How HVAC Can Keep Students, Staff and Visitors Healthy During the Pandemic

For older campuses or schools with limited budgets, there are still HVAC options to consider to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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It’s hard to believe it has been a year since the first coronavirus cases were reported in the United States. As we continue to navigate the pandemic, continual research has been conducted, helping us better understand how the virus is transmitted and what can be done to help slow its spread. One of the main findings has been the need for proper ventilation in closed spaces.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and several studies have found that aerosols and droplets with virus-containing respiratory secretions are much more likely to transmit COVID-19 than if the virus is just on a surface, meaning campuses need to continue to closely monitor indoor air quality and ventilation systems.

The biggest challenge for some K-12 schools and colleges is that many of the structures are older, and schools often lack the resources to pay for new and better quality heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

In November, Campus Safety editor-in-chief Robin Hattersley spoke with Tyler Smith, Johnson Controls’ specialty products general manager, about the available options for these types of buildings.

“Focusing on things like portable air scrubbers or UV HEPA lighting troffers is so critical to a K-12 school because that’s irrespective of the age of the mechanical system,” said Smith. “And we find that in most cases, by focusing on in-zone [solutions], we’re able to get them the clean air delivery rate they need to bring their COVID-19 risk mitigation down to an acceptable level.”

Here is the link to the original article, which contains a video interview with Smith if you’d prefer to digest the content that way.

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