Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

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 Heating and Ventilation Equipment Inspection and Maintenance

All heating and ventilating equipment, including heaters, stoves used for heating (or furnaces), stovepipes, boilers, and chimneys, should be inspected and cleaned before each cooling and heating season by a qualified heating/air conditioning contractor, who should verify in writing that the equipment is properly installed, cleaned, and maintained to operate efficiently and effectively. The system should be operated in accordance with operating instructions and be certified that it meets the local building code by a representative of the agency that administers the building code. Documentation of these inspections and certification of safety should be kept on file in the facility.
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.
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Ensuring Access to Fresh Air Indoors Maintenance of Air Filters Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  1. Chowdhury, R., M. Greene, D. Miller. 2008. 2003-2005 residential fire loss estimates. Washington, DC: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.