4 min reading
11 January 2023
11 January 2023
Efficient Ways to Monitor IAQ in Commercial Buildings
Have you ever faced any issues, such as frequent headaches or slowdowns in cognitive activities? If yes, then you have poor indoor air quality and air conditioning, which doesn’t get rid of indoor pollutants appropriately. Indoor air quality monitoring is increasingly important in commercial buildings since they are required to increase or sustain fresh air for sufficient levels of productivity and performance during the day. That’s why the question of how to improve indoor air quality is one of the most popular for building managers. In this article, we will try to look into the different options for monitoring indoor air quality data and highlight the best ones. There are several options that you can try, from a small sensor that has a display to a much more advanced system that can keep an eye on the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in your building.
Why is it Important to Sustain Good Indoor Air Quality?
Monitoring carbon dioxide (CO2) is an effective way to measure indoor air quality in office buildings. It is also an important indicator of other air pollutants, including those in air ducts and particulate matter. If CO2 is too high in a building, it can lead to lower productivity of the workers or respiratory health problems.
The level of CO2 in an indoor space depends on the number of occupants and the quality of the ventilation system. Monitoring CO2 can also help you determine how much fresh air is available in a room. If the CO2 concentration is too high, it can lead to drowsiness, fatigue, and nausea.
If you feel groggy after lunch with a bunch of colleagues or after a fully packed meeting, it may be due to increased CO2 levels and poor air exchanges. CO2 levels are usually higher in poorly ventilated spaces, where indoor air quality standards are not met. If you are worried about the effects of CO2, you can try opening the windows or using an improved HVAC system.
In addition, raising the ventilation frequency in a building can reduce energy waste and decrease health concerns. CO2 monitors can alert you when air quality is unsafe in indoor environments. If you do not have a CO2 monitor, you are not only risking your well-being and productivity but also exposing other building occupants to air pollution and airborne particles.
What are the Most Popular Ways of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Monitoring?
As we already established, commercial indoor air quality is of utmost importance for both facility managers and workers. So, if you are one of the building owners or simply in charge of an office building, you should install an indoor air monitor. You can choose a portable CO2 sensor that is installed near occupants or an integrated system of indoor air quality monitoring in the ventilation system.
IAQ can help you reduce energy costs, but it can also improve productivity and increase occupants’ awareness about indoor pollution if such is present. You may not know it, but your indoor environment can have a profound effect on your decision-making and overall performance.
Smart Sensors Detecting Indoor Air Quality Problems
IAQ monitors are often used to measure the air quality in commercial buildings. Not only can they detect pollutants like radon, VOCs, and particulates, but they can also alert you when an area is unsafe with CO2 elevated levels. Based on the data provided, you can easily set up indoor air quality management and adjust ventilation to ensure that the air inside your building is free of contaminants.
A good monitoring system will use smart sensors and combine them with software to give you the best possible results. Some of these include a touchscreen interface option that allows for optimal control of individual units. The other option is a single USB module that allows for the download and upload of sensor data. All these sensors can be suitable for your commercial building, so the main thing to do in this case is to check whether the chosen sensor addresses our needs specifically.
There are many types of IAQ monitors. Some of them feature built-in screens, while others are available in wall-mounted models. In either case, the best options will allow you to compare pollutant levels and determine which areas need improvement. You should choose the air quality monitor, which has sufficient certifications to detect volatile organic compounds, chemical pollutants, or poor air quality due to high CO2 levels, depending on the challenge you usually face.
TEKTELIC has developed a perfect solution for indoor air quality testing and monitoring. TEKTELIC BREEZE is an advanced device that allows you to check the temperature and relative humidity in your house without having to check different types of thermometers. It also comes with a CO2 detector. With these sensors, you can always be sure to have a comfortable atmosphere in your building, no matter what season it is.
BREEZE is a small, elegant, and effective way to measure and provide information about your commercial indoor air quality. In addition to measuring humidity, temperature, and CO2 levels, it can trigger HVAC systems or carbon filters to purify the building’s indoor air quality.
This sensor also has two options for purchase. One is a high-performance temperature, humidity, and CO2 sensor, while the other (BREEZE-D) is all the above plus a high-tech E-Ink display that can be mounted on walls, desks, and even ceilings. BREEZE is powered by two AA-sized lithium batteries. The sensor itself can be wall or ceiling mounted as well, and it offers a slew of features like trigger events, automatic calibration, and a plethora of pre-configured thresholds.
If you’re looking to improve the efficiency of your business, it’s a good idea to look at what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. That’s where wireless and remote indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring come in. A well-designed system can help keep your employees and inventory healthy while also boosting your business’ performance.
BREEZE is one of the best building air quality monitors that can provide you with real-time data, which simplifies building management while improving indoor air quality. One of the most efficient and useful options is that sensor can communicate its data to a cloud-based interface. This enables you to get instant alerts when your air is beyond the acceptable indoor air quality range. You can also monitor trends and receive reports on indoor air pollution.
If you’re trying to improve poor indoor air quality and get rid of air pollution, you’ll want to use a variety of techniques to find the right solution for your building. Increasing ventilation rates is one of them. This method can improve indoor air quality and help reduce excessive energy consumption.
However, in order to establish necessary ventilation rates and temperature control indoors, a ventilation system on its own is not enough. The most efficient way to monitor IAQ is by tracking the pollutant levels of your indoor and outdoor environments. This can be done only with an indoor air quality monitoring sensor, sufficient air filter, and HVAC maintenance. To avoid costly mistakes, ensure that the device you select is sensitive enough to capture data accurately and quickly and address air quality issues.
