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Ventilation guidance for your home

Introduction

To help keep everyone safe, Islanders are encouraged to improve ventilation. This forms part of a wider approach to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, flu, and other seasonal viruses. 

This guidance is for households across Jersey to encourage good ventilation to help improve the health and wellbeing of Islanders. 

Ventilation is the provision of fresh, clean air to a room or building. 

Infectious diseases like COVID-19 can be spread by breathing in airborne particles and aerosols. By improving ventilation, we can help to reduce transmission. 

The benefits of good ventilation:

  • brings in fresh, clean air  
  • can reduce the spread of respiratory infections, such as COVID-19, influenza, tuberculosis, and rhinovirus (cause of the common cold) 
  • helps with condensation which may lead to mould and damp  
  • helps get rid of moisture, smoke, cooking odours, and other pollutants 
  • can improve health, better concentration, lower rates of absence from work and a better quality of sleep 

Ventilation at home

Opening windows and doors at home is the simplest way of improving ventilation. Bringing fresh, outdoor air into your home helps keep virus particles from building up inside. 

If it is safe to do, open doors and windows to bring in fresh air:

  • in colder weather, open higher, top opening windows. A top opening window will help incoming fresh air warm up as it mixes with room air, reducing cold draughts  
  • opening windows and doors at opposite sides of your room or home will provide a flow of fresh air 
  • windows do not need to be open all the time, by opening a door or window for short burst helps remove stale air that may contain virus particles 
  • check whether trickle vents (small vents on a window) or grilles are open and not blocked. Air flows in from these vents and will mix with warm room air which can help keep the room a comfortable temperature 
  • if opening windows or doors is unsafe, consider other options for reducing virus particles in the air, such as using air filtration and using bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans 
  • when opening windows and doors think about safety and security, for example, do not prop open fire doors or leave them open when you go out 
  • ventilating your home does not mean getting cold. You should keep the room temperature at 18°C and above 

Ventilation at home when someone is unwell

If someone is unwell with a respiratory infection keep a window slightly open in their room and the door closed.

If they use a shared space such as the kitchen or living area while other people are there, keep the spaces well ventilated by opening windows fully during their use and for at least 10 minutes after they have left.

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. Just recirculating indoor air will not remove airborne viruses. 

Some people may wish to consider portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cleaners to help improve indoor air quality. Check that the portable air cleaner has a clean air delivery rate (CADR) that is large enough for the size of the room where you will use it. Filters need regular replacement, if filters are dirty, they won't work properly. Note that no air cleaner or filter will remove all of the air pollutants in your home. 

Further information and support

For advice on staying warm at home staying warm at home.

For people who are struggling to pay their bill extra support for customers on Jersey Electricity

References

Ventilation to reduce the spread of respiratory infections, including COVID-19 on GOV.UK

Improving Ventilation in Your Home on CDC 

Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home on epa.gov

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