4 Expert Tips You Should Follow To Ventilate Properly
Correct ventilation has not only been important since Corona. But never before has the topic been as important as it is now. Due to the cooler season, more and more people are spending their time indoors. And staying in closed rooms also increases the risk of infection. Unfortunately, this is also confirmed by the recent increase in new infections.
The most important protection against corona, but also other infectious diseases such as the flu, is still the so-called AHA rule: keep your distance, observe hygiene, and wear everyday masks. But the topic of ventilation is also increasingly coming into focus.
The topic was discussed extensively at the federal press conference on October 8th on the current corona situation. The head of the Hermann Rietschel Institute for Energy Technology, Martin Kriegel, strongly recommended that rooms be well ventilated to reduce the risk of infection. The RKI also counts regular ventilation among the infection protection measures against the coronavirus.
But what does “regular” mean and how does correct ventilation work? Here are four rules on the subject of ventilation that you should not only, but especially, adhere to during Corona times.
# 1 cross ventilation
In order to let as much fresh air into a room as possible as quickly as possible, you should, if possible, open the opposite windows or all windows of a room at the same time. There is a draft. The fresh air flowing in through one window pushes parts of the “used” air out through the other window. According to the recommendation of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), the viral load in the room air could be reduced in this way.
When ventilating crosswise, however, make sure that the door to other rooms is closed, otherwise potentially infectious aerosols could be carried into other rooms with the blast of air.
Caution: the draft can swirl a lot. So don’t leave loose papers lying around.
# 2 burst ventilation
Intermittent ventilation is also one of the rules for effective ventilation. Intermittent ventilation means nothing other than opening the window or windows completely for some time, instead of just tilting it. The intermittent ventilation means that fresh air flows into the room and mixes with the stale air.
So that the ventilation is effective and sufficient fresh air can flow in, you should leave the windows open for at least 3 to 10 minutes, depending on the weather.
You can also find more exciting facts about the coronavirus on Onmeda.de!
# 3 Ventilate regularly
You hear again and again that you should ventilate regularly. But what does “regularly” mean? There is also precise information on this from experts. For example, in its recommendations for ventilation in accordance with infection control, the BAuA writes that offices should be ventilated every 60 minutes. Meeting rooms where people talk a lot should even be ventilated every 20 minutes.
Both the number of people and how much is spoken determine how often you should air the room. Correct ventilation is not only important in the office, but also at home. Even if you get visitors and there is a lot of laughing and talking, make sure to open the windows completely regularly and thus ensure an exchange of air. At family celebrations, which may even be attended by older relatives, you should air the room several times an hour and keep your distance as far as possible.
By the way: The same applies to rooms in which sports or physical work is done. They should also be ventilated more often, as sport or exercise increases the breathing rate and more potentially infectious aerosols are excreted. When it comes to ventilation, the general rule is: the more often the better.
# 4 Leave the window tilted
Yes, actually it is frowned upon to leave the windows tilted. The reason: in autumn and winter, when there is heating, it is energetically unfavorable. But in times of Corona, you should weigh up: What is more important to you – the cheap electricity bill or your health?
Moderate permanent ventilation through tilted windows can be useful between the burst ventilation, as this leads to a continuous exchange of air. According to the BAuA, this can prevent the virus concentration in the room from rising, especially if many people are speaking at the same time and a particularly large number of virus particles could thus be distributed in the air.
Air purifiers as an alternative to ventilation?
All the rules for correct ventilation cannot always be followed. For example, when windows cannot be opened completely. An accompanying measure, but not a one hundred percent replacement for ventilation, are so-called air purifiers. These are devices that filter the room air and thus free it from viruses.
The prerequisite, however, is special filters that have to be built into the devices. Only air purifiers with (HEPA) filters of class H13 or H14 could filter virus-contaminated droplets from the air, according to the consumer center.
A study published on medRxiv , which was carried out in school classes, shows that air purifiers can actually clean the air. She comes to the conclusion that the devices can remove 90% of the aerosols potentially contaminated with viruses. After a test in a school class with four air purifiers, a team from experimental atmospheric research at the Goethe University in Frankfurt also came to the conclusion that the use of the devices as an accompanying measure to ventilation would make sense.
Despite proper ventilation: virus particles are never completely gone
We state: In Corona times, in addition to the existing protective measures, proper ventilation can help to reduce the risk of infection indoors. At the federal press conference on the corona situation, however, expert Martin Kriegel expressly emphasized that regular and professional ventilation cannot eliminate all virus particles that are in the room air.
Ventilation is much more about keeping the proportion of infectious particles in the air as small as possible by supplying fresh air. The air contaminated with the virus is effectively “diluted” by proper ventilation. Since not everything disappears, it is therefore important to continue to strictly follow the AHA rule.