AC air filter

Does My Residential HVAC System Filter Out the Coronavirus?

The coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, is spread through droplets expelled by people infected with the virus. What role does residential HVAC play in either spreading or helping to prevent the spread of this highly contagious disease?

Not a lot is known about COVID-19 at present, but because of the way the coronavirus spreads through expelled body fluids, it is conceivable that an HVAC system could help prevent contagion. If someone outside your home sneezed, for instance, your HVAC system may draw in droplets. Because outside air is filtered before it’s circulated throughout your home, this could help prevent the live virus from entering. Additionally, the recirculated air of an HVAC system passes by fans, dampers, grilles, and air filters during its travel. It’s possible this could serve to block the virus before it’s able to cause damage. The important word here, however, is could. There is no known type of filter that’s 100-percent successful at filtering out the coronavirus.

Is Recirculated Air Inside My Home Safe to Breathe?

Experts have gone on record stating that coronavirus does not seem to be spread through HVAC systems. Rather, it’s personal contact that’s more to be feared. HVAC systems do recirculate air inside of homes and apartment buildings, but this recirculation is not suspected to contribute to contagion. However, the American Society for Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends the introduction of outside air into common areas such as schools during this time of crisis.

What this means is that there’s not enough information at present to make an informed decision on the role that recirculated, filtered air has on coronavirus inside your home.

Should I Have My Unit Serviced If Someone in My Home Has COVID-19?

You should not expect a service person to visit your home if you or someone else inside the home may have been exposed to coronavirus, whether or not they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. But you can call your repair service and ask them about their policy. You can also visit the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding household procedures for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, filters, and more.

If you have concerns regarding coronavirus and your home’s HVAC system in San Antonio, call North East Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing today. We’re doing our best at this time to answer your questions and to help keep you informed of best practices regarding the use of central heat and air during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Call: 210-658-0111