With the global hot topic currently being Covid-19, Australians are wondering just how good our air conditioners are at containing the coronavirus or if they are even contributing to the spread of the disease. The answer is not so straight forward and has more to do with the filter than the unit itself.
If you’re like me you are starting to consider the very likely possibility that you will have to self isolate in the near future, and with the onset of Autumn and cooler nights you may be starting to turn your AC’s from cool to warm temperatures. And this is when it dawns on you: How safe is the air from your air conditioner unit and will it be a help or a hindrance in staving off harmful viruses and bacteria. Recent news stories have warned of traces of covid-19 in air conditioner ducts but have been admonished by authorities as fear mongering and sensationalising.
What the Experts Say
Experts are claiming that our unwanted guest, Covid-19, is transmitted through human to human contact, droplets (gross!) from coughing or sneezing, and germs left on objects. While they are considering precautions against airborne particles, this is to protect against a particular procedure in hospitals that can ‘aerosolise’ particles. So unless you run a ‘Temple’- style illegal, underground surgery facility or DIY procedures from your back shed, then you don’t need to worry about this particular virus in the air.
But if you are still worried about the virus pumping through your house via AC units (like so many of us toilet paper hoarding Australians are), Refcom, a UK specialist on fluorinated gases, has set the record straight. They state that any air contaminants can be contained to an extremely high level, if not entirely, by using the correct air filters and with proper cleaning and maintenance.
Have You Cleaned Your Filter?
So to avoid nasty viruses getting into your home or circulating through your ducted air con systems, a regular clean will maximise the protection your unit can offer you and your family.
We at Coast Air Conditioning know that realistically, households are not cleaning their filters as often as is recommended and we know plenty of people who would confess to not knowing the foggiest about how to go about it. Have a read here if you want to know more, or contact professional air conditioner repair and maintenance on the central coast for more information.
Do you have a HEPA?
Really the answer to all your air pollutant questions comes down to whether your AC unit has a true HEPA filter or not. HEPA filters, short for High- Efficiency Particulate Air (or Absorbing, or Arrestant), will filter 99.97 percent of particles that are as small as 0.3 microns in diametre. To put that into perspective a human hair is 100 microns in diametre.
Not all air conditioners contain HEPA filters so it is important to familiarise yourself with your model unit. Many trusted brands like Mitsubishi Electric, Daikin, Hitachi and Temperzone contain true high efficiency filters while some older models you may have won’t. Consider having a professional install an upgraded system to your home or business.
At the end of the day, we at Coastal Air Conditioning are experienced professionals at installing, repairing and servicing air cons on the Central Coast and are not medical professionals. Please consult your doctors and health professionals should you have any questions or concerns regarding the spread of Covid-19 or how to protect yourself and your loved ones. In the meantime, enjoy the comfort of home with a perfectly functioning air conditioner while you wait out your self imposed isolation!