The effort to reopen schools as we fight the COVID-19 pandemic has not been easy. It has taken cooperation from agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. ASHRAE has contributed valuable information and guidelines to get schools back open too. Pure Air Control’s IAQ Guard also helps school administrators take on issues of indoor air quality. The system monitors environmental conditions in buildings and sends the resulting data to its remote dashboard which is accessed by their stakeholders and our building sciences team. This ensures that IAQ issues get addressed. It’s an effective tool in guarding IAQ in schools to keep students and staff safe.
Confronting Aging Infrastructure
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, over a third of the school districts in the United States have HVAC systems in need of replacement or updating. That’s roughly 36,000 schools and this is just to meet the most basic air quality and environmental requirements. As a result of the pandemic, we now know about the virus and aerosol transmission. This makes improving heating and ventilation systems even more important. The use of IAQ Guard gives school administrators and building engineers information on what systems are underperforming or failing and allows for repair and replacement of aging mechanical systems.
Guarding IAQ in Schools
Throughout the pandemic, school administrators faced challenges like they’ve never seen before. Many questions arose as well. For example, do open windows dilute the indoor air enough? Is the building’s HVAC system in compliance with new requirements? Are air purifying machines effective in combating the virus? IAQ guard gives school administrators the data needed to answer these questions. It helps them gauge system performance and the effectiveness of mitigation efforts. Its use in schools helps to determine infection risk and to assess indoor air quality. In short, guarding IAQ helps schools reopen safely.
Addressing CO2 with IAQ Guard
Outdoor air affects indoor air in measurable ways. As schools remained closed during the shutdown, more outdoor CO2 entered the buildings. In fact, in some cases outdoor and indoor carbon dioxide levels become the same. When students and staff return to these buildings they also contribute CO2 to the overall level. The lower the airflow the greater the level of unhealthy CO2 concentrations. IAQ Guard provides readings on CO2 levels, temperature, humidity, and particulate matter. It also measures the level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which get released from cleaning products and disinfectants. VOCs impact air quality and may lead to serious health problems.
IAQ Guard monitors environmental conditions with an all-in-one module. The system tracks real-time conditions around the clock. It then relays data to a remote building sciences team. This gives school administrators confidence that their buildings meet IAQ standards to create a healthy environment for students. When combined with a Building Health Check, which evaluates indoor conditions, these two services allow schools to partner with an expert IAQ team. The health check includes mold assessments, allergen and dust screenings, moisture testing, and risk assessments. An HVAC Hygiene Assessment also gives school administrators the information they need to make adjustments to improve IAQ.
In the end, all of these IAQ tools help ensure heating and ventilation systems do not pose a risk to the health of students while additional tools such as classroom air purifiers improve IAQ and keep students safe.
Pure Air Control Services is Your IAQ Partner
If IAQ issues did not concern school administrators before the COVID-19 pandemic, that has changed. Pure Air Control Services partners with schools to assess, monitor, and improve environmental conditions. To learn more, contact Pure Air Control Services today. Call 1-800-422-7873 or email us here.