Want to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 at your home or business? Turn on your A/C! In fact, using the air conditioning system could help slow the spread of the virus!

Here’s why: If you’re in a room with no open windows or circulating air - meaning, the air is stagnant - any virus particles that get coughed, sneezed or even breathed out by an infected person can hang in the air for up to 3 hours. But when you turn on an air conditioner, it re‑circulates and filters the indoor air. It also mixes in fresh air from outside, which helps dilute viral particles.

According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, the gold standard filters for A/C systems are High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters - HEPA for short. Because they’re capable of capturing tiny particles, including viruses, and can significantly cut the concentration of virus particles in the air, reducing the risk of transmission.

What if you have electric fans instead of air conditioning? Open the windows, and set your fans so air comes in one window and out another.

And consider getting a stand-alone HEPA filter to capture viral particles, and help clear the air.