Air Quality

A freestanding doorway stands open with a human looking out and cloud drifting in

Here’s “a plain language, step-by-step guide outlining how community spaces can use indoor air quality measures to help reduce transmission of COVID-19.”

Improvements to indoor air quality can help limit transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. We’re working with researchers with expertise in engineering, indoor air quality, epidemiology, public health and knowledge translation to help share practical information about improving indoor air quality with community spaces in Toronto and beyond.

Sharing practical information about indoor air quality with community spaces – MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions

Here’s a quick list illustrating what a building looks like when best indoor air quality practices are in place. We share details about each of these points in the following sections.

  • HVAC system is regularly maintained by an HVAC professional.
  • HVAC system uses filters that have a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value or “MERV” of 13 or higher (check with HVAC professional before upgrading filters).
  • HVAC filters are surrounded by a good seal, so that no air by-passes them. Each room has a minimum of six total air changes per hour.
  • Where you are not confident that your HVAC system provides six total air changes per hour, or where there is no HVAC system, each room has appropriately-sized portable air filters.
  • HVAC system brings in some outdoor air and, at a minimum, meets ventilation standards.
  • HVAC system provides ventilation and filtration at all times while building is in use.
  • In higher-risk spaces, such as communal eating or sleeping areas, additional measures are used to achieve more than six total air changes an hour. For example, additional measures may include:
    • If possible, HVAC system brings in 100 per cent outdoor air.
    • Where room conditions such as ceiling height allow, a professional has installed upper-room ultraviolet disinfection.
  • Bathrooms are equipped with appropriate-sized fans that exhaust to the outside.
  • Room air is changed over at least three times between appointments or groups.
Sharing practical information about indoor air quality with community spaces – MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions

Here is the full checklist.