Covid-19 and Your HVAC System


When it comes to protecting yourself and your family against Covid-19 when you go outside, we’ve all seen the advisories to wear masks, maintain social distancing, and wash hands regularly. But what can you do to be safer inside your home?

Here in Las Vegas almost all homes have central HVAC systems. These include filters designed to clean the air as it passes through your system. Standard filters can catch dust and even most bacteria particles, but they are not effective against viruses which can be much smaller. To capture viruses like the one that causes Covid-19, you need a much more efficient filter.

In large commercial systems, a HEPA filter (U17) can capture up to 99.999% of virus particles. But systems that employ HEPA filters are purpose-built to handle the increased air flow resistance that results from their use. Everything from the compressor and fans to the ducts are more robust. In addition to the fact that home systems are not designed to accommodate HEPA filters, their cost make them prohibitive for must homeowners.

Fortunately, there is an alternative. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that MERV filters with a rating of 7-13 are nearly as effective as HEPA filters. Home Air Conditioning Las Vegas recommends the use of a MERV 11 at minimum.

Adding MERV filters to your HVAC system is a good first step in protecting your family at home. However, like commercial HEPA filters, MERV filters will increase the air flow resistance inside your system, albeit not as much. So while your compressor and fans, if in good condition, are probably up to the task, it is important to check the condition of your duct work to ensure there are not cuts, cracks, loose connections, leaks, or other weak spots that may give way under higher pressure. This is especially important in Las Vegas where HVAC systems run almost constantly during the summer and ducts are located in attic crawl spaces that can be super hot.

Home Air Conditioning Las Vegas has MERV filters in stock and can install them for you safely with our technicians following all Covid-19 protocols. This includes removal and disposing of your old filters that may be contaminated. We can also inspect your ductwork to ensure it is capable of handling the pressure of more efficient filters and replace it if necessary so you can rest assured no dangerous particles are escaping behind the filter and leaking into your home.

Adding MERV filters to your HVAC system and ensuring the integrity of your duct work can play an important role in a plan to keep your home safe during the current pandemic and beyond. Give Home Air Conditioning Las Vegas a call at 702.878.8367 to learn more or schedule an appointment.