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Ventilate your home to help prevent the spread of coronavirus

Published: 5 January 2022

Ventilate your home to help prevent the spread of coronavirus Ventilate your home

It is important to ventilate your home when you have visitors from outside your household, including family, or if someone in your household has COVID-19.

Letting fresh air into indoor spaces can help remove air that contains virus particles and prevent the spread of the virus.

Ventilation is important if someone in your household has COVID-19 or if you are indoors with people you do not live with.  You can pass COVID-19 on to others if you only have mild symptoms or even no symptoms at all.

You can ventilate your home by:

  • Opening windows and doors
  • If you have people working in or visiting your home, letting as much fresh air into your home as possible without getting uncomfortably cold while they are there, and for a short period before they arrive and after they have left.
  • If someone in your home is self-isolating, keeping a window slightly open in their room and keeping the door closed to reduce the spread of contaminated air to other parts of the household. If the person self-isolating needs access to shared spaces in your home, ensure that these areas are well ventilated by following the guidance above.
  • Leaving extractor fans in the bathrooms, toilets and kitchen areas running for longer than usual, with the door closed, after someone has been in the room.
  • In the winter months, ensuring ventilation, such as trickle vents on the windows, are not blocked and that other ventilation is not switched off.

If your home has a mechanical ventilation system:

  • Make sure it is working and maintained in line with manufacturers’ instructions. Your landlord will be able to tell you how to check the ventilation system is working.
  • If possible, set ventilation systems to bring fresh air in and not recirculate indoor air. If you are unsure of how to do this, seek guidance from your landlord.  Devices that only recirculate indoor air will not remove airborne virus from the home. 
  • Use the boost mode (if available) to increase ventilation if someone in your household is self-isolating due to COVID-19 or if you meet people who you do not live with indoors.
  • If necessary, to ensure safety, we would advise that you latch windows – this will allow ventilation whilst reducing safety risks.

Ventilation does not mean you have to be cold – opening your windows for just 10 minutes an hour can help reduce the risk and allow the air to refresh.  In colder weather, where it is not comfortable to leave windows open fully, opening the window slightly can also provide ventilation and reduce cold drafts.

More information can be found in government guidance: Ventilation of indoor spaces to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

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