Gas Sensors are Key to Improving Air Quality at Home

Dave Simpson
Director of Marketing, Industrial Sensors

Every room in our home has a unique air quality challenge. Furniture may contain formaldehyde, kitchens may contain cooking odors, and bathrooms may have gases such volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs).  To maintain healthy levels of air quality, we need to be able to measure and define it. Then we can trigger certain actions, such turning on recirculation fans, or advising occupants to open windows.

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Typical Sources of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the Home

Several months ago, I placed air quality sensors in my home. For the first time, I could see the environmental impacts of the activities my family did around the house, as well as more embedded air quality issues. I received alerts on my phone when my son started cooking in the kitchen and also when we used cleaning products in various rooms. I could see how quickly the gases dissipated, and which rooms remained stubbornly high with poor air quality. Understanding short term changes was interesting, but seeing longer term trends really got my attention.

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I found the most volatility of air quality in the kitchen and bathroom. There were spikes in gases as well as longer term trends of higher than normal VOCs. We were able to turn ventilation fans on to quickly improve air quality, but this manual ventilation solution is not ideal, as we had to remember to go back and turn the fans off.

As an employee working at a technology company, I know that bathroom fans and kitchen ventilation fans can now benefit from IDT’s new odor-detecting firmware supporting the ZMOD4410 indoor air quality sensor platform. The sensor is software configurable, meaning it can be programmed to sense and behave differently in each room. The integrated controller can then control something, such as a ventilation fan. That way, when odors are detected, they can quickly be dispensed and improve longer term air quality trends.    

With smart fans detecting odors in the kitchen and bathrooms, we no longer have to remember to turn the fans off. In addition, since the fans are only enabled when needed, we’d be saving power and reducing background noise. 

The types of control systems and applications for these indoor air quality sensors is limitless. I’m eager to see more and more of these products hit the market over the next several months and years.

To learn more about IDT’s gas sensor portfolio visit idt.com/gas.

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