School Air Purification
Clean Air Benefits for Schools
By providing clean air for our schools we can improve the quality of education for our children. We can help retain good teachers by improving the teaching environment. Schools are where we nurture and educate our children. This is more important and true today than any time in history. The traditional family environment is on the decline. Schools play a bigger part in the lives of our children. Our schools need to be at their best. We need great teachers working in the best environment to ensure kids grow and thrive.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 50% of schools suffer from poor indoor air quality (IAQ). This poor air quality affects the students and teachers in different ways. These adverse conditions cause higher absenteeism and lower academic performance for students. Studies have shown schools with poor IAQ lose 54% more teachers. The list of negative effects of poor IAQ goes on and on.
What are some of the clean air benefits?
Schools that have used LakeAir Air purifiers in the classroom are experiencing these clean air benefits today:
Fewer Missed School Days
Absentee rates have been a real eye opener. This is one of the benefits noticed right away. Most sick days are caused by upper respiratory illnesses. Poor air quality leads to coughing and sneezing. When children breathe clean air they get sick less often. There have been reports of up to 60% less sick days by improving the classroom IAQ.
Parents Miss Less Work
The University of Michigan surveyed parents with school aged children. The study found 33% of parents had to miss work because of their school age child’s illness. 25% missed 3 or more days each year. A sick child is a stress on employees. Clean air keeps kids healthy. Parents with healthy kids miss less work.
Improved Test Scores
When children are consistently in school they learn more. Each day they drill down more useful knowledge. The repetition helps them hold the new facts in their young minds. Clean air equals higher attendance and more learning and improved test scores.
Fewer Medications in School
One of our test schools reported 80% less use of rescue inhalers. These inhalers and other medication for asthma and allergies can leave a child drowsy. Some of the meds make kids more unruly. With cleaner air there is less need for medications and that’s good for everyone.
Less Asthma and Allergy Attacks
Our test schools found that the children in rooms with air purifiers were more energetic. Those who had been normally limited by asthma and allergies had a higher rate of participation in sport activities. Breathing clean air in class lead to more energy and participation during gym and recess.
Better Leaning Environment
Teachers and students spend most of the day in their classrooms. It is important to keep these rooms as welcoming as possible. If the teacher and students enjoy being there it can only support better learning. Schools that have been renovated and improve themselves retain 54% more teachers. These schools are 20% more likely to attract new teachers. Clean air is a win / win for both students and teachers.
The LakeAir Maxum HEPA is a table top air purifier that has been school tested and teacher and parent approved in hundreds of school rooms across our country.. We suggest you consider using this clean air tool in your classroom. We will even allow you to try it risk free for 30 days. You can email us for more information or call our 800-559-9436 customer service number for more information. Make sure your school has the clean air benefits that make a happy and healthy school.
Air Purification is essential for a Healthy School
For air quality standards in schools we look to ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers). In a position paper published in April of 2020 ASHRAE sets forth guidelines for health care and non-healthcare facilities. Schools fall mostly into the non-healthcare segment. Schools with sick rooms and medical rooms should treat those areas as health-care facilities.
• Increase outdoor air ventilation
• Improve central air and other HVAC filtration to MERV-13 (ASHRAE 2017b) or the highest level achievable.
• Keep systems running longer hours (24/7 if possible).
• Add portable or local room air cleaners with HEPA or high-MERV filters.
• Add duct- or air-handling-unit-mounted, upper room, and/or portable UVGI devices
• Maintain temperature and humidity as applicable to the infectious aerosol of concern.
The LakeAir Brand has several products that can help schools achieve many of the goals recommended by ASHRAE, CDC, and WHO.
How LakeAir Can Help:
Portable HEPA and High MERV Air Purifiers:
The MAX-Guard is a 900 CFM HEPA purifier that is meant to be in a classroom. This portable floor model will keep the air in your classroom free form dust, allergens, viruses, mold and bacteria. This HEPA Air Purifier has vvariable speed control which allows you to choose the perfect setting for your air purification needs. If the room air becomes extra dirty you can put the unit in turbo mode. At this speed you can clean the air in average classroom 9 times an hour. As the conditions improve, reduce the speed which saves money and lowers the noise level. The HEPA filter is a True HEPA. A True HEPA filter will remove all viruses, bacteria and other indoor air pollution from the air stream. The activated carbon filter is made with virgin carbon produced from coconut shells. This type of carbon is particularly suitable for odors and common VOCs found around the school.
