How to Test Air Quality in an Office

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Air and oxygen are vital to life. Hence, we should be more concerned that air we breathe isn't posing any kind of threat to our health. To determine this, it is a good idea to install an air quality sensor. Air-quality sensors can be installed inside an office or workspace. They can offer peace of mind that the air is clean to breathe freely or alert you that contaminants are present so that action can be taken.

  • Purchase an air quality sensor. Some notable manufacturers include BAPI, Supco or CO2Meter. They priced in the vicinity of $500. Since this might be a little expensive for a small business, talk to your HR or accounting department and discuss your concerns regarding air quality, and they may be willing to purchase a sensor for the office.

  • Flush the air in your office by running any air conditioners or fans for 24 hours prior to the installation of the sensor. This will ensure a clean, stable start for your sensor when it begins collection air quality data.

  • Install the air sensor in your office. The instructions will vary depending on the model of air sensor, but this is typically done by drilling small holes in the wall and screwing in a plate onto which the sensor can be mounted. It is recommended that the sensor be mounted away from doors and windows so as not to be disturbed or affected by external air. Refer to the instructions for your sensor to learn optimal placement. Speak with building maintenance to see if they can assist you in mounting the sensor.

  • Watch the digital screen on the front of your sensor if it has one. This will show you the current quality of the air in your office. Most sensors also come equipped with an alarm that sounds if levels of contaminants approach an unsafe concentration.

  • Install any air quality analysis software included with your sensor to your computer to do further studies of the sensor's findings.

  • Analyze the data collected by transferring it to the computer software via the included USB tools or other collection hardware available from the manufacturer of your sensor.

  • Act on the findings to determine the sources of contaminants if any are found. Common sources of normal contaminants include cigarette smoke, poorly cleaned facilities, and vaporized chemicals from cleaning products or poorly maintained office equipment. Speak with administration and building maintenance about how to rectify this to raise the standard of air quality in your office.

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  • Photo Credit Hal Bergman/Photodisc/Getty Images
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