Using CO2 Monitors to Identify Poorly Ventilated Areas

UK Law states that employers must ensure an adequate supply of fresh air, or ventilation, in enclosed areas of the workplace – this includes our schools.

But how do you know which areas of your office or classrooms are most at risk?

First, prioritise places that are most frequently used. Then ask do they have a window, door, vent or mechanical ventilation in close proximity? If not, then consider it high risk.

If what you have is a mechanical ventilation system, then you should consider whether it uses outdoor air, temperature control or both. If your system is simply recirculating air, then this area should also be considered high risk.

If you have areas within the workspace that are considered stuffy or have a funny smell, these should be treated as high risk too.

How can CO2 monitors help?

As people, we exhale carbon dioxide (CO2) when we breathe out. If there is a build up of CO2 in an area, it indicates that additional ventilation is required. With a CO2 monitor in place, it is quick and easy to identify this build up.

Whilst CO2 levels are not a direct measure pf possible exposure to COVID-19, using CO2 sensors to check air quality levels can help you to identify poorly ventilated areas.

How do you use your CO2 sensors?

CO2 levels vary significantly indoors. You should try to place CO2 monitoring devices at head height and away from ventilation sources such as windows, doors, or air supply openings.

Your CO2 sensors should also be placed at least 50cm away from people. Why? If you place a monitor too close to a person, your readings will misleadingly high, due to measuring the CO2 within their exhalations.

The measurements taken by the sensors will vary throughout the day due to changes in conditions, such as number of occupants, the activity taking place in the room, ventilation rates and whether the doors or windows are open.

The amount of CO2 in the air is measured in parts per million (ppm). If your measurements in an occupied space seem very low (far below 400ppm) or very high (over 1500ppm), it’s possible your monitor may need to be moved to provide a more accurate reading.

If you would like support in assessing your environment to see whether CO2 monitoring, please book a free consultation with a member of the Invisible Systems team.

We can deliver remote CO2 sensors suitable for all environments, teamed with Real-Time Online our bespoke platforms which shows you your readings in real-time.

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