At room temperature, carbon dioxide is a colorless, odorless, faintly acidic-tasting, non-flammable gas. Carbon dioxide is a byproduct of normal cell function and is removed from the body via the lungs in the exhaled air. Carbon dioxide is also produced when fossil fuels are burned.
Employees and students spend 90% of their time indoors. Maintaining adequate indoor air quality (IAQ) in schools and the workplace is becoming a top priority for facility managers and building operating engineers.
Most heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) re-circulate a significant portion of the indoor air to maintain comfort and reduce energy costs associated with heating or cooling outside air. Current technology allows easy and relatively inexpensive measurement of carbon dioxide ( CO2 ) as an indicator to help ensure ventilation systems (for high-density occupancy zones) are delivering the recommended minimum quantities of outside air to the building’s occupants.
Moreover, the amount of carbon dioxide in a given air sample is commonly expressed as parts per million (ppm). The outdoor air in most locations contains down to about 380 parts per million carbon dioxide. Higher outdoor carbon dioxide concentrations can be found near vehicle traffic areas, industry and sources of combustion.
Exposure to carbon dioxide can produce a variety of health effects. These may include headaches, dizziness, restlessness, a tingling or pins or needles feeling, difficulty breathing, sweating, tiredness, and increased heart rate.
Using carbon dioxide as an indicator of ventilation, ASHRAE has recommended indoor carbon dioxide concentrations be maintained at—or below—1,000 ppm in schools and 800 ppm in offices.
Today, the measurement of CO2 is an important tool to help ensure adequate outside air ventilation while simultaneously saving energy by reducing the number of over-ventilated buildings. Technological breakthroughs have made it possible to use relatively inexpensive carbon dioxide sensors to continuously monitor the carbon dioxide in buildings.
The 24-Hour Indoor Air Monitoring Device is especially useful for those spaces or zones that experience variable occupancy rates: The ventilation rate responds proportionally to changes in the occupancy density.
This monitoring device measures CO2 while simultaneously measure temperature, relative humidity, and other gases such as carbon monoxide.
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