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Is it safe to use air conditioning during the coronavirus pandemic?

Recent studies have shown that air-conditioning could extend virus droplets further than 6 feet with concern growing about the use of AC in times of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Is it safe to use air conditioning during the coronavirus pandemic?

As we move towards the summer months and start to understand living with the current Covid-19 crisis, concerns are afoot about using domestic air conditioning systems to combat against the intensity of the summer heat during the pandemic.

Qingyan Chen, a mechanical engineering professor at Purdue University (Indiana) speaking to Business Insider stated: "Air conditioners will take air and re-circulate it through the room, and it's through that mechanism that these coronavirus droplets can be transmitted.

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Chen pointed to what happened on the Ruby and Diamond Princess cruise ship, where 700 out of 3,000 passengers got sick. "After quarantine, many people still got sick on the ship and I suspect that the air conditioning system could played a role there."

The Ruby Princess cruise ship
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The Ruby Princess cruise shipMark MetcalfeGetty Images

Chen says the most essential practice around air-conditioning and Covid-19 is to avoid hanging out near air conditioning exhaust, as this is where Covid-19 particles may be trapped, saying that if you can wait three to four months to change your air conditioning filter, you should; otherwise, use gloves and discard the filter in a trash bag immediately.


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