The benefit of actively working on the indoor climate has never been so clear as it is today. We live with an invisible enemy that spreads not only through surfaces, but also through the air. Infections seem to occur mainly indoors. That the indoor climate plays a role in this is obvious, and that the spread can be reduced with a number of measures is now also known. “Therefore, it is important to gain insight into the indoor climate. A simple solution is to install a measuring instrument that registers at least the CO2 and the humidity in a room and then take action. says Felix Dijkmeijer, ventilation specialist at Ventilationland.
Wash your hands, keep your distance and ventilate!
A while ago, the WHO already acknowledged that ventilation plays an important role in the fight against the coronavirus. One of the reasons that this is not yet shouted from the rooftops is, according to Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, infectious diseases physician at UCSF, because proper ventilation is not as simple as the instruction to wash your hands often and to keep 1,5 metres distance. “When do you ventilate properly? It is difficult for an average person to judge whether a room has a high, medium or low risk of contamination.” A tool for measuring CO2 can help with this. Felix explains: “We see that newer buildings are often equipped with a CO2 meter that ensures continuous ventilation in order to keep the values at the right level. Homes and older buildings often do not have this”.
Role of CO2 and humidity in the spread of COVID-19
A CO2 monitor provides insight into the CO2 values of a room (in ppm). With a high value of 1200 ppm or more, the risk of contamination increases because there is simply too little fresh air. It is also recommended to measure the air humidity. Researchers from Delft University of Technology recently sounded the alarm because too little attention is paid to the spread of COVID-19 in relation to air humidity. They state that the relationship between the rapid spread and an extremely dry indoor air is obvious. Exhaled virus particles have a ‘water shell’, which evaporates faster in dry air. The smaller droplets remain floating in a room for a longer time, making them even smaller. These particles are then more easily transmitted and penetrate deeper into the lungs.
Advice and tips for a healthy indoor climate
“To keep the indoor climate healthy and reduce the risk of corona spreading through the air, we recommend a maximum air humidity of 800, preferably around 600 ppm. For a good humidity level, a value between 40% and 60% is advised.” says Felix. “Initially, it is important to get a measuring instrument in the house that measures these values, such as a CO2 monitor that also measures humidity. Once you have insight into the indoor climate, you can actively work on a healthy indoor climate. By opening a window more often, for example, you can reduce the CO2 in a room. With more plants, trays of water on the heating and the thermostat a little lower, for example, you achieve a higher humidity.
In other words, you can easily take active steps to improve the indoor climate yourself. Would you like to measure the indoor climate? Check out our CO2 monitor here.