Johns Hopkins: Tips to make the air in your home safer from coronavirus

Coronavirus lingers in the air and can travel more than six feet, but increasing ventilation and filtration in your home can help to combat the spread, according to guidance from Johns Hopkins University.
“Under certain conditions, people with COVID-19 seem to have infected others who were more than 6 feet away. These transmissions occurred within enclosed spaces that had inadequate ventilation,” said the Centers for Disease Control of airborne transmission.
Although COVID-19 is more commonly spread during close contact, changes in your home ventilation and filtration can reduce the risk of exposure to the contagious virus.
In a home with mechanical ventilation such as an HVAC system, Johns Hopkins recommends the following:

Install a higher efficiency filter such as a MERV 13 and make sure the system fan is on.
Use a portable HEPA air cleaner
Make your own air cleaner using a MERV 13 filter over a box fan. Do not place it in a window

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and a MERV 13 is the highest value, one that can catch 90% of particles. The cost of one filter is about $30.
For homes with natural ventilation such as open windows, radiators for heat and no central air conditioning, household members can do the following to help create cleaner air:

Open all the windows to create a cross breeze
Make your own air cleaner with a MERV 13 filter
Use a portable HEPA air purifier

When using a portable HEPA air purifier, it’s important to get one that can properly clean the size of the room where it is being operated. Johns Hopkins guidance says to run it all day, especially while guests are inside the home.
Homeowners might also consider using a carbon dioxide sensor to help monitor indoor air ventilation. Outdoor levels of carbon dioxide are about 400 parts per million, and an indoor reading higher than that signals ventilation is not adequate.
Such fixes inside the home coupled with wearing a mask, social distancing and frequent hand-washing can reduce the risk of catching or spreading coronavirus.
Airborne transmission of coronavirus has been documented mostly in poorly ventilated indoor spaces where people were breathing heavily while singing or exercising, according to the CDC.
COVID mainly spreads via respiratory droplets that come from an infected person. The droplets range in size and larger ones fall out of the air due to gravity while smaller droplets spread apart in the air.
Outdoor gatherings are still considered safer than indoor gatherings, according to health officials, and should be prioritized if socializing or meeting anyone outside your household.Related Articles

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