As the temperatures conitnues to rise in the country, people need to switch on their air conditioners (AC) and dessert coolers to get some respite from the blistering heat. However, there have been several concerns over the use of ACs and coolers amid the coronavirus COVId-19 pandemic. There are concerns over what temperature we should use the AC at this point of time.
The Centre on Saturday (April 25) issued an 18 page guideline advising what the optimum temperature of AC and coolers should be amid the coronavirus outbreak.
According to the Centre’s advisory, the temperature of the home-run AC should be between 24-30 degrees Celcius and the humidity should be between 40-70 per cent.
“Recirculation of cool air by room air conditioners must be accompanied by outdoor air intake through slightly open windows and exhaust by natural exfiltration,” the advisory said.
“Too much humidity leads to higher levels of dust mites and fungi, two of the worst culprits for indoor allergy sufferers. Mold and fungi are known to exacerbate respiratory conditions such as asthma,” it added.
The government also suggested to keep the rooms ventilated even when ACs are not running. “As an extra precaution the frequency of service can be increased,” added the advisory.
For commercial, industrial facilities
The government has suggested ventilation with outdoor air as much as possible. “The mechanical exhaust air shall be 70-80 percent of the fresh air quantity to maintain necessary positive pressure in the space,” the advisory read.
Desert or Evaporative coolers
Centre has also issued guidelines on the use of evaporative or desert coolers that are commonly used on North India.
Notably, majority of the desert coolers do not have air filters but it is possible to fit the filters in them cooler during or after Installation. The fitler prevents dust entry and maintain hygiene. The government has said in its advisory that the tanks of desert coolers must be kept clean and disinfected and the water drained and refilled frequently.
Portable coolers that do not draw outdoor air are should not be used, the advisory said, adding that “evaporative coolers must draw air from outside to ensure good ventilation”.
According to Centre’s advisory, windows should be partly kept open while using electric fans. “If an exhaust fan is located nearby, then, it can also be switched on to exhaust air for better ventilation,” it added.