A CO2 Traffic Light for the Office - Interesting Facts Explained in Brief
A good indoor atmosphere is important for keeping a clear head and getting your ideas down on paper in a structured way. On top of this, appropriate indoor air quality reduces the risk of infection by aerosols containing viruses. This is why offices and meeting rooms should be ventilated regularly and, above all, correctly. A CO2 traffic light can be used to reliably monitor the air quality in the office. The device measures the CO2 concentration in the room and shows when an air exchange is necessary.
How Does a CO2 Traffic Light Work in the Office?
A CO2 traffic light in the office helps employees in companies to ensure a "hygienically adequate"¹ supply of fresh air. It uses a traffic light system to indicate whether the air hygiene in the room is OK. In addition to the light signal, an audible warning signal is typically output when the CO2 concentration exceeds a certain threshold.
Details of the CO2 traffic light by Austrian sensor specialist E+E Elektronik can be found here.
What Is the Best Location for the CO2 Traffic Light for the Office?
A CO2 traffic light is used in the office either as a portable desktop device or mounted on the wall. Portable use offers the advantage that the installation location can be chosen flexibly. If the room is used for a different purpose, or if the CO2 content also needs to be measured in other rooms, the device can simply be set up at the new location. Fixed wall mounting, on the other hand, protects the CO2 traffic light against potential possible damage due to it accidentally being knocked over or falling.
Independently of the mounting method, care should be taken to ensure that the CO2 traffic light is not placed in the immediate vicinity of a window. Additionally, the installation location should be at least 1.5 meters away from people. An installation height of 1.20 to 1.50 meters above the floor is recommended for wall mounting.
The Impact of CO2 Levels on Health and Performance in the Office
CO2 is emitted when we breathe out. In line with this, the concentration of the odourless gas in offices and meeting rooms increases faster the more people there are in the room. Your subjective sense of well-being is a natural indicator of inadequately ventilated rooms. The physical effects, which are usually clearly perceptible, are headaches and poor concentration. Complaints of this kind usually occur at CO2 levels above 1,000 ppm.
Anyone who spends a long period of time in an inadequately ventilated office also runs an increased risk of exposure to viruses. The reason for this lies in the aerosols exhaled with the air we breathe. These small airborne particles – which can contain viruses – often remain in the air for up to several hours and spread throughout the room. A well-ventilated office therefore not only ensures better performance, but also reduces the risk of viral infection. CO2 traffic lights for the office enable objective assessment of air quality and help optimise ventilation behaviour in companies.
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¹ The measured values at which indoor air is "hygienically adequate" are specified in official guidelines on indoor air hygiene, see for example: https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/en/press/pressinformation/proper-airing-reduces-risk-of-sars-cov-2-infection