Got a CO2-related complaint or alarm? Use this handheld IAQ meter to identify the source

by Brianna Crandall — April 15, 2019 — Extech, a worldwide provider of handheld test and measurement tools, just announced the launch of the new CO260 Datalogging Indoor Air Quality meter with both carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2) measurements in addition to dew point, wet bulb, air temperature and relative humidity. The rugged handheld meter can be used to solve elusive indoor air quality (IAQ) problems in an array of sites including schools, homes and apartment buildings, offices, boiler and mechanical rooms, hotels and senior housing facilities, and loading docks, as well as transportation sites such as bus and train stations.

Facilities personnel or HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) technicians responding to CO alarms or occupant complaints of dizziness, headaches, fatigue or flu-like symptoms resulting from inadequate fresh air can quickly measure both carbon monoxide (PPM) and carbon dioxide (PPM) levels, along with other complementary environmental readings.

CO260 Datalogging IAQ meter from Extech/FLIR

CO260 Datalogging IAQ meter features both carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2) measurements plus dew point, wet bulb, air temperature and relative humidity. Image courtesy Extech/FLIR

When an alarm is triggered due to high CO levels and emergency responders are called to evacuate a building, particularly a building with a more vulnerable population, such as a school or senior housing facility, the clock starts ticking to identify and validate the source of hazardous or fatal air quality conditions, highlighting the need for the CO260 meter.

In less urgent cases, techs can use the datalogging meter when occupants report stuffy air or when managers notice productivity has declined because of too-hot or too-cold work areas. For both on-the-spot readings and extended datalogging, the CO260 can identify hard-to-diagnose IAQ anomalies such as idling trucks near a fresh air intake, a clogged flue, or simply incorrect thermostat programming.

With the increased prevalence of LEED-certified buildings and more modern high-efficiency HVAC systems, troubleshooting IAQ issues is becoming increasingly complex. The new Extech IAQ meter combines powerful capabilities to measure air quality into one meter.

The CO260 features a large, bright two-line display that displays the time along with carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, dew point, wet bulb, air temperature or relative humidity readings.

Unlike most CO/CO2 meters, the CO260 from Extech is designed to go beyond basic, real-time measurements, with four additional environmental metrics for a complete picture of a site’s IAQ. Users can program High CO alarm thresholds that will trigger an audible alarm. In addition to tracking Minimum and Maximum values and a Data Hold function, the IAQ meter calculates dew point and wet bulb values.

For added datalogging insights on air quality over the course of office hours, for example, the useful meter offers an eight-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA) snapshot of carbon dioxide readings. For occupational health and industrial hygiene managers tracking acceptable average exposure over a short period of time, a 15-minute Short Term Exposure Limit (STEL) function is useful for diagnosing abnormal, transient CO/CO2 spikes.

The CO260 pressure compensation adjustment capability ensures accuracy in a wide range of altitudes beyond sea level.

For extended data recording requirements at a job site, the meter’s Auto Power Off can be disabled while datalogging up to 32,000 readings (in addition to 99 manually saved readings). Data logs can be downloaded via USB to a PC for trending, analysis and reporting to diagnose problems and to document before/after conditions.

Extech’s new IAQ meter comes with four AA batteries, a USB cable, PC software and a hard case. The optional Humidity Calibration Reference kit (33% and 75%) is available separately. By using a non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) sensor, the Extech meter ensures maintenance-free use. For added peace of mind, Extech backs the CO260 with a one-year limited warranty.

The Extech CO260: CO/CO₂ Meter is available now from Extech distributors around the world. To find a US distributor or international distributor, visit the Extech website. Founded in 1971, Extech, a division of FLIR Systems’ Industrial segment, provides innovative testers and meters suited for electrical, HVAC/R and building/restoration, as well as a host of environmental testers for measurement of sound, light, humidity and other factors.