Take Action to Improve Indoor Air Quality in New Castle County Schools
What Actions Can You Take to Improve Your School's Indoor Air Quality?
Nearly one-fourth of the nation’s schools have one or more buildings in need of extensive repair or replacement and nearly half have been reported to have problems related to indoor air quality (IAQ).
The health and comfort of students and teachers are among the many factors that contribute to learning and productivity in the classroom, which in turn affect performance and achievement. Providing a healthy, comfortable environment is an investment in your students and staff.
What is Good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Management?
- Control of airborne pollutants.
- Introduction and distribution of adequate outdoor air.
- Maintenance of acceptable temperature and relative humidity.
Temperature and humidity cannot be overlooked because thermal comfort concerns underlie many complaints about "poor air quality." Furthermore, temperature and humidity are among the many factors that affect indoor contaminant levels.
Outdoor sources should also be considered since outdoor air enters school buildings through windows, doors and ventilation systems. Thus, transportation and grounds maintenance activities become factors that affect indoor pollutant levels as well as outdoor air quality on school grounds.
Create a Healthy Indoor Environment
Facility managers in K-12 schools work hard every day to ensure a healthy, high-quality learning and teaching environment for students and staff. The goal is to provide energy-efficient facilities that have quality lighting, comfortable temperatures, and good indoor air quality (IAQ) — all within a tight budget.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average school building is 42 years old. After 40 years a school building begins to rapidly deteriorate if it is not properly maintained.
Taking a proactive approach to preventing IAQ problems will save your school significant costs in the long run. With everyone working together, you may also be able to reduce the amount of time you currently spend on IAQ issues.
Negative Impact of Poor Indoor Air Quality
- Accelerate deterioration and reduce efficiency of the school's physical plant and equipment
- Affect student comfort, the learning environment and attendance
- Increase the likelihood that schools will have to be closed temporarily (for repairs) or permanently
- Lead to costly repairs if maintenance and proactive measures are deferred. Preventative measures will save money over time.
- Reduce the productivity of teachers and staff due to discomfort, sickness or absenteeism
- Increase the potential for long-term health problems among students and staff
- Strain the relationship between administrators and facilities staff
Improving IAQ can reduce the number of student visits to the nurse's office, reduce absenteeism due to illness, and enhance the general health and well-being of all students and staff.
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY - https://www.epa.gov/iaq-schools/take-action-improve-indoor-air-quality-schools
Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning
Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your home or business.
If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating one or more of the following:
- Dirt and debris
- Other contaminants
SERVPRO of Bear/New Castle offers both residential and commercial duct cleaning services. Keeping the duct system clean can extend the life of the equipment, which in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.
However, duct cleaning is not always necessary. We will make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your system.
- The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:
- Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
- May help to eliminate offensive odors.
- Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.