I live in an area where wood burning is an unfortunate “cozy” habit for the people around me. So, I decided to see if patterns appear after monitoring the ambient air quality for 30 days in order to identify if there is any window that will allow me to open the windows and get some fresh & clean air. For the sake of simplicity, I will use only PM2.5 values.
I don’t mind if I have to wake up at 3:00 AM in order to allow some outdoor air to come inside and dilute some VOC and CO2 that build up. Indoors, PM2.5 concentrations are kept well under 5μg/m3 because I run the air purifiers 24/7. By the way in a recent, poster the position of the air purifier inside the house plays an important role in how well particles are captured.
Anyway, let’s jump into the data I collected and analyzed.
Below you can see a time break up for the collected data. The blue-dotted line is the threshold of 5μg/m3 according to 2021 WHO AQGs. It seems to me that I have to ventilate the house at 3:30 AM or 5:30 AM and only for 30 min each time.
After midday, it seems that people light the wood burners maybe for cooking purposes! After 6:00 PM people return home from work and they light the wood burners as the night settles once more till 11 PM.
When I break down data based on weekdays, we can observe that Wednesdays and Thursdays are the worst days with concentrations that surpass the 200μg/m3.
Of course, at the end of the winter, I will have more AQ data in order to decode the exact patterns that occur. It is disturbing to think that governments don’t care and they increase electricity prices on cold days forcing people to believe that wood burning is more economic without taking into consideration the toll wood smoke has on human health in a mass scale.
Time to set up the alarm!