Effect Of Air Conditioning On The Spread Of Coronavirus

Effect Of Air Conditioning On The Spread Of CoronavirusPeople spend most of their lives indoor but the pollution levels are high indoors than compared to what you get outside. EPA or Environmental Protection Agency ranks the indoor pollution as one of the top 4 environmental hazards in the U.S. Although our attention is firmly on coronavirus at the moment we need to remember that it is not the only virus or germ that can enter the confines of your home or offices. There are precautions you need to take to decrease the chances of all these viruses including coronavirus. So, we need to take into account other germs and viruses spreading through your central air conditioning system.

Transmission of Coronavirus via air conditioning

Scientists believe that the main way in which the coronavirus is transmitted is through respiratory droplets that travel several feet from a person who is sneezing or coughing. The first step for controlling the spread is by covering your mouth while coughing or sneezing. But the residual contaminants may travel through the air conditioning system as the air inside the office or home gets circulated. This will lead to the spread of the airborne coronavirus. This virus also has the same symptoms as that of other viruses such as flu, common cold, and a sore throat which cause the spread of the virus.

Using UV lights to control the spread of coronavirus

The photo catalytic oxidation or PCO UV light can be mounted in the airstream to destroy the bacteria, odor, VOCs, molds, and most significantly viruses. The PCO UV light not only kills the viruses and microbes but also cleans the surfaces. The UV light can destroy bacteria, mold, and viruses by damaging their RNA and DNA so that it is impossible for them to multiply. However, it’s exposure to light is not that long to do that. The PCO UV light placed in the airstream depends on creation of hydrogen peroxide for cleaning the air and other surfaces. The catalyst from the light reacts with the air moisture to create hydrogen peroxide which settles on the surface and kills the viruses. Although, the effectiveness of UV lights on coronavirus is not proven yet, it is useful against a host of other bacteria and viruses including SARS. Therefore, there is every reason to believe that it will be effective against coronavirus.

Using Ionizers

Ionizers are usually mounted over the indoor blower housing. They have two advantages over UV lights and they are,

  • There is no need to change the bulb.
  • There is no ozone at all.

However, they work completely differently from the UV light. Ionizers develop negative and positive ions that break the pollutants and gases the harmless compounds such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, and water vapor. When these ions come in contact with the bacteria, mold, and viruses they remove the hydrogen atoms thus removing the source of energy and thereby destroying them.

These are cures for cleaner air but there is no guarantee against coronavirus as yet. If you are willing to invest in a particle counter, use it before installing the air conditioning product. Then if the effectiveness of the instrument is in question you can take another reading to check whether some airborne particles are remaining there.

For advice from the reputed air conditioning professionals you can get in touch with Prestige Air Conditioning & Heating LLC that provides commercial and residential air conditioning sales and services. But remember, air conditioning pros cannot guarantee against coronavirus. Viruses travel short distances and between land or people and tend to linger onto the surface. There is every possibility that an air purifier may fail to catch a virus before it can infect a person or a surface.

Picture Credit: Pixabay

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