Ventillating your home
Letting fresh air into indoor spaces can help remove air that contains virus particles and prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)
When someone with COVID-19 breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release particles (droplets and aerosols) containing the virus that causes COVID-19.
In poorly ventilated rooms the amount of virus in the air can build-up, increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19. Good ventilation will not only help reduce transmission of the virus but will also help reduce condensation, dampness, mould and fungal growth and dust mites.
Why it's important
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 coronavirus (COVID-19).
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.
How to ventilate your home
Opening windows and doors at home is the simplest way of improving ventilation.
If you have people working in or visiting your home, let 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, keep a window slightly open in their room and keep 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.
Ventilation can be increased by leaving extractor fans in 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, it is crucial that ventilation, such as trickle vents on windows, are not blocked and that other ventilation is not switched off. These actions will have minimal implications for heating costs but put you at more risk from COVID-19 transmission.
Mechanical ventilation in the home
If your home has a mechanical ventilation system, make sure this 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. You can use the boost mode (if available) to increase ventilation if someone in your household is self-isolating due to COVID19 or if you meet people you do not live with indoors.
Ventilation can also be increased by leaving extractor fans in bathrooms, toilets and kitchen areas running for longer than usual, with the door closed, after someone with COVID-19 or a visitor has been in the room.
If necessary, to ensure safety, we would advise that you latch windows – this will allow ventilation whilst reducing safety risks.
How to keep warm
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 windows slightly can also provide ventilation and reduce cold drafts.