Good Question: Why aren’t districts required to install HVAC systems like malls?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Tuesday’s Good Question is about schools and malls.

Wendy asked News10NBC’s Brennan Somers, why aren’t school districts forced to install HVAC air systems with filtering like the malls have to?

It’s a good question as malls and schools can run about the same size. Both have big open common areas where a lot of people pass through next to each other, so why aren’t the requirements the same?

For starters, consider this — you’re dealing with the private and public sector. When Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced malls could open if they had the correct HVAC upgrades and filters, our local malls already met those standards while others had to pay for the changes.

However, upgraded equipment would be a huge added cost to public schools and state budget cuts are looming. Some local schools don’t even have a/c systems in place, so you’re starting from scratch.

Ventilation isn’t ignored in the state school reopening requirements. Everything still has to be up to code and districts are pushed to improve the air quality however they can, whether that be opening windows and doors or installing a higher efficiency filter.

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