Comfortable room temperatures and good indoor air quality can make it easier for students and professionals to focus (especially when it’s a mentally challenging task). In contrast, if it’s too hot or too cold it becomes impossible to focus or process information even if the person is known for his/her high levels of concentration and productivity.

How good air conditioning affects focus and learning

Often, our own physical comfort and needs should be taken cared of before we can fully focus on work and study. If it feels uncomfortable in the first place, we’ll find it hard to process the incoming information and understand the concepts and instructions. Worse, the discomfort can cause headaches and unnecessary stress, which will affect our mental performance and even our overall health.

With good air conditioning and ventilation though, our minds become free to fully pay attention to the task at hand. The feeling of comfort and stability (through the regulation of temperature and humidity levels) allows us to face a different kind of difficulty or challenge. When the conditions around us are regulated or controlled, things become more predictable and we gain more mental energies and resources to take on deep thinking.

There were studies about how heat exposure affects learning and cognitive development (e.g. research study done by Harvard). Similarly, we can assume that it also affects mental performance at work where details and decisions should be handled carefully and accurately. With poor mental performance due to poor air conditioning and ventilation, there will be visible and hidden costs as well as negative results.

It becomes a worthwhile investment then to have a good AC system in home, work and learning environments. Although there will be additional costs on the system and its operation, it will still be worthwhile if we think about the comfort and higher levels of focus and productivity. It’s especially the case during exam week, long hours of meeting and other challenging times where comfort can make a huge difference to how we learn and make decisions.

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