Is Coronavirus Transmission Possible Through Your HVAC?
The year 2020 has seen the outbreak of the SARS CoV II virus, commonly known as COVID-19 or the Wuhan virus if you want to be specific. The pandemic has been so severe that almost every country of the world went into lockdown mode to prevent the spread and rise of the virus that has been severely affecting many people and even killing many. With no set treatment process, medical cure, or preventive vaccine in place so far, there has been a lot of mystery and even misinformation surrounding this virus.
As the virus is strong and prevalent in each country even after so many months, people are afraid to go back to their normal lives. Everybody has a million questions and doubts with respect to the Do’s and Don’ts during this pandemic. The coronavirus is said to be transmitted from person to person but many wonder if it can also spread through HVAC systems.
Transmission of the virus
The current pandemic has unfortunately hit really hard and really fast. Hence, there has not been enough time for sufficient scientific research that can tell us in detail about the virus, its potency and transmission. For now, we do know that the virus spreads from person to person through droplets released when an infected person sneezes or coughs.
Is it airborne?
People are carriers of the virus and it cannot survive outside the body for too long. Although it has been said that the virus can remain on certain surfaces for a few hours, it is not airborne and can only spread from an infected person to another. It does not exist in the air that we breathe everywhere.
Can the virus be transmitted through HVAC ducts?
With the rise in the virus, transport was the worst hit and people are still scared to use public transport or travel by air. Even at home, people worry whether HVAC systems can transmit the virus.
But till date, there has been no conclusive evidence suggesting that the virus can travel through HVAC ducts and spread around. Though certain particles can remain airborne for some time; enough to enter an air distribution system; experts say that the health risk from this is minimal.
Will filters help?
All said and done, it is best to employ certain mitigation tactics to prevent the spread of this virus and to keep all family members safe. High efficiency air filters can certainly filter out some particles in air (including viruses) and keep the air you breathe at home, clean.
But, in order to depend on these filters trapping all particles, they have to be cleaned, changed, and maintained regularly. Also, they are expensive.
Can UV technology kill the virus?
UV systems use ultra violet light to kill microbes and viruses that may have entered the HVAC system. Depending on the wave length intensity and length of exposure, this technology can kill almost 90% of all microorganisms entering the HVAC system.
UV technology has been used to kill certain types of coronaviruses in the past but there is no proof yet that it is effective on COVID-19.