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Why you need to use ACs with caution during COVID-19

Why you need to use ACs with caution during COVID-19

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  20 April 2020 6:00 AM GMT

NEW DELHI: Rumours spread on the Internet suggest that use of air conditioners during this summer may not be safe as it can help spread the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The truth, as per the fact check done by the Press Information Bureau (PIB), is not that straightforward.

Based on inputs from doctors, the official handle of PIB Fact Check tweeted that running windows AC in a room where there is no coronavirus patient poses no risk to people.

“As the mercury soars, here’s one more #PIBFactcheck. “Claim: ACs should not be used to cool off in the heat, as they spread #Covid_19.

“Fact : It’s a little complicated. Window ACs are ok, but not central air-conditioning. Let’s listen to this segment from @DDNewslive,” said the tweet. In the video clip accompanying the tweet, doctors are heard saying that in healthcare establishments where there could be coronavirus positive patients, central ACs may pose some risk.

A guidance document by the Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air Conditioning Engineers (ISHRAE) also suggested that people should use air conditioners with caution during the pandemic, especially in healthcare establishments.

“The most important factor in this scenario is to ensure that the virus-laden airborne particles do not leak out of the rooms occupied by COVID-19 patients and also to maintain the concentration of virus-laden particles inside the patient room at a minimum,” said the document titled, “COVID-19 Guidance Document for Air Conditioning and Ventilation”. This is required to control the spread of infections and also to protect the healthcare workers, it added. “As is the normal practice, most of these patient rooms would be served by a HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) system that would be of a recirculatory type, wherein the air from the room is taken back to the AHU (air handling unit) for thermal conditioning and brought back,” ISHRAE said. (IANS)

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