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How evaporative cooling can help reduce the spread of viruses

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With outbreaks of SARS, MERS and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic, the threat of viruses has become more common over the last few decades. As a result, working to minimise their presence in buildings and busy spaces has never been more important.

While coming into contact with an infected person is normally the most likely way to become ill, viruses are still able to survive for a relatively long time in the atmosphere if the conditions are suitable for them.

In addition to the frequent cleaning of surfaces, regular hand washing and social distancing, an important part of the effort to reduce infection is improving air quality and ventilation inside buildings. This article covers how evaporative cooling units can help you supply fresh air into space and eliminate harmful bacteria and viruses.

How do viruses spread through indoor spaces?

Viruses tend to thrive in stagnant, unventilated air. So, if an area feels stuffy, with windows and doors remaining closed, the chances of airborne transmission are likely to be higher.

Most indoor spaces are cleaned several times during a week, with a deep clean taking place every few months. However, when low-quality air is unventilated, this isn't enough to alleviate the risks of viruses. Without a constant movement of air, some viruses and bacteria can even spread inside poorly maintained ventilation systems and find their way into other parts of a building.

Your air-conditioning unit could be part of the problem

Air-conditioning may feel like a fresh breeze on a hot day, but in reality, most systems use recirculated air, meaning that the same stagnant air stays in the space. A poorly maintained system can also become a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria as water droplets settle in the condensation pan or around vents and ducts.

A further disadvantage of controlling your climate using standard air-conditioning units is that they remove moisture from the atmosphere. The result is low temperatures with low humidity levels; the conditions in which many viruses (including the Coronavirus) survive best.

What does evaporative cooling do differently?

By harnessing the power of evaporation, evaporative bio coolers from Master lower the temperature of a space by flushing in fresh air, and flushing out stale air. This achieves a constantly changing atmosphere that makes it difficult for most viruses and bacteria to survive and harder for them to latch onto a host.

How does it work?

  1. A fan draws hot dry air across cooler pads which absorb water from a reservoir.

  2. When the hot air crosses the cooler pads, the water molecules on the surface evaporate and lower the air temperature inside the system.

  3. This fresh air is circulated around a building, forcing hot stale air outside.

The evaporative air cooling range from Master can be combined with ultraviolet (UV) germicidal treatment to disinfect the water supply used to cool the space. UV energy can kill viruses and bacteria by penetrating the outer cell membrane and passing through the cell body. This disrupts its DNA and prevents reproduction.

UV germicidal treatment is a widely-used and highly efficient water purification system that does not rely on altering the water chemically. By creating low-level radiation, its energy alone can eliminate viruses. Even without UV, evaporative air coolers can help you:

  • Improve air quality
    Because evaporative cooling units can use warm air from outside, fumes, odours and stale air can be eliminated instead of re-circulated.

  • Optimise humidity
    As they don’t remove moisture from the air, evaporative air coolers will help maintain humidity levels and further reduce the risk of transmission.

  • Ventilate your building
    While buildings need to be relatively well sealed for air-conditioning to be effective, evaporative cooling units can operate at maximum efficiency while doors and windows remain open.

To learn about the systems available or for more on beating viruses with evaporative air cooling solutions from Master, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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