Keeping indoor air clean can reduce the chance of spreading coronavirus

The vast majority of The SARS-CoV-2 transmission takes place indoors, mainly from inhaling airborne particles that contain the coronavirus. Despite the obvious risks that are inside, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, small household gatherings drive a lot of that recent increase in cases.

The best way to prevent the virus from spreading through a household is to keep infected people away. But that’s hard to do when estimating 40% of the cases are asymptomatic and asymptomatic people can Still spread the coronavirus to others. Next, it’s safest chat outsideHowever, if you can’t, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading.

First – and most importantly – Always wear masks, make sure everyone is at least three feet away from other people, and don’t spend too much time indoors. In addition to these precautions, however, it can also be helpful to make sure that the air inside is as clean as possible. I am a Indoor air quality researcher Who studies how to reduce them Transmission of infectious diseases in the air. Using increased ventilation or run in Appropriate size air filter or filter can add an extra layer of protection.

Fresh air is safer air

A safer home is one in which a lot of outside air is constantly replacing the stale inside air.

Homes are usually ventilated through open windows or doors, or through air entering through accidental openings and cracks in the building itself. There is a typical air exchange rate for a house 0.5 air changes per hour. Because of the intricate way air moves, it takes about two hours to replace two-thirds of the air in an average home and about six hours to replace everything.

This slow air exchange is not a good thing when you want to limit the spread of a virus in the air. The higher the ventilation rate, the better – so how much fresh air is ideal? For example, while the exact exchange rate will depend on the size of a room, a 10 by 10 foot room with three to four people should have at least one room three air changes per hour. In a pandemic this should be higher, and the World Health Organization recently recommended six air changes per hour.

There is no need to know the exact air exchange rate for your home. just know that more is better. Fortunately, it is easy to increase the ventilation of a house or apartment.

Open as many windows as you can – the bigger the opening the better. Open doors to the outside. Keep the exhaust fans running in your bathroom and over the stove – but only do so when the exhaust fumes go outside and when you do also have a window or door open. In addition, you can place fans in open windows and blow out indoor air to increase airflow even further.

I live in Colorado and the winter cold is here. I still think it’s worth opening windows, but I only open them about halfway and turn on the heaters in my house. This wastes energy, but I keep the time it takes to do this to a minimum, and once the visitors leave, I keep the windows open for at least an hour to fully ventilate the house.

All of these things add up and increase ventilation.

Filtration as a backup

If you are concerned that your home ventilation is still too low, Air filtration can provide an additional level of security. Similar to how an N95 mask works, air through a filter with small openings in your home can trap particles in the air that could contain the coronavirus.

There are two ways to filter air in a home: using a built-in system – such as a. B. central heating – or with the help of independent air purifiers.

In my home, we use both air purifiers and our heating system to filter the air. If you have central heating make sure your Oven filter has a Minimum effect value (MERV) This value describes how effectively a filter removes particles and impurities from the circulating air. A MERV 8 filter is standard on most ovens, and many ovens cannot operate with a more efficient filter. So check your filter and ask a technician before replacing it. However, a MERV 8 filter is better than no filtration at all.

You can also use a stand-alone air filter to remove particles from the air. How effective they are, however, depends on the size of the room. The larger the room, the more air needs to be cleaned, and single cleaners are just as powerful. My home is an open floor plan so I can’t use my air filter in the main living area, but it can be helpful in bedrooms or other smaller enclosed spaces. If you’re looking to buy an air filter, I worked with a few colleagues at Harvard to develop a tool that you could get used to Determine how powerful an air filter you need for different room sizes.

And don’t forget to consider how effective an air filter’s filter is. Your best option is a cleaner that uses a Highly efficient particle filter (HEPA)as these remove more than 99.97% of all particle sizes.

If you decide to share your home with others in the months to come, keep in mind that it is by far the safest to be outside. However, if you need to be indoors, shorten the length of time your guests are staying, wear masks and social distance at all times. In addition to these precautions, maintaining high airflow by opening windows as wide as possible, getting more air into your home with exhaust fans, and using air filters and filters can help further reduce the chance of the coronavirus spreading.

Shelly Miller, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder

This article is republished by The conversation under a Creative Commons license. read this original article.


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