Staying home with only members of your household is the best way to keep SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) particles out of your home. However, if a visitor needs to be in your home, improving ventilation (air flow) can help prevent virus particles from accumulating in the air in your home. Good ventilation, along with other preventive actions, like staying 6 feet apart and wearing masks, can help prevent you from getting and spreading COVID-19.
Below are ways you can improve ventilation in your home. Use as many ways as you can (open windows, use air filters, and turn on fans) to help clear out virus particles in your home faster.
Bringing fresh, outdoor air into your home helps keep virus particles from accumulating inside.
If your home has a central heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC, a system with air ducts that go throughout the home) that has a filter, do the following to help trap virus particles:
If you don’t have an HVAC system or just want extra filtration, consider using a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cleaner. They are the most efficient filters on the market for trapping particles that people exhale when breathing, talking, singing, coughing, and sneezing.
When choosing a HEPA cleaner, select one that is the right size for the room(s). One way to do this is to select a HEPA fan system with a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) that meets or exceeds the square footage of the room in which it will be used. The larger the CADR, the faster it will clean the air. See EPA’s Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home pdf iconexternal iconfor more information.
Exhaust fans above your stovetop and in your bathroom that vent outdoors can help move air outside. Although some stove exhaust fans don’t send the air to the outside, they can still improve air flow and keep virus particles from being concentrated in one place.
The more people inside your home, and the longer they stay, the more virus particles can accumulate.