A nicely lit room full of plants

In our daily lives, we often overlook the quality of the air we breathe indoors. Yet, research suggests that indoor air quality, particularly the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2), can significantly impact our cognitive function and overall well-being.

Recent studies have shown a direct correlation between the concentration of CO2 in the air and cognitive performance. A study by Satish et al. found that even moderate increases in CO2 concentration can negatively impact human decision-making performance. This finding is particularly relevant for indoor environments, where CO2 concentrations can easily build up due to poor ventilation, leading to potential cognitive impairments.

Similarly, Allen et al. found that cognitive function scores were significantly better in green building conditions compared to conventional ones. This suggests that the enhancements in indoor environmental quality in green buildings, including lower CO2 concentrations, may positively influence our health and cognitive function.

So, how can we control and reduce CO2 concentration in our homes and workplaces? Here are some practical steps:

1. Regular Ventilation

Make it a habit to open windows and doors regularly to allow fresh air to circulate. This simple act can significantly reduce the concentration of indoor CO2.

2. Monitor Indoor CO2 Levels

Consider investing in a CO2 monitor. These devices can provide real-time readings of CO2 levels in your home or office, helping you identify when levels are getting too high.

3. Use of Indoor Plants

Indoor plants not only add to the aesthetics of a room but also help improve air quality. Some plants are known to absorb CO2 and release oxygen, enhancing the overall air quality.

4. Control Occupancy Levels

The more people in a room, the higher the CO2 levels due to respiration. If possible, try to limit the number of people in a room at any given time.

5. Improve Ventilation Systems

If you’re in a building with a mechanical ventilation system, ensure it’s properly maintained and functioning efficiently. This can help to effectively control CO2 levels.

In conclusion, maintaining low CO2 concentrations in indoor environments is crucial for our cognitive function and health. By taking simple steps like ensuring regular ventilation and monitoring CO2 levels, we can create healthier and more productive indoor environments. So, let’s clear the air and breathe easy!