Awair Score and Air Quality Factors Measured By Awair Omni

Article Summary

This article provides an overview of the Awair Score and Awair Omni key features. 

Article Overview 

Awair Score and Indices

Omni uses the “Awair Score” to help you understand your air quality at a glance. The Awair Score is a color-coded and numbered scale, with zero representing poor air quality and 100 indicating healthy indoor air. Omni’s LED display shows a colored indicator based on your Awair Score: green indicates healthy air quality, yellow indicates fair, and red indicates poor.

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The Awair Score is calculated by compiling aggregate measurements from seven different sensors: temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide (CO2), total VOCs, particulate matter (PM2.5), light, and noise. The air quality index for each sensor uses a scale from one to five to help you determine whether or not each factor is healthy.

Temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide, total VOCs, and particulate matter levels are represented on the device as five sequential dots. A single dot represents healthy air quality levels for the factor in question, whereas a column of two or more dots indicates that this factor is reaching unhealthy levels. The fewer dots that appear on your device, the healthier your air. Because light and noise levels are more immediately apparent to our senses, these factors are not displayed on the device but are still monitored and tracked within the Awair Dashboard and Awair Business app.

Awair’s indices were uniquely developed to fit indoor air quality needs. Awair aggregated AQI information from some of the most trusted environmental and worker safety organizations, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and more.

From medical and academic research, we have estimated a range of optimal values for these key environmental factors: temperature (18~25ºC, or 64~77ºF), humidity (40~50%), carbon dioxide (<600 ppm), chemicals (<333 ppb), and fine dust (<15 µg/m³). When these five environmental factors deviate outside our fair (Index 2) and healthy (Index 1) ranges, the problematic air factors deduct points from the overall Awair Score.

  • 90-100: Excellent

  • 80-90: Good

  • 60-80: Fair

  • 0-60: Poor

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Temperature 

The temperature index is designed to help you maximize occupant comfort and productivity. Index one, the healthy index, spans a range of 18 to 25C (64.4 to 77F). An indoor temperature either above or below this range can adversely affect occupant comfort and productivity. Temperature fluctuations outside of this healthy range will bring your temperature reading into a higher index and decrease your overall Awair Score.

Relative Humidity

Humidity has a significant impact on comfort, respiratory health, and productivity. Humidity levels between 40 and 50 percent are considered optimal. This range is recommended especially for those with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory illnesses. Maintaining humidity within this range can also minimize the growth and spread of mold, viruses, and bacteria.

Carbon Dioxide (CO₂)

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important consideration when it comes to health and productivity. Breathing high levels of CO2 can cause difficulty concentrating, decreased cognitive ability, fatigue, and in extreme instances, asphyxia. Typically, outdoor CO2 levels are around 400 parts per million (ppm), therefore the lowest achievable indoor CO2 level is around 400 ppm. Concentrations below 600 ppm are considered ideal for a healthy and productive environment.

Chemicals (TVOCs)

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a diverse group of toxic chemicals that are commonly found in the air in homes and offices. They are both naturally occurring and man-made. VOCs can be found in most manufactured goods as well as common cleaners, paint, upholstery, sealants, and pressed wood. Unlike other chemicals in the air, VOCs are generally measured as a group because of their cumulative effect on health and comfort.

VOCs can have a wide range of health effects. Moderate levels of exposure can cause headaches, fatigue, allergic skin reactions, eye and throat irritation, and other symptoms that can affect comfort, concentration, and productivity. Higher concentrations have been associated with more severe health consequences such as cognitive impairment, overworked liver and kidneys, and even cancer. It’s important to try to minimize the amount of VOCs in your environment and maintain levels under 333 parts per billion (ppb).

Fine Dust (PM2.5)

PM2.5 refers to particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns or smaller. Particles that are less than 2.5 microns in diameter are able to permeate membranous tissue and travel deep into the respira- tory tract and bloodstream. This can cause irritation, increase your risk of infection, worsen existing

respiratory conditions, and lead to serious diseases such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lung cancer.

Minimizing indoor fine dust levels is essential for healthy air quality. To protect your health, we suggest keeping dust levels below 15 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3).

Light (lux)

The amount of light we’re exposed to during the day influences our productivity and health. A study of indoor office environments found that maintaining optimal light levels of around 1000 lux improved employee performance and well-being. For workplace task lighting, the recommended range is between 300 and 500 lux.

For residential environments, increasing light exposure during the daytime and decreasing light levels during the evening can improve alertness and lead to better sleep quality. Awair Omni tracks light levels in your space and can give you the insight you need to create a healthier environment.

Noise (dBA)

In the United States alone, 30 million people are exposed to hazardous sound levels at work. A “hazardous noise,” as defined by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), is any sound that exceeds 85 dB(A) (a weighted average of noise exposure over a standard 8-hour work period). Although a little background noise can help drown out distractions, too much noise can cause stress and impede productivity. For indoor environments, optimal background noise levels are around 45 dB(A). Foreground (transient) noise levels should remain below 85 dB(A) so as not to interrupt concentration or trigger alarm.

In residential settings, limiting the amount of indoor noise pollution occupants are exposed to can create a sense of privacy and comfort. In addition, noisy indoor environments are typically valued lower (and are less desirable) than environments with healthy noise levels. Awair Omni tracks noise levels in your space and can give you insight into how indoor activities or sound sources are affecting the health and productivity of your space.

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