6 advantages of CO2-controlled ventilation
In this blog we will examine mechanical ventilation, and specifically CO2-controlled ventilation and the advantages for your health, home and energy bills.
CO2-controlled ventilation is ventilation that is carried out automatically. We hereby only ventilate when and where necessary and at the right quantity.
The advantages of this form of ventilation for you and your home:
- An optimal indoor climate at all time and everywhere
- High energy efficiency because ventilation is only done when necessary
- Automatic, so you do not have to do anything yourself
- Flexible, because it is regulated according to zones
What is a CO2 sensor?
A CO2 sensor is a device that is used to measure the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the ambient air. The most important function of a CO2 sensor is the monitoring and measurement of the CO2 concentration in a particular room or space. This is relevant because CO2 is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. What’s more, an excessively high concentration of CO2 in the air can also be harmful for human health.
Measuring CO2 concentration can also provide valuable information for the following activities:
Analysing energy consumption Assessing air quality Identifying potential problems in a building or home
That is why CO2 sensors are being used increasingly in ventilation systems and implemented in smart and passive buildings in order to improve the indoor climate and energy efficiency.
How does a CO2 sensor work in a ventilation system?
A CO2 sensor works on the basis of a measurement principle called Non-Dispersive InfraRed (NDIR). How a CO2 sensor works in general is described below:
- Light source: The CO2 sensor consists of an infrared light source, usually an LED (Light Emitting Diode). This LED emits infrared light with a specific wavelength that is sensitive to the absorption of CO2 molecules.
- Detector: On the other side of the sensor there is a detector, which detects the infrared light that has been absorbed by the CO2 molecules.
- Measuring chamber: Between the light source and the detector there is a measuring chamber into which the gas sample is introduced. This can be the ambient air that is being analysed for CO2 levels.
- Absorption of infrared light: When the infrared light of the light source passes through the measuring chamber, the CO2 molecules in the gas sample are absorbed. The degree of absorption is proportional to the concentration of the CO2 in the sample.
- Signal processing: The detector measures the reduced amount of light that has reached the measuring chamber after it has been absorbed by the CO2. This reduced light signal is converted into an electrical signal and then processed by the electronic circuits in the CO2 sensor.
- Readout: The processed signal is used to calculate the CO2 concentration. This value is then presented on a display or can be read out through some other output interface, depending on the specific application of the CO2 sensor.
What are the 6 advantages of CO2-controlled ventilation
CO2-controlled ventilation, also known as balanced or demand controlled ventilation, offers various advantages as described below:
Automatic ventilation when it is requiredThe ppm (parts per million) levels refer to the measurement of CO2 concentration in the air. When the CO2 concentration increases this points to an increased presence of people and a potential lack of fresh air, which means the ventilation must be increased. An excessively high concentration can after all lead to health complaints such as allergies, asthma, loss of concentration and breathing difficulties.
CO2-controlled ventilation systems use a CO2 sensor that constantly measures the CO2 concentration. When the measured CO2 concentration reaches a pre-set threshold value, the system automatically activates the system to supply fresh air and extract stale air.
Energy savingsTraditional ventilation systems often work on the basis of a set ventilation rate. This means that a certain amount of air is constantly refreshed irrespective of the actual need. With CO2-controlled ventilation, the system modifies the airflow on the basis of the actual occupancy and activity in the room. This can lead to energy savings of as much as 40%, because the ventilation system only works at full capacity when necessary. This avoids unnecessary energy consumption.
The additional investment in demand-controlled ventilation relative to unregulated ventilation will therefore be recouped in approximately three years.
In view of the trend of sustainable building and renovating, whereby everything is increasingly subjected to regulations and standards, CO2-controlled ventilation systems are playing an increasingly prominent role. It is important to follow the local regulations and guidelines in relation to ventilation. If necessary, you can seek professional advice from ventilation specialists to find out what type of ventilation system best suits your home.
Improved air qualityWe spend up to 90% of our time indoors. An excessively high CO2 concentration in the home, office or classroom can create a breeding ground for various diseases. On top of this, it can drastically reduce one's concentration and productivity.
By regulating ventilation on the basis of CO2 concentrations, the CO2-controlled ventilation provides a better air quality. And this in turn is beneficial for one's health and comfort.
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Quickly installed, easy to maintainCO2 sensors are relatively easy to install and integrate with existing ventilation systems. They accurately monitor the performance of the ventilation device and help to optimise the indoor climate.
In addition, they are easy to program in order to meet the specific needs of a room. This makes the implementation of CO2-controlled ventilation cost-effective and practical, as you use the existing infrastructure and ventilation systems.
Automatic ventilationDemand-controlled ventilation systems measure on the basis of moisture or CO2 and constantly monitor the air quality. They also automatically modify the ventilation rate on the basis of the actual need for ventilation in the room.
Automatic means: without the user noticing it and therefore without having to take any action. Should any manual operation be required, this does not disrupt the device, and the automatic function can quickly be reactivated.
Flexible operationThe flexibility of demand-controlled ventilation units can be seen in their capacity to adjust to the changing situation, such as occupancy and activities in a room.
The system can, for example, detect moisture in the bathroom when someone is taking a shower, and so automatically ventilate more there. The system will also measure greater concentrations of CO2 in the bedroom and ventilate it automatically to ensure you enjoy a good night's rest.
This zonal ventilation ensures that you have fresh air at the right time and in the right room.
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DUCO Demand-controlled ventilation solutions
The DUCO ventilation systems have two sorts of sensors: box sensors and room sensors.
- The box sensor is installed in the device by the installer. A box sensor measures the CO2 in the device through a single channel. This sensor can also be installed by the occupant afterwards.
- The room sensor comprises a control and a sensor. The sensors measure the CO2 values in the room in which it is installed. Room sensors require a power supply of 230V or 24V. If this sensor needs to be replaced it is best to leave it to an expert. In contrast to the box sensor, the room sensor allows you to connect several sensors to a single ventilation unit.
The wide range of demand-controlled and zone-controlled ventilation systems of DUCO ensure that you have an efficient mechanical supply and/or extraction of air where and when it is necessary.
The chosen ventilation system determines the type, and this depends on the requirements of the builder, house or prescribed standards. The range includes DucoBox Silent Connect, DucoBox Focus, DucoBox Energy Comfort (Plus) and DucoBox Energy Premium.
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We can conclude that ventilating on the basis of a CO2 sensor provides advantages in the area of health, comfort, energy efficiency, cost savings and environment friendliness. It provides a better air quality and optimum indoor climate, while optimising energy consumption. It is therefore certainly worthwhile having a look at the options of demand-controlled and zone-controlled ventilation when renovating or building your house, or if you wish to achieve a better air quality in your home.