The spread of Covid-19 is caused by particles and droplets in the air that are released when an infected person exhales. These particles and droplets can travel through the air and accumulate in poorly ventilated spaces, increasing the risk of contracting the virus. To date, there is no definitive evidence that a viable virus has been transmitted through an HVAC system that results in the transmission of the disease to people in other spaces served by it. However, it is important to take precautions when using air conditioning, such as maintaining a physical distance of at least 1 meter, wearing a mask, and opening windows to improve airflow.
In a home setting, where everyone is very exposed to each other, there is no need to worry about air conditioning. However, if you are traveling in a vehicle that has air conditioning, make sure to use the settings that allow fresh air to enter. Additionally, cabin air systems are designed to operate more efficiently by delivering approximately 50 percent outdoor air and 50 percent filtered and recirculated air. Chinese researchers have traced an outbreak of Covid-19 to airflow in an air-conditioned restaurant and recommended increasing the distance between tables and improving ventilation.
To reduce airborne virus particles when guests visit your home, explore what ventilation practices could help with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's interactive ventilation tool. In conclusion, while there is no definitive evidence that a viable virus has been transmitted through an HVAC system, it is important to take precautions when using air conditioning. Improving indoor ventilation reduces the risk of virus spreading indoors.