Importance of Air Purifiers in School Classrooms
Learn the Importance of Maintaining Clean Air in Classrooms
By Kaitlin Mays
12 min read
As school openings are just around the corner, one of the biggest concerns both parents and the school systems face is keeping kids and teachers healthy. Your kids are sitting in the same room for almost eight hours a day–that’s nearly half of their week–and the quality of the air they are breathing in is essential to ensure their health and safety. A report from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency states that as many as 50% of schools suffer from poor indoor air quality. Poor indoor air quality can lead to many different issues such as coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and respiratory problems, missed school, and parents are having to take off work or scrounge around for a babysitter. Ultimately, suppose the environment around your kids isn’t as healthy as it can be. In that case, their performance and stamina can suffer as they’re preoccupied with pesky allergies and the symptoms that can follow from breathing in stagnant, poor quality air.
However, there is an easy, sure-fire way to help combat poor air quality in the school classroom–air purifiers. Having air purifiers in the school classroom will help remove those harmful irritants and allergens that can cause your little one to feel sick, run-down, or stuffy and tired. The air we breathe in can contain small and large particles that we can’t detect with the human eye that cause these reactions and less-than-ideal side effects. These particles can be mold, dust mites, hair, pollen, harmful chemicals, germs, odors, gases, plus many other allergens and pollutants. The high school, middle school, and elementary school classrooms can be a breeding ground for these irritants. Countless kids are tracking their pet’s dander, hair, and dust; harsh chemicals are used every day to clean the classrooms (especially now), older schools can easily contain mold and dust, and once springtime hits, pollen will be stuck to the windows. Not to mention, odors and germs run rampant in schools, again especially during the covid season, so it’s essential to be able to trap as many of those harmful germs and viruses as possible because we don’t want to have to focus on more than one virus at a time.
All of these things contribute to poor or even harmful air quality. Air purifiers work to combat all of these pollutants and irritants by utilizing filtration systems to remove the harmful particles and push purified air back into the room. Most purifiers use a three, four, or even five-step filtration system to ensure that almost 100% of these particles are removed and clean, pure air is pushed back out. Usually, a pre-filter is used to capture those large, airborne particles from the air. Then, a True HEPA filter works to capture up to 99.99% of small particles. You can use another mesh shield filter to neutralize bacteria on contact. There will also be a carbon filter made out of carbon to remove odor and chemicals from the air. Lastly, some purifiers utilize Plasmawave technology, which uses positive and negative ions and water vapor to remove bacteria, viruses, odor, gases, and chemicals from the air. These three to five filtration steps work to remove up to 99.99% of pollutants from the air that is as small as 0.3 microns. Each step makes sure that your bases are covered and that the cleanest air possible is filtered back out.
There are several benefits to having air purifiers in the classroom.
Higher Test Scores
In 2015, a Los Angeles school had an emergency in the form of a gas leak at one of their schools, which led to the county using filters and purifiers in every classroom and school. When they did this, something exciting happened, students’ test scores went up, and they went up a lot. Not only did they go up briefly, but they maintained those high test scores. This launched studies into the effects and correlation of clean air in the classroom, and many studies found that test scores go up when there is higher air quality. Now, there are more and more growing studies and literature that suggest performance is related to air quality. More pollution in the air resulted in more unsatisfactory performance. These studies extended past the classroom and to factory workers and baseball players. Performance, stamina, and focus were all improved when students had access to fresh, pure, and clean air. Higher test scores, improved performance, and a better learning environment are vast benefits of having air purifiers in the classroom.
Fewer Allergy Symptoms and Side Effects
There are other benefits to having purifiers in the classroom that will make your life—having air purifiers generates clean air, resulting in fewer side effects and symptoms. Some of these symptoms can knock you out for a day or even longer, which results in more doctor’s visits, more trips to the school nurse, and more sick days out of the classroom, all of which hinder the learning process child.
Having to pay for doctors’ visits and medication can rack up a bill. Having an air purifier in the classroom can help alleviate the number of sick days a student has to take or the inconvenience and cost of hiring a babysitter to stay home with a sick child if needed. Additionally, kicking those allergy symptoms to the curb can also reduce the medication needs––which is good for the wallet and good for your overall health. All of these benefits can be encompassed by building a better learning environment for students. Students and teachers are at their best when they are healthy.
Things to Consider When Purchasing An Air Purifier for Your Classroom
1. The Size
Consider the size of your classroom, and make sure you’re choosing the most compatible purifier with that square footage.
2. The Need
Secondly, identify the needs of your classroom. Are the air quality issues more centered around odor and harsh chemicals? If so, getting a purifier with the Plasmawave Ion technology might be best. If your issues are mainly pollen, dust, and dander, a general purifier with a True HEPA filter should do the trick. If you’re affected by all of the allergens such as dust, mold, chemicals, and odor, maybe consider a purifier that uses the five-stage filtration system.
3. Noise Level
Another good thing to consider is the noise level settings. Most purifiers come with “quiet modes” to ensure that a loud fan won’t interrupt classroom time.
4. The Style
Finally, you can choose between many sizes, colors, and styles, so choose whatever fits your need or aesthetic. Getting an air purifier for your classroom is an excellent step towards a more healthy group of students and teachers.
Help create the best learning environment you can by improving air quality in the classroom.