The European government recently made an important decision that will help improve every educational institution’s, staff and student’s health and safety amidst the Coronavirus age. The government recently developed a law mandating schools and educational institutions to adopt carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring solutions; this policy will be welcomed by many for the next school terms.
Guidelines from the European health authorities conveyed that one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus in enclosed establishments like schools, is proper ventilation of each classroom. While not every European school has automated ventilation systems in place, other educational organizations can regularly open doors and windows to increase air flow and improve ventilation. A carbon dioxide monitor measures the level of CO2 concentration in built spaces, this can also help assess each room’s ventilation quality and indicate when a classroom needs better air flow. Through the help of CO2 sensors, indoor air quality in schools are optimized, virus particles are mitigated and energy efficiency can be expected.
Now that the policy has been launched and is already effective, the questions that schools should care about are how they can effectively use CO2 monitors to improve ventilation and what specific features should they be looking for?
Choosing the Right CO2 Sensor
Carbon dioxide is an acidic, colorless and commonly odorless greenhouse gas that is natural and somewhat harmless to human health when inhaled in small quantities. But as levels rise, it can disrupt cognitive performance and damage normal body functions. CO2 concentrations tend to get dangerous in locations with poor ventilation.
- CO2 -concentration ≤ 800 ppm: good ventilation/air exchange
- CO2 -concentration > 800 ppm and < 1200 ppm: declining air quality
- CO2 -concentration ≥ 1200 ppm: insufficient ventilation/air exchange
Some schools may be unfamiliar with air quality sensors or haven’t tried using one. While there are numerous brands available in the market these days, choosing the most suitable kind can be a tough job. There are types of CO2 sensors that have data logging features and there are those that work without one. A sensor without data logging capabilities simply calculates the level of CO2 and presents the measured concentration on a display or traffic light pertaining to the two limit values: 800 ppm and 1200 ppm.
A CO2 sensor with data logging works the same as the above type but keeps the measurement for a long period of time, making it more useful particularly for schools that are looking forward to tracking their indoor air quality progress. Apart from this, sensors with data logging feature enabled can also help learning environments:
- Identify the air quality strategies that are effective and abandon those that are not.
- Learn which interventions and factors (opening or closing windows, students in or out of the classroom) affect the CO2 value.
- Send and store data using an application installed on the computer, mobile phone or tablet.
- View the CO2 measurement history
- Analyze the graphs and recognize patterns in the use of space.
- Connect CO2 sensor with data logging to a ventilation such as in a demand-driven system.
Backing the effectivity of the law is the list of specifications of CO2 sensors that schools must pay attention to:
- Self-calibrating sensors (NDIR type) for reliable and stable measurement results
- Attenuating visuals and auditory features which will be used to indicate the safe and alarming threshold.
- Adjustable limit values: CO2 meters should have adjustable limit values.
- With few buttons
- Easy to use
Enabling Seamless Carbon Dioxide Analytics in Schools Using the uHoo CO2 Stoplight Feature
To provide better air quality monitoring experience, uHoo, the most comprehensive indoor air quality sensor has added new functionality to its indoor air health solutions, the CO2 Stoplight feature.
Using the uHoo CO2 Stoplight, the current level of carbon dioxide in the surrounding air is calculated with results clearly displayed using the three traffic light colors:
- Green- the CO2 level is healthy
- Yellow- proper room ventilation is recommended
- Red- ventilation is necessary
With this new feature, European classrooms can expect the following major benefits:
- Convey classroom air quality status in a way that students can easily understand.
- Reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and harmful airborne particles in every classroom through reliable signals.
- Provide healthy indoor air quality in schools for students and staff.
- Increase safety and security for students and teachers.
- Make the information on CO2 levels clearly visible and available in almost all areas of the school facility.
- The uHoo CO2 Stoplight is ready for use without reconfiguration or device adjustments.
By following the above guidelines and requirements on the CO2 meters along with the adoption of stringent efforts and the installation of a comprehensive indoor air quality sensor with useful additional features, schools can completely eradicate unwanted carbon dioxide levels, ensure health, establish parent trust and elevate the learning experience of its students.