Do Air Quality Monitors Work? 5 Tips to Find the Right One
By Kaitlyn Mays
12 min read
So many people are drastically affected by the quality of their air, whether they know it or not. Air Purifiers have become so popular recently because of all the studies done on the toxic levels in our air at home. Even though there is an increased popularity in air purifiers, many people forget to look at the problem first hand. Air quality monitors are new gadgets that allow the person using them to measure the quality of air inside their homes. The need for this is necessary now that wildfires are raging and the general quality of the air we breathe every day has gone down drastically.
What are Air Quality Monitors?
Air quality monitors are devices that measure the matter of air. We never think about the air we breathe, and most of the time if there’s no smell, we just accept that it’s clean air. But with the increase of fires and pollution, the air we breathe in, even that in our nice clean homes is not good quality. The air quality monitors that are available can measure many aspects in our homes, usually assessing the oxygen content, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, radon, and volatile gases that are in the house. Volatile organic compounds are radioactive gas that can cause cancer if you are exposed to it for a long time period. Examples of volatile are paint, gasoline, pesticides, aerosol sprays, and other chemicals. They can also detect the particle matter including dust, pollen, mold, and smoke. While all of these are natural and understandable to have around you, it is encouraged to get an air quality monitor and assess these levels for yourself, so you know what to do to handle any potential poisoning you might be experiencing. Air quality monitors can also detect the particle matter including dust, pollen, mold, and smoke. These elements can trigger an allergic reaction to many people, so it is important to know what is around them at all times. These particles will be detected if they are between 2.5 and ten micrometers in diameter. If you are aware that you have particle matter or PM, make sure to get an air filter that filters these out specifically, because not all filters do.
So now that we’ve covered what these things do and that you do need them to keep your home safe and clean, let’s figure out what to look for when you’re getting them.
Five Tips to Find Your Best Air Quality Monitor
1. Find an Accurate Sensor
More than likely, you’re not a scientist and you’re not going to know off the bat if your monitor is perfectly right all the time. And that’s fine, we want to guide you in a direction where you can feel confident that your air quality monitor is doing the right work for you. The first thing you want to look for when you’re seeing if your monitor is right is the accuracy of the sensor. The accuracy is based off of three things:
These are really strange and technical words, so let’s break that down. Precision is just when something produces the same answer twice or more. So if you measure your air quality and it says one answer, but then you check again and it says something completely different, then you know that your monitor is off in some way. If it’s a little off, that’s okay, but a good measurement of its precision is that it is never off by 10% or more. Resolution is the sensitivity to small changes. So you can get experimental with this and maybe test your air, then blow out a candle or open a window. This is a small change and it should then change the results of the reading just a bit. Finally, calibration is just the amount that the device can be adjusted for accuracy. You might not just want to measure your home in North Carolina, but you also want to measure the quality of air in your hotel room in California. The air quality is going to be different and it will affect the reading due to elements such as the humidity, temperature and barometric pressure, and other textures that might be around the testing location. Make sure that your monitor can adjust to its surroundings pretty easily.
2. Get Comfortable with Using it
So many people buy tech savvy gadgets, but then they don’t really take the time to get to use them. Knowing the air quality of your home is a really basic and important need, so you must be able to test it quickly and understand the results. Don’t go for the most expensive or the one with all the bells and whistles if you don’t really like technology. Understand the components and features of the air quality monitor you’re buying and understand all that it does. If that means you have to do the dreaded task of sitting down with the instruction manual, that’s okay! We want you to feel comfortable with using this monitor as much as you need and we want you to find one that’s fast and helpful!
3. Bring it Anywhere!
Air is everywhere, so why not bring your monitor everywhere you go too? There is no need to buy something that tracks your air in only one place. Even if you are still on lockdown, you want to be able to bring your monitor into different rooms in your house and test the air in those rooms. We understand that most people get air quality monitors for their homes and they don’t really need it to go on a roadtrip with them, so if you’re one of those people you might not have to worry about bringing it everywhere. But do keep in mind that it would probably be of more service to you if you brought it wherever you were staying.
Also, something to keep in mind if you want a portable monitor is to look at its battery life. You don’t want a monitor that will be dying every other day, but one that will stay with you and keep you updated!
So many of the air quality monitors are portable, and I know I would be so interested to know how the air quality in my car and office looked as well, especially considering how much time I spend in both of them.
4. You Should Like it in Your Home
You are literally getting this to make your home a better environment for you and your family, so you should not be afraid to have it out in the open! There are many options for air quality monitors that are not these big clunky things that you might imagine they are. They come in numerous colors and designs and they can even be a stylized statement for your home! You can also set up options on your device that makes them blend in with your home better and even be of service. There is sometimes a night-light option if your monitor is in your kids’ room- or your room, we don’t judge! And it should be able to look sleek and new, not trashy, this is one of the more advanced gadgets in technology, afterall!
5. Make it Easy
As with so many things in the modern technology based age, air quality monitors can be connected to other devices such as an Apple Home or IFTTT. You can even hook some up with Amazon’s Alexa or the Wi-Fi! That way, even if you’re away from home, but your monitor is still there, you can connect to it and instruct it to do whatever you need. Also, if your monitor is connecting to your devices, you can get an easier understanding of all the readings it offers right from your smartphone or tablet. If the reading is alerting you that something seems wrong, you can tell your other devices to start fixing it by using the proper air purifiers.
These are just a few things to keep in mind when you are looking for your new monitor. Obviously, everyone has different tastes and different points of interest that they want when purchasing something like this for their home. There is no question that these air quality monitors work, it is just a matter of finding which one works best for you and how to take advantage of that. As alway, make sure the product gets good reviews and you are able to return it if it is not to your liking. Also keep in mind the response time, you want to be able to know if anything changes quickly and as soon as it does so you can always be on top of quality control.
The Bottom Line
You’ve got the idea of the direction you want to go in and you have some of the basic needs that will be on your list when you’re picking out your air quality monitor. These devices are not a one size fits all, so do not worry about being too picky. We hope you can find your new favorite air quality monitor for you and your home and you can start to improve your air quality immediately.