Air Quality Awareness is trending - Here’s the fresh take:
What has been a longstanding global concern, indoor air quality is finally getting the attention it deserves. A growing body of evidence is showing that the air we breathe when we’re at school, the office, the mall and even in our homes is basically just as polluted - and sometimes more - than the air outside. In fact, The World Health Organization (WHO) calls indoor air pollution the number one health risk since 2019. And with wildfires, warmer temperatures and population on the rise, it’s time we take notice of our indoor air quality.
People spend 90% of their time indoors
It’s true. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), people on average spend 90% of their time indoors. And the EPA’s report was conducted way before COVID-19 hit when many were forced to spend days confined to their homes. Now considering indoor air pollution is on the WHO’s list of top global health risks, this means that our own homes could be the reason for when were sick.
Now, the EPA’s latest report doesn’t give much of a positive prospect. Their latest research shows that indoor air pollution is often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels and has reached 100 times more in some areas. WHO estimates that 3.8 million die annually from indoor air pollution and nine out of every 10 people are breathing polluted air. Polluted air is just much harder to breathe, making our lungs and body work more for our basic functions. With the extra pressure we put on our body, our health might take the hit.
Air quality awareness is on the rise
Health is one of the top priorities for people. We track our calorie intake, our daily steps, and fitness progress all in the name of being healthy. Now people are tracking their indoor air quality for the same reason. There has been a huge demand for air quality information and safe breathing environments in public buildings, workplaces and schools. Air quality data and information is becoming more accessible and reaching more people and this growing awareness will ensure that indoor air quality stays at the forefront of our minds.
What are people doing to improve their indoor air quality?
Action follows awareness and people are taking steps to secure a healthy breathing environment. The motivation to improve indoor air quality not only stems from its importance to our health but also from how super easy the steps needed actually take.
A study in 2016 took palace in the dorms at the Technical University of Denmark where a group of students used different methods to improve the indoor air quality of their small rooms, like monitoring for carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. Meanwhile, researchers controlled the ventilation, increasing it for some weeks and then decreasing it for others. After a night's sleep through different conditions, students took cognitive tests to see how they performed.
The results were clear. When students worked and slept in ventilated conditions, CO2 levels decreased and students performed significantly better that morning, especially in strategic thinking. Students also reported feeling fresher and more awake.
The Syracuse University of Excellence conducted a similar study when they built a four-story laboratory with an advanced ventilation system and controlled the levels of CO2 and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) within the space. The study looked at the performance of the lab workers using cognitive ability tests and found that scores increased by 101% when ventilation increased. Employees were way more productive, a gain of $6,500 per employee to be exact when they worked in better breathing conditions.
Increased CO2 Monitoring
CO2 might be an odorless gas but it gives researchers a way to make indoor air pollution visible. CO2 is what humans produce and exhale and can therefore its particles can infiltrate the air of a poorly ventilated room. Monitoring CO2 levels has become a necessity for almost any public building and is now a growing trend for every home. Devices and technologies are catering to the need and new products are evolving to help homeowners and renters seamlessly track their surrounding CO2 levels.
Many people are talking about Sensibo, an air quality-aware company, and their new smart AC remote extension, the Sensibo Air PRO. The smart controller that easily hooks up to any AC unit to control fan and temperature settings from a smart app, now also monitors CO2 levels with advanced air quality sensor technology. All the tracking, with special alerts, also come straight to the phone and CO2 levels can be viewed live at any moment. If your interested in joining the trend of taking control of your indoor quality with Sensibo, contact us today we’re happy to assist!