When it comes to learning, environmental factors can significantly influence students of all ages in Australia. While we often consider elements like lighting, colour, furniture, audio stimuli, indoor plants, and layout, there is another less visible factor that can greatly affect the learning environment: air quality.
The Hidden Influence on Education
Recent research has confirmed that the temperature of an educational setting directly affects students' ability to concentrate, absorb, and retain information. A study conducted by Harvard University revealed that exposure to extreme heat can lead to physical challenges (cardiovascular and thermoregulation), cognitive difficulties (acquiring and retaining information), and even emotional issues (motivation and negative attitudes toward tasks). The decline in student performance is also significant, with achievement dropping by approximately 1% of a year's worth of learning for each additional degree (Fahrenheit) the temperature rises.
Why does heat have such a profound impact on our learning abilities?
Studies have shown that when a classroom becomes too hot, the brain constantly reminds the body to address the temperature, making it harder to focus. It's not just students who are affected; teachers also struggle, resulting in less energy dedicated to teaching and reduced attention given to students. Similarly, research has demonstrated that when a classroom becomes too cold, tasks requiring sustained attention become challenging.
The Influence of Air Temperature on Workplaces
Office workers also experience the effects of air temperature and quality. Studies suggest that the optimal temperature for productivity and well-being falls between 22-25 degrees Celsius. Consistency in indoor climate is equally important, as fluctuating temperatures can impact both productivity and health. Many can relate to the difficulty of focusing in a stuffy, overheated office or constantly battling colds in an overly chilly space.
How Air Conditioning Can Help
While we cannot control the external weather conditions, air conditioning provides a simple solution to address the climate issue in classrooms, home studies, and offices. The right air conditioner can maintain an ideal temperature for learning and also improve humidity control and indoor air quality (IAQ). With a significant percentage of infants experiencing asthma or wheezing and a rising prevalence of asthma in children, IAQ in Australia should not be overlooked. The Daikin split systems have received Sensitive Choice approval from the National Asthma Council Australia, demonstrating their commitment to asthma and allergy awareness.
Air conditioning in schools worldwide has proven effective in enhancing students' performance. In Japan, nearly half of both public and private school classrooms are equipped with air conditioning units. In the UK, air conditioners are used to ensure comfortable classrooms, enabling students to focus for longer periods, particularly during colder weather.
Maintaining Comfort in Australian Classrooms
As more air conditioners are installed in classrooms across the country, teachers can control the air temperature to ensure an optimal learning environment consistently. This is especially crucial for schools in rural and regional areas, allowing teachers to conduct mentally demanding lessons during the hottest part of the day. Moreover, students look forward to returning to cool classrooms after their lunch break.
Education Extends to the Home
While schools prioritise temperature control, it is essential to consider the home environment's climate as well. Homework and studying play a significant role in education, requiring focus and concentration. To create an ideal home learning space, get in touch with one of our team.