• Oct. 8, 2020 — Mountain Brook Schools has always been committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for students, faculty, and staff. Fulfilling that commitment means ensuring the circulation of highly purified air within every school building. 

    Recently, the Mountain Brook Board of Education reinforced its dedication to maintaining exceptional air quality. At its Sept. 10 meeting, the school board approved a bid from a local HVAC supplier, Mingledorff’s, to install more than 200 air ionizers on existing HVAC units across the district. 

    Installation is underway. 

    “I think this will just make the air even better,” MBS Facilities Director Tommy Prewitt said. “It’s just an extra step that we’re taking. Anything you can do to try to provide the cleanest air possible for the kids is a good thing.” 

    Ionizers emit negative and positive ions into the airstream that attach to particles such as viruses, dust, and pollen. That makes the particles bigger and heavier, allowing them to be removed from the air more easily by a filter or gravity. 

    “Sometimes the particles get large enough they just fall to the ground,” said MBS HVAC technician Paul Whitfield. “What this does is it basically kills viruses — coronavirus, which is what everybody’s concerned about right now, and the other viruses: cold, flu, stomach bugs. Those can be eradicated through the constant use of these negative and positive ions in the airstream.”

    The ionizers also eliminate the food source for mold. 

    “It has a lot of purposes to make our air cleaner and give us better air quality for our students for a healthier learning environment,” Whitfield said. 

    Additionally, MBS is in the process of installing new Tri-Dem MERV-11 air filters that were ordered before the school year began. They are stronger than the MERV-8 filters previously in use.

    When combined with the ionizers, the MERV-11 filters function at an even higher level. 

    “There’s a lot of benefits to the ionizers and filters, so we figure now is probably a good time to add them,” Prewitt said.

    VIDEO: MBS invests in enhanced air quality