COVID-19: Improving indoor ventilation

Proper ventilation is another way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Good ventilation exchanges indoor air for outdoor air, helping to reduce potentially infectious particles in the air indoors.

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Follow public health measures

Good indoor ventilation is one part of preventing the spread of COVID-19. To lower your risk, you must also consistently:

Natural ventilation

A space that feels stuffy, crowded or smelly isn’t well ventilated. If you feel a room isn’t well ventilated, open the windows or doors. 

In cold or wet environments, or where safety is a concern, open doors or windows:

If windows have openings at both the top and bottom, consider only opening the top window. This will encourage incoming cold air to mix with warm interior air.

If you’re concerned about the ventilation in a room, but can’t open windows or doors:

Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems

Many buildings use a central heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system to exchange indoor air for outdoor air. If your home or building has vents in the ceiling, walls or the floor, then it probably uses an HVAC system.

If your indoor space uses one of these systems, you should:

If your kitchen or bathroom has exhaust fans that are vented to the outside, you can run them at a low speed. This will move and filter the air without creating an unwanted draft. If your interior exhaust fans aren’t vented to the outside, they may just recirculate inside air without effective filters.

Air purifiers

Air purifiers are also know as portable air filtration devices with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. They can reduce the amount of some viruses in the air when used properly. However, we don’t yet know if air purifiers are effective at reducing the transmission of COVID-19.

Using air purifiers could be considered additional protection in situations where enhancing natural or mechanical ventilation and physical distancing aren’t possible.

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