By: Meggan Schoberg

The energy choices we make in our schools effect the bodies and minds of students, teachers, and administrators. In the first part of our school energy efficiency series, we introduced a couple of key considerations regarding school energy efficiency measures. Next, we’ll be exploring the benefits of efficient systems and improved air quality: health and budget.

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds

The health benefits are numerous for efficient schools. One in thirteen children suffer from asthma, which is the leading cause of absenteeism, followed by chronic illnesses. Improving indoor air quality reduces the amount of asthma related incidences, and reduces the spread of viral and bacterial pathogens leading to chronic illnesses.

Reducing VOCs within your building and increasing from 20 to 40 cfm/pp can increase cognition for both students and staff by 101%. This leads to better concentration, higher test scores, and staff retention.

Efficiency and Cost Savings

From a budget standpoint, the previous paragraph regarding health correlates to a schools funding and budget. Higher attendance and higher test scores mean more funding. Immediate budget impacts from having an efficient building comes from preventative maintenance and lower utility costs.

For every dollar spent on preventative maintenance on your major systems, it saves the school four dollars down the road. An efficient building also means reducing your utility consumption by 20-40%. These immediate savings can be directed towards salaries, other projects, supplies and more.

Low-Cost Improvements

There are solutions that educators, facility managers and school administration can enact right away that are low and no cost. Some suggestions to get you started: 
  • Unblocking air vents
  • Keep spaces uncluttered and easy to clean and dust
  • Live animals, stuffed animals, upholstered furnishings, scented candles, deodorizers and harsh cleaning products can all negatively affect the air quality and should be avoided
  • Change air filters regularly
  • Address mold and mildew immediately
  • Walk-off mats at entrances
  • Use the least-toxic cleaning products and integrated pest management practices

For more information on energy efficiency measures for your school, you can contact Meggan Schoberg at