Here is why you need to improve indoor air quality during COVID-19

Updated: June 27, 2020 4:00 PM

During this lockdown, a lot of people are spending almost 100% of their time indoors, which calls for thorough air purification and betterment of the air quality indoor.

Indoor air quality is something that has been neglected for a long period of time.Indoor air quality is something that has been neglected for a long period of time.

By Himanshu Agarwal

Many experts across the globe believe that indoor air is up to 5 times more polluted than the air outdoors. However, did you know that in several areas, particularly in cities with extremely high air pollution, indoor air pollution can be 15 times higher than outdoor air?

In India, air pollution has been a persistent issue in recent times with six Indian cities making their way to the list of 10 most polluted cities according to the World Economic Forum. Adding to our woes is the COVID-19 pandemic that has already proven its devastating disposition.With increasing evidence of the virus’s airborne nature, there is a dire need for air purification.

In a matter of months, the pandemic brought the world to its knees and forced a majority of the global population to remain indoors and practice the concept of social distancing. This begs the question – what about the indoor air quality?

We spend 85-90% of our time indoors, which means that air quality needs to be exceptional. However, several pollutants such as gases from aerosols and cooking, dust particles and airborne viruses can drastically bring down the indoor air quality. Here are some steps you can follow to improve air quality indoor and ridding the space of pollutants.

Usage of air conditioners and the need for high filtration

Considering the fact that it is the peak of summer with temperatures hitting 40 degrees Celsius in most cities in the country, the usage of air conditioners is bound to rise. However, one major misconception is that air conditioners purify the air while cooling it before releasing it back into the room. Air conditioners don’t purify the air as they do not contain the level of filtration required to do so. In fact, air conditioners, particularly centralized ac units, can be a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria, including the novel Coronavirus.

Coronavirus has made the use of air-conditioning even riskier as the droplets from an infected person can travel faster and longer distances in a confined air-conditioned space. Enterprises and individuals are now looking at making homes and office spaces safer through the installation of high filtration systems, like Magneto Central Air Cleaner (MCAC), which can eradicate viruses and other pollutants present in the air. Today, with almost all indoor spaces being air-conditioned, it is imperative to install devices which have high efficiency filtration which can not only capture the pollutants and microorganisms but also eliminate them to ‘sanitize’ and purify the air. It is also crucial to make sure that the room/building is properly ventilated. Poorly ventilated buildings affect air quality, making it stale and resulting in higher contamination, and not to mention, headaches. Fitting air conditioners with these filtration devices powered by innovative technology will minimize the risk of not just transmission of the COVID-19, but other airborne diseases as well.

Indoor air quality is something that has been neglected for a long period of time. But, with the ongoing pandemic, and the pollution concerns, we can no longer afford to ignore how unfiltered and pollutant-filled air can pose a risk to our health. Even after the pandemic has passed, it is key to focus on clean air solutions in all indoor spaces – be it office spaces, homes, or other commercial spaces such as malls and movie theatres. Leveraging new-age, cutting edge mechanisms to purify the air, we will certainly witness a major improvement in the indoor air quality and the overall health of people.

(The author is Founder & CEO, Magneto CleanTech. Views expressed are personal.)

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