Air-conditioning systems are one of the most common ways that the coronavirus spreads, according to a limited study by Chinese researchers. Closed, air-conditioned spaces such as cinemas, theatres, and schools or nurseries where a large number of people are present with an active air conditioning system is a risk factor for contracting the deadly virus.
The reported outbreak of the novel coronavirus that happened in Guangzhou, China prompted more focus and research in the direction of how AC can spread the coronavirus. In January 2020, there was an infected diner at a restaurant in Guangzhou, China. He was however not yet feeling sick or in close range enough to have spread the virus to nine other people at the restaurant. Apparently, the other nine diners got infected as the AC picked up air droplets from the breath of the infected diner and blew them around the dining room.
Nine other people tested positive for COVID-19, as a result of droplet transmission prompted by the air-conditioned ventilation in the dining room. According to Chinese researchers, the key causal factor for the infection of the other nine people was the direction of the airflow. It is worthy of note that in normal circumstances, droplets tend not to float farther than one meter. In this case, they were only enabled because of the air conditioning system. Hence, the people who became sick at the restaurant in Guangzhou were either at the same table as the infected diner or at one or two tables away. While nine people got infected, the 73 other diners and 8 employees at the restaurant remained healthy.
This incident further proves that coronavirus is transmitted primarily through respiratory droplets. The outbreak in China illustrated some of the challenges that restaurants and other places with closed air-conditioned. The social nature of dining out may increase the risk of getting infected with the virus. The longer time people spend in a contaminated area, the more contaminated droplets or viruses they are likely to inhale.
Steps to stay safe
- The air conditioning system creates a complex pattern of keeping viruses aloft, so it is recommended they maintain a simple spacing of 6-feet tables apart.
- Avoid gatherings in private and public places, such as parks, shops, restaurants, etc. If you however have an important gathering to attend, you should try as much as possible to mask up. That way, you will be protected from inhaling the droplet even with an active air conditioning system. However, this tip may not be helpful when you are in a restaurant to dine.
- Another strategy to reduce the risk of transmission through airflow is to kill airborne viruses with our UV-С light system installed in your ventilation to destroy floating virus particles. This special kind of UV light doesn’t damage the skin but only kills harmful germs and viruses. More info you can find HERE.
Air conditioners can be a lifesaver in the hot spring and summer months, but they may have infected people with a dangerous virus. Knowing how to eradicate the risk level is important so that you and everyone in your household, and around you can stay safe.