Rethinking Use of Individual Room Air-conditioners in View of COVID 19
As the World Health Organization is examining the airborne nature of COVID 19, there is past research on other airborne infections which set all encompassing guidelines. Even as more data begins to be available regarding COVID, there is proven spread of airborne disease like tuberculosis being transmitted by this route. As the summer months approach, there is an increased use of Air Conditioners in the tropical regions of the world. India, too being in this part of the world sees an active rise in the indoors which are being air conditioned to meet the thermal comfort requirements of the rising urban population which is spending a large chunk of time indoors. This is coupled with the enforced lockdown which encourages people to stay indoors to prevent the spread of infection. In such situations the use of Room air conditioner requires rethinking as they re-circulate the indoor air without any Fresh air supply into the room. To reduce heat gain and save the electric load of the room AC, people tend to seal the windows further. This paper looks at many possible ways of finding out infection spread in spaces and one of them is used to find out the probability of airborne infection spread in a typical public space. An experiment to validate the same has been conducted in a classroom setup with results analysed. Increased ventilation has been demonstrated to show a lesser probability of infection spread.
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