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How to Ensure HVAC Safety in School’s Physical Learning Environments

Thorough Indoor Air Management Remains a Crucial Concern for Parents and Teachers as School Environments Re-Open


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As schools across the Gulf region experience phased reopening and a transition towards hybrid learning models, educational institutions are tasked with creating environments in which employees and pupils alike are comfortable with the prospect of entering physical learning environments.

While mask wearing and social distancing remain enforced by all, academic buildings in particular are also placing particular importance on maintaining healthy indoor air quality and ventilation. Diagnosing the schools’ current air circulation system is not only necessary but should be regarded as one of the top items in the priority list. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) highlighted that “changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems, can reduce airborne exposures.”

As a guide for operating schools, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specifically stated to increase air filtration as much as possible. The ASHRAE recommends using a filter with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of 13 or a filter with an ePM1 rating under ISO 16890. If the rating for the current system is lower or unidentified, now is the critical time to find and replace with an appropriate one.

LG Electronics (LG) has introduced a range of HVAC solutions which seek to ensure comprehensive air filtration and ventilation capabilities – enhancing peace-of-mind for institutions, as well as teachers, parents and students.

The LG DUAL Vane Cassette, a 4-way ceiling-type indoor air-conditioning unit, which may serve as a potential replacement when equipped with LG’s Air Purification Kit. It provides robust air filtration to remove 99.9% of harmful bacteria and PM 1.0 particles.[1]

Research indicates that educational institutions are often unaware of the importance of replacing filters to ensure effectiveness. If not replaced or cleaned on a regular basis, they can actually harbor dust and bacteria which is recirculated into the environment. LG’s air purification kit is detachable and washable for easy cleaning, while the AC Cassette itself has been designed for easy maintenance. Its grill can be lifted up and down with four-meter elevating lines attached to make it convenient for filter replacement.

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Another key area for improvements is ventilation. The CDC calls for ventilation system upgrades that can increase the delivery of clean air and dilute potential contaminants in the school. Since opening windows has risks of letting in allergens which can cause other health problems, installing energy recovery ventilator (ERV) that draws fresh outdoor air into inside and exchanges it with stale indoor air is a superior option.

 

It is important to incorporate into a classroom an ERV that effectively purifies the air entering from outside. Particularly for LG ERV, its antivirus coating blocks the breeding of harmful viruses[2] and when it is equipped with an optional high efficiency filter, it can block approximately 90% of dust sized 0.4μm.[3]

As the schools reopen their doors, confidence and trust of the faculty, students, and parents in the school’s safety measures will be a key factor in creating a comfortable learning environment. One of the first and most important steps in securing this would be to inspect, diagnose, and properly prepare the building’s HVAC system in compliance with local health authority requirements and recommendations.

About LG Electronics Air Solution Business Unit

LG Electronics’ Air Solution Business Unit is a global leader in HVAC and energy solutions with a comprehensive portfolio of proven expertise and performance. Launching Korea’s first residential air conditioner in 1968, LG has paved the way for total HVAC solutions over the last five decades through strategic utilization of advanced technologies. With a well-established production base and industry-leading capacity, the company provides effective HVAC solutions for both the commercial and residential sectors. Its wide range of cutting-edge systems for heating, ventilation and air conditioning truly represent LG’s initiative in offering the most optimized solutions for a variety of uses. Pursuant to its mission of “Innovation for a Better Life,” the company offers solutions boasting high energy efficiency and reliability based on its state-of-the-art knowhow and technologies to ensure the most optimal environment for users. For more information, please visit www.LG.com.

References

[1] Bacteria and ultrafine dust removal performance of the Air Purification Kit for the cassette type indoor unit has been verified by TÜV Rheinland. According to the test conducted at KTL Permanent test on April 2020, the Air Purification Kit has removed 99.9% of Staphylococcus epidermidis (ATCC 12228) in 60 minutes and 99.4% of phi X174 (ATCC 13706-B1) in 30 minutes under the operation mode. According to the test conducted on March 2020, the Air Purification Kit has removed 99.9% of ultrafine dusts with size of 50nm and 100nm under the operation mode.

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[2] The heat exchanger of LG ERV passed a JIS Z 2911 test which certifies its resistance to Penicillium sp., Cladosporium sp. and Alternaria sp.

[3] The filtration performance of LG Electronics’ air filter AHFT035H0 was verified by FINAS (Finnish Accreditation Service) according to the procedures defined in ISO 16890:2016.

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Engr. Mary Lucas
Social Media geek living in Dubai. Mechanical Engineer chick, blogger, writer, inventor, and social good follower. Love nature, science & techn. I'm tweeting @MaryLucas87

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