Addressing Indoor Air Quality with HALO

Are you tasked with ensuring proper indoor air quality in your building? Do your building occupants complain about allergy symptoms (i.e., difficulty breathing, eyes/nose/throat irritation, coughs, or headaches)? Perhaps, those occupants are having difficulty concentrating and becoming increasingly tired as the day progresses.

All these conditions can be caused by poor indoor air quality. There may be buildup of CO2 over the day and improper ventilation or mold toxins. There may also be emissions from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) caused by hazardous materials such as adhesives, carpeting, upholstery, manufactured wood, copy machines, pesticides, and cleaning agents.

Why Should You Monitor Indoor Air Quality?

Monitoring air quality is the key to improving and eliminating these conditions. Monitoring indoor air quality delivers the direct benefit of improving building occupant health which can increase productivity and decrease health-related absences.

In addition, monitoring humidity and temperature levels can also help prevent mold and mildew from growing. This provides the additional benefit of avoiding mold clean-up costs.

How HALO Fits in the Air Quality Picture

HALO is a multi-sensor system with 12 separate sensors that function as both an indoor air quality monitoring system and an overall safety system.

While it is best known for its ability to detect vape, it also monitors several air quality elements individually and as a group to provide overall, real-time Air Quality and Health Indexes, and it sends alerts when either index falls into a danger zone.

Because it does not record audio or video (it just senses and alerts), it is particularly useful in areas where privacy is a priority, such as bathrooms, dorms, and hotel/hospital/locker rooms.

Elements of Air Quality

There are several elements to consider when monitoring indoor air quality, and HALO can monitor and alert to each one of them.

Carbon Monoxide

By now, most people are aware of the deadly effects of high concentrations of this odorless, colorless gas. Exposure to lower levels sometimes given off by fuel-burning appliances can also cause adverse reactions, including confusion and memory loss.

Carbon Dioxide

While the effects of high levels of CO2 were long thought to be benign, research has found that concentrations as low as 1,000 ppm can affect people’s cognitive function and decision-making performance. The greatest source of indoor CO2 is people themselves, as it’s a byproduct of our respiratory function. Coupled with poor ventilation, this commonly leads to high levels of CO2 in many workplaces.

Nitrogen Dioxide

Nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) is an ambient trace-gas result of both natural and anthropogenic processes. Long-term exposure to NO₂ may cause a wide spectrum of severe health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, heart and cardiovascular diseases and even death.

Temperature And Humidity

These levels can affect more than your comfort. High temperatures and excessive humidity promote mold and mildew growth. These can cause structural damage to your workplace and cause allergy-like symptoms in those with sensitivities. Monitoring these levels can help you prevent facility and health problems and tip you off to potential sources like structural weaknesses and leaks.

VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds)

VOCs are gases emitted from a variety of materials that can have short- and long-term health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs can be up to 10 times higher indoors than outdoors. Sources of VOCs include many common products, including cleaning fluids, disinfectants, paints, and varnishes. Burning fuels like wood and natural gas also produce VOCs.

Short-term exposure to low levels of VOCs can cause throat irritation, nausea, fatigue, and other minor complaints. Long-term exposure to high concentrations of VOCs has been linked to more severe respiratory irritation as well as liver and kidney damage. Products can emit VOCs even when they’re in storage, though to a lesser extent than when they’re actively being used.

Particulate Matter

Particulate matter, or PM, is a mix of particles and droplets in the air. PM varies in shape and size, but those of 10 micrometers in diameter or smaller can adversely affect your health because they can be inhaled. PM 2.5 refers to fine particulate matter – with a diameter of two-and-one-half microns or less.

Sufficient exposure to PM can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs, leading to allergy-like symptoms and shortness of breath in otherwise healthy people. It can also exacerbate existing medical problems, such as asthma and heart disease. PM 2.5 is considered the world’s single biggest environmental health risk.

Indoor PM levels can be influenced by outdoor sources like vehicle exhaust, wildfires, and power plant emissions. But many indoor activities produce PM as well: cooking, burning fireplaces, and smoking are just a few common sources.

Installation Notes

As an indoor air quality sensor, one HALO can effectively cover up to 1963 square feet with standard ceiling heights, though coverage area will also vary by the ventilation in the room.

As a vape sensor, one HALO can effectively cover up to 144 square feet with normal ceiling heights

*Excerpts taken from and “How Halo Can Improve the Health and Safety of a Commercial Property” by Lori B. Miller, BA Interior Design, ASID, IDS, LMHC Counseling

CM3 is an approved installer and systems integrator of the HALO system. For more information, visit our HALO Smart Sensor page.