Making Classroom Air Safer During the Pandemic: A Step-by-Step Path to Optimal Air Changes for COVID-19 Mitigation
Experts recommend at least 5 total air changes per hour (ACH) for classrooms to help ensure the safety of students, teachers and staff during the pandemic. This means the air inside a classroom will be exchanged with clean air once every 12 minutes.
There are two ways to achieve this:
- Air changes from outdoor ventilation – can be mechanical (HVAC system) or natural (open windows or doors); or
- Air changes from recirculated air that is cleaned – can be done by filtering air centrally by the HVAC system or using in-room fixed or portable HEPA air cleaners
These approaches can be additive, meaning that schools may rely on a combination of methods to achieve the target ACH in the classroom. For example, outdoor air ventilation of 1 ACH + air cleaning of 4 ACH = the target of 5 ACH.
The following decision tree provides an easy way for schools to determine the most direct path to achieve 5 ACH in each classroom.
This decision tree is one of the useful tools included in enVerid Systems’ free resource for school administrators and facility managers to help them navigate the most effective path to improving classroom air quality. The guide, entitled “The Definitive Guide to Improving Classroom Air Quality for COVID-19 Mitigation” answers key questions about IAQ in the classroom and provides easy-to-implement recommendations to reduce the risk of airborne virus transmission, including COVID-19, in schools.
Doug Engel is SVP Sales and Marketing, enVerid Systems
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