Student Performance

Elevating Education

Over the past two decades, domestic and international research has demonstrated a noteworthy correlation between optimal ventilation and academic achievement. Regrettably, most educational institutions lack adequate ventilation, leading to subpar indoor air quality. This is particularly detrimental to economically disadvantaged areas, as it hinders the recruitment and retention of exceptional educators and accomplished students. EBTRON’s premier airflow solutions empower educational institutions to create environments conducive to learning, ensuring a healthier environment for students and educators.

Promote better learnings

Improve student health

Reduce contaminants & mold growth

Improving indoor air quality can be a more cost-effective way to enhance test scores than lowering class sizes.

An economic analysis of K-12 school IAQ improvements showed significant impacts in standardized tests, where the average mold project increased the pass rate by 3-4%, and the average ventilation improvement project increased the pass rate by 2-3%. Improved IAQ may also result in decreased respiratory irritation and missed school days. Absenteeism decreases the quantity of schooling received, which may negatively affect human capital accumulation and result in lower test scores. EBTRON is not just about improving air quality; it’s about nurturing healthier, more productive learning environments that can positively impact academic outcomes. 


A lack of ventilation in a classroom is a lack of “fresh air”, and is often indicated by high carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. This is due to the fact that all humans breath out CO2, however, the amount generated is dependent upon many variables (activity level, age, gender, body mass). Thereby younger children expel less CO2 than adolescents or adults, although children consume more air per body mass than adults. Therefore, it is important that developing children get generous quantities of fresh air. Studies have correlated high CO2 values to decision making performance and cognitive function.

Studies have shown that proper classroom ventilation can positively impact academic performance, particularly in math and reading for K-12 students. However, these studies have also revealed that most classrooms are not adequately ventilated in accordance with ventilation standards and building codes. These standards and codes recommend a complete room air change with fresh air every 20 minutes, which translates to 3 air changes per hour (ACH). It is important to note that these rates are based on acceptable body odor levels rather than enhanced performance or other metrics. In the case of COVID-19, the recommended ventilation rate for dilution is 6 ACH. Insufficient ventilation can lead to decreased attention and concentration among students, ultimately affecting their ability to focus on the teacher’s instruction. Additionally, inadequate ventilation can negatively affect all occupants’ health.


Not only are schools being under-ventilated, but in many cases the ventilation rates are not consistent. Differences exist from classroom to classroom, permanent structure versus temporary, type of mechanical equipment in one space versus another, and during changes in seasons. An important statement in the conclusion of the most recent research is“Mechanical system types and adequate ventilation rates play a significant role in classroom indoor air quality, and these factors show significant associations with student learning outcomes”.

It’s proven that mechanical ventilation is more effective than opening doors and windows for natural ventilation. When designed, installed, and controlled well; mechanical ventilation will also be acoustically better, provide better IAQ, be more thermally comfortable, and more secure. Although, there are many schools that are currently without mechanical ventilation and air conditioning, the economic justification for improvements is strong. With significant federal funding now available, there is a strong argument to invest in mechanical ventilation with airflow measurement for healthier and higher performing schools.

Sustainability is important, however, all too often the amount of the potential energy saved by reducing ventilation can easily be offset by increased productivity and improved health. One paper’s conclusion expressed this assessment by stating: “Educating children is one of the most important ways of benefiting future generations, so we should not allow energy and resource conservation measures to result in classroom conditions that reduce children’s ability to perform schoolwork. Reducing ventilation and allowing temperatures to vary over a wider range are counter-productive”.


The variances in ventilation may be caused by mechanical degradation, differences in controls, human alterations, weather changes, and more. Regardless of the cause, without active measurement or control of the ventilation rates, there is no way to notify, alarm, troubleshoot, or automatically correct these disparities. Thereby, ventilation rates are likely to further degrade over time. Even if the problem is determined through inspection, CO2 measurement, or field airflow measurement, if there is no active measurement and control, paying for a one-time balance in airflow will likely result in the flow rates not being maintained.

Be aware of energy-saving strategies and scheduling that can impact providing adequate ventilation. CO2 demand control ventilation (DCV) can cause under-ventilation due to CO2 lag or improper control assumptions. Some products claim the ability to reduce ventilation air, “because they clean it”. The result is less ventilation per person, high CO2 levels, and perhaps harmful by-products such as ozone or hydroxyl radicals that can cause harm to the respiratory system. Scheduling may lead to ventilation being turned off when students are not in classes, however, janitorial services are active. This may cause the release of VOCs into the space that may linger when teachers and children return or result in a build-up of moisture that may lead to mold growth.  Learn more about EBTRON Solutions for Schools.

Additional Resources Related to Ventilation Enhanced Performance in Schools

The University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Mechanical system types and adequate ventilation rates play a significant role in classroom indoor air quality, and these factors show significant associations with student learning outcomes. In this study, seasonal variation was found in the ventilation rates of the classrooms.

School Environmental Effects on Student Achievement

The Center for Green Schools

One measureable impact that school buildings can have on teachers and students is in the area of air quality and ventilation.

The Impact of School Buildings on Student Health and Performance

Environmental Protection Agency

Ventilation rates in most schools are below recommended levels. Growing evidence of the positive impact of outdoor air ventilation suggests a clear opportunity for improving health and academic performance.

Evidence from Scientific Literature about Improved Academic Performance
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