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Join the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge

 

Are You Ready to take on the IAQ Challenge?
4 Steps to Improve Indoor Air Quality in Your Buildings and Schools

The Clean Air in Buildings Challenge was launched by the EPA on March 17th, 2022. The goal of this competition is not just to prevent viruses from spreading; it is also important for protecting against any potentially harmful particles or gasses that may be present indoors as well!  The EPA is encouraging schools and businesses to take action. By improving indoor air quality, we can create safer and healthier environments for everyone.

Facilities and schools can improve their indoor air quality by tackling these four key actions highlighted in the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge.

#1 Create an Indoor Air Action Plan 

When it comes to indoor air quality (IAQ), it's important to have a plan in place to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the building. An IAQ action plan should assess the current state of the air in the building, identify any potential areas of improvement, and outline a plan for implementing upgrades and improvements to the HVAC system. 
 
#2 Optimize Fresh Air Ventilation

Fresh air is the key to creating a healthier indoor environment. Open windows when possible, use installed fans, and run mechanical ventilation systems consistently when the building is occupied. It also means servicing and replacing old HVAC equipment when necessary. 
 
#3 Improve Air Filtration and Cleaning

Make sure there are no ventilation system gaps. Use filters made for high levels of protection, like Merv-13 or higher rated than what's offered through central air conditioning units (HVAC). Consider an Ultraviolet Air Treatment System to reduce airborne bacteria and surface mold spores.   
 
#4 Get Your Building's Community Engaged

Healthy buildings are vital to the health and well-being of everyone who works, lives, or spends time in them. Building owners should encourage employees to share concerns about IAQ issues! Engagement is key to building trust and confidence in a building's air quality.
 

There are resources available to facilities and schools

If you're concerned about the air quality in your public building or school, there are some funding options to improve the situation. First, you'll want to consult with your facilities manager and see what plans are already in place to address the issue. Then, you can explore some of the avenues for funding outlined below.

Controls Central Easy Credit 
At Controls Central, we understand we offer easy credit terms for schools. Just send us your purchase order to get started. 

Government Assistance
The United States Government has provided a financial assistance program to help state, territorial, and local governments recover from the recent Coronavirus epidemic. 

  • The State & Local Fiscal Recovery Fund are available for use by these entities on air quality improvements through their respective departments in charge of education or health affairs, respectively - fittingly enough! 
  • The Department of Education funds schools, colleges and universities to improve indoor air quality in their buildings by improving ventilation from the Department of Education. In addition, the funding will also allow schools to make other necessary improvements, such as increasing cleaning and sanitization efforts, upgrading HVAC systems, and implementing social distancing measures. With this funding, schools across the country can take action now to protect their students and staff.
  • American Rescue Plan Individuals, private businesses, and everyone else can apply for indirect assistance even though there aren't funds specifically for air quality improvements; almost anyone with a budget can loosen up to make some changes. 

Don't forget to measure your building's Indoor Air Quality

Clean air is essential for good health, and that's why it's so important to perform building health checkups regularly. By evaluating indoor air quality (IAQ) baseline conditions, you can measure health performance indexes (HPIs) such as carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, temperature, and relative humidity. This information can then be used to track the success of IAQ upgrades and monitor healthy buildings. Regular building health checkups are the best way to ensure that your workplace provides clean air for your employees.

Why you should care about the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge

The Clean Air in Buildings Challenge is a great way to help ensure that everyone has access to clean, healthy air. 
The recommended actions are not perfect, but they will still be helpful for reducing the risks of spreading illnesses and provides resources for building managers/owners to implement these solutions so we can all play our part by improving indoor quality!

Some of the suggested actions include proper HVAC maintenance, increased ventilation, filtration, and air purification. While these solutions have existed for decades, the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge increases awareness and provides resources for building managers and facility operators to implement these practices. By taking action to improve indoor air quality, we can all play a role in reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses.

Schools are an important focus of the challenge, as poor indoor air quality can have a significant impact on student's health and performance. By taking action to improve indoor air quality in schools, we can help ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed.

Don't wait for sick or absent employees to occur - protect your workforce by checking the health of your building today.

Download the EPA's Clean Air in Buildings Challenge Fact Sheet
 
Our team at Controls Central is here for you, so feel free to call us if you need help with your indoor air quality - We've Got You! 
 
 
 
 
 
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