Maintaining indoor air quality standards is a tricky balancing act. Not only do you have to know what the ideal level of indoor air quality (IAQ) looks like for your space, but you’ll also have to identify the indoor air quality sensors that will help you maintain those standards. Here are some of the most significant types of air quality sensors you’ll want to equip your building with.
An indoor space should have CO2 levels well below the recommended 1,000ppm. Levels above that standard can cause symptoms like drowsiness, fatigue, headaches, and loss of concentration. Prolonged exposure to high levels of CO2 (i.e., 5,000ppm) will have far more severe side-effects and, if left unresolved, can cause real health concerns.
While few buildings will ever reach CO2 levels high enough to cause lasting symptoms, it’s still essential that you have sensors in place to closely monitor the CO2 that exists in the air. For example, a Veris wall-mounted CO2 sensor will detect abnormal fluctuations in CO2 levels and automatically signal your ventilation systems so they can release an appropriate amount of fresh and/or outdoor air.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Sensors measure air contaminants from other sources besides respiration (CO2), such as building materials, cleaners, perfumes, cigarette smoke, cooking odors, body odor, bathroom odors, and paint, furniture, and carpet off-gassing. Using this sensor for Demand Controlled Ventilation is a way of achieving true indoor air quality, rather than just CO2 dilution.
There isn’t a strict guideline for temperature in an office or working environment. Instead, the United States Department of Labor says that temperature is a matter of “human comfort” and offers the recommendation that indoor temperature should reside in the range of 68-76° F.
Monitoring the temperature in an indoor environment can be challenging. Instead of constantly adjusting the thermostat, a temperature sensor can autonomously control the HVAC systems to either cool down or heat a space as needed. This won’t only save you money, since you won’t be paying for energy you don’t need, but will also promote the comfort your occupants crave.
Air pressure is one of the less talked about factors involved in indoor air quality standards, but that doesn’t mean it’s unimportant. Positive pressure means that you’re keeping hot air outside the building, making it an appealing standard to pursue during the summer months. Negative pressure, meanwhile, is ideal for the colder seasons as it keeps heat and humidity inside the building.
You can’t maintain the proper air pressure without the right tools, though. That’s why you need a pressure sensor that can measure air pressure or velocity with the highest degree of accuracy. For added convenience, look for a sensor that can be managed remotely via mobile app, as this will enable you to wirelessly configure and monitor the indoor air quality standards you want to maintain.
According to HVAC.com, too much humidity in an indoor space is “the leading cause of mold and mildew growth in a home” and can cause various health concerns, such as increased asthma and allergy problems. Meanwhile, too little humidity creates a haven where viruses and bacteria thrive, which causes its own health issues (i.e., scratchy throat and nose, lung and sinus problems, increased chance of colds, etc.). The ideal humidity level rests between 20-60%, as recommended by the United States Department of Labor.
Veris offers humidity sensors with fully interchangeable elements that can be set to 1%, 2%, 3%, and 5% accuracy with no calibration required. These sensors continuously track the humidity levels in a space and automatically notify you of any discrepancies so you can quickly program your HVAC systems to respond as needed.
Improving indoor air quality standards is a marathon, not a sprint. Installing the proper sensors is a crucial step, but it’s far from the only one. True improvement means maintaining the sensors you equip your space with, monitoring the data they provide you with, and taking the necessary action to resolve any issues your indoor air quality sensors pick up on.
Get in touch with Veris today if you need help identifying the best types of air quality sensors for your building! Our team of experts is always available to answer your questions and work with you to ensure that your indoor air quality (IAQ) is the best it can be.