When the novel coronavirus pandemic took hold, many people were hoping the summer months would bring relief. Not only is the COVID-19 virus still on the rise through the summer heat, the widespread use of air conditioners during the hottest months has become a bigger concern.
8. Why Air Conditioners Could Be a Problem
A set of families eating lunch together in China contracted coronavirus from respiratory droplets thought to have been blown around the room by an air conditioner. This occurred in a Guangzhou restaurant in January 2020. Since the reporting of that incident, air conditioners have been on the minds of restaurants, gyms, and retail stores everywhere.
How much of a threat air conditioners are for coronavirus spread is yet unknown. Summer 2020 finds various experts weighing in on the chances and their suggested precautions.
7. What the HVAC Experts Are Saying
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) released a statement about coronavirus spread relating to ventilation systems. ASHREA recommended changes to building operations that could reduce exposure to airborne viruses, rather than shutting air conditioning down entirely.
The advice from Europe’s Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations (REHVA) leans toward completely avoiding “central recirculation during SARS-CoV-2 episodes.” REHVA feels the risk of recirculation systems in the presence of COVID-19 outbreaks isn’t worth the cooler temps. “In case this leads to problems with cooling or heating capacity, this has to be accepted because it is more important to prevent contamination and protect public health than to guarantee thermal comfort.”