A Vital Lesson: Improving Indoor Air Quality in Schools

Keeping indoor air safe is vital for the health -- and future -- of the students who spend their formative days, and years, in school.

RIVERDALE, N.J., March 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Today's cutting-edge commercial air filters can dramatically improve air quality in schools -- boosting health, and comfort, for millions of children.

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Each day, some 51 million people in the United States -- most of them children -- will work, learn, and play inside a school building.  So when questions arise about air quality, those concerns are of particular importance.  Parents want to know that their children are safe.  School employees want assurance that they, too, are not at risk.  But as we learn more about the health consequences of airborne particles, the fears have only mounted.  Parents, administrators, and regulators are all asking: What can be done to improve the air quality in schools?

For schools, like other buildings and facilities, the answer starts with best-of-breed air filtration.  Left unchecked, so-called 'respirable particles' -- which measure between 0.2 to 5.0 microns in size (1 micron equals 1/25,400 of an inch) -- can find their way into an individual's lungs, and because of their small size, they can remain there.  Many of these particles -- which include dust, fungi, spores, and bacteria -- can cause serious respiratory diseases.

The good news is that today's air filters designed by companies like Camfil -- the world's leading provider of clean air solutions -- can dramatically improve indoor air quality.  Camfil's state-of-the-art filters, for example, leverage innovative designs that do a better job of removing dangerous particles than more conventionally designed filters.  At the same time, however, they maintain their optimal efficiency longer and require less energy to operate.  Indeed, customers that have switched to Camfil filters have been able to reduce their HVAC energy costs by 20 percent, their installation costs by 50 percent, and their disposal costs by 70 percent -- all while achieving a more healthful, more comfortable indoor environment.

Building designers and facilities managers should keep in mind, however, that different areas of a school present different air quality challenges.  Laboratories and photography darkrooms, for example, are likely to have more contaminant problems than regular classrooms.  Auditoriums, on the other hand, will have intermittent occupancy, while indoor pool areas will be high in humidity and particles may include the chemicals used in pool maintenance.  So the type of air filtration used should be carefully matched to each area's characteristics and needs.  For instance, within school libraries -- where protecting the books is a consideration along with protecting occupants -- Camfil recommends two stages of pre-filtration, using a MERV 8 prefilter and a MERV 13 secondary filter.  Pool areas, meanwhile, should use filters with a minimum efficiency rating of MERV 11.  Not only will that keep the air healthy and comfortable, but also it will minimize streaking of walls and floors from dirt contacting moist surfaces.  Finally, for special needs laboratories -- such as facilities where research materials or animals are particularly susceptible to contamination from external sources -- consideration should be given to high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.

Keeping indoor air safe is vital for the health -- and future -- of the students who spend their formative days, and years, in school.  But it is also something that can be readily achieved, thanks to the advanced designs, and unprecedented efficiency, of today's best air filters.

The world leader in school air filtration systems, Camfil provides clean air solutions for hospitals, hotels, office buildings, educational institutions, and pharmaceutical and biotech companies.  We provide the tools to achieve sustainability, maintain high air quality, and reduce airborne infections -- all while lowering total cost of ownership.  Camfil customers go green without ever sacrificing performance.  For more information, visit us online at http://airfilters.camfilfarr.us, or call us toll-free at 888.599.6620.

Media Contact: Lynne Laake, Camfil, 888.599.6620, Lynne.Laake@camfil.com

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HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning), Education, Public Safety

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