Many people ask why do I need my carbon dioxide tested as part of an indoor air quality assessment? Carbon dioxide (CO₂) testing is an important part of an indoor air quality assessment because it tells us how much fresh air is in the building. If you do not have enough fresh air you will likely have poor air quality and high levels of carbon dioxide. When we are dealing with offices or other buildings that rely on an HVAC system to bring in fresh air carbon dioxide monitoring is critical in determining if there is adequate fresh air in the building for the level of occupancy. A lack of fresh air along with elevated carbon dioxide levels can lead to people feeling tired or lethargic. In more severe cases it can lead to sick building syndrome.
In the workplace carbon dioxide levels are very important and regulated by WorkSafeBC. For carbon dioxide normally outdoor levels are about 350 ppm, but they may be higher in some urban areas. WorksafeBC states ambient levels can be assumed to be 350 ppm unless established otherwise. WorksafeBC references the American Society of Heating and Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers ASHRAE guidelines in Section 4.72 of the OH&S regulation. Carbon dioxide is not considered by WorkSafeBC to be an indoor contaminant in most cases. It is, instead, used as an indicator of sufficient outdoor air. Section 4.79 of the OH&S regulations states that carbon dioxide is considered a marker indicator of sufficient outdoor air, not as a toxic air contaminant for which the exposure limit in Table 5-4 would apply. WorkSafeBC requires indoor air to be within 650 ppm of outdoor air (650 ppm + 350 ppm = 1000 ppm) unless it can be confirmed an adequate supply of outdoor air is provided to the workplace in accordance with Table 2 of ASHRAE Standard 62-1989. ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, recommends a minimum ventilation rate of 10 L/s per person to ensure good IAQ in an office and or a level of 1000 ppm carbon dioxide or less.
If want to make sure you have good indoor air quality in your home or workplace carbon dioxide should be monitored. ABM Environmental can help with carbon dioxide testing or other more comprehensive air quality testing services. Call us for a phone consultation at (604) 568-5177 or fill out the Online Assessment Form to receive more information. See Indoor Air Quality to learn more about the ABM Environmental indoor air quality testing services.
ABM Environmental carbon dioxide air quality testing service areas include Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Squamish, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver, Whistler and White Rock.