A system that increases airflow could help reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission indoors.

Experts have routinely said that you are at a higher risk for COVID-19 infection indoors than outdoors.

But is it possible to take steps to reduce your risk indoors?

The VERIFY team looked at what the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) said on the matter.

THE QUESTION

Can HVAC Systems Reduce COVID-19 Transmission?

THE ANSWER

Well-maintained and operated air conditioning can reduce the spread of COVID-19 indoors, according to the WHO. The key is that the system should help increase airflow.

WHAT WE FOUND

According to the CDC, HVAC systems ideally work with outside air entering the system and filters then remove “large particles and many microorganisms”.

The CDC also recommends that to prevent airborne infections, rooms should have between six and 12 full cycles of new air per hour, like in hospitals.

A recent update posted on the WHO website states: “A well-maintained and operated system can reduce the spread of COVID-19 indoors by increasing air exchange rates, reducing air circulation and increasing the use of outside air. ”

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On the other hand, the organizations make it clear that systems and settings that circulate the air should be avoided.

Other steps to improve ventilation in indoor public spaces and buildings include opening windows and disabling ventilation controls, which reduce the flow of air based on temperature or occupancy.

Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, having HVAC systems checked, serviced, and cleaned on a regular basis can help, but nothing can replace the quality of natural ventilation.

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