Indoor air quality deteriorates when working from home

UCL monitoring air quality and window opening in eight London flats

Credit: iStock-Popartic

An analysis of home offices over 12 months has found that air quality deteriorated during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The study, by UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, was sponsored by CIBSE, and monitored IAQ and window operation data in eight London flats between 2019 and 2020. 

Its aim was to find out whether the IAQ in flats deteriorated during Covid-19 lockdown, and whether the patterns of window operation by occupants had changed to offset increased occupancy levels.

The research found higher levels of CO2, and particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) compared with the pre-lockdown period. It also found that, despite the higher occupied hours, occupants have generally relied less on natural ventilation.