Case Study: School District Installs Air Scrubbers to Return to the Classroom

  April 1, 2021

To prepare for its facilities fully reopening to students and staff, northern California’s Manteca Unified School District has installed 1,500 air scrubber and negative air machines to purify the air in classrooms across its 30 schools. 

“We’ve spent the last several months analyzing every facet of our organization in order to develop a comprehensive strategy designed to create a healthier environment for our students and staff,” says Dr. Clark Burke, Superintendent, Manteca Unified School District. “The air quality in our area is often affected by the extensive local agricultural industry and lately, regional wildfires have also contributed to poor air quality.”

The school chose Carrier OptiClean Dual-Mode Air Scrubber and Negative Air Machines to help to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) for the district, as its more than 27,000 students, teachers and staff return to campuses. 

“After reviewing a number of indoor air quality solutions available, we are confident that the OptiClean product is the right fit for our needs,” says Dr. Burke. “By placing an OptiClean unit in each classroom, we feel that we’ll not only help improve our IAQ, but also provide peace of mind to our students, their parents and staff.”

The machine cleans and removes air potentially contaminated by the coronavirus. In a closed room, the machine uses high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, an air management system to significantly reduce the presence of coronavirus and other contaminants in the air, and flexible ducting to exhaust the filtered air. The machine creates negative pressure so that when the classroom room door is opened, air is pulled into the room from outside instead of letting potentially contaminated air out from the room. If negative pressure is not required, the machine can be used as an air scrubber, pulling air in, removing contaminants, and discharging cleaner air back into the room.

“Schools and school districts continue to evaluate the IAQ of their facilities and what can be done to help improve those environments for their students and staff,” says Justin Keppy, President, NA Residential & Light Commercial, Carrier. “We’re pleased to be working with Manteca Unified School District by providing one part of the solution for healthier and safer indoor environments. Our OptiClean units can help reduce contaminants in classroom air and inspire confidence for parents, students, teachers and staff as school districts safely return to in-person learning.”

Manteca Unified School District is one of several in California to choose the equipment as part of its IAQ solution. Among others are southern California’s San Bernardino City Unified School District and Alvord Unified School District. The two recently purchased 3,700 and 1,500 units respectively, in anticipation of the return of their collective 80,000 students, teachers and staff.


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