Poor Ventilation and Air Conditioners
Temperatures are rising as we get further into summer, and if you haven’t already, you’re probably planning on turning on your air conditioning unit soon. After all, if we have to be stuck at home, we want to be comfortable, right? But with COVID-19 levels staying consistent or rising in some areas, experts are saying that your air conditioner could actually be spreading a lot more than just cool air around your home. Air quality expert, Dr. William Bahnfleth, told CBS that there might not be an easy answer to whether or not air-conditioning systems are a risk. But poor ventilation could be a huge contributing factor in increased transmission indoors.
One of the earliest studies of how the virus spreads showed that the airflow from a restaurant air conditioner was likely to blame for infecting several families.
A recent report by CNBC presented data from 100 New York hospitals showing that an overwhelming majority–66%–of coronavirus-related hospitalizations were patients who had been staying at home.
The Effect Of Poor Ventilation
This association of COVID-19 with airflow makes it important to focus on proper ventilation and air filtration in your home. Expect the same level of care from restaurants and other gathering places that are reopening.
So, how do you ensure proper ventilation in the home?
In an effort to make homes more energy-efficient, building techniques have focused primarily on sealing up new homes.
While that may save energy costs, it can also limit the ability of the home to bring in fresh, healthy air and kick out stale, unhealthy air.
The concern with some air conditioners is that they circulate the same air without necessarily bringing in fresh air. In a restaurant, an air conditioner’s airflow can carry the virus from table to table.
For more information on keeping your home safe, check out the Aprilaire Healthy Air™ System. It includes tips on maintaining the ideal humidity levels, what air filters to use, and how to properly ventilate.
Staying Cool Without A/C
If you want to play it safe and avoid turning on your A/C this summer, check out our recent blog post and follow the tips below:
- Close the blinds during the hottest part of the day
- Keep doors of unused rooms closed
- Install ceiling fans and make sure they’re spinning counter-clockwise for the summer
- Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans to draw out hot air
- Run a dehumidifier
- Use your large appliances during the coolest hours of the day, either early morning or evening
- Open your windows slightly at night but close them up in the morning to trap the cool air inside
- Plant some trees or attach an awning to add outdoor shade