Why is it best to avoid the air conditioner during covid?


The wave of the coronavirus pandemic has swept the world off its regular course of function. Simple activities like going out or meeting people came to a standstill due to the raging pandemic brought upon by the rapid spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus, commonly called covid-19. The rapid spread of the virus meant being confined to our homes and adjusting to life from the confines of the boundaries of four walls. With a hot and sweltering Indian summer, it is likely to make life comfortable by
switching the air conditioner on, for an amicable environment to go about with work. However covid has also crept into this luxury with implications being noted, regarding the use of air conditioners during covid.

Covid is a virus which spreads through droplets in the air. There are varying opinions on the use of air conditioners during covid. While some experts deem it safe for use, others say it is best to avoid the use of air conditioners. Using air conditioners is encouraged only at homes and between the temperatures of 24°C and 30°C. The temperatures are to be kept above 25°C if the climate is drier.

However using the air conditioner during covid can have negative implications if guidelines are not adhered to properly. Here are a few reasons why it is best to avoid air conditioners during covid:

Lack of ventilation

For an air conditioner to be used properly, all windows and doors in a room should be shut so that the cooling process can take place. An air conditioner thus blocks off any passage of fresh air in the room which can facilitate the spread of covid-19. Covid spreads through droplets in the air and a confined room becomes a great place for the virus to settle on surfaces. Thus the lack of ventilation needed to operate an air conditioner can be detrimental and cause the spread of the virus. However properly ventilating the room in intervals and keeping the doors and windows open for the maximum amount of time can help stop the virus from settling and spreading.

Recirculation of air

An air conditioner recirculates most of the air in a room since it is more economical energy wise, to recirculate already cooled air within a room. A room cooled by an air conditioner thus poses the risk of recirculating the covid droplets within a room when it blows out air. If covid particles enter the vicinity of an air conditioned room then there is a very high chance of the virus being spread throughout the room, since the air is constantly in recirculation. Again ventilating a room properly is
a great option to avoid the circulation of covid within a room.

Covid settling on the filters

The filters in an air conditioner trap unwanted particles in the air. However the covid virus might settle on the filters and get recirculated as they are minute droplets in the air.

Air conditioners in public spaces might spread the virus

There is a possibility that the use of air conditioners in public spaces might greatly facilitate the spread of the virus throughout the whole air conditioned space. In larger areas due to a centralised air conditioning system, if the place gets affected by droplets of covid being spread in the area then the chances of spreading get increased throughout the whole place. Air conditioners in public spaces are risky and thus should be avoided from being used during covid.

Covid has affected us greatly and has changed various aspects of what constituted as normalcy in life. The struggle to keep the virus has been a challenge. Although an air conditioner can be used in private spaces with caution, the implications of the spread of the virus through the use of air conditioners does pose a risk. It is better to avoid the use of air conditioners during covid because the virus thrives in enclosed spaces and proper ventilation is one of the simplest steps to break the chain of the spread of the virus.