Rising temperature in the country has forced people to switch on their air conditioners (AC) and desert coolers to get some respite. Due to the coronavirus lockdown, however, there are several concerns regarding their usage. The government has, therefore, issued some guidelines advising people about how they should use these appliances amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The advisory says that the temperature of the home-run AC should be kept between 24-30 degrees Celcius and the humidity should remain 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,” it read.
The advisory also added that “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 is also suggested that the rooms should remain ventilated even when ACs are not running.
For commercial, industrial facilities
Ventilation with outdoor air is suggested to be done as much as possible. “The mechanical exhaust air shall be 70-80 per cent of the fresh air quantity to maintain necessary positive pressure in the space,” the advisory stated.
Evaporative or desert coolers, that are commonly used on North India, also got a place in the Centre’s guidelines.
Since most desert coolers do not have air filters, the government has said that it is possible to fit the filters in them during or after installation. The filter prevents dust entry and maintains hygiene. The government advised to keep the tanks of desert coolers clean and disinfected and the water should be drained and refilled frequently.
Portable coolers that do not draw outdoor air should not be used, the advisory said, adding that “evaporative coolers must draw air from outside to ensure good ventilation”.
For fans, the government has advised keeping the windows partly 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.