Can you contract coronavirus through your air conditioner?

With summer fast approaching and the threat of coronavirus still lingering around, the next worry is that can the virus be transmitted through air conditioning (A/C) units, a staple of the summers.

Health experts have, however, suggested that the chances of contracting coronavirus A/C ducts are close to zero.

According to a report published by Gulf News, health expert Dr Adil Sajwani say that the chances of transmitting the virus through the A/C is low and close to zero as studies have shown COVID-19 was not airborne.

“So far, we have not seen any evidence that COVID-19 can be spread through air conditioning systems,” he said. “The virus is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air. If there is a possibility that the virus can transmit through an air-shaft then all of us would be infected by now.” 

He added that if an infected person is staying in the same building it does not mean they can infect other residents through the air. “It can only happen through close contact scenarios,” he said.

Referring to a study that had been conducted in China earlier this year on a cluster of coronavirus cases that had all originated from the same restaurant, Sajwani said, “It wasn’t through the air conditioning system.”

“The study was conducted in a restaurant with 91 customers, only nine people were infected because they were with direct contact with patients not because the virus spread in the air,” he added.

Another expert, Dr Ahmad Al Addin from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), has also there was no evidence of virus transmitting through the airducts.

“There is no scientific proof that you can transmit COVID-19 through air-ducts,” he said. 

Dr Added added, “There is no physical proof it happened or can happen. As a precautionary measure, people should clean the filters and use multimedia filters (which utilises three or more layers of gravel rather than just sand in the filter) as well as keeping the temperature between 20 to 25°C.” 

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