How to Determine Optimal Ventilation Rate?
The most basic indoor air quality measurement requires the bare minimum of information to calculate the correct ventilation rate. To do this, you should determine the total air volume delivered to the room in a given hour. In addition, you’ll need to calculate the temperature of the air. This can be accomplished by subtracting the room’s average temperature from the temperature of the air at the source of the ventilation.
The real trick is to calculate the optimal ventilation rate based on your unique situation. If you don’t have a clear picture of your building’s ventilation needs, you might be missing out on valuable fresh air.
Establishing sufficient air circulation is important in terms of the building’s indoor air quality monitoring. When an office has sufficient air conditioning, it’s very unlikely that the office will be full of indoor air pollutants. If the HVAC system works properly and you consistently follow certain cleaning programs, you will maintain indoor air quality at a high level at all times. However, the problem here is that continuous ventilation produces both clean air and extra costs. That’s why automated indoor air quality monitoring is needed to create an event-based approach to ventilation. Simply said, when CO2 or indoor pollutant levels are higher than normal, the sensor will send information to a gateway and it will trigger an air purifier or HVAC system to improve indoor air quality and bring it back to normal.
Using an air purifier in the office can help you avoid problems with dust and dust mite allergies and stale and contaminated air. Some air purifiers and portable air cleaners use electrostatic precipitators and ultraviolet light to remove volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, or secondhand smoke from the air. Some of them have a HEPA filter for particle neutralization, which could possibly have serious health effects if unnoticed.
Air purifiers are a great tool for controlling dust and dust mites. They work by capturing allergens before they become airborne, making your office building a safe place for workers. You can also use HEPA filtration to eliminate dust and dust mites from your carpets and carpet floors. An electrostatic air cleaner is an efficient and practical way to achieve good indoor air quality. It works by charging particles in the air and settling them onto an electromagnetic plate.
Electrostatic precipitators and ultraviolet light air purifiers are two types of air cleaners that are designed to capture and trap particulate matter and other indoor pollutants. These filters are a great solution for residential and industrial settings as they can significantly improve poor air quality. They can be found in many varieties, so it’s important to find the right one for your needs and the best occupational safety.
Which Problems of Commercial Indoor Air Quality should you Address First?
Indoor air pollution is a major problem, which includes a lot of so-called “sub-problems”. When you notice that you have poor indoor air quality inside the office building, or you see that the activity of your enterprise negatively affects outdoor air quality it is difficult to figure out what is the exact problem. That is why to have clean air inside the office building or outside, you should make sure that all the variables such as relative humidity, temperature, CO2 levels, and ventilation are at their best levels.
Refresh Stale Air
Stale air may be an unfortunate reality in our increasingly air-conditioned world, but there are ways to freshen it up. A properly installed HVAC system can help, but a more thorough air purification system may be necessary to truly clean the air inside your home or office. To improve indoor air quality, you should consider a number of factors including improving air conditioning, using a humidifier or dehumidifier, making regular equipment maintenance, and automating building management.
Prevent Mold Growth
Mold is a type of fungi that can cause respiratory issues and appear on walls or office furniture. Most people with allergies and asthma will experience more symptoms if they are exposed to mold. According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some people may even develop a mold infection, symptoms of which include watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, and wheezing (2022).
There are several ways to prevent mold growth. One is by using air purifiers. Air purifiers help filter out the mold spores that can cause respiratory problems. They also help keep the indoor air circulating and neutralize any odors that may occur keeping commercial indoor air quality at a high level. Indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring in this case is of utmost importance and can help you prevent this situation.
Reduce CO2 Levels
CO2 is a colorless, odorless gas that is formed during the decomposition of organic matter. It is a major component of the atmosphere and is present in various gases. At the same time, it might be really harmful to people, when its concentration in the indoor air is higher than normal. For example, people may have headaches, dizziness, and experience a decrease in cognitive abilities due to high CO2 levels in a room.
Besides, high CO2 levels can be a great space for bacteria and diseases spread, which is especially dangerous during seasonal flu and pandemics. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become an acute issue, and people started addressing poor indoor air quality. However, even now, after the pandemic, we have seasonal flu and have to make sure it doesn’t spread throughout the office if one person got sick. For this reason, buildings, especially commercial ones need to install at least one air quality monitor to optimize building management and HVAC system operation.
The real value of an indoor air quality (IAQ) sensor comes from turning data about temperature, relative humidity, and CO2 into actionable insights. This can be accomplished through regular reports and alerts. You may be surprised at the potential of a BREEZE sensor to help you manage your IAQ.
An IoT-powered air quality monitoring system is capable of detecting toxic gases inside premises, can trigger an air purifier, and save money on constant ventilation. BREEZE is able to collect real-time data from the surrounding environment, upload it to a cloud database and show it on the E-Ink Display or CO2 monitoring app. BREEZE is a perfect choice for indoor air quality monitoring and it is an air quality monitor you want to have in your commercial building.
If you have any further questions on BREEZE operation or indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring in general, feel free to reach out to our sales team, they’ll answer all the questions, you can possibly have.
- EPA (2022) EPA. Environmental Protection Agency. Available at: https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-and-health (Accessed: December 22, 2022).