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IAQ can’t wait. Federal funding can help schools move forward.

October 13, 2020

Typical American Elementary School

Indoor air quality (IAQ) in schools is more important than ever. Education experts have known for a long time that good IAQ is an important part of the learning environment. Now the CDC reports, “Transmission of coronavirus occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through objects and surfaces.”[1] Upgrading HVAC systems might not be in this year’s school budget, but the changes shouldn’t wait.

Why this matters: Available grant money may provide the funding schools need to improve air flow, filtration and air cleaning technology that can help mitigate the spread of airborne pathogens,

School administrators have reinvented nearly everything about K-12 learning this year. IAQ upgrades, and how schools pay for them, may require creative thinking, too. Some schools may need a major system overhaul, but sometimes only minor work is needed. Either way, health-related school building and infrastructure projects, including HVAC system upgrades, may qualify for federal grants that are offered through the U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other government organizations. CARES Act funding is a possibility, too.

Qualifications are generally described in the grant’s request for proposal (RFP) and it’s important to read them. No one wants to complete a lengthy grant application, and then learn too late that the project never had a chance. Not sure how to find the right opportunities? Trane has access to industry experts who can provide information and guidance. Not sure what upgrades you need to fund? A Trane IAQ Assessment can identify system weak points and define the work.

Trane’s own Integrated Funding Solutions provide low-cost financing with manageable payment terms for qualified districts. We’ll discuss Trane’s new tax exempt lease purchase (TELP) and managed service agreement in another post.

Funding doesn’t have to be the barrier that prevents schools from addressing indoor air quality concerns . Trane’s K-12 school funding professionals can help administrators navigate the maze of grants, utility rebates and other available resources. Your Trane Account Manager can tell you more. Or visit Trane.com/IFS.

 

 

[1] “Cleaning and Disinfecting for Households: Interim Recommendations, Detailed Disinfection Guidance.” Center for Disease Control, CDC.gov. Updated July 10, 2020. Accessed August 26, 2020.

 

 

There is evidence from ASHRAE and other sources that HVAC technologies can mitigate the risk of exposure to infectious aerosols in built environments; however, the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and mitigation of COVID-19 in buildings is yet to be tested and confirmed.