Keeping Your Cool in the Classroom

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school air conditioning


The Alice Cooper classic  “Schools are out for summer!” rings out across the country! And not a moment too soon!

Classrooms are literally sizzling in the heatwave. Unfortunate students who did not have adequate air conditioning to keep them cool at school hurry off to find refuge in the coolest spots off campus. If only their schools had provided the same… After all it’s the advice of the met office, and it is good advice!

Why keeping cool in class is smart thinking…

A recent study suggested wealthy private schools that could afford air conditioning would increase the relative exam success of their pupils during summer heat.

This will come as no surprise to any over heated teachers mopping their fervoured brows. They will know just how important it is to maintain a comfortable working environment on school and campus.

Only today it is reported that The Environmental Audit Committee are advising schools and head teachers about safe classroom temperatures and suggesting they should relax school uniform policy during hot weather. 

Recent research shows just how important effective heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are to providing a decent learning environment. A constant flow of fresh air improves not just the comfort of teachers and children, but also performance. Studies from the University of Tulsa found that student scores improved against the state average when fresh outdoor air was introduced into the building and a number of air changes took place in the classroom. The probable correlation seems clear – rooms with proper ventilation mean higher marks. 

Poor ventilation and air quality in a building can also affect the health of it’s occupants contributing to higher rates of illness and absenteeism. It can also exasperate hay fever and asthma. 

Some learned research – why it pays to invest…

So having the correct ventilation is important. But, as critical, is to maintain a consistently comfortable working environment. Ask any unfortunate student who has been studying or sitting end of year exams without the benefit of air conditioning or evaporative cooling in the last month.

Thing is, a person’s brain automatically switches from concentrating on the learning process to urging the body to act to cool down when it’s too hot. A NASA study found that at an effective temperature of 85 degrees there was an 18% loss in work output and a 40% loss in accuracy. High temperatures in the classroom are also thought to potentially lead to more aggressive behavior being displayed by students – affecting not only their academic performance but also disrupting the teacher and the class. 

A comfortable environment  means heating as well as cooling…

Maintaining a comfortable environment is not just about keeping it cool. When winter freezes set in the challenge instead will be to keep outside chills at bay.  Cornell University discovered that, in an office environment, when temperatures dropped to 68 degrees or less on-the job error increased by 44%. 

This is why, when undertaking site surveys or recommending an HVAC solution, Clean Air always consider the full picture. More particularly how cooling and heating systems integrate with each other to provide optimal climate control all year around. 

Stand-alone or dedicated heating or cooling systems are sometimes a necessity, but as an easy, flexible answer air conditioning that takes some beating. It is a 2 in 1 solution, delivering powerful cooling and heating to maintain a comfortable environment through out the extremes of our erratic climate of late. The latest air conditioning systems are also incredibly energy efficient – this translates as good for the environment and good for the bursar (saves the school money!). 

So teachers – as you prepare for the new academic year over the summer holidays – perhaps now is also a good time to review your schools heating, cooling and ventilation.  After all, a comfortable environment in the classroom is perhaps as vital as any spend in it. The potential dividends are high – be it improved staff and student performance, or financial and environmental savings.