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Snoring and High Particulates

Danny GoughDanny Gough Posts: 185
edited April 2017 in Ventilation & IAQ
Based on the most excellent review from Nate Adams, I purchased a FooBot last week. So far its been a blast to play with.

The set up was a bit finicky, but its off and running. The first few days, I had the unit in my kitchen and the general air quality was great. VOC's < 100 PPB, Particulates under 12 ug/M3 and CO2 averaging around 450 PPM. Of course the back door was open most of the time.

Then I took it to the bedroom. Around bedtime (10 PM), the picture changed a bit. CO2 elevate to 500-600 PPM, particulates are off the screen at 130-150 uG/M3. Can't put my finger on it. We do run a ceiling fan over the bed, so perhaps that's linked. Still don't know the source, although I've been told that I snore.

We start the day around 5:45. While my lovely wife (of 40+ years) gets ready for work, I fix the coffee and the oatmeal downstairs. She's upstairs in master bath farding et al. (Look it up, its not what you think)

CO2 jumps to 1500-2000 PPM and particulates stay high. The data log shows exactly when the hairspray comes out. VOC's over 600 PPB. So I have laid down the law, all hairspray must be applied outdoors. Her response, "sure."

My biggest confusion is the high particulates at night while snoring and secondly, high CO2 when she's getting ready for work. I looked at the ingredients in the hairspray and its got 8 or 10 chemicals I cannot pronounce, but no mention of CO2.

Any ideas????

(DB- This is a test to see how the new platform handles mega MB graphics)

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  • David ButlerDavid Butler Posts: 3,889
    The files were reasonably small byte-wise (several hundred kilobytes each), but the forum software doesn't do any scaling so they were a bit overwhelming on the display. Also, multiple images run together on the page, making it hard to find the display boundaries if you're not familiar with the device. I shrunk the files by 50% (but increased the resolution, so kilobytes actually increased a bit) and arranged them in side-by-side pairs with some spacing between. Looks much better.

    I need to see if there's an image processing plugin for Vanilla.
  • David ButlerDavid Butler Posts: 3,889
    edited March 2017
    I did quite a bit of beta-testing for AirAdvice about 15 years ago (similar setup but without the cool phone app). I could tell exactly when my wife made the bed, or when my boss lit up his cigar (he was on the other side of the country... he never forgot the night I called to ask if he was enjoying his cigar. He forgot about the IAQ monitor he had installed next to his favorite chair >:)

    Regarding your overnight particulate counts... It's not unusual to see spikes when you turn down the covers or get out of bed. But what strikes me is that your counts continue rising throughout the night, only dropping off after 6 AM. I can't imagine snoring would have any effect unless you positioned the monitor close to your head. I have to believe the ceiling fan is stirring up minute dust particles. If the fan has a timer (or you happen to get up to use the bathroom during the night), you might try turning the fan off at least an hour before you rise to see what effect that has.

    The slight rise in CO2 at bedtime after moving the sensor to the bedroom is obviously not surprising. But that big jump between 7 and 9 AM screams for more information. Was the sensor still located in master bedroom? If so, was your wife still upstairs? Carbon dioxide is sometimes used as a propellant for foodstuff such as whipped cream, but not for hair spray.

    I suggest looking at minute-by-minute data on a future AM to see if you can isolate the source.

    I have laid down the law, all hairspray must be applied outdoors. Her response, "sure."

    Hmm... that reply might as well be Greek without the benefit of body language and tone of voice. You might want to apologize and pick up a trial size of non-aerosol hair spray (with finger pump) B)

  • Danny GoughDanny Gough Posts: 185
    Pafuey. She still sprayed in the bathroom this morning, even after I bought a jar of Butch Wax.

    The ceiling fan may be the particulate agitator. But when I mentioned an experiment to leave it off overnight, it garnered about as much support as the hairspray idea.

    Perhaps Consuelo can micro clean the room and then we can see what happens.

    DB, the monitor is about 10 ft from my nose as the crow flies. Its more at the foot of the bed over 3 ft on a piece of furniture at about 5 ft off the floor.

  • Danny, What bout HVAC or ventilation cycles - they don't seem to show up. Do your systems run at night now, or, are you in a period of no call for heating or cooling. What type of filter is on your equipment and do you think stepping up the filter would reduce your particulates over time ? Animals ?
  • Danny GoughDanny Gough Posts: 185
    Ed, HVAC system hasn't been on in over a week. I have an electrostatic precipitator. Two dogs. But their hair would be higher than the detector reads.
  • David ButlerDavid Butler Posts: 3,889

    HVAC or ventilation cycles - they don't seem to show up

    The display was set to hours (on the screenshots), so even if the system had been on, the cycles would be invisible in that mode. I see there's a minutes mode as well... useful for ID'ing equipment cycles and impulse events.

  • It might be an interesting experiment to turn your system on and see how well your filtration shows up.

    In the hourly display the cycles might not show up, but I think the overall effect of filtration would show up.

    What about ventilation - was the ventilator on ? I would guess it was not, otherwise I think the CO2 readings would show the benefit of ventilation.

    Monitors/sensors may show continuous low flow recirculation through good filters to have a large benefit in IAQ.
  • David ButlerDavid Butler Posts: 3,889
    edited March 2017

    Monitors/sensors may show continuous low flow recirculation through good filters to have a large benefit in IAQ.

    Or not.
  • You should ignore the CO2 readings. Foobot does not contain a CO2 sensor...instead it uses the tVOC count to estimate CO2. This method goes awry during high tVOC events, especially cooking/baking.
  • David ButlerDavid Butler Posts: 3,889
    Wow, who knew! That's VERY misleading to report C02 based on tVOC!
  • In addition, the tVOC sensor is "highly sensitive to CO" (http://help.foobot.io/hc/en-us/articles/205890791-Foobot-s-sensors). So you might be encountering a change in CO, or a change in CO:VOC ratio. Impossible to say without knowing how they're processing the raw response from the metal-oxide sensor (and which one it is) ... and even then, may not be possible to say what you encountered.
  • Danny GoughDanny Gough Posts: 185
    edited May 2017
    @ David- calculating CO2 using VOC's is not starkly remarkable. All of the VOC monitors I've used for the past 10 years covert the reading to a CO2 equivalent to talk to BAS's. Apparently there's also no consensus on TELs for VOC's. Moreover I'm thinking you cannot install two of these PID's this close to one another and not screw up the readings. I should also remind everyone this device is not a research quality instrument. After all its only $200. Im thinking if it puts the topic in front of the consumer's nose , it's a win.
  • @Danny I think there's a lot of potential value in such instruments — in particular, the lower-cost aerosol sensors. You are seeing enough diurnal variation on the "PM" scale that it's puzzling me. What part of the world do you live in? Is it rural or urban?

    For those who might be interested: here's what happens when you put FooBots outdoors in Los Angeles, next to research-grade (FEM) instrumentation. http://www.aqmd.gov/docs/default-source/aq-spec/field-evaluations/foobot---field-evaluation.pdf?sfvrsn=2

    Note: there's enough "noise" in the hourly FEM responses that if you put two such FEMs next to each other, you'll see about the same modest correlation (R² ≈ 0.6) between them. (But if you are looking at 24h averages, then your precision increases quite a bit.)