Fresh air

Fresh air in your classroom during corona

That fresh air is important in classrooms is nothing new. But did you know that fresh air is even more important in corona times? A good exchange of air reduces the chance of virus particles spreading in the air.

Fresh air can be brought into the classroom in various ways. How you do this depends on the ventilation system in your classroom. In these times of coronation, extra measures for ventilating and airing are recommended.

How do I give my class fresh air?

It is important that fresh air enters the classroom continuously and that contaminated air is removed from the classroom. This is what we call ventilation. In addition to ventilation, you must also ventilate. This means bringing a lot of fresh air into the classroom for a short period of time, for example by completely opening the windows during playtime.

  • At natural ventilation Ventilation is achieved by tilting or ajarting windows or through ventilation grilles. Make sure that the ventilation grilles and the windows are always open. 
  • With a ventilation system type C (natural air supply and mechanical air extraction), fresh air is supplied through ventilation grilles and contaminated air is extracted through (a) mechanical ventilator(s). Do not switch off the ventilation system. Ensure that the ventilation grilles/openings are open. 
  • With a ventilation system type D (mechanical air supply and mechanical air extraction), fresh air is supplied and contaminated air is extracted via mechanical fans. Do not switch off the ventilation system. Ensure that the ventilation grilles/openings are open. 

Make sure you are informed about the system and how it works in your classroom. Do you experience draught or noise nuisance from the mechanical ventilation system in your classroom? Do not turn the system down or off and do not close off ventilation openings, but report the complaints to the person responsible for the ventilation system (prevention advisor or management). 

In these times of COVID-19, it is important that you regularly ventilate your classroom through the windows even if your room is mechanically ventilated. Do so during the break and between classes.

Does my class get enough fresh air?

Your vents or windows are open or the mechanical ventilation system is on. But how do you know that enough fresh air is coming into the classroom? You can't actually know. Sometimes a musty smell in the classroom, pupils who are less concentrated or who are tired can indicate a shortage of fresh air, but this is not always the case.

The advantage of mechanical ventilation is that the exchange of air is automatic and adjusted to the number of pupils in the classroom.

With a CO2-meter you can see if there is enough fresh air coming into the classroom. 

Read here more about using a CO2 meter in the classroom.

Why is fresh air important during corona?

The coronavirus spreads from person to person via small droplets (size ranging from 0.01 to 100 µm) that are released during breathing, talking, coughing and sneezing. Via these droplets, the virus enters the air, on objects and surfaces. Anyone who inhales these droplets or gets them in their mouth, nose or eyes via their hands can become infected with the virus. The risk of infection is reduced by wearing a mouth mask, keeping your distance and maintaining good hand hygiene. The larger droplets fall down quickly, but the smaller ones can also float around for a long time and spread in the indoor air. By changing the air in the classroom, these smaller droplets are transported outside and the risk of contamination via the indoor air is reduced. 

In addition to viruses and bacteria, other contaminants can accumulate in the air, so fresh air is always important.

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