With the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the nation, rising concerns mount about how it might be spread and what we can all do to minimize risk.
As the summer months approach, our thoughts turn to sweltering hot days and crisp, cool air conditioning. But do HVAC systems put us at increased risk for infection?
HVAC systems work to cool the air in your home or business by removing humidity from the air. Moist air tends to weigh down particulates such as allergens, pollen, and yes, even viral droplets that happen to be in the air. As such, drier, cooler air “may” enable infectious droplets to linger longer.
However, this risk is much greater in public areas than in your own home. In fact, a properly maintained HVAC system in your home may even aid in reducing risk. For example, a modern HVAC system and temperature control unit allows you to carefully mediate the temperature and moisture level of the air in your home. Specialized air filters may also aid in helping to remove particulates and viral components from the air.
That said, if someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 is in your home, turning the heat up, turning off your de-humidifiers, and relying more on airflow and circulation from open windows may be a better temporary solution.