Evaluation Tools by gabyion


									B. Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
B.1                              Repair or install a mechanical ventilation               An educational facility should have mechanical
Does each occupied room have     system—it should deliver outdoor air at a level          ventilation, to provide adequate outdoor fresh
ventilation that provides        sufficient for the number of people in each              air. Air exchange will help to remove asthma
adequate outdoor fresh air for   room. In a home, this could be a heat                    triggers from the indoor air, such as dust,
the number of occupants?         exchanger.                                               allergens, chemicals, and odors. It should also
If there is no mechanical fresh                                                           help to control humidity, which may contribute
air ventilation, do you ensure   If you have an air conditioner, see if it has an         to mold and dust mites. If there is no
good air circulation in rooms    “air exchange” or “fan only” setting. Use as             mechanical ventilation system in a building, air
where children are present?      weather permits (follow manufacturer                     movement and outdoor air exchange can be
                                 instructions).                                           increased through other means. However,
Check rooms:                                                                              windows should not be opened frequently in
      no ventilation system     If a mechanical system is not present or                 buildings with adequate mechanical ventilation
          or no operable         affordable, then at least open windows, keep             because this may disrupt the ventilation system
          windows.               room doors open, run fans, and operate                   and it also brings in unfiltered outdoor air. Also,
      no airflow from vents     bathroom exhaust fans (where feasible during             don’t keep windows open when the a/c runs
      vents are covered or      the day when children are present).                      because this wastes energy and may create
          obstructed (large                                                               moisture problems due to warm air hitting
          items <3 feet away)    Uncover ventilation diffusers and move large             cooled surfaces.
                                 items (such as furniture) at least 3 feet away
                                 from diffusers.

                                                   OK           See Notes
B.2                                 Install or repair the air conditioning system in      Air conditioning systems remove humidity from
Does the building have working      your building.                                        the air, which may help to reduce mold, bacteria,
air conditioning?                                                                         and dust mites. Also, air-conditioning allows
                                                  OK          See Notes                   windows to be closed during the summer, which
                                                                                          reduces the amount of outdoor allergens and air
                                                                                          pollution that enter the building (on days with
                                                                                          elevated outdoor allergens and pollution).
B.3                                 Operate the ventilation system, furnace, or           Cleaning causes dust and chemicals to
Is their air movement during        window air-conditioning unit on with outdoor          contaminate the air. Running the ventilation
daily custodial cleaning? This      air entering the building, until the custodial work   system or opening windows will allow some of
could involve running the           is completed.                                         these contaminants to be diluted with fresh air or
ventilation system or furnaces                                                            removed by the ventilation system filters. You
continuously or opening             If there is no mechanical ventilation system,         may want to set the mechanical system timer to
windows and turning on fans         then open windows and run fans during                 run during cleaning or switch the furnace to
(until cleaning is complete).       cleaning, as weather permits.                         continuous fan operation.

B.4                                 Develop a written schedule for the preventive         Preventive maintenance is crucial to ensure
Is there a written preventive       maintenance of your heating, ventilation, air         proper operation. Properly maintained
maintenance schedule for            conditioning, and dehumidification equipment.         equipment will filter out particles, remove
periodic inspection, calibration,                                                         humidity, control temperature, dilute air
cleaning, and replacement of        The maintenance should include routine                pollutants with fresh air, and save energy.
mechanical equipment (such as       inspection, lubrication, filter changing, cleaning,   Typically equipment should be inspected at least
heating, ventilation, air           and component replacement.                            4 times a year to ensure proper operation during
conditioning system, and                                                                  different seasons. Air conditioners and
dehumidifier components)?           Follow the manuals, manufacturer specifications       dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air and
                                    and any contractor recommendations.                   tend to collect dust--this is a combination that
Check equipment in boiler,                                                                can allow for mold or bacteria to grow inside
mechanical, and storage rooms                     OK          See Notes                   these devices.
      loud noise
      vibrations
      leaks
B.5                                Correct moisture or mold problems                   The area housing mechanical equipment should
Check the room or area where                                                           not have chemicals, garbage, or other items that
furnace or ventilation             Remove clutter, garbage, and chemicals              may emit odors, dust, or microbial pollutants.
equipment is located:                                                                  These contaminants can enter the air stream and
     water, moisture or           Investigate and address excess negative             be quickly distributed through the building.
         mold                      pressure.                                           Clutter and garbage attracts pests. Air blowing
     chemicals, clutter,                                                              into the room can indicate that air is being
         garbage                                 OK          See Notes                 sucked into the mechanical system from the
     air blowing into room                                                            hallway, which might mean less air is entering
                                                                                       through the air intake.

