Installing COVID-19 safe air conditioning systems

COVID-19

Current evidence suggests that Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spread via droplets and direct contact with contaminated surfaces and objects.

However, we understand that many people have concerns with how air conditioning could play a part in viral transmission.  The design and maintenance of any air con system is key not only to its performance but the health/ wellbeing of the building occupants.

We would recommend that the air space is supplied with clean air or suitably diluted with fresh clean air, and that any installed air handling/conditioning system be regularly maintained.

The Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations have produced a thorough evidence-based report into COVID-19 and how to operate and use building services in areas with a coronavirus outbreak to prevent the spread of COVID-19 depending on HVAC related factors.  In summary they found:

  • Primary spread of COVID-19 is through large droplets (1-2 meters)
  • No reported evidence for airborne spread but no studies rule it out either; airborne spread was seen in previous SARS-CoV-1 outbreak and the World Health Organisation have recommended to attempt to control possible airborne spread in hot spot areas just in case.
  • COVID-19 is resistant to environmental factors, so air conditioning or heating is unlikely to have an effect.
  • Clogged filters are not a contamination source in this context, but they reduce supply airflow which has a negative effect on indoor contaminations itself.

The full report and citations can be found by following the link below: https://www.rehva.eu/activities/covid-19-guidance

If you have any concerns or questions regarding your system, please get in touch.

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