New Delhi: With summer on the horizon, the Centre on Friday issued safety guidelines regarding the use of air conditioners (ACs) in homes and offices in a bid to prevent the transmission of novel coronavirus through central AC systems. Also Read - COVID-19: Death Toll Nears 800-Mark; Maharashtra Remains Worst-Hit, Records Highest Single-day Spike in Cases
The guidelines were prepared by the Indian Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioner Engineers (ISHRAE) and released by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD). Also Read - Lockdown 2.0: With Masks And Social Distancing, Shops in Residential Areas Open From Today
Here’s what the guidelines say: Also Read - Timely Lockdown, Surveillance Mechanism: How COVID-19 Curve Has Begun to Flatten in India
(1.) Ideal temperature to operate AC should be between 24-30 degree centigrade;
(2.) The recirculation of cool air by room ACs should be accompanied by outdoor intake through slightly open windows and exhaust;
(3.) In dry climate, relative humidity shouldn’t fall below 40%. Water evaporating from a pan kept in the room will increase humidity if it falls below 40%;
(4.) Keep the rooms ventilated even when ACs are not in use. As a precaution, the frequency of service can be increased;
(5.) While using electric fans, windows should be kept partially open. If an exhaust fan is nearby, it can also be switched on to exhaust air for better ventilation;
(6.) For commercial and industrial facilities, the mechanical exhaust air shall be 70-80% of the fresh air quantity to maintain necessary positive pressure in the space
Also suggesting maintenance in AC systems for both engineering and health safety, the advisory further warned of health hazards due to fungus and molds in the ducts and open spaces due to ACs in establishments being not in use as establishments have been closed due to prolonged lockdown.
Notably, the nationwide lockdown came into effect on March 25, after being announced the previous night. It was to end three weeks later, on April 14, but was, on the day, extended further till May 3.
India has thus far recorded 24,506 coronavirus cases, including 5,063 patients who have been cured, as well as 775 casualties.