After an unprecedented hiatus, schools in NSW are finally all set to open their doors soon. This is undoubtedly excellent news for all of us. However, at the same time, many Australian public health experts feel that there is a need for improved indoor ventilation before the schools open. According to a UNSW study conducted in 2019, CO2 levels in some classrooms were found to be as high as 4000 parts per million (PPM). On the other hand, carbon dioxide concentration in well-ventilated indoor environments are generally less than 800 parts per million. This is why CO2 monitors and particle filters have been strongly recommended for indoor air quality management in schools.
It has been observed that along with restaurants, shopping centres and offices, schools and kindergartens have emerged as the epicentre of Covid-19 transmission in many parts of Australia. Ventilation specialist Lidia Morawska feels that the outbreak can be reduced by 50% by improved ventilation. In Victoria, ventilation assessment, CO2 monitoring, and particle filtration has already become a part of the state’s back-to-school plan. The NSW Teachers Federation has also requested the Department of Education to start air quality audit of schools.
Ventilation has become a burning issue for schools since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it is important to remember that this is not a new problem. Studies have found that poor air quality may lead a number of serious problems for an educational establishment including causing drowsiness and headaches, increased rate of absenteeism, loss or productivity, and building damage.
CO2 Monitoring in Schools
Schools can use CO2 monitors in a number ways to improve ventilation and indoor air quality.
Firstly, round the clock monitoring of CO2 levels will help them identify areas where doors and windows should be opened before unhealthy peaks while maintaining a comfortable level of humidity and temperature. The most preferred CO2 level for indoor environments is less than 1000 parts per million. By ensuring that their classrooms remain within this CO2 level, schools can limit the spread of COVID-19 and provide their students access to cleaner air.
By monitoring their CO2 levels, schools can also gather important data that can help them make long-term improvements to their infrastructure. By collecting information related to CO2 levels in a room, it is possible for facility managers to ascertain whether the required standards can be met by following a regular schedule of window opening and closing. If it is difficult to manage the air quality in these at-risk areas, ventilators can be upgraded or retrofitted is specific problem areas. This can prevent the expensive and time consuming practice of making unnecessary changes throughout the school.
If you are looking for an advanced range of CO2 monitors for your school, you need not look beyond RENZ Australia. Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have utilised our technical acumen, expertise in production, and spare manufacturing capacity to manufacture a line of protective equipment to reduce the spread of the disease. Our popular product AIR2COLOR PRO is capable of evaluating temperature, humidity, particulate matter content, and CO2 level. It offers an accurate measurement of the CO2 level, and prompts users to ventilate the room using its traffic light function.