November 6, 2020
A combined study recently conducted by ASHRAE organization in collaboration with Architectural Engineering department of PennState College of Engineering, has revealed some thought opening facts about Impacts of Central Air Conditioning systems on global Pandemic of Covid-19.
In the beginning, when the world was still recovering from the initial shocks of the global outbreak, it was by-large misunderstood by the physicians and pandemic global experts that the HVAC systems are not favorable in the event of any infectious outbreak like Covid-19 which are usually carried by airborne aerosols and transmitted through human breathing, talking, singing, coughing, sneezing and insect/animal vector or Physical touch etc.
Since the centralized heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems are assumed as recirculating the indoor air to save energy, it was considered that the system will literally propagate the infection from one room to the other or even from one person to the whole population of the building and there is no barrier to stop this spread. So the HVAC system was straightaway considered fatally non-recommended for all areas facing potential hazards of global pandemic.
Unfortunately none considered the impacts of “what if not having the central air conditioning system” and that’s the real deal.
Today we have reached a solid conclusion that not having an HVAC is a no more safety against spread of the any infectious disease specially the COVID or SARS Cov-2. It is well known that many respiratory particles can remain airborne for many hours and sustain till settling into a health body for a chain reaction. Therefore the NON-Circulating air is not going to do any good to the indoor air quality; rather this will help the uninterrupted fast spread.
On the other hand if the Centralized air conditioning system is used with slight operational modifications, it can not only prevent the viral spread but it can suppress the disease very effectively, at least more efficiently than conventional spraying / disinfectant systems.
All we have to do is not use the “return air” to replenish the supply air network; instead use fresh air for every cycle. No doubt this will increase the cost of energy but the overall benefits will surely cut the cost that will otherwise occur due to measures to be taken against COVID-19.