Congress has recently approved $82 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund to make adjustments to help deal with the pandemic, including updates and maintenance to HVAC equipment. This is a huge step towards making schools healthier and safer, and will aid in much more than preventing the spread of COVID-19.
With this money, schools will be able to inspect, test, maintain, repair, replace, or upgrade their HVAC systems with the intention to improve indoor air quality in school facilities. These funds can be used for HVAC systems, filtering, purification and other air cleaning, fans, control systems, and window and door repair and replacements.
All public and charter schools are eligible to receive these funds. The funds have been transferred from the federal government to state governments, and states are expected to provide the funds directly to the school districts to use for approved purposes. States have one year to spend these funds before they will be returned to the federal government.
HARDI (Heating, Air-Conditioning Refrigeration Distributors International) has partnered with AHRI (Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute) to deliver The Anatomy of a Healthy School,
an HVAC Primer for safety, comfort, and productivity. This article explains different ways schools can utilize these federal funds for HVAC system improvements to help combat COVID-19. The bottom line is that schools “should prioritize building assessment, through which qualified technicians conduct tests and assessments to determine a) appropriate air flows, and b) if spaces within the building (particularly classrooms, offices, and large spaces such as auditoriums and gymnasiums) are achieving those air flows” (HARDI, 2021).
For more information, head to HARDI
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