Indoor air pollution affects the lungs leading to respiratory issues such as asthma, respiratory inflammation, decreased lung function, and even cancer. Every year, approximately 3.8 million people around the world die as a result of indoor air pollution. Mainly poor indoor air quality exists in working environments such as factories, plants, laboratories, and even offices. This article discusses various techniques for indoor air quality testing.
Significance of indoor air quality
Monitoring indoor air quality is extremely important because other than providing a healthier and safer building environment, it increases the productivity of personnel, and also helps in maintaining mental health in good condition. Poor-quality air reduces the ability to process information. As a manager, you might have been underestimating the criticality of indoor air quality. However, this is something that cannot be brushed under the carpet just because you cannot see it. Let’s take a look at how you can perform indoor air quality testing.
The air quality can be tested by Environmental consultants well as using certain tools. These days, many companies offer indoor air quality monitoring equipment which can test air quality by measuring pollutants levels. These sensors are really cost-effective way of measuring air pollutants.
Indoor Air Quality Sensors
Indoor air quality testing is really easy and cost-effective if you use sensors. Sensors are devices that detect input in the physical environment and indicate it electronically for informing others. Sensors are used for identifying light, heat, smoke, motion, etc. In the case of air quality, an indoor sensor detects the presence of a particular pollutant and transmits that information to take appropriate action.
There are various kinds of air quality testing sensors that detect only specific pollutants. Thanks to advanced technology which has made indoor air quality testing sensors low-cost and smaller in size. You can get reliable results by installing them strategically in your building. One sensor is sufficient for 10,000 square feet.
You can have sensors to detect levels of Carbon monoxide, Particulate matter, VOCs, Humidity, Formaldehyde, Radon, methane, bioaerosols, and so on. Based on your nature of work and the elements you are exposed to, you can add sensors as per your requirement.
By monitoring pollutants such as carbon dioxide, you can reduce energy waste and save yourself money. Carbon dioxide might not be the real contributor to air pollution, but it acts as a surrogate for building occupancy levels. An excessive presence of carbon dioxide in the air is hazardous for people working in that environment. A ventilation system can help retain indoor air quality by bringing in fresh and clean air.
However excessive working of ventilation system wastes energy. By monitoring the CO2 level you can turn on the ventilation system as per need.
For good results, sensors should be installed in common areas, avoiding induction units, direct sunlight, or heaters. Mounted sensors give better results. Different sensors work in different ways. Their sample taking and reading time vary. Sensor data can be sent to the cloud, in the internet of things, for assessment through software. This allows you to have quick and real-time results on a dashboard. With the help of visual charts, the air quality readings are easy to decipher.
Indoor air quality testing helps you to decide further courses of action. Whether you wish to address the issue of poor quality air or you can keep working under the given conditions, which fall within the recommended parameters. If you wish to take corrective measures, you can hire a reputable company to ensure air quality. Regarding the latter, here is a chart of recommended parameters for indoor air quality as noted by the International Well Building Institute:
|CHARACTERISTIC||CONDITIONS TO BE MET|
|Particulate Matter||10 micrometers or less in diameter: 50 ug/m3; 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter: 15 ug/m3|
|Carbon Monoxide||Less than 9 ppm|
|VOCs||Less than 500 ug/m3|
|Formaldehyde||Less than 27 ppb|
|Carbon Dioxide About||700 ppm above outdoor air levels (usually about 1,000 to 1200 ppm) (ASHRAE)|
|Humidity||Below 60%, ideally between 30% and 50% (EPA)|
|Temperature||68.5°F to 74°F (winter); 75°F to 80.5°F (summer) (ASHRAE)|
*ug/m3 = micrograms per cubic meter
Indoor air quality testing helps you to decide further courses of action. You can take corrective action and preventive measures to control air pollutants. ACC Env is an experienced and qualified enterprise having expert environmental consultant California on its board. To get an authentic picture of your indoor air quality testing, give us a call now.