June 19, 2021

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Improve the ventilation of your home in case you must have visitors during the pandemic

Photo: Visual Hunt

Although staying in your home only with members of your family nucleus is the safest during the pandemic, the eventuality may arise that you need a maintenance technician to visit your house, be it plumbing or electrical or some telephone service, TV or Internet.

If this is the case, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that you ventilate your home to avoid accumulate virus particles in the air.

Good ventilation, along with other prevention measures, such as keeping a distance of 6 feet and wearing a mask, can help prevent the spread and spread of COVID-19.

Here are some ways to improve ventilation in your home as recommended by the CDC. Implement as many measures as you can.

Allow as much fresh air into your home as possible.

  • If it is safe to do so, open doors and windows as much as possible to let in fresh air from outside. While it’s best to open them wide, even opening just a window can help.
  • If you can, open several doors and windows to allow more fresh air to circulate inside.
  • Do not open doors and windows if doing so is not safe for you or others (for example, if there are small children and pets, if there is a risk of falls, triggering asthma symptoms, or if there are high levels of pollution in the air).
  • If opening doors and windows is not safe, consider other methodologies to reduce the presence of virus particles in the air, such as air filtration systems and kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans.

Filter the air in your home

If your home has a central heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC, which is a system with air ducts running through the entire house) with a filter, do the following to help trap particles of the virus:

  • In homes where the HVAC fan can be thermostatically controlled, set the fan to the on position instead of automatic when you have visitors. In this way, the fan runs continuously even if the heating or air conditioning is not on.
  • Use pleated filters. They are more effective than regular boiler filters and can be purchased at hardware stores. If possible, a professional should install them along with the HVAC system. If this is not possible, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for changing the filters yourself.
  • Check that the filter fits properly inside the unit.
  • Change your filter every three months or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Ideally, a professional should inspect and adjust the ventilation system every year to ensure that it is working properly.

I evaluated using a portable air purifier

If you don’t have an HVAC system, or if you want an additional filtration system, consider using a portable high-efficiency particulate filter (HEPA) air purifier. They are the most effective filters on the market to trap the particles that people exhale when they breathe, speak, sing, cough and sneeze.

Use fans to improve air circulation

  • Place a fan as close to an open window as possible, and pointing outward. This helps get rid of virus particles that may be in your home by blowing the air out. Even without an open window, fans can help improve air circulation.
  • Position the fans so that they are not pointed at people. If the fans are pointed at people, they can blow polluted air directly at them.
  • Use ceiling fans to help improve air circulation in your home, whether or not the windows are open.

Limit the number of people who visit your home and how long they stay there

The more people in your home and the longer they stay, the more virus particles can accumulate.

  • Limit the number of people who visit your home.
  • Try to meet in the largest rooms or areas, where they can maintain a distance of at least 6 feet.
  • Everyone should wear masks when people are visiting your home. This includes visitors and people who live in your home.
  • Keep visits as short as possible.

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