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How do C02 levels affect a classroom environment?

How do C02 levels affect a classroom environment?

CO2- Why do we care about levels?

There are two main reasons why CO2 levels can rise in a classroom:

Occupancy: Humans breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. The more people in a classroom, the more CO2 is released through respiration. This is especially true for older students who tend to exhale more CO2 than younger ones.

Ventilation: Fresh air from outside dilutes the CO2 exhaled by occupants. Poor ventilation, caused by:

  1. Closed windows and doors: This traps CO2 inside the classroom with no fresh air entering to replace it.
  2. Inadequate ventilation systems: If the classroom's ventilation system isn't functioning properly or doesn't bring in enough fresh air, CO2 can build up.

Here are some additional factors that can influence CO2 levels:

  1. Classroom size: Smaller classrooms with less air volume will see CO2 levels rise faster compared to larger ones with the same number of occupants.
  2. Activity level: Students who are more active will exhale more CO2, so physically demanding activities can contribute to a rise in CO2 levels.

By understanding these causes, schools can take steps to improve ventilation and keep CO2 levels within a healthy range for a better learning environment.

High levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in a classroom can negatively affect both the health and learning of students and teachers. Here's how:

  1. Reduced cognitive function: Studies have shown that increased CO2 levels can lead to difficulty concentrating, paying attention, and making decisions [. This can significantly hinder a student's ability to learn and retain information.
  2. Physical discomfort: CO2 buildup can cause headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and even nausea. These symptoms can make it difficult for students to focus and participate in class.
  3. Increased respiratory problems: For students with asthma or other respiratory conditions, high CO2 levels can exacerbate their symptoms .

Recommended CO2 Levels:

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends that CO2 levels in classrooms be below 1,000 parts per million (ppm).

Levels exceeding 2,000 ppm can lead to substantial discomfort and hinder learning.

How to Improve Classroom Air Quality:

  1. Ventilation: Increasing ventilation by opening windows and doors is a simple way to reduce CO2 levels.
  2. Air purifiers: These can help remove CO2 and other pollutants from the air.
  3. Monitoring CO2 levels: Schools can use CO2 monitors to track CO2 levels and take action when they become too high.

By maintaining good indoor air quality and keeping CO2 levels in check, schools can create a healthier and more productive learning environment for everyone.

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