B.6                                Install hatches, repair doors.                      Air handling unit components need to be easily
Check inside of mechanical                                                             accessible for periodic inspection, replacement,
ventilation units and window air   Clean heavy coating of dust or debris               and maintenance.
conditioning ventilators,
including heating coils, cooling   Correct moisture problems.                          A thick coating of dust or debris in the
coils, fans, ducts, and                                                                mechanical equipment can allow for mold
condensate drainage areas:         Remove source of odors                              growth, may clog the filters more quickly, and
      not accessible                                                                  add to dust loading in rooms. On metal
      dirty (metal not            Repair problems (e.g., replace belts and motors).   surfaces, the metallic color should be visible.
          visible)                 Seal around doors.
      standing water or                                                               The presence of water or stains indicate a
          stains                   Remove or encapsulate porous interior               moisture problem that may result in mold or
      strong odors                insulation lining the ducts adjacent to air         bacteria growth. Standing water can be sprayed
      disrepair (gaps, loose      handlers.                                           into the ducts. When the a/c is on water should
          belts, torn belts,                                                           quickly drain away from cooling coils, onto the
          broken doors,)           Consider hiring a qualified technician to           pan, and out the drain line.
          vibration)               investigate and address problems.
      gap around door                                                                 Odors may be caused by microbial growth,
                                                 OK          See Notes                 chemical storage, roofing work, chemical
      insulation present on
                                                                                       treatments, recent renovation, or nearby outdoor
          interior of ducts next
          to air handler
                                                                                       Proper belt tension and alignment is important
                                                                                       for the efficient delivery of outdoor air.

                                                                                       Excess vibration may affect fan speed and
                                                                                       hasten deterioration of the mechanical

                                                                                       Gaps around the mechanical unit may affect the
                                                                                       air distribution and ultimately the amount of
                                                                                       fresh air delivered to rooms.

                                                                                       Interior insulation of ducts near the mechanical
                                                                                       unit should be removed because these areas tend
                                                                                       to collect moisture and dust, which may lead to
                                                                                       mold growth.

B.7                                  Use filters that have the highest MERV rating or     Filters remove particles including outdoor
What is the MERV rating or           dust spot efficiency compatible with your            asthma triggers such as pollens, molds, and
dust spot efficiency of filters in   heating or ventilation equipment (check with         vehicle pollution. In addition, some indoor
the heating and ventilation          equipment manual, manufacturer, or ventilation       allergens (e.g., cats, dogs, other furry mammals)
systems?                             contractors).                                        are carried on fine particles that remain airborne
                                           Install access panels, if possible.           for enough time to be returned to the mechanical
Check filters in furnace and               Replace filters more frequently and           unit where they may be removed by filtration.
ventilation equipment:                         create a filter replacement schedule and   Filters vary a lot in their ability to trap particles.
     not accessible                           attach to units.                           More particles are removed by filters that have
     overloaded                           Switch to pleated or bag filters.             higher MERV or dust spot efficiency ratings
     filter type not pleated              Remove by-pass by changing filters
          or bag                               and/or making repairs to the filter
     gaps or tears allow air                  housing.
          bypass                           Correct moisture problem and clean
     water or stains                          any microbial growth

