they can assist with. They can look at the filtering options, the humidity choices and temperature settings to ensure your system is set up to suit your needs and look out for your health. Ensuring we are all safe and healthy is so important at the moment, so ensuring your air conditioner is running exactly as it should. For more information, give us a call on 1300 405 295 or complete our online enquiry form if you need some further assistance.