Increased ventilation in your home can significantly disperse viral particles in the air, this standard best practice should be part of an overall plan to protect your family during the pandemic. Here are five (5) tips to help:
1. Open Up the House
Weather-permitting, of course, but opening up windows and doors can increase the airflow inside your home, giving the inside air (and any viral load) to be dispersed as it moves out. Wide open is best, but if this isn’t possible, even a cracked window or door can be beneficial. If possible, open multiple doors and windows to further increase the cross draft.
Please use your best judgment. If opening up your house is unsafe or unhealthy due to small children, pets or respiratory issues, please don’t do so.
2. Filter the Air
If your home’s heating and cooling system has air ducts, it’s beneficial to set the fan in the “on” position, instead of “auto”, especially when you have visitors over. The use of the fan on a continual basis will help ventilate the house.
Also, change your filters every three (3) months, and use pleated filters, as they are better for filtering out pollutants and viral particles. It’s important to make sure the filters are the proper size, as improper installation due to the wrong size increases the risk of particles getting into your home. An annual inspection of your ventilation system is recommended to ensure its effective and efficient operation.
Don’t have an HVAC system? Consider investing in a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cleaner. The most efficient filtration system, it can trap particles from exhalation, whether singing, talking, coughing, sneezing or just breathing. Make sure the HEPA cleaner you choose meets or exceeds the size requirements of your room.
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3. Use Your Exhaust Fans
Exhaust fans over your stove or in your bathrooms can move air and moisture outside your home. So, if you have visitors over, leave the exhaust fans on. Bathroom exhausts should be left on as long as possible, especially when someone is using the bathroom.
4. Use Portable Fans
By using portable fans near open windows and doors, viral particles can be forced outside and away from your family and/or visitors. Even if the weather doesn’t permit open windows and doors, or you’re in a windowless room, as long as you don’t point the fans directly at people, the air movement they cause is helpful to move any contaminated air out. This is also applicable to ceiling fans, as they are purposefully intended to move air (and in doing so, airborne particles).
5. Rearrange Your Furniture
Do you have furniture blocking windows, doors or hallways? Then it might be time to rearrange. By moving furniture away from places that block air flow (including vents), you can create a direct pathway for air to flow through your house, which will greatly improve the ventilation and better prevent areas of stagnant air for pollutants to gather. Remember that the goal is to prevent high concentrations of viral particles, so these methods can really help.
By increasing the ventilation of the home in your overall protection plan for COVID-19, you’ll improve the safety and health of you and your family. But this is only part of the solution.
Practice safety when you’re outside the home, especially if you work or go to places where you could pick up viral particles from someone else. Be sure to mask up, stay socially distanced, and if you’re able, be vaccinated. Limit the number and frequency of visitors in your home, too. The fewer chances of bringing it in, means less opportunities of your family getting sick.
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