The Value of Monitoring Indoor Air Quality

Bourne, MA — According to a white paper published by Onset, based here and authored by Greg Lowitz, founder and CEO of Buildera, based in Redwood City, CA, poor indoor air quality (IAQ) elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels can cause occupant discomfort and productivity loss. Not only that but it cites the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as saying that IAQ is one of the top five most urgent environmental public health risks. While conventional wisdom states that 5,000 ppm of CO2, one groundbreaking study challenges this wisdom with results that demonstrate a reduction in decision-making performance on six out of nine scales. This decision-making only gets worse at 2,500 ppm of CO2, with reduction on seven of these scales.

Ironically, well-intentioned efforts to conserve energy through better insulation that restricts outdoor air infiltration and heat/cold loss indoors can unfortunately conflict with the need to reduce indoor air pollutants such as CO2. Newer structures have more advanced ventilation that improves this relationship, but most existing structures do not have these systems and rely on fixed mechanical systems or natural ventilation. Indoor air pollutants vary depending on occupancy levels so areas of congregation have greater levels of CO2. This can be particularly relevant to busy retailers with smaller facilities and those with offices as well.
CO2 data loggers, can be a great way to detect and manage the risks of elevated CO2 levels and allow one to take the proper measures to mitigate these pollutants which can be as easy as opening windows or utilizing ceiling fans that promote better circulation.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine December 2016