Facts on improvement in school ventilation

filteration unit hepa
A HEPA filtration unit (Wilipedia cc image)

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In the 2020-21 school year, school boards were allocated over $550 million for improvements in ventilation and air quality. As a result, in schools with mechanical ventilation:

  • 99 per cent of the systems have been assessed and/or recommissioned to optimize air flow
  • 92 per cent of the filters are being changed more frequently and/or using higher grade air filters, including MERV-13 rated air filters
  • 91 per cent are running systems longer
  • 87 per cent have increased fresh air intake
  • Over 50,000 standalone HEPA filter units and other ventilation devices purchased

Canada and Ontario have announced $450 million in funding specifically for HVAC and window projects, supporting 2,052 ventilation improvement projects in over 1,670 schools and co-located childcare facilities across 70 school boards. Education Minister Stephen Lecce says most projects are underway in preparation for the 2021-22 school year.

In the 2021-22 school year the province will fund:

  • $29.4 million to operate ventilation systems longer and replace filters more frequently
  • $25 million to ensure that all occupied instructional spaces without mechanical ventilation, as well as JK-SK classrooms in mechanically ventilated schools, have standalone high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter units.

Also, the $1.4 billion annual school renewal allocation provided to school boards can be used for a range of projects including renewing and upgrading ventilation systems.

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