School Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems

Half of all schools in the United States have problems associated with indoor air quality, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Unfortunately, contaminated air boosts absenteeism while hindering concentration. As schools aim to close the achievement gap and promote learning among all students, environmental factors are an important consideration. Zehnder ventilation solutions remove toxins while supplying fresh air and saving energy.
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Poor Indoor Air Quality Degrades Health

Contaminants in the air we breathe can cause fatigue, respiratory problems, dizziness, and nausea, as well as triggering allergy symptoms. Poor indoor air quality impacts children more than adults because of their smaller bodies and relatively high respiration rate.

VOCs, pollen, radon gas, carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, smog, and mold all contaminate the air in our schools. As schools become overcrowded, indoor air quality deteriorates.

Pollutants in Schools Hinder Concentration

In addition to causing illness and absenteeism, indoor air quality impacts cognitive function. Studies have shown that indoor air quality affects the ability to concentrate, mood, and anxiety, and longer exposure to contaminants can cause personality changes and impaired memory.

A study by the National Institutes of Health found that contaminated indoor air can result in a productivity loss of 6 to 9 percent in the workplace. Another study found that increasing ventilation rates to 15 cfm/person improved students’ academic performance by roughly 8 percent.

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Clean Air Solutions for Schools

The average elementary school-aged child spends 940 hours per year in school. Thus, schools’ indoor air quality is very important. There are two primary strategies for promoting indoor air quality: prevent pollution at the source and dilute the contaminants through ventilation.

Schools can reduce sources of pollution by fixing water leaks to prevent mold growth and avoiding toxic cleaning supplies, furniture, and finishes. Then, a proper ventilation strategy will help keep humidity levels in check and exhaust contaminants.

A Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory study highlights that higher ventilation rates increase cognitive performance, but the type of ventilation system can have a big impact on its effectiveness. Balanced ventilation systems exhaust stale, contaminated air while simultaneously bringing in fresh, filtered air.

Zehnder Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems

Zehnder clean air solutions continuously ventilate schools while transferring heat from the exhaust air to the intake air during the winter, saving energy. Our ComfoAir heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) are known for filtering out harmful contaminants and exhausting pollutants without cross-contamination between the incoming and outgoing airstreams.

Zehnder air quality experts can help design and commission the system to ensure the best air quality possible. We determine the ideal ventilation rates for each area of the school and help meet local building codes for ventilation and energy efficiency.


Installing an HRV or ERV System

Zehnder ventilators are designed for both new construction and existing projects. Many existing schools install heat recovery ventilation systems when performing energy-efficiency upgrades or when an indoor air quality issue has been identified. For new construction projects, HRV systems are especially beneficial for tightly constructed buildings because less air leaks between the interior and exterior of such buildings (air leaks provide passive ventilation in older buildings).

We highly recommend using dedicated ductwork to improve the performance of the system and ensure adequate airflow rates. Our ComfoTube ventilation pipe is flexible and streamlines the installation process from start to finish.

Zehnder ventilator components can help streamline the installation process, ensure quiet operation, and save energy. The components fit together, preventing air leaks and saving time. Our silencers help acoustically isolate the ventilation unit from the ductwork, reducing noise. ComfoAir HRV units contain ECM motors to save energy, and Zehnder ventilators are up to 95% efficient in transferring heat from the exhaust air to the intake air, reducing operating costs.

Geothermal Heat Exchangers

Some schools wish to cut heating and cooling bills and to use renewable sources of energy. Certain ComfoAir models are designed to be integrated with Zehnder ComfoFond-L geothermal heat exchangers. These units use the constant temperature of the Earth to reduce the heating and cooling load of the school.

Want to learn more about clean air solutions for a school? Contact Zehnder America today.