Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me
Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
With apologies to Freddie Mercury and Queen, yes it does matter which way the wind blows inside our high-rise homes which rely on HVAC systems.
High-rise ventilation systems function by pushing air into the corridors of a building, under unit doors and out through kitchen and bathroom exhaust systems. At times there may be a whistling sound as air from corridors is pushed through the top or bottom of closed doors.
When functioning properly, this higher air pressure in hallways ensure air and odours in suites doesn’t enter hallways. This helps keep air which may have the COVID virus from entering common areas, and possibly other suites.
Maintaining these systems to ensure sufficient fresh or clean air is a shared obligation of building management and residents.
Residents can keep the air in their home cleaner by replacing air filters multiple times each year. They can keep windows closed to maintain the high-pressure system necessary in hallways so they receive fresh air through building systems. Open windows are undesirable in that they create higher air pressure in suites thus forcing air into hallways.
While opening windows allows fresh air into units and reducing risk of COVID, it may be best to keep windows closed and allow a properly functioning HVAC system to do what it is intended to do.