Good ventilation and indoor air quality are important in reducing airborne exposure to respiratory pathogens, chemicals, and odors. Offer more outside time, open windows often, and adjust the HVAC system to allow the maximum amount of outside air to enter the program space and increase air filtration. Because each building and its existing HVAC systems will be different, a professional engineer or HVAC specialist should be consulted to determine the best way to maximize the system’s ventilation and air filtration capabilities for each area in the building.
SKSD received guidance from the Department of Health and responded with the following modifications:
- Filters are inspected and changed out according to a Preventative Maintenance schedule. Assigned to HVAC tech via School Work Order System. Filters are changed and visual inspection occurs, and repairs addressed if needed about every 3-4 months as needed.
- Work orders are put in through the Work management system and are addressed in a timely manner. Units are repaired or replaced as they are needed. Head Custodians input work orders in the system and they are assigned to a trained district HVAC technician. There are 3 HVAC techs for all the buildings within SKSD. Inspection and cleaning is completed according to a Preventive Maintenance schedule as mentioned previously.
- Outside air dampers have been adjusted to the maximum allowable setting. These have to be done manually to override the controls. Some manually in-person and other via HVAC Controls system online.
- SKSD has moved to the highest level possible in all locations.
- Buildings are set to run in occupied mode prior to the start of school. The systems turn over to “night mode” and operate at a lower temp and rate in the evenings to conserve energy.
- Restrooms are checked through Preventive Maintenance schedules. Kitchen and cooking areas exhausts are serviced, maintained, and cleaned annually by Food and Nutrition contracted services.
- SKSD contracted with Neudorfer Engineers out of Seattle during the 2020-2021 school year. Airflow was tested and verified in all locations, and recommendations for adjustments were made by SKSD HVAC techs as directed by Neudorfer engineers. Facilities has purchased a new flow hood to verify areas of concern in the future if needed.
- More than one year ago, SKSD discontinued the use of ozone generators, electrostatic precipitators and ionizers, or negative ion air purifiers because they can produce harmful by-products.
- Honeywell Extra Large Room Capacity HEPA Air Purifiers have been provided by SKSD to all building Waiting/Isolation rooms, SPED rooms where students can’t wear masks, and middle and high school music rooms. Pre-filters and HEPA filter replacements have been provided to all building custodial staff to change as needed. Pre-filters: every 2-3 months (indicator will light up when time to change). HEPA filters: once per year (indicator will light up when time to change).