Efficiency Vermont is a statewide, regulated energy efficiency utility transforming the way Vermonters use energy to better their lives. Whether through energy assessments, project support, or education, Efficiency Vermont helps its customers take advantage of opportunities to become more energy-efficient.
Efficiency Vermont researches indoor air quality
When they decided to educate Vermonters on the importance of indoor air quality, Efficiency Vermont began with research.
“When we set out to identify an indoor air quality monitor, we undertook a significant vetting process to make sure we’d end up with a product that gave us reliable data and was easy to use for the consumer. As a regulated utility, we think critically of how we use our limited funding to best serve our customers,” said Laura Capps, a program manager for Efficiency Vermont.
The most important criteria to Efficiency Vermont for an air quality monitor was measurement of all key indoor air quality influences: PM2.5, CO2, relative humidity (RH), and temperature. Also important was selecting a monitor that could generate highly accurate data at frequent intervals. The IQAir AirVisual Pro air quality monitor met these criteria and was selected as one of several candidates.
“It needed to be able to collect and store data offline and download data quickly once connected online,” said Capps. “And we wanted to be able to easily see the data from each monitor through an online dashboard. But we also wanted it to be easy to use for consumers. It’s hard to ask someone to put a device in their bedroom if it makes a lot of noise or they can’t turn off the display. We wanted a monitor that could run on batteries or be plugged in so that it was easy to move around a house and withstand a common power outage in rural Vermont.”
AirVisual chosen for superior performance
After seeking input from experts, verifying the accuracy of AirVisual Pro particulate matter (PM) readings, and testing AirVisual Pro against other air quality monitors, Efficiency Vermont staff voted AirVisual Pro as the easiest to use and understand.
The AirVisual Pro was initially used in a residential loan program in which customers could borrow the monitor at no cost and set it up in their home for a few weeks. Data gathered by the AirVisual Pro helped support customer decisions to make improvements in energy efficiency that also improved indoor air quality.
This residential loan program was so successful that Efficiency Vermont continued to use the AirVisual Pro for a new program centered around indoor air quality in schools during the summer of 2020.
Efficiency Vermont launches air quality monitoring program
“This past summer, we launched the School Indoor Air Quality Grant Program, funded through the Coronavirus Relief Funds, to help schools improve indoor air quality through HVAC upgrades,” said Capps. “As part of that program, we provided every interested school with an AirVisual Pro monitor. The real-time data enabled schools to better understand where air quality was an issue in their buildings. These monitors will also empower schools with the ability to test the results of the work they’re doing to improve indoor air quality, now and into the future.”
Efficiency Vermont deployed over 90 AirVisual Pro monitors and supported schools in deploying over 350 additional AirVisual Pro monitors. The utility continues to help schools continuously monitor air quality data from their AirVisual Pro monitors.
“Having a monitor enables you to identify actual indoor air quality conditions and make informed decisions,” said Capps. “We would continue to recommend the AirVisual monitor as an easy-to-use device for homes, schools, or businesses to quickly understand conditions and provide long-term, ongoing data.”
Capps continued: “The customer support team at IQAir has been fantastic! We’ve been impressed with the overall quality of the devices and the quick, personalized support. IQAir went above and beyond in helping us ship monitors to schools with personalized letters and preset settings to make it all the easier for schools to get up and running with the monitors quickly.”