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Posted on: July 31, 2020

Improving air quality in our schools

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As part of a continuing effort to implement health and safety measures as we approach the start of school, the District is implementing ways to improve indoor air quality for staff and students. 

The District plans to make several changes immediately and will continue to research and review other recommendations for improving air quality during a pandemic. Many of these measures have been suggested as ways to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The District is increasing the air filter filtration rates. Air filters are defined by the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), which tells how well an air filter can catch particles in the air. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the air filter at catching pollutants. MERV ratings typically range from 1 to 16, with the highest filter ratings most often used in hospital or healthcare settings. 

Ray-Pec plans to increase the air filtration from our standard 8MERV to 11MERV by the start of school. Ultimately, the District plans to adopt an even higher filter level, as those filters become available for purchase.

With this change in filtration rate, and to further improve indoor air quality, the air filters will be changed more frequently.

The District plans to discontinue the use of demand-controlled ventilation, which is used to automatically ventilate spaces based on CO2 levels that are monitored in classrooms.

Rooftop unit fans will run full time when a building is occupied. 

Outside air dampers will be set at a minimum of 15 percent. The goal is to improve airflow by bringing in a minimum of 15 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) per person in standard classrooms.

The District is lowering its cooling setpoints to 72 degrees to help people feel more comfortable due to the amount of outside air coming into the buildings. Currently, the District cooling setpoints are at 74 degrees. Indoor humidity levels will be monitored closely, and additional automation Is being installed

The District will start heating and cooling equipment a minimum of two hours before students arrive at school and continue to run equipment a minimum of two hours after students leave school.

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