Our Table-top Maxum HEPA is a compact air purifiers suitable for classrooms less than 1000 square feet. The Maxum HEPA delivers 500 CFM of ultra clean air. It will keep the air clean in these spaces. Classrooms who use LakeAir air purification see a lower level of absenteeism. There tends to be less use of inhalers, Kleenex and other respiratory aids. Clean air makes for a better learning environment. Give your student the edge by providing them with some effective air cleaning devices.
Permanent HEPA Air Purifiers:
The LAFC-RC2-HEPA is a Ceiling Mounted HEPA Air Purifier. It is designed to fit into a 2×4 ceiling grid. It can be mounted or hung from any ceiling as well. The LAFC-RC2 provides 900 CFM of ultra-clean air and will provide almost 10ACH to the average-sized classroom. It has a variable speed control producing form 43 to 65 dB(A) of sound at turbo speed.
LAFC-RC2 HEPA / UVGI
The LAFC-RC2-HUV provides the highest level of air purification and sanitation. A commercial HEPA filer is Paired with UVGI filtration. The dose from this powerful UVGI is over 700µJ / cm². This product would be an excellent choice in high-risk areas like medical and sick rooms.
HEPA and UVGI Bypass Systems:
If you have a good air handling system in your school that needs to upgrade its ability to filter the air, consider adding a Bypass / Air Scrubber to its functionality. An air scrubber will remove air from the system’s main ductwork, filter the air and return the air back to the system. We can add 1100 CFM of HEPA and UVGI cleaning power to your school’s existing HVAC unit. The Dual Electrostatic system can add 1800 CFM of MERV 16 clean air.
ASHRAE would like to see all existing systems to be upgraded to at least MERV 13. Many times it is not feasible, or even possible to do without spending 10’s of Thousands of dollars. The Bypass system maybe the best and most cost-effective way to address the needs of our new air filtration reality.
To discuss the possibility of adding Air Scrubbers to your system contact our customer service team @ 800-558-9436 or fill out the contact us information here.
Making Smart Choices in School Air Purifiers
Today’s big question is what air purifier should I have in my school. I field many questions like this every week. Educators and administrators are looking for answers and all they are getting is a sales pitch. As a manufacturer and seller of air purification equipment it is my duty to educate the visitors of my website first and sell them products 2nd.
We are seeing more and more stories everyday that tell about school districts wasting MILLIONS of dollars on air purifiers that don’t work and may even be dangerous. The Sacramento City Unified School District has Removed 6 million dollars worth of air purifiers to be independently tested. This article seeks to help you make smart school air purifier choices.
Watch this Video before you Spend School Dollars on Bi-Polar Ionization
Two Big Things to Look for
1: Proven Technology
In early May, 2021 I attended the NAFA Technical Seminar. I went to this event with 1 thing in mind. I wanted to ask the real experts what technologies LakeAir should focus on. I sought out the best in the business and got the same answer again and again. Focus on “Proven Technologies”. What are these proven technologies? I will briefly go through them as this article continues.
The simplest thing to do is to dilute the dirty air with clean air. Adding clean air from outside should be strongly considered. This can be done through the central HVAC and Heating systems. If that can’t be done, open the windows. I know this is not possible or even feasible in many cases. However it is a single step. Increased ventilation is not “the” answer, but it is one thing we know works.
Mechanical Filtration (HEPA and High MERV)
Mechanical filtration is to draw air through a filter. ASHRAE, the group that sets the standards for all things HVAC (Heating / Ventilation / Air Conditioning) recommends mechanical filtration at a level of MERV 13 or higher. In many cases upgrading a central system to these standards is impossible. In these cases the use of Portable or Local HEPA air purification is recommended. Just adding an air purifier may not be sufficient to bring the air quality in a classroom where it needs to be. Ventilation and UVC are two other proven technologies that can help improve indoor air quality.
Ultra Violet Germicidal Irradiation is a long proven method of helping remove viruses, bacteria, and mold from the air. Like ventilation it is not a standalone technology. UVGI is one of the proven technologies recommended by ASHAE. It is a tool that you can use to help bring the air quality in your school to a level that will keep students and teachers healthy.
Technologies to Avoid
The Technologies listed below are not considered bad. There is not enough independent 3rd party testing to verify if they are entirely safe. There isn’t independent testing to prove their efficacy either. The message I took away from the National Air Filter Association Technical Seminar was to focus on the proven technologies and be very careful before employing any of these Emerging Technologies.
