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HVAC Upgrades Not Enough: Schools Need Portable Air Purifiers to Open Safely

November 25, 2020

Schools face significant healthy air challenges and need portable air purifiers during this second wave of Covid-19. While remote learning may be a prudent short-term measure, schools will eventually have to open their doors. IndoorDoctor wants to help do that safely.

The CDC confirms that airborne viruses may be able to infect people who are further than 6 feet away and recommends HEPA filters

Harvard University’s TH Chan School of Public Health’s Healthy Buildings program issued a report in June 2020 indicating that portable air purifiers are one step to safely opening school doors. Joseph Allen, director of the program, “You can turn any building into a healthy building with just a little attention.” An August 19th, 2020, Boston Globe article also cites how critical purified air is to reduce the transmission of Covid-19. Portable air purifiers are a simple, effective risk reduction strategy.

New and/or improved HVAC systems—which many schools invested in over the summer—are not equipped to filter out viruses such as Covid-19. While HVAC systems help with fresh air exchanges, they do not contain the HEPA and/or HEGA filtration of medical grade air purifiers, which capture viruses below the 0.125 micon level.

EPA: When used properly, air purifiers can help reduce airborne contaminants including viruses in a home or confined space

Imagine the coronavirus as a smoke cloud: like a ceiling fan, an HVAC system would eventually move the air enough to exchange it, but this process could take up to an hour in a classroom setting. Portable air purifiers filters do this at least twice as quickly meaning clean, virus-cleaned air will turn over at twice the rate of an HVAC system.

Portable air purifiers are a tangible way for parents, teachers and staff to have peace of mind in a school setting. Investing in this type of personal protective equipment (PPE) for students and staff signals administrator’s attention to expert opinions about how to keep building safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Austin Air Medical Grade HEPA Filter

Additionally, portable air purifiers also reduce non-virus allergens and airborne particles that cause people to sneeze/cough. They are quiet and do not disrupt learning.

IndoorDoctor recommends that every classroom, common area, and office have a medical grade air purifier. To ensure these purifiers filter below coronavirus level (0.125micron), we recommend two specific brands: Austin Air and the FilterQueen Defender. IndoorDoctor also offers on-site air quality, and quality assurance testing for diagnostic and peace of mind purposes.

Citations:

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/experts-offer-advice-on-air-purifiers-for-classrooms/

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/08/19/nation/experts-say-some-classrooms-may-need-an-air-purifier-offer-advice-sizing/

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