Province of Antwerp Supports Schools by Donating CO2 Meters
One of the most advised measures to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus in schools, is proper ventilation of class rooms. Not many schools have an automated ventilation system, so the only solution is to open windows and doors to let fresh air in. A CO2 meter can help indicate when a class room needs to be ventilated, thus optimising the air quality and reducing the energy loss due to unnecessary open windows.
When schools re-opened in September, after the summer holidays, the main advise to reduce the spread of COVID-19, was ventilation of crowded rooms. However, very few school buildings can rely on automated ventilation, thus reverting to a system of opening doors and windows to create a natural air flow.
This causes a surge in energy use, as heating systems are not shut down every time a window opens. During autumn and winter times, cold outside air will enter the class rooms, creating a higher need for constant heating.
To optimise this system of opening and closing windows, the Province of Antwerp has distributed CO2 meters amongst the 2IMPREZS schools in the region. A CO2 meter indicates objectively when the levels of CO2 are too high in a class room, resulting in bad air quality. Naturally, CO2 concentration in outside air is around 440 ppm. As soon as a class room reaches 900 ppm, ventilation is advised. When reaching 1200 ppm, it is necessary to open all windows.
By installing a CO2-meter, teachers will be alerted when to open a window, avoiding unnecessary ventilation and thus reducing the amount of energy loss.
As a bonus, teachers can use this equipment to interactively enthuse the pupils about energy and sustainability, giving them ownership of the measured data and actions.