The Potentially Harmful Effects of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) on Health and Productivity
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a colorless and odorless gas that is created in several ways, with the most common being the burning of fossil fuels. However, in an office environment, CO2 mostly occurs as a result of human respiration. Elevated levels of CO2 in indoor environments can have negative impacts on human health and productivity. This is why it is critical for companies to measure indoor CO2 levels and take action to reduce the concentration. In this article, we explore the health and productivity-related issues that unbalanced levels of CO2 can cause, as well as present a technology that can help measure CO2 levels and automate ventilation.
Impact of Elevated CO2 Levels on Human Health and Productivity
Measure C02, TVOC, and PPM using IOT sensors.
Normal concentrations of CO2 are between 250 to 400 parts per million (ppm) outside and typically between 400 and 1,000 ppm for occupied indoor spaces with good air conditioning and ventilation. When indoor environments experience increased levels of CO2 (usually due to poor ventilation), office workers have reported feeling tired, irritable, or having problems concentrating.
Studies into human reactions to elevated concentrations of CO2 have found that CO2 concentrations between 2,000 and 5,000 ppm can cause headaches, sleepiness, poor concentration, increased heart rate, and slight nausea. CO2 concentrations above 40,000 ppm can lead to serious oxygen deprivation and even death. Another study found that workers were able to work up to 60% faster in lower CO2 concentrations, and that high CO2 levels can cause offices to feel stuffy, leading to poor decision-making, slower reaction times, and increased tiredness among employees.
Using CO2 Sensors to Monitor and Control Building Ventilation
To reduce elevated levels of CO2 as quickly and efficiently as possible, existing building management systems (BMS) and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) solutions are often not sufficiently flexible or granular. The most cost-efficient way to achieve optimal indoor environmental conditions is to use Internet of Things (IoT) based CO2 sensors, in combination with a BMS and remotely manageable HVAC and ventilation systems.
This solution is suitable for both new “smart” buildings and older offices that can be retrofitted with new technology. Accurate and effective monitoring is particularly important for older constructions, as newer buildings are usually built with efficiency and employee well-being in mind. The data generated from CO2 sensors can be