The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has released a guide for educators, administrators, and school districts on indoor air quality.
The guide can be used as a tool to discuss options to improve indoor air quality based on existing HVAC equipment, regional objectives, and available funding. ASHRAE advises decision-makers to compile a group of internal professionals such as administrators, facilities maintenance personnel and planners, and to bring in specialists from outside the organization, including consultants and certified ventilation experts.
This guide presents some prerequisites for what decision-makers should understand before they start an evaluation process. It also presents a defined rubric to score their environment to see if it meets the base minimums. It recommends tasks to complete, including high and very high priority tasks, to make improvements.
After an assessment is performed, educators meet with a design professional to assess their system and determine their needs. They can use the guide for simple tasks, such as determining temperature and weather conditions to open windows; calculating which air filters to use; learning when to open and close dampers due to outdoor air quality; and planning placement and proper use of carbon dioxide (CO2) sensors, air cleaners and UV-C, or ultraviolet light, in classrooms. A ventilation professional can help determine if these fixes are enough, or if upgrades or repairs to the HVAC system are warranted.