IAQ News

School HVAC Restoration Becomes New Spending Focus 

The ongoing pandemic stresses the importance of indoor air quality to the health of the students and staff of schools across the US. However, it’s not just health that’s impacted by IAQ. Proper ventilation also improves the cognitive functioning of students which means better test scores and fewer missed days. K-12 and Higher Ed schools nationwide understand this and it’s driving them to invest in school HVAC restoration. This is something we understand well. Pure Air Control Services has examined the air quality in over 15,000 buildings, including the ventilation systems of many schools. We work closely with administrators to help them improve their ventilation systems through upgrades, restoration, cleaning, and disinfecting. As a first step, we test system performance to diagnose issues. Afterward, we monitor the indoor conditions to keep buildings safe. Spending on School HVAC Restoration School HVAC restoration requires funding. Fortunately, schools can access funds allocated by the Education Stabilization Fund (ESF) which exceeds $200 billion. This money was allotted through the CARES and ARP Acts and is intended for emergency use. Therefore, schools ...
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HVAC COVID Strategies That Are Here to Stay

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has taught facilities managers and building owners many lessons. For one, it's taught them the value of developing their HVAC COVID strategies to combat virus transmission. These strategies focus on delivering fresh air into buildings to dilute virus transmission with the help of clean HVAC systems. Even as infection rates fall throughout the country, new variants continue to emerge. Therefore, these lessons of the past few years need to guide us going forward. This includes routine inspection and maintenance of HVAC systems to keep building occupants safe. Cleaning and disinfecting also assist in maintaining proper IAQ as air purification and monitoring provide further protection to building occupants. These steps helped buildings maintain proper IAQ throughout the pandemic and they’re here to stay. Guidance on HVAC COVID Strategies ASHRAE provides guidance on minimizing the risks of virus transmission and HVAC systems. As well, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) also provides advice on the environmentally responsible construction and operation of buildings. The recommendations of these organizations are supported by the Centers for Disease Control ...
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/ IAQ Learning Institute

Can HVAC Systems Spread COVID?

It’s been almost two years since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 or coronavirus, is a severe acute respiratory syndrome. It spreads despite vaccines and other efforts to contain it. It spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets. This happens when an infected person speaks, coughs, or sneezes. This has many facilities managers asking the question, can HVAC systems spread COVID?  Airborne Transmission of the Coronavirus The virus spreads through aerosol transmission, but also by high contact surfaces. This happens when a person touches a contaminated door handle or countertop then touches the eyes or mouth. Increased cleaning and disinfection lowers the risk, but for those wondering can HVAC systems spread COVID? There is evidence to suggest it can. Dr. Rajiv Sahay is the chief scientific officer at Pure Air Control's EDLab. He sees several factors as affecting the amount of time the virus stays in the air. The most important factors are the size of the droplets and environmental conditions. For example, the stability and viability of ...
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/ IAQ Learning Institute

How Often Should You Clean Ducts in Your Building?

Building managers understand the importance of indoor air quality. It’s the air that workers in office buildings and students in classrooms breathe every day. It’s the air that patients at healthcare facilities and visitors to spas and restaurants take into their lungs. The transmission of airborne viruses is scary enough, but dust, mold, and allergens also pose threats to the health of building occupants. However, many business owners and managers wonder, how often should you clean ducts? Here is some guidance on when to clean ducts, but first, let’s look at the importance of maintaining clean ducts. Benefits of Maintaining Proper IAQ A link exists between poor indoor air quality and lower test scores in students as well as lower worker morale. When the air we breathe indoors contains allergens, mold, bacteria, and other pathogens this makes us sick. Poor IAQ leads to Sick Building Syndrome which causes headaches, and eye, nose, and throat irritation. It also triggers allergies and asthma and lowers cognitive performance. It causes employees to miss workdays and lowers productivity. A loss of ...
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Indoor Air Quality Regulation Needs Public-Private Partnership

The ongoing pandemic puts indoor air quality issues in the spotlight, however, IAQ concerns predate COVID. For example, schools across the U.S. already faced an IAQ crisis in their buildings prior to the coronavirus. In fact, in early 2020, the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) published a report revealing that roughly half of U.S. schools need multiple system upgrades with one-third in need of HVAC updates. Failure to address these issues leads to health problems. Combine this with the dangers presented by the pandemic and IAQ regulation is sure to follow. Before that happens, however, the formation of a public-private partnership for indoor air quality regulation will benefit all parties. Dangers of Poor IAQ As we’ve discussed in this forum, the negative impact of IAQ on building occupants is well documented. Poor IAQ not only leads to health issues such as asthma and Sick Building Syndrome, but it also impairs cognitive functioning. The result is lower productivity for workers and lower test scores for students. To provide safe IAQ, keep schools open, and workers safe, a partnership ...
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/ IAQ Learning Institute

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