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Can running the HVAC system in my home help protect me from COVID-19?

By itself, running your HVAC system is not enough to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19. However, when used along with other best practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, operating the HVAC system can be part of a plan to protect yourself and your family, since running your HVAC system filters the air as it is circulated.

If you have an HVAC system:
  • Run the system fan for longer times, or continuously, as HVAC systems filter the air only when the fan is running. Many systems can be set to run the fan even when no heating or cooling is taking place.
  • Check to be sure the filter is correctly in place and consider upgrading the filter to a higher efficiency filter or the highest-rated filter that your system fan and filter slot can accommodate (consult your HVAC manual or an HVAC professional for details).
  • Open the outside air intake, if your system has one (this is not common for home systems). Consult your HVAC manual or an HVAC professional for details.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website for more information about how to protect your family from COVID-19.

Read EPA’s “Guide to air cleaners in the home” for information on placing and operating a portable air cleaner. 

Return to Frequent Questions about Indoor Air and Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).