Indoor air quality (IAQ) is a major public health issue today and its measurement is an effective means of prevention.
In this context, the uHoo connected sensor is a powerful tool to assess indoor air quality and obtain additional information to the analyses performed in the laboratory.
The uHoo sensor is the most complete on the market. It is equipped with sensitive sensors to have a reliable real-time measurement of 9 IAQ indicator parameters.
What IAQ indicators are measured by the uHoo Air sensor?
- Carbon Dioxide: CO2 in the air is a marker for the containment of a room and an indicator for the renewal of indoor air. CO2 is present in exhaled air, increases with the number of people and tends to accumulate in poorly ventilated rooms. It has a direct and immediate impact on attention and intellectual abilities (thinking, concentration and learning).
- Total Organic Compounds (Total VOCs): Furniture, renovation and decorative materials, household products and cosmetics include gaseous chemicals that pollute the indoor air of buildings. These VOCs are irritating to the airways, contribute to the triggering of asthma attacks and aggravate respiratory insufficiencies. Some VOCs are carcinogenic, mutagenic, neurotoxic and reprotoxic. A high level of VOCs requires laboratory analysis to properly identify sources of indoor air pollution.
- Fine particles (PM2.5): Dust particles smaller than 2.5 µm (1 mm = 1,000 µm) are among the most dangerous because they penetrate the respiratory tract to the pulmonary alveoli. They are mainly produced by industrial activities and automobile traffic as well as by certain domestic activities such as cooking or DIY. Fine particles are very irritating to the airways and contribute to asthma, allergies and breathing difficulties. A high level of fine particles requires laboratory dust analysis to properly identify sources of indoor air pollution.
- Nitrogen Dioxide: NO2 is a common pollutant in the outdoor environment, it is mainly produced by automobile traffic (combustion engines) and thermal power plants. It will be present in the indoor air if the home or office is located near (100 to 200m) a major traffic artery, a gasoline engine or a source of combustion of wood, coal or oil. It is irritating and produces a significant inflammation of the respiratory tract. It promotes respiratory pathologies such as asthma.
- Carbon monoxide: CO is an invisible and odourless gas. It is formed during combustion processes and its concentration increases when the oxygen supply is not sufficient (chimney with too little draft, boiler burner clogged or poorly adjusted). The CO is very toxic and leads each year to the intoxication of a great number of people. If you use a chimney or a combustion heating system, this parameter should be monitored. An increase in the level of carbon monoxide in the air above the threshold values indicates an imminent danger to those present.
- Ozone: O3 is a gas formed from oxygen (O2) and is naturally present in the upper atmospheric layers (stratosphere). It is a chemical oxidizing agent responsible for irritation of the respiratory tract. Its presence promotes respiratory pathologies such as asthma.
- Temperature: The interior temperature of a building is a comfort parameter. In temperate countries a temperature between 19 and 21°C is recommended. A high temperature combined with high humidity is favorable conditions for the development of mold.
- Humidity: Humidity inside a building is a comfort parameter. It is recommended to have a humidity level close to 50%. High humidity above 60% is favourable for the development of mould. They produce powerful allergens, harmful mycotoxins and can induce severe respiratory pathologies. On the other hand, a low humidity level of less than 40% can lead to dry mucous membranes and irritation of the respiratory tract.
- Atmospheric pressure: Pressure is an important parameter in meteorology because it allows to identify weather changes, especially rainy episodes.
How do you monitor IAQ in a building?
Each parameter measured by the uHoo sensor has 3 levels of information depending on the health risk of the occupants:
- Green: the measured parameter is below the reference health values. The health risks for the occupants are low
- Orange: the measured parameter exceeds the information threshold, it is recommended to take action to improve the indoor air quality in the room where the sensor is placed. Risks to the health of the occupants exist.
- Red: the measured parameter exceeds the alert threshold. Indoor air pollution is significant and the health risks for the occupants are high. Urgent action is needed to improve indoor air quality.
What are the daily activities that generate indoor air pollution?
The evolution of IAQ indicators and the exceeding of information or alert thresholds allows uHoo sensor users to identify the daily polluting activities.
Exceeding health reference values can occur in particular during the following activities:
- Household products used during cleaning activities may include volatile substances in large quantities and produce an increase in the Total VOC value. Ventilating the room during cleaning can reduce this pollution. The choice of less toxic household products is also a solution to eliminate this pollution.
- The use of a cloth, broom or vacuum cleaner re-suspends the dust deposited on the floor and furniture into the air and produces an increase in the PM2.5 value. It is recommended to use a damp or electrostatic cloth and a vacuum cleaner equipped with a high-performance HEPA filter.
- Kitchen activities release water vapor (Moisture), odors (Total VOCs) and fine particles (PM2.5). They can also contribute to an increase in room temperature. Ventilation or the use of a high-performance fume hood can reduce this pollution.
- Washrooms such as bathrooms or laundry rooms are rooms where humidity can be occasionally very high. The use of cosmetic products (shower gel, shampoo, perfume, deodorant ...) diffuses large quantities of volatile chemicals (Total VOCs) into the air. A good aeration of the water rooms makes it possible to limit this pollution and to prevent the appearance and the development of moulds. The use of humidity-controlled ventilation also improves IAQ. Finally, the choice of less toxic cosmetic products helps prevent this pollution.
- Combustion in a chimney or stove produces gases such as hydrocarbons and formaldehyde (Total VOCs), and fine particles (PM2.5) including carcinogenic substances (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons). A malfunction of these heat sources can also produce carbon monoxide (CO) in significant quantities. Checking the smoke exhaust ducts (tightness and clogging) and their good working order helps to reduce this pollution. The emission of pollution is more important at the start of combustion.
Many connected sensors are available on the market but most of them are not efficient enough.
Unless you invest in several thousands of euros of professional instruments, the uHoou Air sensor is, according to our market research and tests, the best performance/price solution for real-time IAQ monitoring for individuals and professionals.