The Association of Installers of Portugal (AIPOR) has prepared a manual of recommendations with measures to be taken into account in the operation of air conditioning systems and sanitary installations, with the aim of contributing to the prevention of the new coronavirus.
The use of Air Conditioning equipment is considered safe, with no increased risk of transmission of the SARS-Cov-2 virus. In conjunction with the indications of the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), this type of equipment can help to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
In the recommendations manual released by AIPOR, several measures are outlined, including:
- Ensuring the ventilation of spaces with fresh air (from outside);
- Switch on ventilation for medium speed at least 2 hours before use and for reduced speed for 2 hours after employees leave;
- At night and on weekends, do not turn off the ventilation, but keep it at a reduced speed;
- Ensure ventilation by opening windows (even when the building has mechanical ventilation);
- Place all Air Treatment Units with 100% fresh air recirculation;
- Do not clean the ducts during this period;
- Replace the filters according to the Preventive Maintenance Plan.
AIPOR sent this manual to the DGS in mid-May to assist in the preparation of technical guidelines within the scope of HVAC, culminating in the first publication on the subject, on June 29, 2020, of the 33/2020 orientation for Units of Health Care Delivery.
Celeste Campinho, President of AIPOR, points out that “air conditioning does not increase the viral load of any virus, but causes it to decrease due to its effect of diffusion and dilution in the air. Thus, the idea that air conditioning can contribute to the spread of the new coronavirus is completely wrong ”.
To prepare this manual, AIPOR counted on the contribution of global entities such as the European Federation of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (REHVA), the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), as well as the Order of Engineers.