Indoor Air Quality in Schools: Teachers’ Checklist
There are many factors that go into creating a healthy learning environment in our Raleigh schools. One of the most important is invisible to the eye, yet it can cause chronic ailments, poor focus, and even missed school days.
The culprit is indoor air quality, also known as IAQ. It’s a real concern for everyone, but especially children. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), indoor air is more polluted than outside air. Schools have been found to carry common allergens like dust mites, pests, and mold. That means classrooms with low-quality air put children at risk for severe asthma attacks and allergic reactions. In fact, asthma is a leading cause of missed school days in North Carolina and across the country.
The EPA recommends that parents and teachers stay aware of the IAQ within the classroom to avoid these risks. Warning signs of a larger problem include student complaints of asthma or allergy symptoms at certain times of the day or week, recent renovations or refurbishment, a new classroom pet, or new cleaning or pesticide protocols by the janitorial staff. Remember, substandard indoor air quality is a grave condition that should be immediately addressed by a professional heating and cooling contractor.
At Air Experts, our approach encompasses a number of targeted protocols that will help locate the source of the problem. To schedule indoor air quality services in the Raleigh and Durham area, call Air Experts at 919-480-2727 now!
Teachers play a vital role in monitoring the air quality in their classrooms. The following checklist from the EPA is a helpful tool to make this responsibility a little easier:
- Rooms are dusted and vacuumed regularly
- Trash is removed daily
- No food is stored overnight in classroom
- Room is free of pests and vermin
- Use unscented, school-approved cleaners and air fresheners, if any, in rooms
- Ensure animals are kept in cages
- Cages are cleaned regularly
- Place animal cages away from supply and return vents
- Consult school nurse about student allergies or sensitivities
Drain Traps in Classroom
- Ensure water is poured down floor drains once per week
- Ensure water is run in sinks at least once per week
- Ensure toilets are flushed once each week
- Wipe condensation from windows, windowsills, cold water pipes and indoor surfaces of exterior walls
- Check sinks, lavatories and ceilings for potential leaks
- Clean all spills promptly
- Maintain moderate temperature (72°F–76°F)
- Check for drafts
- Avoid seating students in direct sunlight
- Keep indoor humidity at acceptable levels (30%-60%)
Ventilation & Exhaust Fans
- Ensure air is flowing from supply vent and pathway is not obstructed
- Check for signs of mold or mildew
- Ensure windows operate properly
- Check adjoining rooms and hallways for odors
- Review supplies and their labels
- Develop and implement spill clean-up procedures
- Label all chemicals with date of receipt/preparation and pertinent precautionary information
- Ensure supplies are stored according to manufacturers’ recommendations; separate storage areas from main classroom area and ensure they are ventilated separately
- Use diluted substances rather than concentrates whenever possible
Air Experts Can Solve Your IAQ Issues
If your checklist sheds light on problems that require outside assistance, don’t risk the health of your students – Air Experts can help! Our experienced professionals offer simple IAQ solutions that will greatly improve the quality of your school’s air to reduce the risk of allergies, fatigue, and asthma for everyone. Don’t wait, our team is ready to help you today!
For those in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the surrounding area, Air Experts will help keep the air in your home, office or school clean, healthy, and fresh. Contact us online or call 919-480-2727.