Chapter 5: Facilities, Supplies, Equipment, and Environmental Health
5.2 Quality of the Outdoor and Indoor Environment
5.2.1 Ventilation, Heating, Cooling, and Hot Water
126.96.36.199: Heating and Ventilation Equipment Inspection and Maintenance
After reading the CFOC standard, see COVID-19 modification below (Also consult applicable state licensure and public health requirements).
All heating, air conditioning and ventilation equipment should be inspected and cleaned before each cooling and heating season by a qualified heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) consultant. This includes boilers, hot water heaters, electric or gas heaters, heat pumps, air handlers, air conditioner compressors, refrigerant levels, fan coil units, condensate pumps, variable air volume controls and all filters. The ventilation consultant should also check all combustible gas chimneys, flues and fresh air make up vents. A ventilation consultant should verify in writing that the equipment is properly installed, cleaned, and maintained to operate efficiently and effectively. The systems should be operated in accordance with operating instructions and be certified that it meets the local building code, as required. Documentation of these inspections and certification of safety should be kept on file in the facility.
COVID-19 modification as of 09/22/2021
Improving ventilation is an important COVID-19 prevention strategy that can reduce the number of virus particles in the air. In response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on ventilation, it is recommended that staff:
American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Children’s Environmental Health Network
Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Routinely scheduled inspections and proper operation ensure that equipment is working properly. Heating equipment is the second leading cause of ignition in fatal house fires.1 Heating equipment that is kept in good repair is less likely to cause fires.
Qualified engineers can ensure heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) systems are functioning properly and that applicable standards are being met. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Website includes the qualifications required of its members and the location of the local ASHRAE chapter. The contractor who services the child care HVAC system should provide evidence of successful completion of ASHRAE or comparable courses. Caregivers/teachers should understand enough about codes and standards to be sure the facility’s building is a healthful place to be.
TYPE OF FACILITYCenter, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS188.8.131.52 Ensuring Access to Fresh Air Indoors
184.108.40.206 Maintenance of Air Filters
220.127.116.11 Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Ahrens, M., and Maheshwari, R. Home Structure Fires. National Fire Protection Association. Published November 2020. Accessed September 2021. https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and-reports/Building-and-life-safety/oshomes.pdf
Content in the STANDARD was modified on 09/22/2021.
COVID-19 modification as of 09/22/2021.