The pandemic has created a multitude of challenges. For schools, the complication has been figuring out how and when to reopen in a safe way. While technology has allowed classrooms to continue virtually, it is not without its own limitations. Plus, there are still a plethora of issues that need to be addressed as schools make plans to return to in-person instruction. And for schools that have already returned to the face-to-face classroom setting, reopening has and likely will continue to lead to increased COVID-19 cases. So, what other options are there to provide a safe and healthy educational setting for our children at all instructional levels?
The indoor air quality (IAQ) industry is perfectly positioned to answer this need. Perhaps this is surprising, considering most of us often don’t give a second thought to the quality of the air in our indoor spaces. However, indoor air quality upgrades provide the much-needed solutions to make communal spaces safer during this health crisis.
For schools in particular, active air purification systems are an ideal solution. With whole-building air purification systems, classrooms and schools have an additional layer of protection and sanitation that can make reopening plans easier.
Benefits Of Active Air Purification Systems in School Settings
There are a couple key ways active air purification systems can make schools safer. The primary reason is that these devices help eliminate harmful air particles. COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets and aerosols, making the air we breathe a hazard.
The virus can potentially travel for longer times and farther distances indoors due to poor air circulation. The spread of the virus can even depend on the layout of a building or indoor space. This all proves that the HVAC system matters and likely impacts the spread of COVID-19. The importance one’s HVAC system plays in health and safety has been proven before for the spread of other viral germs and bacterias. Thankfully, there are many indoor air quality solutions.
Whole-Building Air Purification
Whole-building active air purification systems are ideal because they are constantly working to actively purify the air that circulates through an indoor space. This means achieving better cleaner healthier air in indoor circulation.
Installing active air purification systems is a game changer. These devices can eliminate the viral particles through bi-polar ionization. Translation: the system encourages air particles to clump together making them easier to capture, purify and eliminate altogether. Whole air purification systems can even clean surfaces–a major necessity in classrooms.
Another great benefit of whole-building systems? It is installed directly into the school’s HVAC system. This means it is constantly working in everyone’s benefit. As long as the fan or AC is on, the purifier is always creating cleaner air and surfaces. We recommend whole-building systems over single-room for a number of reasons. Schools, colleges and all education settings would benefit from a system that runs automatically with the HVAC system rather than standalone units which are dependent on independent use. This means that a single-unit air purifier isn’t creating cleaner air until it’s been turned on each morning and placed in the center of the space to truly be effective. Whole-building systems are working around the clock, in partner with the existing HVAC system, are lower maintenance and more convenient overall for schools.
Indoor Air Quality Solutions
Purification systems are just one part of the many possible IAQ control solutions to help limit harmful bacteria and germs from spreading. For example, schools would also benefit from upgrading to higher-rated air filters–which is a great addition to purification systems. But looking at the whole–purification is one of the best and easiest upgrades for schools to consider to keep students and teachers safe indoors.
Active air purifiers cannot and should not replace other pandemic safety measures. In classrooms, face masks, social distancing and the like are still required to ensure safety and limit the spread of viruses like the novel coronavirus. Rather, upgrading a school’s HVAC system to include air purification is a great additional step to ensure safety and all occupants’ health.
Indoor Air Quality Upgrades Have Lasting Impact
In addition to helping fight the threat of COVID-19 and lessening the spread of viruses and bacteria in general–active air purification systems have a multitude of potential benefits for school and classroom settings.
For starters, air purification helps remove many types of harmful air pollutants, such as mold particles and dust mites that can trigger a student’s allergies. It also helps reduce the risk of asthmatic students experiencing major discomfort or having an asthma attack caused by air pollution.
Plus, air purification systems could drastically help during cold and flu season, which is right around the corner. We don’t know what health and cleanliness standards will look like in a post-pandemic world, but we do know that air purification is a solution that works wonders now and will continue to do so in the future. Administrators, teachers and students alike will have a more comfortable environment to learn and work in with the addition of air purifiers.
Pursuing IAQ Control
As indoor air quality experts, we’ve been talking about the importance of indoor air quality for years. Now, it matters more than ever before. Whether you are a concerned parent, teacher, administrator, student or community advocate–indoor air quality should be a priority consideration. It should be a decision in both school’s current reopening plans as well as ongoing plans to combat the virus. Ensuring a greater public understanding of IAQ control solutions and how HVAC upgrades help health-wise is crucial. IAQ experts are trained and skilled to recommend upgrades that make communal spaces like schools cleaner.