Did you know the average person spends 90% of their time indoors? While that number may have been a little lower when summer vacation was in full swing, it’s time to head back to the classroom, and all those germs.
Your classroom necessities have probably changed a lot over the past several years as we’ve weathered the pandemic. As we approach a new school year that’s on track to be the most “normal” in several years, teachers and administrators alike are looking forward to a full slate of in-person classes, closer interactions with students and a return to extracurricular activities. Even with all these positive changes, air quality remains a top priority both at home and in the classroom. While pre-pandemic most people would cite air conditioning and heat as their must-haves for indoor comfort, air cleaners are now almost as ubiquitous.
Even though air cleaners rose to prominence during the pandemic, they’ve been around a lot longer, doing a lot more great things for the air we breathe indoors. They help filter allergens, which are found indoors at up to five times the level outdoors. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recommend air cleaners to help alleviate symptoms of asthma, the leading cause of absenteeism for students. While air cleaners are not currently tested for an ability to remove bacteria, the EPA considers them an important part in reducing bacterial transmission.
This brings us to the big question: Do air cleaners remove COVID-19? Until recently, there was no universally-accepted way to measure an air cleaner’s virus removal rate. But now, with the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers’ (AHAM) latest standard, we can test the effectiveness of portable room air cleaners’ ability to remove microbiological pollutants including viruses, bacteria and mold. This standard was developed over a period of 18 months by a committee of public health professionals, academic researchers and leading appliance manufacturers.
This standard will soon be added to AHAM Verifide®’s Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). CADR currently measures how fast an air cleaner filters three commonly sized particulates: dust, pollen and smoke. These numbers are listed on the AHAM Verifide® seal, which can be found on the packaging of all AHAM Verifide® air cleaners. The higher the number on the label, the faster the air cleaner filters the air.
So when you’re looking for a new air cleaner for your classroom, make sure you’re looking for the AHAM Verifide® seal. Protect yourself and your students with clean indoor air.