PCO (Photocatalytic Oxidation) and DHP (dry hydrogen peroxide)
• Consists of a pure or doped metal oxide semiconductor material
‒ Most Common Photocatalyst is Ti02 (titanium dioxide)
• Activated by a UV light source
‒ UV-A (400-315nm) / ‒ UV-C (280-200nm / UV-V (under 200nm) Ozone can be formed at UV-V wavelengths
• Light mediated, redox reaction of gases and biological particles absorbed on the surface
• Some units claim disinfection from gaseous hydrogen peroxide (sometimes called dry peroxide)
• Possible by-products formed by incomplete oxidation, including from gaseous contaminants
PECO is used in the Molkule Brand. They claim great results but there is a lack of 3rd party testing to verify the validity of all claims made under all of these technologies. I am not saying the technology is bad, it simply is not proven.
Bipolar Ionization / Corona Discharge / Needlepoint Ionization
• Air cleaners using reactive ions and/or reactive oxygen species (ROS) have become prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. New devices that are not mentioned elsewhere in this guidance likely fall into this category.
• High voltage electrodes create reactive ions in air that react with airborne contaminants, including viruses. The design of the systems can be modified to create mixtures of reactive oxygen species (ROS), ozone, hydroxyl radicals and superoxide anions.
• Systems are reported to range from ineffective to very effective in reducing airborne particulates and acute health symptoms.
• Convincing scientifically-rigorous, peer-reviewed studies do not currently exist on this emerging technology; manufacturer data should be carefully considered.
• Systems may emit ozone, some at high levels. Manufacturers are likely to have ozone
generation test data.
In recent months a few 3rd party studies have come out on the practice of Bipolar Ionization. These studies continue to call into question the safety and efficacy of this Technology. Listed below are a few more stories that call into question different emerging technologies and there use in schools
My best advice is to be careful which technology you spend the school districts money on. Research the products carefully and always look for third party verification.
2: Products that are Built to Last
When looking at an air purifier for the classroom, remember that it is likely to se a little abuse. Children are inquisitive and are likely to push, pull and otherwise investigate the air purifier. Plastic parts can break easily look for durable construction.
A sleek design maybe catchy to the eye and gadgets appear to be appealing. But laser particle counters have a limited life span and often have to be replaced or recalibrated in a few years.
Is the air purifier you are buying for the school repairable? Many of todays new units are meant to be replaced if a major part fails. LakeAir air purifiers for example use no circuit boards, the parts generally plug into place. A screw driver and wrench secure the motor.
Brand Longevity and Stability
How long has the company that makes your product been in business? Now just because a company is old doesn’t mean the product is good but it is a reasonable gauge of the likeliness they will be around to supply replacement parts and offer warranty service. I have seen Chinese manufacturers totally change product lines from year to year and no longer offer any support for last years model. Be sure your product has a long warranty, 5 years or better and be certain the company will be around to honor that warranty. LakeAir has been in business since 1968 find a company with similar history to be sure your purchase is protected.
Parts that do the Job
Most air purifiers consist of a fan and filter(s). Is the fan sufficient to do the job. A fan or blower should be robust. An undersized fan will not pull enough air through a True HEPA filter. They are certainly cheaper but the usefulness of the product is greatly diminished.
What quality is the filter or filters? Many HEPA filters that are being sold today work quite well for a short time. They make it through tests fine, but what about 6 months after the unit is put into service. To have real longevity a HEPA filter needs to be made of high quality ingredients and a lot of it. If the product you are buying is truly of commercial quality you will do well. But a cheap version that satifys the budget is likely to need replacing in 2-3 years.
Good parts cost a lot of money. The 830 CFM blower and Commercial Grade Mini Pleat HEPA filter in the LakeAir Maxum HEPA costs well over $200.00. That’s more than manufactures cost on an entire air purifier from overseas.
The Bottom Line
When you are buying air purification for your school, Buy products that use proven technologies. Buy High MERV or HEPA filters. Use fresh air from outside whenever you can. Add UVC when possible to supplement air quality.
Buy products that really work. Buy from companies that have a proven track record. Buy products that have a strong warranty. Avoid gadgets that aren’t likely to last.
Ask Questions. Talk to the manufacturer if you can. Get a good feel for the company you are buying from. Doing a your homework will help you make an informed decision. You expect your students and teachers to study. You owe it to them to do your research