Interactive School Ventilation Tool
This tool is designed for building managers or school administrators who are familiar with the school’s current ventilation systems.
Small particles that people breathe out can contain virus particles, including the viruses that causes COVID-19 and influenza (flu). Good ventilation, along with other preventive actions, can help prevent virus transmission in schools.
How can I decrease the level of particles during the school day?
Select the options below to see how particle levels change as you adjust ventilation settings.
The risk of getting COVID-19 varies according to individual susceptibility and the number of virus particles to which a person is exposed. The fewer virus particles in the air, the better.
This tool does not contain all scenarios. However, you can layer strategies for even better ventilation results.
- This tool uses data from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
- The results are estimates and might not be exact in the real world. Our model assumes an infected occupant (teacher or student) inside a 790 square-foot classroom for 6 hours. The model shows the reduction in particles over those 6 hours in the classroom. To see the effects of these ventilation settings on different room sizes and HVAC system types, see this report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
- Due to limits of the current model, the tool does not contain all scenarios, including opening a window or using multiple enhancements at one time. However, layering strategies will help clear out virus particles in rooms faster.
- The model assumes that if you select Terminal Unit or Central/Rooftop Unit, the unit would be operating continuously during school hours.
- The base filter in the “No HVAC” system is no filter, in the “Terminal Unit system” is MERV 6, and in the “Central/Rooftop Unit” is MERV 8. For this model, a “premium” filter is based on one rated for MERV 13 filtration. Learn more about HVAC filters and portable air cleaners. Visit Ventilation in Buildings to learn more about MERV ratings.
- The portable HEPA air cleaner is assumed to be operating at high speed (300 cfm).
- The exhaust fan is assumed to be 1,200 cfm.
- The 100% Outside Air option is only available on the “Central/Rooftop Unit” and means that no air is recirculated.
- All scenarios are compared against a classroom with no central ventilation system with no filter, no HEPA air cleaner, and no exhaust fan.
Visit the Interactive Home Ventilation Tool to learn how to improve ventilation in your home.
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