Back To School, Back To Unhealthy Air?

As parents start getting school supplies and back-to-school outfits together for their children, and administrators get their schools ready for the new year to come, NADCA (The HVAC Inspection, Maintenance and Restoration Association) reminds parents and educators of the importance of indoor air quality to student and employee performance in schools.

Government research suggests that as many as half of America’s schools have issues with poor indoor air quality (IAQ). Poor IAQ in schools, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, can lead to short- and long-term health problems such as asthma, absenteeism, reduced productivity for students and staff, higher HVAC costs, and even legal liability.

NADCA supports the EPA’s “IAQ Tools for Schools” initiative that provides educators and parents with comprehensive tools for assessing and addressing IAQ issues. As part of a proactive school IAQ program, NADCA recommends periodic HVAC system inspections by certified experts to identify and address contaminated ductwork and HVAC units as needed.

When performed to NADCA’s ACR 2006 standard, an HVAC inspection and cleaning can improve airflow, reduce energy costs and remove contaminants such as mold, dust, and other airborne particulates from HVAC components and ductwork.

“Our children and the professionals who educate them need and deserve the same kind of air quality that we would expect in our offices or homes,” said Buck Sheppard, president of NADCA and operations manager for AAA Heating and Cooling in Portland, Ore. “Our students should be breathing easy, at least until the first pop quiz of the semester.”