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HomeGerman HousingAir your apartment - this is important in Corona times

Air your apartment – this is important in Corona times

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It is always important to ventilate properly, as this prevents mold from forming in a room. Why is it important to air your apartment especially with corona still around?

Remember that when you air your apartment, it’s healthy because an adequate supply of oxygen stimulates your health and ensures that you remain productive. Correct ventilation can also help germs disappear from rooms, which in turn relieves our immune system. The last point is of particular importance in the current time around the corona pandemic.

Why is correct ventilation so important at the moment?

Air your apartment

Science is still researching to better understand the SARS-CoV-2 corona virus. It has since been established that one of the main routes of transmission is the formation of aerosols. Aerosols are tiny airborne particles that split when you speak, cough, and even when you breathe, and that stay in the air for quite a while. In doing so, they move through space. If a person infected with the corona virus emits aerosols, these carry a certain viral load.

In order to avoid infection by this viral load, it is important to keep the number of aerosols in closed rooms as low as possible. Especially now in autumn and winter, when it gets too cold outside to be outside permanently, it is particularly important to ensure a good supply of fresh air. Especially since very few households have an air cleaner, some of which is very expensive. That is why we have summarized the most sensible and best tips for you here.

Coronavirus ventilation – our quick tips

In times of Corona, some tips also apply to the topic of ventilation that would otherwise not be used. One of the classics among ventilation tips is burst ventilation. The fact that ventilation saves heating energy and is also significantly more effective than a window that is tilted open for a long time is nothing new. The main advantage of intermittent ventilation is that a lot of room air can be exchanged for fresh air in a short time.

A second important point is the official recommendation to open opposite windows if possible. What was frowned upon for a long time, as it results in a so-called draft, is now particularly recommended. Because it is precisely this draft that enables an even faster and comprehensive exchange of room air and fresh air and thus an even more effective minimization of aerosols in the room.

A room that is used continuously should be ventilated every twenty minutes for two to three minutes. This is particularly important in a room in which several people are permanently.

How often do I have to ventilate?

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Those who primarily ventilate their living space to avoid mold formation should ventilate well two to four times a day. In indoor rooms where several people from different households come together, it is important to ventilate much more frequently. The above recommendation applies here to ventilate every twenty minutes for about 3 minutes.

If someone is enjoying or coughing in a room, the best case scenario is to open the window completely immediately.

Intermittent ventilation instead of continuous ventilation

As already mentioned, intermittent ventilation is significantly better than continuous ventilation through a tilted window. On the one hand, there is a much stronger exchange of room air and fresh air. On the other hand, an excessive consumption of heating energy is avoided. Because especially with a permanently open window, warm air is drawn off quickly and is replaced by cold air, which in turn lets the heating work at full speed.

For this reason, the valves on the radiators in the room should always be turned off when ventilating. Only when the windows are closed again should the radiators be opened again and set to the correct temperature.


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This is how rooms are properly ventilated:

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Correct ventilation of the rooms in an apartment or house has always been important. This is the only way to effectively prevent mold formation. Every room differs in its susceptibility to such mold formation.

The greatest danger is due to moisture that is in the air and settling on the walls. This is greatest in the bathroom and kitchen. In addition, basement rooms are often the most likely to be affected by mold. And who has the time for an air purifier comparison, so that the kitchen or basement is blown hard? Probably very few of us.

The bedroom, on the other hand, is exposed to very special challenges in terms of room humidity. So it is not surprising that you should consider different aspects of ventilation in each of these rooms.

1. Bath

There is often a lot of humidity in the bathroom. There is the hot shower, in many bathrooms there is also a washing machine and sometimes a tumble dryer. In addition, in many cases the bathroom is a rather small room. All of these points ensure a high level of humidity and, associated with this, a high risk of mold.

Basically after every shower you should ventilate vigorously – for 3 to 5 minutes. In addition, the room should be briefly ventilated from time to time during the day.

2. Kitchen

Cooking in the kitchen also creates a lot of water vapor and thus a high level of humidity. In the case of an extractor hood with real exhaust air, part of the humidity is passed on directly to the outside. In principle, however, the following also applies here: While cooking, you should open the window wide for 2 to 3 minutes every fifteen to twenty minutes.

