Beat the Coronavirus

Practical tips to protect yourself, your family, and your community.

We've put together a list of some of the most actionable things you can to to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus—and other infectious diseases. Please share these ideas with your friends and family. We invite additional suggestions and feedback for improving the site.

Note: This is a brand new project, and we already have a big backlog of tips to upload. Please check back often for new ideas!

DISCLAIMER: The material provided on this site is for strictly informational and educational purposes only. This site is not intended to replace or substitute for the recommendations or advice of your physician, health care provider, or public health official. The information contained in this site should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health condition, disease, or illness. Statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. If you are sick or think you might be, please seek medical attention immediately.

Detailed Instructions for Replacing or Upgrading Your Home Air Filter

Note: If you have an old or undersized unit, a MERV 13 filter may restrict the airflow too much. This can actually be counterproductive for the goal of cleaner air because it could force your system to draw air through leaky ducts instead of the filter. It could also cause additional wear and tear on your system.

1. Find your filter size: look on the frame of the current filter to see what size it is, or measure the opening if you do not currently have a filter installed. Check whether you also have a receptacle for a 5" filter at the unit.

2. Select a filter: look for a MERV 13 rated filter with more pleats—the more surface area it has, the more air flow it will permit, and the easier it will be on your unit. For a 5" filter, look for the highest-rated filter your owner's manual recommends for the unit.

3. Check the fit: there should be no gaps you can see through where air could go around the filter.

4. Close the grille or retainer.

5. Check the airflow: if your filter is pulled firmly against the frame, or if your unit sounds noisy or is running harder than usual, this filter may be too restrictive for your unit.

6. Run the unit to filter your air.

7. Check your filter monthly to see if it needs replacing.

Consider a Filter Subscription Service (example only—no affiliation)

If you're a handy homeowner who wants to increase the airflow, the MERV rating, or both, here is a video about a DIY conversion to change a 1" filter frame to a 4" filter frame.