Frequently Asked Questions About Indoor Air Quality on Our Campuses

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

A Message from Shaun Andrews, Assistant Vice President, Facilities and Maintenance 

As a companion to The Grove article from March 2021 about campus safety and air quality, here are some frequent questions and answers the Facilities team receives most often about campus indoor air quality.

Can you explain the air filtration that is used at the College and any changes in air filtration that have been developed in response to the pandemic?
All our indoor air is consistently filtered, our HVAC systems are engineered and designed to provide multiple exchanges of outside air every hour, and some of our newer buildings also utilize bi-polar ionization technology to further eliminate contaminants in the indoor air.

Does the air in my office come directly from another office or another space within the building without being filtered?
No, all air being delivered directly into a space within a building via the ductwork passes through filtration before it enters a space.

Does the College use MERV-13 filters?
We are currently moving to a MERV-13 filter in all our systems to provide hospital-grade air filtration. 

How often are the filters changed?
We have air conditioning technicians and maintenance technicians checking or changing filters at least every three months.

With the new bi-polar ionization project approved by the District Board of Trustees, what buildings will soon have bi-polar ionization technology?
All buildings collegewide will soon have bi-polar ionization installed as an added protection against indoor airborne contaminants. 

Do we have the capability to monitor CO2 levels inside buildings?
Yes, we currently monitor CO2 levels in buildings to be sure that the systems are maintaining proper fresh air levels. 

Were the building systems shut down over the past many months, and are there any concerns with the air conditioning systems being off for a long period of time?
We did not shut down any of the building systems during the pandemic. The air conditioning systems were on and were continually monitored, serviced, cleaned and checked to be working properly.

Do you feel that our facilities have safe indoor air?
Combine our building engineering and design with our preventive maintenance, filtration and systems monitoring, and I believe that we provide a really safe indoor environment.

For additional questions, contact me at sandrews28@valenciacollege.edu or 407-299-5000, extension 1179.

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