ATLANTA, GA — Problems concerning indoor air quality (IAQ) in schools can be improved through use of active humidity control and continuous ventilation, according to new U.S. government studies.

Research shows that one in five U.S. schools have IAQ problems, affecting more than 8 million students, according to the U.S. government research outlined in an article published in “IAQ Applications” by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Problems can include drowsiness, lack of concentration, and headaches, which affect students’ comprehension and motivation.

Charlene Bayer, a researcher with Georgia Tech Research Institute, suggests that most IAQ problems in schools can be avoided by:

  • Providing an adequate amount of outdoor air on a continuous basis;

  • Controlling humidity in the space so that it is usually between 30% and 60% rh; and

  • Providing a level of particulate filtration efficiency for outdoor air adequate to prohibit most mold spores and fungi from entering the hvac system.