Schools are responsible for providing students with a safe and healthy learning environment, among other things. One of the ways to accomplish this is by using UV for HVAC and UV Upper-Air Units. To help ensure the best air quality, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has outlined several recommendations. This article will discuss the use of UV in schools and showcase how Aerapy can help maintain a safe school environment.
What are ASHRAE and ASHRAE Standards?
ASHRAE is an international organization that provides resources, training, and guidelines for the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R) industry. ASHRAE standards are essential for ensuring the safety and comfort of building occupants. They establish guidelines for everything from energy efficiency to air quality. When it comes to schools, they recommend using UV disinfection as part of a comprehensive approach to improve indoor air quality. UV can help eliminate harmful bacteria and viruses from the air, providing a healthier indoor environment for students and staff alike.
The Use of UV for Disinfection
UV light sanitization is one of the many ways to disinfect buildings. Among the three major wavelengths of ultraviolet light, UV-C is a shorter wavelength that damages the DNA of microorganisms and impacts their ability to reproduce. This makes it a harmless way to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
UV sanitizing systems use germicidal ultraviolet (GUV) to kill microorganisms and airborne pathogens. It is important to note that UV disinfection should not be the sole method but work with other processes like natural air disinfection, ventilation, and cleaning.
What are ASHRAE’s Recommendations?
ASHRAE recommends using GUV as an auxiliary air cleaning system and has provided specific guidelines for using UV in school air disinfection. These recommendations can help schools decrease the risk of infection for students and staff. The following are some of the most critical guidelines issued.
- As with all installations, schools need to make sure GUV is installed properly. This could include placement inside an HVAC system, upper air zone, or a recirculating configuration.
- UV upper air systems and HVACs should not replace proper outside air ventilation, as defined in ASHRAE Standard 62.1, but be a part of a comprehensive ventilation system.
- Schools must service all equipment regularly to ensure they stay clean and are not affected by changes in temperature.
- Provide safety interlock switches for access points to automatically de-energize the UV-C system when opened.
- Use professional agencies like Aerapy to ensure proper disinfection levels when designing UV solutions for HVAC systems and upper-air UV installations.
- Create a dedicated installation schedule based on minimum requirements like peak airflow, air velocity, and system type.
- Higher room occupancy means higher viral loads. UV upper air units are vital to mitigate the transmission of pathogens.
Professional assistance is highly recommended for schools installing UV-C in their HVAC and UV upper air units. As a professional UV light disinfection company, Aerapy can help schools install the most effective UV lights and systems to meet ASHRAE recommendations. We can also monitor and maintain GUV systems, ensuring they operate at peak performance.
How Can Schools Benefit from Using UV Air Disinfection Systems?
Safety concerns in schools are not limited to physical hazards but include infectious diseases that can spread quickly in a crowded environment. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for effective air disinfection systems. UV-C air disinfection systems can help schools:
1. Improve Indoor Air Quality
While HVAC systems help circulate air, they do not necessarily clean it. Since UV light can eliminate harmful pathogens, it can significantly improve a classroom’s indoor air quality.
2. Reduce the Spread of Diseases
UV disinfection can help reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19, influenza, and other airborne illnesses. This is particularly important during flu season or when outbreaks of other infectious diseases, such as chickenpox and measles, occur.
3. Increase Energy Efficiency
If properly designed, UV-C systems can help HVAC offer more air disinfection and circulation. This is because when UV lights are installed on the supply side of the cooling coils, they will eliminate mold and biofilm and help eliminate pressure drop, thus reducing energy consumption and cost.
4. Increase Trust and Academic Performance
Offering crisp and clean air quality is one way educational institutions can demonstrate their commitment to student and staff safety. This can also lead to increased confidence among parents and community members, as well as improved attendance and academic performance.
How Can Aerapy Help?
While ASHRAE’s recommendations are undoubtedly crucial, implementing them can often be challenging for schools. Our expertise in UV light disinfection can assist educational institutions in adopting the best practices. Working closely with school administrators and facility managers allows us to customize our services to their unique needs, budgets, and timelines. At Aerapy, we aim to improve indoor air quality for everyone and believe that schools are a critical part of that mission.
Our team can design and install UV lights on any existing or new HVAC system. In addition, we also provide a patented UV upper air unit with a built-in fan to help circulate the air, so you don’t need to purchase a fan separately. We can also provide low-decibel (db) units for classrooms, libraries, and other areas with low noise requirements. If you want to improve your school’s air quality, contact us today!