Did you know that school-age children breathe at a rate that is about 50% faster than an average adult? Children are developing so rapidly during these years, and most are spending the majority of their day in school buildings. That’s why paying attention to indoor air quality in schools is so important.
Adequate indoor air is not only critical to keeping students, teachers, and staff healthy and safe, but it also encourages better studying.
Just like providing children with healthy food, appropriate clothing, and a loving home environment, better air allows them to thrive in their studies.
According to the Wall Street Journal, schools that offer proper ventilation are ahead of the curve in the fight to prevent COVID-19. Facilities that maintain their air systems and consider additional measures like, HEPA filtration systems, are safer because the quality of the indoor air is healthy.
Air Quality Issues in Schools
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), schools face unique challenges when it comes to indoor air quality:
- Older Buildings
Many public school buildings are older and in poor condition. As a result, air quality can suffer, causing health and safety concerns for teachers, administrators, and staff.
Schools have special challenges when it comes to implementing indoor air solutions because they use public funds and child safety is involved.
- Dense Population
Most schools have four times as many people in the same area compared to the average office building. These densely populated classrooms can result in additional indoor air quality issues.
- Common Contaminants
Possible contaminants in schools include mold, dust mites, pollen, and pet dander. Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide as well as smoke, lead, pesticides, radon, and other volatile organic compounds may be found in some schools as well.
How to Improve Air Quality in the Classroom
Several solutions exist to help schools improve their indoor air quality for their students and staff. Here are some of the best ones to consider:
- Air Scrubbers
Effective at filtering air particles as small as 0.3 microns in size, portable air scrubbers are excellent at removing a wide range of indoor air pollutants from the classroom. In addition, HEPA negative air machines can work with air scrubbers to achieve a 99.97% efficiency rate. Negative air machines use three stages to achieve this high level of indoor air quality.
Schools should hold their indoor humidity levels between 30% and 50% year round for optimal health and air quality. If excess water pools or collects inside the building from plumbing leaks, building damage, or even bathroom issues, high humidity levels can allow mold and fungus growth. Many dehumidifiers work with the building’s HVAC system to keep humidity levels in check for healthier schools.
- Regular Maintenance and Upgrades
A school’s HVAC equipment, ventilation system, and air duct network can contribute to better indoor air if they’re well-maintained and checked regularly.
For more information about improving indoor air quality in schools, contact Priority Rental at 1-800-810-4181. We offer air scrubber and dehumidifier rentals as well as temporary heating and cooling options for schools upgrading their HVAC systems.