What is the role of CO2-sensors?

Throughout Europe, all government agencies recommend CO2-sensors to measure the air quality. 

But what is the function of a CO
2 -sensor? And how this small device help to monitor and improve the indoor air quality?

What is CO2 (carbon dioxide)?

First of all, it is important to know what CO2 is. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a natural gas that is released during combustion processes.

The CO
2 that is created during the combustion process in the body is exchanged during breathing by oxygen (O2). Because everyone exhales CO2 , this gas is therefore a good indicator⁠ to measure 'used' air.

In closed spaces with many people and limited ventilation, such as classrooms or office spaces, CO
2-levels can rise quickly.

Elevated CO
2-values are associated with a low oxygen level, which can lead to concentration problems, symptoms of fatigue and headaches.

Greater risk of COVID-19 during higher CO2 -levels

An increased CO2-concentration does not provide any information about the number of virus particles in the room, but it indicates that the air in the room has not been refreshed for a long time.

The number of air pollutants in poorly ventilated areas is significantly higher and therefore the risk of
 infection from viruses such as COVID-19 is more likely. 

Air purification and ventilation are the solutions to creating a safe and healthy indoor air climate!

What CO2 -levels are allowed?

CO2-sensors are usually simple instruments to measure the concentration of CO2 in the room. For the most accurate measurement possible, these devices are best placed in the middle of the room.

Based on the measured CO
2-concentration, the devices often use color indicators to indicate the quality of the indoor air. In addition, the display often also shows the value in parts per million (⁠ppm).

The default colors and values are as follows;

Up to 900ppm,⁠ the air quality is considered good and the indicator is green.
The room is well ventilated.

• At a value between 900ppm and 1200ppm, the indicator is orange.
Ventilation is recommended.

• At a measured value above 1200ppm, the indicator will turn red.
The CO2-values are high and ventilation is necessary.

2 -concentrations above 2000ppm can quickly become dangerous and in these situations, the persons present are advised to leave the room.

CO2 -sensors are great at measuring, but..

CO2-sensors help to indicate the air quality, but the devices do not actively contribute to improving the indoor air quality.

The small devices have no cleaning functions, filters or other properties that could reduce air pollution or CO2 .

The key to a healthier indoor climate lies in the combination of the supply of fresh outside air (ventilation) and purifying the polluted air that is present in the room (air purification).

Can an air purifier reduce the CO2 -concentration?

The breakdown of CO-molecules is only possible by means of photosynthesis.
This is the process where trees and plants, under the influence of energy from light, convert the water and carbon dioxide to oxygen and glucose.

To neutralize the CO2-emission from one person, hundreds of houseplants are required. Therefore, the only efficient way is to reduce the CO2 -concentration is by using ventilation. Air cleaning systems do not use photosynthesis and therefore do not contribute to the reduction of CO2-concentrations.

Nevertheless, air purifiers in rooms with a high CO
2-concentration are extremely effective: they reduce the number of (ultra) small particles in the air, such as virus particles. According to recent research, the chance of (COVID-19) contamination in a room where an air cleaning system is used is twelve times lower.

Mandatory CO2 -sensors?

Many companies and institutions are now obliged to place CO2-sensors in all their rooms.

To avoid double investments, the AirExchange® air cleaning systems can be equipped with an integrated CO2-sensor.

This sensor constantly measures the CO2-concentration in the room, which will be shown on the display (AirExchange® 1500-T) or in our application (models 600-T, 750-T and 1500-T). The system will automatically adjust the cleaning program based on these measured values.

With our devices, you can measure the CO2 -concentration, but also directly improve the indoor air quality!