How Room Temperature Affects Our Brain

Did you know that the room temperature in your home or office affects much more than your body’s physical comfort? Room temperature also affects our brain in many different ways. Let’s take a deeper look at all the ways the right room temperature can benefit our brain and why.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND TEMPERATURES

Before we can look at any of the benefits that can be received from having the right room temperature, we must understand how room temperature affects our brain physically. Most of us probably remember learning in science class that the average body temperature for a human is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and our brain works really hard to make sure that our bodies maintain this temperature. In order to do this, our bodies use glucose, but heating up and cooling down the body do not require equal amounts of energy or glucose. Our brains expend greater energy in order to cool our bodies down than it does to warm our bodies up. The more glucose that our bodies are using to regulate our body temperature, the less glucose is available for our brains to use for our higher order cognitive functioning. So, keeping the room temperature at an optimal temperature that will help our bodies naturally maintain our 98.6-degree body temperature, will also improve our brain’s overall ability to function.

INCREASED ABILITY TO LEARN AND EFFECTIVENESS OF STUDYING

Just as with the work environment and productivity, there has been a lot of research dedicated to determining whether room temperature affects our ability to learn and the effectiveness of studying, and how. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Special Achievement Award winners set out to answer the question “does the temperature you set for your air conditioner or heating system impact student performance?” They conducted several experiments that included testing students in different climate-controlled rooms at 61 degrees Fahrenheit, 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and 81 degrees Fahrenheit, and concluded that temperature does have an effect on a student’s attention span, with students in both the warmer and cooler rooms testing more poorly than the students in the control room which was maintained right around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Students that were in the warmest room (81 degrees Fahrenheit) did the poorest on the test with an average score of 72%, those in the coolest room (61 degrees Fahrenheit) performed only slightly better than the students in the warmest room with an average score of 78%, but students in the control room (72 degrees Fahrenheit) scored the highest with an average score of 90%! Another study done by an undergrad student at Loyola University came to the same conclusion that in environments with warmer and cooler room temperatures memory was impacted negatively, and that test scores were significantly higher in a classroom environment that maintained a room temperature around 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you have any questions or concerns about your own heating and cooling system and its ability to maintain the right room temperature in your home or office, contact the professionals at C & S A/C Services today at 727-856-4822!