Sridhar and Vimala, an elderly couple, have hardly used their air conditioner since the beginning of the pandemic. They cite several WhatsApp forwards that warn against it as the reason.
Sarala, her Alserv Caretaker, who visits daily to help with different home care services in Chennai, continually dismisses this notion. But they remain adamant, despite the sweltering heat the summer has brought on.
Many people are confused about what to make of the barrage of information as temperatures continue to soar and it gets harder to beat the heat. This is why we’re here to set the record straight.
When is it unsafe to use an AC?
It can be dangerous to use an AC when you are sharing a closed space with a COVID-19 patient, or someone exhibiting similar symptoms. In such cases, the air may become stale and may recirculate. This can cause infectious particles to spread fast as the contaminated air spreads across the room. Breathing in the same air then increases the chances of infection.
Moreover, experts cite that this isn’t limited to the use of ACs only at home. This is because most public spaces, and even residential homes, use split ACs for cooling. These typically do not have the option to bring fresh air into space. They depend on other outlets to provide a source of fresh air. Window ACs do not always permit outdoor air intake either.
Should Elders Stop Using ACs?
ACs are a necessity in the heat, especially for elders. As we age, it becomes more difficult for the body to regulate its own temperature. Certain medications or illnesses further aggravate conditions. This leaves seniors more prone to dehydration, heat strokes, and cramps.
Furthermore, seniors who have trouble falling asleep may find that the heat worsens insomnia. As a consequence, many need air conditioning to safeguard their health.
How can I safely use an AC?
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that ventilation is a key parameter to limiting and preventing the rate of disease transmission.
Maintain proper ventilation by opening windows and doors at regular intervals to allow fresh air into the environment. And by reintroducing fresh air in a room, you also ensure that the same air is not inhaled by everyone present.
But since you have now allowed hot air in, you may have to wait a while for the AC to cool down the room once again. Elders can leave their doors or windows slightly ajar through the day, or request their housekeeping in Chennai to help them with this. This will help to maintain a constant flow of fresh air continually while keeping the room cool throughout the day.
Aside from ventilation, the WHO also recommends using an AC unit that is well maintained. In doing so, you will secure proper functionality. If not, poor maintenance can cause an AC to reduce its ability to increase the rate of air change or prevent recirculation of air.
This makes it important to schedule regular inspections, cleaning, and maintenance of your AC unit at home. And while many people opt to clean their own filters at home, this is not always sufficient.
A professional needs to take a look at the AC to ensure that all particulate matter is cleaned out, the filters have not worn out, and all other parts are in proper working condition. At the same time, bringing in unfamiliar technicians frequently during the pandemic may not be safe either.
The Easiest Solution
Opt for verified home care services in Chennai that send vetted and trained professionals. Alserv offers this and more to ensure you and your loved ones are always taken care of.
Our services also extend beyond AC maintenance. We offer housekeeping in Chennai, elder care in Chennai, and a wide range of other services. Get in touch with us today to know more.