Did you know you can improve attendance numbers in a classroom by improving ventilation?
A study in 2006 showed that increasing classroom ventilation and decreasing the difference between indoor and outdoor CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels resulted in a decrease in absenteeism.
Read on for 3 key tips to make your classroom ventilation systems more effective!
1. Prioritize Fresh Air
Ventilation is basically the idea that you are replacing bad air with good air. In a classroom setting with a larger group in a smaller room this can be accomplished in a couple different ways.
Open the Windows and Doors
If weather and temperature allows, open the windows and doors as much as possible. This will allow fresh air in, just make sure to not block its ability to move through the room with bookshelves or anything.
Check the AC
Ask the maintenance personnel if the AC pulls air from inside the school, or outside. Pulling fresh air from outside may have a higher energy cost, but will have long term benefits for classroom air quality.
2. Keep the Air Moving
Fresh air is all well and good in a classroom ventilation system, but only if you can keep it moving through. Opening doors and windows can help create a cross breeze and keep the air moving, but you can also use fans to help.
Placing fans around the room in key spots will keep the air moving around the room to circulate the fresh air throughout. This will ensure that your air keeps ventilating and changing, eliminating the possibility of stale air.
Use Exhaust Fans
Exhaust fans are designed to pull air out and vent it outside.
While exhaust fans are typically used as part of the ventilation system in kitchens and bathrooms, be sure to use one if available and doing any school work that might have fumes.
3. Keep the Air Clean
Most heating and cooling systems are not designed to eliminate moisture, clean toxins, or monitor CO2 levels. Moving the air does not clean the air, but there are devices that can help.
Portable Air Cleaners
Portable air cleaners can help filter toxins out of the air. Be sure to use HEPA grade filters and keep them changed regularly and cleaned. Also be mindful whether the portable air cleaner will create ozone, as this can be harmful to one’s health.
When used air is not replaced with enough new air, CO2 levels in a room will increase. This is particularly worrisome in a classroom environment where a large group of the same people stay for many hours of the day.
Installing a Battery Powered CO2 Monitor will help you know if the CO2 levels in your classroom are at safe levels. By monitoring the levels, you can take steps to improve ventilation and cycle out the old air.
Ensure You Have Effective Ventilation Systems in Your Classroom
While you can’t affect immediate change in the larger ventilation systems of a school, there are steps you can take to improve ventilation in your classroom: open the windows for fresh air, keep that air moving, and monitor and clean the air as needed. This will improve the health and learning for all in the classroom.
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