Summer has started in India. This is that time of the year when everyone is looking to switch on the air conditioner or desert cooler or fan or a combination of these appliances. The temperature can go above the 35 degrees Celsius mark or in some cases well past the 40 degrees Celsius mark. There are a variety of cooling solutions for consumers to choose from. Air conditioners such as windows air-conditioning or split air-conditioning for homes and shops. For large buildings such as hospitals, office spaces, malls, hotels, banquet halls, etc. the preferred option has been central air-conditioning. For homes and small shops or showrooms, windows air conditioning or split air conditioning is used. Some people still use desert coolers along with ceiling fans. All these cooling appliances provide respite from the scorching heat in India.
However, times have changed. We are living in the shadow of the Coronavirus. We are all taking precautions and safety measures. Precautions and safety measures such as washing the hands regularly, not touching the face, wearing the face mask, maintaining a distance of 1 meter from others, utilizing online video conferences to talk to people for work-related matters, working from home, not visiting the crowded places, greeting others with 'Namaste' instead of shaking the hand, etc. etc. All these measures are recommended by health professionals as well. However, what about the use of air-conditioners, coolers, fans during the coronavirus outbreak?
The Indian Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-conditioner Engineers (ISHRAE) has come up with guidelines with regard to the use of air-conditioners, coolers, and fans during the coronavirus outbreak.
Let’s go one by one with regard to the ISHRAE guideline for each appliance:
- Windows or Split air-conditioning:
- Desert cooler:
- Ceiling fan:
Central air conditioning system is found in malls, hospitals, offices, hotels, banquet halls, etc. With the implementation of central air-conditioners, the ventilation with outside air is very limited. If one person contracts the Coronavirus, then, that person can pass on the virus to others in the same building. Therefore, it is all the more necessary for the buildings that have central air-conditioners installed to further install exhaust fans at appropriate locations. Depending on the size of the building, the number of exhaust fans to be installed can be calculated. This will make sure that stale air from the building is flushed out and fresh air is allowed in.
The bottom line is that in a building of any kind, be it a home, or a mall, or an office space, or a shop, or a showroom, or a hospital, or a hotel, proper ventilation with outside air is extremely important. Ventilation can be achieved by way of keeping the windows open or by way of installing the exhaust fans at appropriate locations. With proper ventilation inside the building, the fresh air is allowed in and stale air is flushed out.