Breathing easy: why CO2 monitoring in schools is crucial

CO2 monitoring is one of the most effective tools in ensuring health and wellbeing in schools. Here's why.
CO2 (chemical symbol for carbon dioxide) written in clouds

The importance of air quality has taken center stage in the public consciousness in recent years. Growing concerns about climate change and indoor air pollution has increased the importance of prioritising health and well-being of students and educators within learning environments. CO2 monitoring is one of the most effective tools in achieving this goal. Read on to learn why it's so essential, the benefits it unleashes and how it contributes to schools that keep students and teachers safer, healthier and more productive.

Understanding CO2 and its classroom impact

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colorless, odorless gas that is a natural part of the Earth's atmosphere. However, when CO2 levels in indoor spaces become too high, it can have detrimental effects on the health and performance of those within. Schools, being high-occupancy indoor environments, are particularly susceptible to CO2 buildup, especially in rooms with inadequate ventilation.

Why is CO2 monitoring in schools so important?

1. Boosts health and well-being

High levels of CO2 can lead to a range of health issues, including headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and even difficulty concentrating. These symptoms can hinder students' ability to learn and teachers' ability to teach effectively. By monitoring CO2 levels, schools can identify areas with poor ventilation and take action to improve indoor air quality, thus ensuring a healthier environment for all.

2. Increases academic performance

Numerous studies have shown a direct correlation between indoor air quality and academic performance. Poor air quality, including elevated CO2 levels, can lead to reduced cognitive function and impaired decision-making. By addressing CO2 buildup, schools can potentially enhance students' ability to focus, retain information, and excel academically.

3. Raises teacher productivity

Teachers are not immune to the effects of poor indoor air quality. High CO2 levels can cause teachers to experience fatigue and reduced productivity. Monitoring CO2 allows schools to provide educators with a more comfortable and conducive work environment, ultimately benefiting both students and staff.

4. Energy wfficiency

Efficient HVAC systems that respond to real-time CO2 data can help schools reduce energy consumption and associated costs. By optimising ventilation rates based on occupancy and CO2 levels, schools can maintain comfortable conditions while minimising energy waste.

Implementing CO2 Monitoring

To effectively monitor CO2 levels in schools, the following steps should be considered:

1. Install CO2 Sensors: Place CO2 sensors in key areas, such as classrooms, gymnasiums, and cafeterias. These sensors should be connected to a central monitoring system.

2. Establish Thresholds: Set specific CO2 concentration thresholds that trigger ventilation adjustments or alarms when exceeded.

3. Regular Maintenance: Ensure sensors are properly calibrated and maintained to provide accurate data.

4. Educate Stakeholders: Inform teachers, staff, and students about the importance of indoor air quality and the role CO2 monitoring plays in achieving it.

5. Take Action: Develop protocols for responding to high CO2 levels, such as increasing ventilation rates, adjusting HVAC settings, or relocating activities to better-ventilated areas.


At a time when our education is increasingly reliant on technology and indoor environments, the quality of the air we breathe in schools has never been more critical. CO2 monitoring is a valuable tool that can help schools create healthier, more productive, and energy-efficient learning environments. By taking proactive steps to monitor and manage CO2 levels, schools can ensure that students and educators can breathe easy and thrive in their educational journey.

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