August 9, 2022


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 Please share this resource with your colleagues and networks. Visit CDC Emergency Preparedness & Response for more information.  

Improving ventilation in indoor spaces is an important way to reduce the risk of infection from respiratory infections such as COVID-19, whether the COVID-19 community levels in your area are low, medium, or high. You can improve ventilation in homes, offices, and schools by taking low-cost or moderate-cost steps such as opening windows, using fans, and/or using a portable HEPA air cleaner.


CDC recommends that you take multiple steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, including getting and staying up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines, wearing masks, and avoiding crowds. Another step you can take is to improve ventilation.


How to Improve Ventilation in Your Home


There are many low-cost and moderate-cost steps you can take to improve ventilation in your home:

  • If your home has a central heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC) that has a filter, set the fan to the “on” position instead of “auto” when you have visitors. This allows the fan to run continuously, even if heating or air conditioning is not on.
  • Bring as much fresh air into your home as possible, including opening doors and windows when it’s safe to keep them open. 
  • Filter the air in your home. Check with your landlord, building manager, or maintenance staff about improving filtration if they replace the filters in your home’s HVAC system.
  • Consider using a portable HEPA air cleaner.
  • Turn on the exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen.
  • Use fans to improve airflow.
  • Limit the number of visitors in your home and the time spent inside.

CDC infographic about poor ventilation versus good ventilation in the home. 



Using CDC’s Interactive Home Ventilation Tool, you can learn how to decrease the level of COVID-19 virus particles in the air in your home. See how particle levels change as you adjust ventilation settings in your home by opening a window, running a portable HEPA air cleaner, and improving your HVAC filter if you have an HVAC system.


If you will have visitors in your home, improving ventilation is one way to reduce the risk of you or your visitors getting COVID-19. Your chances of getting COVID-19 increase the longer you stay in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces where someone is infected with COVID-19. And if someone in the home has COVID-19, improving ventilation can also help reduce the risk of other people in the home getting COVID-19.


Visit CDC’s Improving Ventilation in Your Home page to learn more about these and other ideas to increase ventilation. You can also visit the Ventilation in Buildings and Ventilation in Schools and Childcare Programs pages to learn more about improving ventilation in those kinds of settings.

Additional Resources


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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30329 

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800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: 888-232-6348 


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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Rd   Atlanta, GA 30329   1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)   TTY: 888-232-6348
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