With the summer season in its early days and the coronavirus outbreak, ‘Air Conditioners’ (ACs) have come under suspicion. The popular myth that ACs pose threat of the spread of COVID-19 has made many to turn off their ‘cooling unit’.
Experts have clarified that home AC units do not pose any additional risk of COVID-19 infection. As per experts, the virus can spread within spaces that are centrally air-conditioned. This includes places like offices, gyms, cinema halls, shopping malls, etc.
“This virus is not airborne in the same way as viruses that cause common cold and flu. It is just that if a person sneezes, a thick spray gets created — that is when a virus is in the air. But it does not float around in the air — it settles on surfaces and can stay there for a very long time“, said Sambuddha Chaudhuri epidemiologist at IIT Bombay.
Since the virus doesn’t stay suspended in air ACs are not a threat provided no one in the house is affected by the virus. The virus can only get recycled in the air for a short span of time where there are large gatherings like malls, cinema halls, etc. A 2011 study on the spread of SARS-CoV in 2003 in China has revealed some facts.
Some of the findings of the study are:
- The virus is more stable at low temperature
- It sustains in low humidity environments
Based on this assessment the prediction of COVID-19’s transmission in air-conditioned has been made. However, whether it fits for COVID-19 can’t be said with full surety as of now.
Inputs from The Print