Few would argue against the need for improving test scores in schoolchildren. It would also be beneficial to know what impact indoor air pollution has on students. However, no one would recommend testing the effects of air pollution on children directly. That said, one such experiment, conducted by accident in California several years ago, provides a takeaway that’s hard to ignore. The result of this unplanned experiment found IAQ benefits to schools in the form of higher test scores. Students in classrooms that used air filters to reduce indoor pollution increased academic performance.
IAQ Benefits to Schools
Back in 2015, a gas leak was detected at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility. The owner of the gas well was concerned about how the leak might affect schools in the area. The Southern California Gas Company, working with the Los Angeles Unified School District, found a solution. Together, they placed air filters in every classroom in every school within a five-mile radius of the leak.
Most of the greenhouse gas emissions from the Aliso Canyon leak traveled further up into the atmosphere where they did not pose a direct threat to students. While this is a silver lining to what could have been an even bigger catastrophe, it lead to the discovery of another IAQ benefit to schools. After the installation of air filters, math scores improved by 0.20 and English scores rose by 0.18 standard deviations. This is an improvement similar to that seen by reducing classroom sizes to improve academic performance.
Other than the placement of commercially available air filters at a cost of $700 per filter, no other engineering changes took place in classrooms. This further supports the claim that air pollution affects cognitive performance. As well, this was a solution costing less than $1,000 per classroom and was easy to scale plus operational costs decreased after the first year. This is especially important to schools in underserved areas.
Pure Air Control Services Building Sciences
Another step toward obtaining IAQ benefits for schools is improved HVAC performance. Restoring the performance of aging systems provides immediate benefits to indoor air quality. For our part, Pure Air Control Service’s Building Sciences team includes a host of systems, methods, and expert staff to reduce pollution indoors.
Building Health Check
Our Building Health Check method tests the indoor environment which gives building managers the data they need to make improvements. This includes an HVAC Hygiene Assessment that fully gauges the impact of the HVAC system. It also includes the IAQ Guard monitoring system that tracks indoor environmental conditions around the clock. Monitors placed throughout the building provide a remote team with readings on environmental conditions in real-time. K-12 classrooms, as well as colleges around the country, use our Our Building Health check to improve ventilation.
Building Remediation for IAQ Benefits to Schools
Our suite of Building Remediation solutions further enhances IAQ benefits to schools. The HVAC New Life hygienic restoration method improves the performance of HVAC equipment making it more energy-efficient while lengthening its lifespan. The PURE-Steam HVAC hygienic cleaning and PURE-Duct duct cleaning services remove dust and debris from the system while PURE-Decon uses EPA-certified disinfectants to destroy pathogens and protect students’ health.
Contact Pure Air Control Services Today
While the connection between dirty air and poor cognitive performance is likely, the subject needs more study to be conclusive. That said, the IAQ benefits to schools that use these filters are undeniable. They also provide an efficient and affordable way to get clean air into classrooms. This improves the health of students regardless of academic performance. To learn more about how improvements to IAQ benefits schools, contact us today. Call 1-800-422-7873 or email us here.