Back to school time in Tampa Bay is back again. Here in Florida, the summer weather heat and humidity do not stop just because school is back in session — and that potentially impacts how well a student performs. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency and other researchers have found links between how poor indoor air quality and temperature can affect student performance. Read on to learn how.

How Does Room Temperature Affect Student Performance?

Heat and extreme cold adversely affect student performance. Students are more attentive, focused and happier when learning in comfortable temperatures. According to a study conducted by students, under the supervision of several teachers, at Westview High School in Oregon, the results showed that students taking tests in 72-degree temperatures performed better academically than those being tested in rooms kept at 61 and 82 degrees. Maintaining a temperature around 72 degrees leads to better concentration and better test scores.

To learn more about the relationship between room temperature and performance, check out our blog: How Can Temperature Impact Your Productivity?

Common Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality in Schools

Indoor air pollution has been found to occur in schools when the school leaders fail to:
– Control pollution sources such as art supplies and laboratory activities
– Control temperature and humidity
– Control moisture and clean up spills
– Ventilate each classroom
– Perform housekeeping and maintenance
– Use integrated pest management to minimize the use of pesticides

Issues and Illnesses Caused by Poor Air Quality

Studies have found that poor indoor air quality can reduce a person’s ability to perform certain tasks requiring concentration, calculation or memory. Increased absences occur due to respiratory infections, allergic diseases from biological contaminants, or adverse reactions to chemicals used in schools. The presence of moisture, water damage, and microbiological pollutants, animal, and other biological allergens, and combustion products, including nitrogen dioxide, are the most common results of building pollution. Other risk factors for respiratory health effects include moisture or dirt in HVAC systems, low ventilation rates, formaldehyde, chemicals in cleaning products, and outdoor pollutants or vehicle exhaust.

Hot Rooms Lead to Lower Test Scores

In another study, known as the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, more than 8,000 children were tested on math and reading comprehension in their home. Scores declined once temperatures climbed above 70 degrees, and scores reached the lowest levels at temperatures exceeding 79 degrees. Researchers concluded that this was because the brain exerts itself to control body temperature, which leaves less mental energy and capacity to perform other tasks and less working memory to recall what was learned. A room that’s too hot or too cold can lead to students making more mistakes.

Advantages of a Comfortable Learning Environment

In both studies, students performed best while enjoying pleasant temperatures around 70 degrees. Exam scores were also significantly higher when students were taking tests in warm, as opposed to uncomfortably cold, rooms. Increasing a student’s academic performance may be as easy as keeping the temperature at a consistent level.

Contact Blair’s Air for AC Repair and Maintenance in Clearwater


HVAC maintenance is key to making sure that any building is a healthy and comfortable place to live and learn. Call the experts at Blair’s Air Conditioning and Heating at 727-592-8479, or schedule service online to get started right away with maintaining your heating and air conditioning system!