Last reviewed 26 May 2020

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says the risk of air conditioning spreading the coronavirus is extremely low.

In a recent e-Bulletin, the health and safety watchdog said it is recommended, for organisations using a centralised ventilation system that removes and circulates air to different rooms, that recirculation is turned off and they use a fresh air supply.

The HSE added that other types of air conditioning systems do not need to be adjusted.

Anyone unsure about issues in connection with their air conditioning system should speak to their heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) engineers or advisors.

The HSE said, “Good ventilation is encouraged to help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.”

A recent statement from the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) said the following in relation to air conditioning systems and the risk of spread of the coronavirus: “Airborne contaminants can be minimised, if not eliminated, by proper and effective filtration and regular cleaning and maintenance of ventilation systems.

“A clean ventilation system is an essential part of a healthy building and it is essential that any ventilation system serving a building where confirmed cases have been diagnosed are sanitised in accordance with best practice, and that any buildings where no cases have been confirmed have their ventilation system cleaned to industry best practice as a preventative measure during this time and on-going.”