What Should the Humidity be in a Classroom, and Why?

If you’ve ever been trying to focus in a classroom environment and find it difficult to do so, don’t necessarily blame yourself. It could be a sign of imbalanced relative humidity –—a fact that is easily ignored and often not addressed. So, what should the humidity be in a classroom environment? let’s explain how much air moisture content is good for students, teachers, and other staff not just during day-to-day classes, but in the long run.

40 to 60 Percent Relative Humidity is Essential

Deviating from 40 to 60 percent RH can cause a range of health and wellness issues for classroom occupants, while keeping your relative humidity within these levels can make such environments safer and healthier. Students, particularly those who are younger, need an environment that stimulates the mind more efficiently. They can then remain focused, and proper humidity control plays a bigger role in ensuring this than many of us may realize. The same principle applies to offices and other environments where focus and mental stimulation is essential.  

Risks of Low or High Relative Humidity

Decreased Airborne Infection Control

Low humidity enables aerosols containing infectious bacteria such as flu strains to travel further through the air. This can make it easier to spread illnesses among students, teachers, and other classroom occupants, making it harder to maintain airborne infection control. It also means that you may experience spikes in absenteeism, detracting from the ability of students to learn as efficiently.

Electrostatic Discharges

Low relative humidity can result in a higher-than-normal buildup of static electricity, which can then arc more easily. This produces electrostatic discharges, which are both unpleasant and pose a safety risk, especially when intensified such as on highly conductive surfaces in low humidity. They can also cause damage to electronics such as computers and hard drives, corrupting data and making it harder to get work done.

Irritation and Discomfort

A lack of proper humidity control can result in a wide range of unpleasant conditions for classroom occupants to go through. From skin and eye irritation to rashes, dry skin, and even drained energy from the body working harder to counter the poor air moisture content, these issues can cause a great deal of irritation and discomfort. Picture yourself in these conditions and consider whether you would be able to focus and be productive as easily — chances are that you wouldn’t!

In conclusion, what should the humidity be in a classroom, and why? Simply put, it needs to be between 40 and 60 percent and consistently controlled for optimal health and wellness, leading to better airborne infection control as well as greater mental focus and productivity in learning environments. For more information on how to maximize the potential of educational facilities with proper humidity control, reach out to us at Condair today.

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