Can Your Air Conditioner Spread Coronavirus Through Your Home?

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Can your air conditioner spread COVID-19? According to some experts, unfortunately it can.

"We have to accept and realize that air conditioning systems have the potential to move the virus around from room to room within a home," said Dr. David Krause.

A new study conducted by the University of Maryland shows just how quickly the virus can circulate around the home. Krause said central air conditioning, in particular, can disperse the virus from room-to-room. 

"If you have someone that you're trying to isolate and who is either sick or is positive with COVID — we want to make sure their room is isolated from the home central air conditioning system," Krause said. "That can be achieved using either a wall unit or a window unit."

Whether you have central air, a wall unit or a window unit, experts say there are precautions you can take to make sure the circulating air isn't spreading the virus.

One thing you can do is install portable air filters, which can quickly reduce pollutants in the area, according to air quality expert Vinny Lobdell.

Other experts say the fear of air conditioners is pretty much all hype. 

“There isn’t a lot of evidence of recirculated virus through the ventilation system at the moment,” according to Dr. Edward Nardell, a professor at Harvard Medical School.

Even with the difference of opinion, all the experts agree it's a good idea to keep your conditioner clean.

“Periodic cleaning and maintenance is critical to make sure they operate properly and don’t accumulate dust or debris,” says Dr. Krause.


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