Concern: Folly Quarter Middle School: December 18th, 2023 (CXFQMS20230002DA)

Room 3
Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
The air in my room feels overly dry. A general health symptom was reported.

I am not sure if it is the air filter, the chalk dust and old carpet, or just poor ventilation. Other staff members and even some students have also commented to me that they feel like the air is overly dry to them.
IEQ Investigation Process

Identify deficiencies that may impact IEQ and/or sources of odor concerns. Typically includes the following depending on the nature of concern, but not limited to:

  • interview/questionnaire of concern individual(s)
  • inspection above drop ceiling (condition of roof deck, pipe insulation, return air plenum)
  • inspection of ventilation system (operation of variable air volume box and outdoor air dampers, check controls, measurements of carbon dioxide, temperature and relative humidity, sources near outdoor air intake, measure return and supply air volume, cleanliness of coils, liner and condensate pan)
  • inspection of exterior
  • inspection below drop ceiling (housekeeping, sink and floor drain traps, signs of past and present moisture concern via visual and/or moisture meter, mold growth, ensure connection of current and capping of abandoned sanitary vents, odorizers, excessive plants and fabric items, identify potential pathways, and measure volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and lighting)

Date(s) of Assessment: December 19, 2023

The space consists of drywall walls (2), block walls (2), carpet, and a drop-ceiling. The space is served by a Fan-Coil Unit (FCU) which conditions/circulates existing air in the space. Outdoor air is provided through ceiling mounted diffusers served by an Outdoor Air Unit (OAU) on the roof (OAU-1).

The temperature measured within the space (early morning, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) operational) was 68.3 degrees (within HCPSS guidelines) and the indoor relative humidity was 25.2%. The outdoor relative humidity was similar (18.6%) due to anticipated regional outdoor weather conditions in December.

A data logger (temperature and relative humidity) was placed in the space on December 19-21. Temperature readings were acceptable. Relative humidity ranged from 16-27%. 

Regarding ventilation, carbon dioxide is often used as an indicator to determine if sufficient outdoor ventilation is being provided. The data logger noted above also collected carbon dioxide measurements. Carbon dioxide was not elevated. 

No malodors were sensed within the space.

No elevated moisture was detected in the carpet. 

No elevated moisture was detected in the drywall. 

No thermal anomalies indicative of moisture intrusion were identified via a thermal infrared camera.

A refrigerator is located within the space. 

Two non-issued cleaning chemicals were observed. 

The FCU and ceiling mounted supply diffusers were assessed qualitatively and were functioning. 

The filters within the FCU were in good condition. 

In general, cleaning practices appeared acceptable. Minor dust was observed on the metal file cabinet near the entry door. 

The dedicated OAU was assessed. The outdoor air dampers were open. The final filters were in good condition. The pre-filters appeared out of date. The pre-filters are responsible for protecting/extending the service life of the final filters. The final filters are the primary means of filtration for occupants. 


The humidity levels measured within the classroom could be perceived as low/dry, however the levels are within the same standard of care as other HCPSS facilities. HCPSS HVAC systems are not designed to increase humidity. If outdoor humidity levels are "low," lower humidity levels will be introduced indoors via the ventilation system and the opening of doors. HCPSS does not humidify air through the ventilation system as it is not standard industry practice for the region. Humidification can introduce clinical environmental concerns such as "humidifier fever."

Based on qualitative assessment of supply diffusers (outdoor air) and the carbon dioxide readings, there does not appear to be a ventilation issue with the space. 

Corrective Actions
December 20th, 2023

Custodial Services is to clean the dust on the file cabinety. 

December 22nd, 2023

The concerned individual could speak with their medical provider about how/if low humidity plays a factor in the general health symptom reported. However, it should be noted that HCPSS does not humidify via the HVAC system as it is not the industry standard for HVAC design for this region and it can introduce additional clinical environmental concerns (ex: humidifier fever).

December 22nd, 2023

If the refrigerator is not serving an educational purpose, it is recommended it be removed to improve energy conservation.

December 22nd, 2023

The non-issued cleaning supplies are to be removed. 

December 22nd, 2023

A work order was created for Building Maintenance (HVAC) to assess the pre-filters within OAU-1 and address as necessary. 

Tracking Number