You should also ventilate once after cooking. But now for around 3 to 5 minutes. During the day, the kitchen does not have to be ventilated as often as in the bathroom. However, you should make sure that a dishwasher, for example, can give off a lot of water vapor if you open it immediately after the wash cycle is complete.

3. Basement, cellar

Basement rooms are often particularly prone to mold growth. It is therefore important to ventilate a lot here. In fact, the Federal Environment Agency recommends ventilating unheated basement rooms as continuously as possible in winter. In summer you shouldn’t ventilate here during the day.

4. Attic

Correct ventilation of the attic depends on how it is made. Is it a converted and heated attic or an unheated attic that only represents usable space? In the former case it is important to ventilate four to five times a day for 3 to 5 minutes.

In the case of an unheated attic it looks a little different. The air is cooler here than in the rest of the house – at least in autumn and winter. Warmer air rises from the ceiling between the top floor and the attic and can lead to condensation and moisture formation on the inside of the roof in the cold air of the attic. This in turn can quickly lead to mold damage.

Too much ventilation is more harmful here, as it only lowers the already lower room temperature even more, which can further exacerbate the effect. Here it is important to ventilate briefly two to three times a day and otherwise make sure that no moisture forms. If there is any accumulation of moisture, a room dehumidifier is recommended.

5. Bedroom

There are also very special conditions in the bedroom. Because here one or two people spend a whole night and continuously exhale moist air. The humidity in the room is therefore logically relatively high. For this reason, it is actually advisable to ventilate the bedroom throughout the night.

If you do not want this, you should definitely ventilate well in the morning after getting up and in the evening before going to bed.

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Ventilation in summer vs. ventilation in winter

Of course, the necessary ventilation in summer differs from that in winter. While moisture formation is more of a problem in winter than in summer, in summer the good indoor climate and better room temperature are also good reasons for many people to ventilate. It is important to pay attention to different things.

The duration of ventilation should be different in summer and winter. In winter it is important to keep the ventilation intervals short. If only because of the energy costs otherwise incurred to heat the room again after ventilation. Ventilation should not take more than 3 to 5 minutes in winter.

In summer you can ventilate longer. Longer ventilation makes sense, especially at times of the day when it is still or is already pleasantly cool outside.

The time of day for ventilation should also be adapted to the time of year. In the basement, for example, there should be no ventilation during the day during the summer. Otherwise, there could be condensation effects and thus more moisture in the room and in the air. Here it makes sense to ventilate continuously during the day in winter and continuously at night in summer.

In the bedroom, we recommend leaving the window open all night. This quickly becomes uncomfortable in winter. In summer, on the other hand, this type of ventilation often leads to better sleep.

In summer, you should also ventilate the attic in the early morning and late evening hours.

Basically, it can be said that winter is the best time to ventilate. In summer, on the other hand, the night and the early morning hours are best suited to ensure the best possible exchange of air.

Avoid mold formation (In which rooms is there more humidity? Note the special features of new and old buildings)

Particular attention should be paid to the bathroom and kitchen to prevent mold from building up. It is also important to keep outside walls as free as possible in the bedroom. Because outer walls cool down significantly faster at night than inner walls. But to prevent moisture from settling on the walls, they need circulating air in front of them. If such an outer wall is completely covered with a wardrobe, for example, which is also directly on the wall, there is a high risk that mold can form.

It is also important to note whether you live in an old building or in a new one. In most old buildings it is a bit drafty and the insulation is not that good. This leads to significant energy losses – but also to a natural exchange of air. Naturally, less additional ventilation is necessary here. The situation is different in new buildings with good energy efficiency. Regular and correct ventilation is particularly important here.

Conclusion

Especially in the current situation with the corona pandemic, there are a few additional points that need to be considered in the area of ​​correct ventilation.

It is particularly important that the room air is regularly exchanged with fresh air. Intermittent ventilation, preferably with a direct draft, ensures the fastest effects here. However, how exactly should be ventilated differs from living room to living room.

There are also differences between summer and winter. But even if correct ventilation may seem awkward for one or the other at first glance – there is no alternative if you want to protect your apartment or house from the formation of mold. And with a little getting used to, the most important ventilation rules quickly become second nature.

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Michelle Halterman
USA, China, South Africa and now Munich - Michelle has come a long way in the world. She is an outdoor person and loves to be in nature with friends and on her mountain bike. Or she meets up with friends for pasta, vino, cappaccino & Co.
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