Real Life Experiment – Indoor vs Outdoor Air Quality

There are countless times that I stretch the importance of monitoring and managing indoor air quality by keeping an eye on the outdoor air quality/conditions.

In this experiment, I want to demonstrate that it is hard to manage indoor air. I want to state that indoor spaces should be subject to 24/7 monitoring and not a periodic inspection.

The graph below demonstrated that indoor AQ gets influenced by outdoor air and on top of that, the polluted air lingers for a longer time indoors unless there is a mitigation plan (aka filtration) in place.

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Month of CO2 experiment Results

The indoor CO2 experiment has ended and the results are quite interesting. Let’s recall what was the experiment about for those that don’t remember. During February I took CO2 measurements for 24 nights (12 nights without plants and 12 nights with plants) by recording the highest CO2 values during night time.

The main questions were:

  1. Is the atmosphere inside the house getting worse during night?
  2. Can specific plants help the air quality during night?

Answers:

  1. Yes, The atmosphere is getting x3 times worse, at least the CO2 levels are increasing x3 times each night. It’s winter and the house stays closed during all that time, so CO2 builds up during night.
  2. Yes, there are some plants such as the Snake Plant that can help us. In my experiment I used 2 Snake plants one small and one medium size. The CO2 didn’t decrease dramatically, but there was a significant difference.

There was a difference of ∼170ppm less CO2 when I placed the plants near the CO2 Sensor. In the measurements that I took, I decided to add some notes because during windy nights I noticed that CO2 levels were lower than during normal nights, I guess because of the air pressure and the lack of isolation in some windows.

Conclusion:

The right plants are helpful and if you think that we are growing up and we are developing during our night sleep then it worths the effort to re-evaluate the air quality during night.

CO2 levels experiment