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CO2 Meters to Become Mandatory?


Governments should work towards a policy that will obligate CO2 meters in indoor environments like restaurants, bars and gyms. But also make the use of CO2 meters mandatory in office buildings, departments, and conference rooms. That is what ventilation experts agree. With a CO2 meter, the air quality within a room can be monitored and controlled. These rules already apply in Belgium.

CO2 meter measures the aerosols in parts per million (ppm)

Minuscule drops can spread the Coronavirus. Every human produces these drops, and when somebody is infected with corona, these tiny minuscule drops can carry the virus and infect other humans when inhaled. In closed area’s where ventilation is limited, these drops (aerosols) are tended to last longer, which automatically increases the risk of getting infected.

Scientists and experts pledge for more awareness and governmental regulation on ventilation in indoor areas to limit the chances of the coronavirus from spreading. This resulted, among other things, in new rules in Belgium which obligate the usage of CO2 meters in restaurants etc. And made sure that ventilation has become one of the basic rules in The Netherlands.

CO2 Meters in your office

So how does a CO2 meter works? A CO2 meter measures carbon dioxide in the air in parts per million (ppm). The standards for which ppm is the best variate. For instance, in Belgium, the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) within a room must be below 900 ppm. Everything above the 900 ppm mark must be seen as immediate advice for ventilation. If your ppm level is above 1200 ppm, then your ventilation is inferior, and the chances of corona infections are significantly higher.

How does a CO2 meter works

So we now know that a CO2 meter measures the amount of carbon dioxide in the air in ppm. But there are different types of sensors that could measure CO2. Our advice, and obligated by, for example, Belgium law is the NDIR sensors. This NDIR sensor is an infrared sensor that checks how much-infrared light of a specific wavelength is absorbed by the surrounding air.

There are also electrochemical sensors, but these sensors could be poisoned, have a shorter lifetime, and are more likely to break down under high amounts of CO2.

What is an average CO2 ppm?

Watch for CO2 meters with a traffic light indication. These are easy to read and interpret for everyone. An excellent CO2 level should be indicated as follows:

  • 400ppm – 1000ppm (green)
  • 1001 ppm – 2000 ppm (yellow)
  • 2001 ppm – 3000 ppm (orange)
  • 3001 ppm – 5000 ppm (red)

As a reference, you should know that the air outside averages a CO2 of 400 ppm. So is the meter in your office indicating a ppm of 1000 or above? Then you should ventilate the room asap.


source: carbonvisuals, 400 ppm

CO2 meters with calibration and alarm

Looking for a meter that will pass by (new) governmental regulations? Look for CO2 meters with built-in and automatic calibration methods. Also, see if there are options to set the alarm when a specific ppm is reached within the room. Finally, check the range and deviation. A range of 400 till 2000 ppm is the needed minimum. But preferably choose your CO2 meter, which goes up to 5000 ppm.

Do you need a CO2 meter?

To sum everything up and answer this question right away, yes. Isn’t it for new regulations made by your government that it must be for the safety and health of your colleagues or employees. Place your meter at desk level high at a place that is not too much affected by someone breathing and 1.5 meters away from incoming fresh air from a window.

Ask our colleagues at GMS Instruments for more information about CO2 meters or which model suits your needs best. We have an extensive stock with shipping methods around the world.

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