Why is CO2 important?

Carbon dioxide is a gas consisting of one part carbon and two parts oxygen. It is one of the most important gases on the earth because plants use it to produce carbohydrates in a process called photosynthesis. Since humans and animals depend on plants for food, photosynthesis is necessary for the survival of life on earth.

However, CO2 can also have negative effects. As CO2 builds up in our atmosphere it has a warming effect that could change the earth’s climate. Indoors, CO2 levels easily rise above the recommended amount which has adverse effects.

Where does CO2 come from?

Indoor Carbon Dioxide concentrations are driven by a combination of outdoor CO2, indoor breathing and the ventilation rate of the building. As buildings and homes become more energy efficient and airtight, this means we have less fresh air. Many of the ventilation systems we use today recycle air to conserve energy, essentially moving the contaminated air around rather than cycling in new air. This results in high CO2 concentrations and poor Indoor Air Quality.

What are the effects of CO2?

When levels of CO2 rise and there is less fresh air, it can cause headaches, restlessness, drowsiness and more. High levels are directly correlated to low productivity, high sick leave and infectious disease transmission, making this a crucial concern in office, school and home environments.

At home

Fresh air will help you get a better night’s sleep. Keep your door or window open at night while you sleep. That “stale” air feeling you get in a room that was recently slept in, comes from the lack of CO2.

At school or in the office

Studies show that people have a much harder time learning, performing simple and complex tasks, and making decisions as CO2 levels rise.

What are safe levels of CO2?

Fresh air contains about 400ppm (ppm is parts per million) of CO2. Indoor CO2 levels are acceptable up to around 1000ppm and ideally shouldn’t rise above 1500ppm. Track the levels of your indoor CO2 with an air quality monitor and when levels rise above 1000ppm take necessary steps to ventilate with fresh air.

Above 2000ppm must be avoided, as more serious symptoms like sweating, increased heart rate and difficulty breathing will occur.

Reducing CO2

CO2 levels rise and fall regularly indoors. There are many factors that affect CO2 levels including ventilation, amount of people, and length of time in an enclosed space.

Ventilation and filtration

Regularly replace air filters in indoor fan systems, and install a CO2 monitor to remind you when to refresh your home. With alerts to remind you when to change filters.

Plants

Keep plants in offices, indoor populated spaces and at home. At home, keep plants that clean the air near the bed or couch, wherever you spend a lot of time.

Benefits of reducing CO2

Choose your region / country

region flag

Global

region flag

USA

region flag

Norway

region flag

Germany

region flag

Italy

region flag

UK

region flag

France

region flag

Spain

Choose your region / country

region flag

Global

region flag

USA

region flag

Norway

region flag

Germany

region flag

Italy

region flag

UK

region flag

France

region flag

Spain