Stubbing Wharf Blog How a Carbon Dioxide Monitor Works

How a Carbon Dioxide Monitor Works


Carbon dioxide monitor help ensure buildings have adequate ventilation rates. Poor ventilation can cause a build-up of carbon dioxide, which can lead to asphyxiation and a host of health issues. They also allow building owners to track the air quality of their buildings over time and use data collected by smart sensors to automate ventilation and other processes.

Most carbon dioxide monitors will come with a few other sensors alongside the CO2 sensor. These might be temperature or humidity sensors for example. While there isn’t a lot of reason to buy a carbon dioxide monitor just for these extras, they are an useful addition that can provide more insight into your indoor environment.

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The way in which carbon dioxide detectors work will vary depending on the brand and model you choose, but most will be based on NDIR technology. This works by having a chamber where the air enters – normally passively, but some models will have an intake fan – and then emitting a beam of light at a specific wavelength that is sensitive to carbon dioxide. By measuring how much of this light is reflected back, the device can calculate the amount of carbon dioxide present.

Carbon dioxide monitors should be positioned at head height away from windows, doors and air conditioning units to get the most accurate readings. They should be positioned at least 50cm from people too as their exhaled breath will skew the readings. They also need to be manually calibrated at least once a month as they will drift over time and can start to give false readings if left uncalibrated for too long.

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