ABCs of Improving IAQ in Schools

Dec. 12, 2011

When it comes to excelling in the classroom, it turns out that the air students breathe is just as important as the lessons they learn. Studies show poor IAQ can affect concentration, attendance, and student performance, as well as induce health problems like fatigue, nausea, and asthma.

Roughly 55 million people, or 20% of Americans, spend their days inside classrooms. Lennox Commercial offers these strategies to improve IAQ and protect public health:

Attack chemical pollutants
Respiratory effects in schools have been associated with excessive use of chemical pollutants, such as formaldehyde, pesticides, and cleaning compounds. Instead, use high-efficiency filters, germicidal lights, and lower emission cleaning supplies. These products help control three classes of air contaminants: particles, bioaerosols, and chemical vapors.

Balance humidity levels
Minimize fluctuations in temperature and humidity by keeping relative humidity levels between 50-60%. A dehumidification system paired with high-efficiency filters is a good solution, particularly ones that remove moisture based on humidity levels instead of temperature.

Curtail carbon dioxide levels
A lack of fresh air can make students drowsy. Demand control ventilation systems, which help exchange and dilute contaminated indoor air with cleaner outdoor air, are an ideal choice. They use sensors to introduce fresh air into a building based on carbon dioxide levels, which also results in lower energy usage.

Do away with mold and dander
Asthma accounts for nearly 10 million missed school days per year. Decrease exposure to common asthma triggers, such as animal dander, cockroaches, mold, and dust mites. High-efficiency air filters and germicidal lights are ideal for lowering allergen levels. Basic maintenance of high-use areas will also address these irritants.

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