U.S. Schools Struggling With Air Conditioning Problems As Kids Head Back to School

Though it’s still brutally hot out in states all across the country, summer is winding down. The end of summer only means one thing to families with children and the children themselves: school is back. Unfortunately, some kids aren’t as lucky during the first few days back to school and have to deal with temperatures nearing triple digits and little to no air conditioning.

The United States uses more air conditioning than all other nations combined. Approximately 84% of all houses across the United States have sort of air conditioning unit. But when it comes to schooling, there are plenty of educational buildings across the country that have yet to get their AC units ready for school, despite the fact that children are well on their way.

According to the Los Angeles Times, if children head back into a school with no air conditioning, they won’t just be uncomfortable throughout the school day, they’ll struggle to focus due to the heat.

During the returning days of school, the Los Angeles School District had a backlog of 1,709 complaints about heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Of those, 309 were reported during the first two days as staff and students returned to their classrooms.

“The more bodies you put into a classroom, the more heat you’re introducing into that space, which means the air conditioning has to work a little longer… to keep that space at the temperature you want it,” said Robert Laughton, L.A. Unified maintenance and operations director.

Excessive heat can cause headaches and impact a child’s ability to focus and learn.

“All of the heat will decrease their alertness,” added Dr. Marina Armendariz, an emergency department attending physician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “Their body temperature increases. Many of those things can decrease their ability to be successful in the classroom.”

WSET added that another school in Virginia was experiencing our conditioning outages during the first days of school. In total, 14 7th and 8th grade classrooms are currently without air conditioning at Forest Middle School.

Though summer is almost over and the temperatures will (hopefully) start descending, this is still an important issue that needs to be addressed across the country.

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