by Sensix Team15 days ago
The path to a good IAQ begins with understanding the metrics. So, let’s understand them. And by them, we mean Ambient Temperature, Ambient Relative Humidity, CO2, VOC, Radon, Particulate Matter. Let’s make sense of them!
Ambient temperature is the actual temperature of the air. Having in mind that the ideal temperature for humans is 21 °C, we measure air temperature with a sensor and you know what action you can take. What’s the best temperature for building spaces? One that keeps/makes the most people comfortable and happy. Because thermal discomfort affects employees, students, and other occupants, and you can expect decreased performance, lowered morale, and more bad stuff.
Ambient relative humidity is the water content of the air. The more water, the higher humidity and the harder is for us to breathe. The percent gives you an idea of how humid it feels in your home, school, building, etc. If the air is at 100 percent relative humidity, your shirt may become saturated with perspiration that doesn’t go anywhere, leaving you feeling like a swampy bog monster of revolting proportions. If the relative humidity is low, our sweat evaporates easily, cooling us off. So you should stay at about 45%. Cool, right?
Bonus not so fun fact: low humidity increase the risk for ESD (Electrostatic discharge), which is bad for industrial equipment. On the other hand, high humidity affects building structures and equipment in the long term.
As we suppose you already know, carbon dioxide is a byproduct of normal cell function and is removed from the body via the lungs in the exhaled air. Moderate to high levels can cause headaches and fatigue, and higher concentrations can produce nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and even loss of consciousness. Values up to 1000 ppm are good. Higher values are bad and we should open a window or make sure the ventilation system works as expected.
Volatile Organic Compounds are a large group of chemicals that are found in many products and that are released or “off-gas” into the indoor air we breathe. It could be cleaning products, air fresheners, cooking, etc. Common symptoms of short-term exposures to HIGH levels of VOCs include eye, nose & throat irritation, headaches, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, and years of exposure: cancer, liver & kidney damage, central nervous system damage. This should stay below 250 ppb to be safe.
Radon is an invisible and odorless radioactive gas that comes from the ground and it’s found in every home. Radon levels are influenced by numerous factors including the type of rocks and soil beneath a building, ventilation, and duration of time spent in the building. Measuring radon levels in a home or building is key to protecting the health of anyone breathing the air and monitoring radon is key to reduce health risks, as cancer, said WHO. Still WHO recommends that countries adopt reference levels of the gas of 100 Bq/m3 (Becquerel per cubic meter). Find more facts here.
Particulate matter, also referred to as PM or particle pollution is a complex mixture of solid and/or liquid particles suspended in air, found both in outdoor air and all indoor environments. The smaller particles are of concern because they are inhalable. Once inhaled, particles can affect the heart and lungs and in some cases cause serious health effects. Indoor PM levels are dependent on several factors including outdoor levels, infiltration, types of ventilation and filtration systems used, indoor sources, and personal activities of occupants: cooking, burning of candles, cigarette smoking, etc. Find more facts here.
OK, OK, you understand. Maybe you’re asking what they have to do with Sensix? Well, Sensix keeps track of your ambient (and energy) and puts food for thought and action on the table, so you can take data-driven better decisions (for your health and your building’s health).
💨 Learn more about Sensix solution & choose good IAQ, choose health.
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