Air conditioners and coronavirus: let’s be clear

With summer approaching, many are wondering if air conditioners can promote coronavirus contagion. The answers of Professor Fabrizio Pregliasco.

With the approach of summer and heat, the use of air conditioners also returns both at home, in the workplace, and in the car (or on public transport). There are many doubts that arise spontaneously: is the virus able to cross the air conditioning filters and spread? Is it possible to sanitize the filters from bacteria and particles that are harmful to our health? The floor to Professor Fabrizio Pregliasco, health director at the IRCCS Galeazzi Orthopedic Institute and virologist at the University of Milan.

Air conditioners: extra protection against the virus

“As it is now known – explains Professor Fabrizio Pregliasco – coronavirus to spread prefers the so-called droplets (the respiratory droplets we emit when we cough or sneeze) and very vaporous places, such as gyms and swimming pools, where the aerosol effect is always present.
The best condition to prevent contagion, together with social distancing and the use of masks, is certainly being outdoors, benefiting from the natural climate.
However, those who resort to refrigeration with air conditioning, where it is not possible to stay outdoors for a long time, is certainly more advantaged and ‘protected’.
The filters inside the plants, in fact, have the task of purifying the air, retaining harmful particles, and dehumidifying (excellent against the virus) and avoiding the formation of mold “.
Domestic environments, being mostly closed, have always been a receptacle for dust, bacteria and germs that can cause important problems for our body (especially at the respiratory level).
In this regard, air conditioners filters represent an extra protection capable of reducing the concentration of potential viruses in closed environments (not only at home, but also in offices, shops, etc.) and their own viral load.

Tips for the correct use of coronavirus conditioners at home and at work

“Inside hospitals – continues the professor – attention to the maintenance of air conditioning systems is always high to avoid the spread of legionella, a dangerous bacterium that is capable of contaminating the water in the refrigeration circuits.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, this attention has been more stressed with a painstaking review and maintenance of all plants “.
What are the tips that can be followed for the correct use of air conditioners in the time of the coronavirus even at home or at work?
“In any case, it is always better to opt for the open-loop ventilation function, rather than recirculation, because in this way we ensure that the air used is always clean (as it comes from outside) and, above all, always filtered, with the expulsion of stale air – advises Pregliasco -.

In addition, it would be suitable every 2-3 hours to ventilate the rooms by opening (where possible) balconies and windows, alternating the natural air with that emitted by the system. This also applies not only to workplaces, but also to means of transport. It is important to clean the filters every week, following the supplier’s instructions, so that dirt and dust do not remain in them “.

From all this it is clear the absolute need to sanitize as much as possible the air we breathe in the environments where we stay and in this regard an ecological and easy to use UVC air sanitizer, helps enormously to maintain an excellent level safety by significantly decreasing the possibility of contagion both from coronavirus and from the most common ailments such as flu, cold, cough, pneumonia, bronchitis, etc.