4 May 2021, By Ronald

It comes as no surprise that the rate of onboard cleaning and disinfecting has skyrocketed over the past year. In fact, over 82 percent of transportation directors polled said their operations have implemented the use of industrial-strength cleaning and disinfecting solutions on school buses, since the COVID-19 uprising.

The following methods can be used to cleanse the interior of the school bus: 

  • Antimicrobial Products: used to control microorganisms like algae, bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
  • Surface Cleaning Products remove germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. A cleaning product can remove germs, but it doesn’t necessarily disinfect, make sure to purchase cleaning products that specify their capability to kill germs as well.
  • Surface Disinfectant Products kill germs but don’t necessarily clean surfaces. They have a higher standard and have to pass more rigorous testing requirements.
  • Surface Sanitizing Products are the weakest compared to the rest. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are no sanitizer-only products with approved virus claims.

Choosing the optimal Air cleaner can be overwhelming. There are so many terms to consider: 

  • Cubic feet per minute (CFM) 
  • Clean air delivery rate (CADR)
  • Ultraviolet C light (UVC)

And the list goes on. So, How do you determine what is best for your fleet?

There are several things to consider. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends improving particulate filtration and using UVC. As all the other technologies are still in their starting stages.

If a technology claims to kill or inactivate SARS-CoV-2 cells, make sure you can explain how the system is still completely safe for students and drivers. If it’s not “safe” for virus cells, is it safe for human cells? If you are still left confused go with UVC.

The CDC references the EPA’s Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home. In that guide, “efficiency” and “effectiveness” are defined by the term “Clean Air Delivery Rate,” or CADR, the product of efficiency and airflow. Effectiveness refers to how much of the air you’re cleaning. An air cleaner that is 100 percent efficient at cleaning 300 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air would have a CADR of 300.

Consider not only the initial purchase cost but the ongoing cost of anything you install. Calculate the ongoing cost of the system, ask vendors to include the five-year parts warranties and the five years or more of replacement filter changes in their quotes.

We may finally be seeing indications that we are on the way toward overcoming this pandemic, but COVID-19 isn’t going away without a fight. And it’s the initiations like this our fighting chance.

What are your thoughts on this? Leave a comment below