HVAC systems for schools

HVAC systems for schools

Want to know more about how Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems affect indoor air quality in schools? Look no further. 

In this post, we'll uncover some of the essential factors to keep in mind when designing an HVAC solution for schools, guaranteeing both a learning environment that's cozy and healthy, and a system that’s cost-effective, energy-efficient, and easy to maintain.  

Children walking at a school

Codes and standards for HVAC in schools

First, it's important to be familiar with codes and standards that govern ventilation and energy efficiency. ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2010 is a national consensus standard widely incorporated into state and local building codes. It specifies the required amounts of outside air for different areas of the school, like classrooms or gyms.

Windows that open and close

When suitable for the climate, windows that open and close can enhance occupants' well-being and give them a sense of control over their surroundings.

For schools that opt for operable windows, here are a few things to keep in mind for a safe and comfortable environment:

  • Locate the openings for outdoor air at a height of 3-6 feet from the floor (around head height). 
  • Make sure the windows are adjustable and can be closed tightly and securely. (No unwanted drafts, please!)
  • Position the windows strategically to make the most of the wind direction. Place openings on opposite sides of the building for fantastic cross-ventilation.

While most traditional window air conditioners don’t allow occupants to open and close their windows, the Gradient window heat pump allows users to open and close windows as needed. 

How to choose the right HVAC system

When selecting HVAC equipment, various factors come into play, such as heating and cooling needs, energy efficiency, humidity control, and cost. Window heat pumps are an attractive HVAC solution for schools due to their ability to provide both heating and cooling functions in a single unit, making them versatile for changing weather conditions. 

Additionally, window heat pumps are easy to install, operate, and maintain, offering energy efficiency and individual temperature control in different areas of the school.

Ensuring proper airflow

The location of outdoor air intakes and exhausts is critical to prevent the intake of contaminated air and ensure proper airflow. Proper positioning, bird- and rodent-proofing of grilles, and accessible intake screens for cleaning are important factors to keep in mind.

Control moisture to prevent mold in the classroom

Uncontrolled moisture indoors can have detrimental effects on buildings, furnishings, and finish materials. It can also lead to mold growth, affecting both the physical structure of a school and the health and performance of students and staff. 

Common causes of indoor moisture issues in new schools include the use of wet building materials, poor rain and snow control, damp construction cavities, and moisture-laden outdoor air. 

To safeguard against mold and other moisture-related problems, it’s crucial to control moisture entry and prevent condensation. Heat pumps can help remove excess moisture and reduce indoor humidity levels.

By considering these factors and following relevant codes and standards, it’s possible to design HVAC solutions that create a comfortable and healthy environment for students and staff, leading to better learning outcomes. 

If you’re ready to enhance the comfort and air quality of your school with easy-to-install window heat pumps, click below to learn more: 

Gradient for Schools


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