Coronavirus and Air Conditioning

Covid-19 and AC don't have to be a dangerous combination

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people who contract COVID-19 will suffer a mild case and be able to treat themselves at home while practicing self-isolation. If you happen to catch the disease and live alone, you can stay home and easily avoid spreading the virus to others. What if you share a home with other people? How do you care for someone in your household with the coronavirus while limiting its spread? Can the combination of the coronavirus and air conditioning really be dangerous? Check out the tips below for answers and potential solutions.

Basic Tips for Treating COVID-19 at Home

Before we get too technical, here are some basic ways to safely treat a mild case of the coronavirus at home according to the CDC:

  • Isolation – You want to separate the ill person from the rest of the household as much as possible. They should have their own room, and ideally, their own bathroom.
  • Provisions – Make sure the patient has all of their basic needs met, especially food, water, and medicine. Encourage them to drink lots of fluids and rest. Consider having groceries and medicine delivered, if possible, to limit potential exposure to others.
  • Masks – Give the patient plenty of space and avoid contact as much as you can. If you do need to enter their room, knock first and ask if it's okay to enter. This will give them a chance to put on a mask for your protection. Do not enter the room without donning your own mask and disposable gloves.
  • Pets – While it's highly unlikely for COVID-19 to spread from humans to pets, to be on the safe side, take care of the sick person's pets and limit their contact with them as much as you can.

Does AC Spread the Coronavirus?

The July Research Letter from the CDC introduces a study of three families whose members contracted COVID-19 – tracing the transmission to a period of time when two of the families sat in close proximity to the infected member of the first family in an air-conditioned restaurant in China. The researchers suspect the air conditioning spread air particles containing the virus among the three families and suggested restaurants improve their air filtration and spread apart their seating.

While COVID-19 and AC have been linked in outbreaks like that one, there are ways to reduce the risk that your air conditioner can spread the disease within your home.

  • Fresh Air – Open a window or two. Allowing fresh air to circulate through your home can help dilute the virus particles in the air.
  • Better Filtration – Using a MERV 13 air filter in your HVAC system can make a difference in how much of the virus is spread through your home. The high-efficiency filter can trap tiny virus and bacteria-filled particles expelled when someone coughs or sneezes. Filters with lower MERV ratings will not be as effective, but they can still help clear the air of other things that can trigger allergies and asthma such as dust and pollen.
  • Air Purification – If you feel like a high-efficiency filter isn't enough protection for your family, there is another option: you can purchase an air scrubber. You probably know air purifiers with HEPA filters are popular choices, but you may not be aware that not all air purifiers are equal, and many don't have the ability to capture and kill a virus. The Purashield 500 Air Scrubber is better than your typical air purifier. It has a four-layer filtration system that uses a pre-filter to capture the larger particles and a HEPA filter to capture the smaller ones. In between those two layers are non-toxic dry chemical filtration and antimicrobial fiber – both of which destroy bacteria and viruses. In just 30 minutes, the air scrubber can reduce up to 99.98% of targeted bacteria and viruses in a 500 square-foot space.

Is there a shortage of MERV 13 air filters?

That depends on who you ask. Some media outlets have reported that there is a risk of running out of the higher-efficiency filters as people upgrade their home and office filtration. Air Filters Delivered makes our own filters. While increased demand has slowed our ability to deliver filters from a matter of days to potentially a couple of weeks at worst, we are not running out of MERV 13 filters. You can shop with confidence that we have the efficiency and size you need – even custom sizes.

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