Improving Air Systems in Schools

As many young Canadians prepare to head back to school, the importance of providing effective ventilation has never been more important to support a safe reopening of our schools and to mitigate the risk of accelerating community spread of Covid-19. The Ontario government has pledged $50 million to support HVAC system upgrades across the province’s roughly 5,000 schools.1

Ventilation and Fresh Air

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) states that “transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the air is sufficiently likely that airborne exposure to the virus should be controlled. Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning [HVAC] systems, can reduce airborne exposures.”2

Indoor spaces with poor ventilation pose an increased risk to individuals. School’s current HVAC systems should be adjusted to bring in more fresh air and recirculate less, with frequent filter changes. To reduce the risk, it is important to provide fresh air to small, often crowded classrooms. While filtration is important to remove particles from the air, ventilation is vital to bring outdoor air in to “reduce the airborne concentration of SARS-Co V-2 and thus the risk of transmission through the air3.”

HVAC professionals play a crucial role in ensuring that building operators have the means to mitigate the risks associated with Covid-19 by installing, servicing and maintaining equipment designed to remove harmful indoor pollutants and airborne exposures. Call us today to schedule a walkthrough of your building’s existing mechanical equipment and talk to one of our expert Energy Management Consultants on how to best protect building occupants for the school year.