The news of the global pandemic has been making waves around the globe for over a year now. The dreaded COVID-19 virus has already infected nearly 199 million people in the entire world and it doesn’t show any intention of slowing down.
With the new delta variant bringing the infection rates higher in a lot of countries again, scientists are still debating how the virus is most commonly transmitted. And while contracting the virus from surfaces is questionable, experts agree that person to person is the most viable way of contagion.
One question that seems to confuse everyone is “can the air conditioner spread Coronavirus.” Since the question often gets asked, we decided to turn to the experts at Howell’s to see their stand on the issue.
Sadly, this question still does not have a plain yes or no answer. The research is being conducted as to how the virus gets transmitted from person to person. However, there are some guaranteed factors we need to take into consideration when debating this question.
Coronavirus and Your Air Conditioner
Different air conditioners filter particles very differently. Air conditioners on large cruise ships for example can only filter particles bigger than 5000 nanometers. Respiratory virus particles such as COVID-19 are approximately 120 nm in size. This is why air conditioning on a cruise ship may potentially distribute the particles across all cabins as it doesn’t filter these particles out. The same goes for some air conditioners in hospitals, where traces of the virus have been discovered. However, there are still a lot of questions to answer.
Air Conditioner Use
One of the main points made in relation to the virus spreading across cruise ships relates to the fact that the air used in cruise ship air conditioners is recycled. On the other hand, home air conditioners that get their air from the outside unit can actually help reduce the concentration of the virus in the home by improving the air circulation in your home.
Temperature Levels And Humidity
Last but not least, the spread of the virus relies on two important factors: temperature levels and humidity. Most other coronaviruses like SARS thrive in low humidity and low-temperature settings.
In a nutshell, there is no evidence pointing to the fact that home air conditioners can help spread the virus. However, there is still a lot we don’t know about this virus, how it’s transmitted and what conditions it can survive.
One thing that remains important is proper air conditioner maintenance. The filter in your air conditioner may be able to block the virus particles. But only if it is well maintained. A dirty filter may actually be a breeding ground for this and many other viruses.
Therefore, you can keep using your air conditioner, especially during these hot summer days. But make sure it is well maintained in order to be able to protect you and your family from a potential contagion.
Can The Air Conditioner Spread Coronavirus?
Spreading the coronavirus through AC is only a concern in public spaces with lots of people. There is currently no evidence that the air conditioner may cause COVID-19 contamination any more than coming across the virus through contaminated surfaces.
However, since the virus droplets linger in the air, any form of air currents such as the AC unit or even a fan may spread the droplets further. Therefore, it’s important to follow the general prevention guidelines such as covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, staying away from your family members if infected, and washing your hands frequently.