Tyrrell Products

Smart technologies integration

Automated integration vs MSI expertise

July 1, 2024

Evolution of IoT Technology and Its Impact on IAQ Monitoring

The Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionised various industries by providing innovative solutions for real-time data collection, analysis, and control. One significant application of IoT is in improving Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) monitoring. As buildings become smarter, ensuring a healthy indoor environment has become a priority. This is particularly important given the alarming statistics regarding air quality and its impact on health.

According to a report from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), the total NHS and social care cost of air pollution (PM2.5 and NO2 only) is estimated to be £1.5-5.5 billion in England over the period between 2017 and 2025, increasing to £5.5-18.6 billion up to 2035. The total societal costs of air pollution are estimated at £22.6 billion annually.

In this article we explore how IoT, particularly technologies like LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network), is transforming IAQ monitoring in buildings. We will delve into the benefits of integrating IoT for IAQ management.

Understanding IAQ and Its Importance

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the quality of the air within buildings and structures, particularly as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. Poor IAQ can lead to adverse health effects such as allergies, respiratory issues, and even long-term conditions like asthma. Monitoring IAQ involves measuring various parameters such as temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide levels, and the presence of pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10).

What is LoRaWAN and How Does It Work?

LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) is a communication protocol designed for low-power, wide-area networks (LPWANs). It is specifically tailored for wireless battery-operated devices in regional, national, or global networks. Here’s how LoRaWAN works:


  • Long-Range Communication: LoRaWAN can transmit data over distances up to 10-15 kilometres in rural areas and 1-3 kilometres in urban environments.
  • Low Power Consumption: Devices using LoRaWAN can operate on small batteries for several years, making it ideal for sensor applications.
  • Small Payloads: LoRaWAN is suitable for transmitting small-size payloads, such as sensor data, which typically includes parameters like temperature and humidity readings.
  • Scalability: LoRaWAN networks can support millions of messages per base station, making it highly scalable for large-scale deployments.

LoRaWAN VS Other IoT Network Protocols

Popular IoT network protocols like WiFi, Zigbee, and Bluetooth are often used for short-range communication. However, these technologies come with limitations such as high energy consumption and limited range, which can be problematic for IAQ monitoring in large buildings or across multiple locations. WiFi, for instance, requires significant power and has a limited range, making it less ideal for battery-operated sensors. Zigbee and Bluetooth, while efficient for short-range communication, also suffer from range limitations and are not as energy-efficient as LoRaWAN.

“LoRaWAN is suitable for transmitting small-size payloads (like sensor data) over long distances. LoRa modulation provides a significantly greater communication range with low bandwidths than other competing wireless data transmission technologies.” (The Things Network)

LoRaWAN overcomes these limitations by providing long-range communication with minimal power consumption, making it a more suitable choice for extensive IAQ monitoring systems. This capability allows for widespread deployment of sensors across large buildings or campuses without the need for frequent battery replacements or extensive infrastructure investments.

How LoRaWAN Enhances IAQ Monitoring in Buildings

LoRaWAN technology offers several benefits for IAQ monitoring, transforming how indoor environments are managed:


  • Real-Time Monitoring and Alerts: With LoRaWAN-enabled IAQ sensors, data can be transmitted in real time, providing instant feedback and alerts if air quality parameters exceed predefined thresholds. This ensures timely action to mitigate any potential health risks.


  • Comprehensive Pollutant Detection: The application of LoRaWAN technology allows for monitoring a wide range of indoor air pollutants simultaneously. Devices like the Milesight sensors, which are capable of measuring multiple parameters such as temperature, humidity, CO2, and VOCs, provide a holistic view of IAQ.


  • Enhanced Data Processing: LoRaWAN supports efficient data processing applications, enabling advanced functions such as predictive maintenance and trend analysis. 


  • Remote Monitoring and Control: Facility managers can access IAQ data from multiple buildings in different locations through a centralised system, facilitating better oversight and quicker response times.


  • Cost-Effective Deployment: The low power and long-range capabilities of LoRaWAN reduce the need for extensive infrastructure, making it a cost-effective solution for large-scale IAQ monitoring implementations.

Moving forward

The integration of IoT technologies, particularly LoRaWAN, into Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) monitoring heralds a transformative future for smart buildings. IoT has revolutionised how we perceive and manage building environments, offering capabilities in real-time data collection, analysis, and control. LoRaWAN’s role in IAQ monitoring exemplifies this evolution by enabling comprehensive pollutant tracking, efficient data transmission, and scalable deployment across diverse building infrastructures.

As technology continues to evolve, so too will the possibilities for IAQ monitoring  and smart building solutions. Embracing IoT and LoRaWAN not only addresses current challenges but also sets a precedent for adaptive, resilient building infrastructures that can meet the demands of tomorrow’s urban landscapes.

Products enquiry

Please complete the enquiry form. Our team will contact you within 2 hours. 
(please note Tyrrell Products operational hours 9am – 5pm UK time)

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.