                                                    OK          See Notes
B.8                                  Clean leaves, grass clippings, and plant debris      The quality of air in a building is affected by the
Check in and around outdoor          routinely from air intakes. Change landscaping       quality of outdoor coming into a building, which
air intakes of ventilation           activities to prevent organic matter from            is greatly dependent on the conditions in and
equipment and around windows         collecting in the air intake (for example,           around the air intake and open windows.
that are frequently opened:          directing grass clippings away from the building     Organic matter, pests, water intrusion, garbage,
      feathers/bird                 during mowing).                                      and idling vehicles are some of the common
          droppings, insects                                                              problems in and near these areas can lead to
      grass clippings, leaves,      Hire a pest eradicator to remove pests in the        contaminants entering the building.
          etc                        ventilation system. Clean feathers and bird          Dampers are metal flaps that control the amount
      covered by snow, no           droppings according to NIOSH guidelines (see         of fresh air that enters buildings that have
          protection against         www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2005-109/). Prevent           mechanical ventilation equipment. Under most
          wind-driven rain/snow      birds from entering intake by installing or          conditions, dampers should be about 15-20%
      plants touching               repairing bird screens                               open, to allow for fresh air to enter the building
      odors                                                                              which is critical to remove odors, chemicals, and
      buses/trucks idle <100        Keep air intakes free from snow drift--check         dust. Ventilation computer settings can be
          ft                         weekly and after large snowfalls for snow            obviously inconsistent with the actual damper
                                     blocking the outdoor air intake during the winter    position.
      plumbing exhaust or
                                     and remove as needed. Protect intake from
          dumpster <30 ft
                                     wind-driven snow and rain.
      dampers broken,
          closed, different from
                                     Trim trees and shrubs away:
          computer setting
                                          Investigate odor sources and correct
                                          Move parking and idling zones at least
                                              100 feet away from the outdoor air
                                              intake and post signs asking drivers to
                                              turn engines off.
                                          Move the plumbing exhaust at least 30
                                              feet away from the air intake.
                                          Keep the air intake dampers partially
                                              open at all times, unless there is a
                                              specific concern with extreme cold
                                              weather that may cause freezing in the
                                              system. Repair broken dampers and
                                              damper controls.

                                                   OK          See Notes

B.9                                 Operate kitchen exhaust fans during cooking,        Working exhaust ventilation removes
Are exhaust fans present and        washing dishes, and mopping floors.                 contaminants to the outdoors. It is necessary in
regularly used in the kitchen                                                           various areas and by certain equipment. In
and in bathrooms?                   Operate bathroom exhaust fans all day or at least   bathrooms, kitchens, and storage room, there
                                    during hand-washing, using bathrooms, and           can be humidity, odors, chemicals, and particle
Check exhaust fans in               mopping floors.                                     pollution in the air. In addition, equipment, such
bathrooms, chemical storage                                                             as copiers, clothes dryers, gas space heaters,
rooms, by copier, attached to       Operate chemical storage room exhaust fans all      ovens, and fireplaces need exhaust ventilation to
clothes dryer, above oven, etc:     day.                                                direct contaminants to the outdoors.
      not present                        Install exhaust systems in all
      doesn't draw air (hold               bathrooms, kitchens, chemical storage       Ideally, bathrooms should have automated
         a layer of tissue paper            rooms, copiers, and clothes dryers.         exhaust systems that either run during business
         against the exhaust              Repair, clean, or re-connect to the          hours or are at least on a 20+ minute timer
         vent—it should be                  electrical grid.                            connected to the light switch. This ensures the
         drawn to the vent)               Instruct all staff to use the bathroom       equipment are used in bathrooms. Storage
      not being used                       exhaust ventilation unit; consider          rooms should have continuous exhaust
      not ducted to outside                placing a note by the switch or using a     ventilation during the day. You may want to
         (check attic)                      timer that turns on with the lights and     tape a piece of tissue paper against the vent for
                                            runs at least 20 minutes after lights are   an easy visual indication that specific vents are
                                            off.                                        working.
                                          Install ducting to the outdoor air.

                                                  OK           See Notes
B.10                                Install carbon monoxide detectors in each room      The use of a carbon monoxide detector may alert
Do you have a working carbon        that has a gas or other fuel-burning appliance.     you to a release of pollutants from a fuel-
monoxide detector in each room                                                          burning appliance. These pollutants can irritate
that has a fuel-burning             Replace batteries and check the alarm siren         airways and may trigger asthma attacks. When
appliance (non-electric), such as   twice a year.                                       the alarm sounds, be sure to take proper
gas furnace, water heater, oven,                                                        measures. For details, see
space heater, dryer, etc?                         OK          See Notes                 www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/indoorair/co/ind
                                                                                                                                Rev 8/07


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