Cleveland County, North Carolina’s extremely hot and humid summer weather negatively affected area high schools. Both Burns High School and Crest High School suffered condensation in existing HVAC systems. Excess moisture coupled with a lack of HVAC systems in the schools’ gyms allowed humidity to run rampant.
The high humidity enabled mold growth in school air ducts. It also caused the wood floors in the gyms to warp and move when in use. Earlier this year, the Cleveland County Board of Education approved a $380,000 project to replace the high schools’ respective gym floors. However, it was put on hold when the district was informed the projects would not include warranties unless HVAC units were also installed in the gym buildings, according to the Shelby Star article.
Schools Pursue Humidity Control Solutions
To address the mold issue in classrooms, the district cleaned air ducts and installed dehumidifiers to better regulate indoor humidity. They also started testing air quality to ensure there were no additional issues. Air quality tests showed there were none.
Schools need IAQ upgrades:— IAQ Works (@IaqWorks) January 17, 2021
(In a perfect world, we’d say all three AND humidity control … but can we at least agree schools should be actively pursuing at least one IAQ control option?) https://t.co/T7ZYkiwApw
For the school gyms and locker rooms, they approved funds to install HVAC and humidity control systems. Installations will start when basketball season ends in early March, and finish by August of this year.
“Those gymnasiums are used 12 months a year. When it goes into April and May and you get those PE classes in there and there’s no windows … it’s like an oven that heats up all night long,” said Roger Harris, a Cleveland County School District board member.
The new HVAC and humidity control systems for both the Burns and Crest gyms and locker rooms will cost $562,034. It was voted on and approved by the Cleveland County Board of Education.
IAQ Upgrades for Schools Nationwide
Schools have been in dire need of HVAC and IAQ upgrades for many years. The pandemic and resulting increase in IAQ awareness have forced parents, school faculty and administrators to look beyond the initial sticker costs of air quality upgrades. The safety of students and faculty far outweigh the expense. As a duct cleaner, plumber, IAQ or HVAC expert, it’s crucial that you are thorough with your school building assessments. They are counting on your evaluation and solutions.
A school humidity control option that works for the entire building will perform better than standalone room units. The same goes for air purification and mechanical ventilation. Learn more about the growing demand for IAQ across the nation, why whole-building IAQ solutions are important for schools to reopen and how to start your business in IAQ.