Have you ever noticed that out of nowhere your nose start to itch and you sneeze! This is primarily because the air that you are breathing is not entirely clean. At times indoor air can be 5% more pollutant than the air outside. Now you will really start to think that maybe you should invest in a good quality air pollution monitor.
Indoor air can also hold dust and various other pollutants and these can play a significant role in damaging your health. In addition to that, there are various other machinery and equipment around us and the traffic that goes by outside our home. You are never really safe under any circumstances. So having a top notch air pollution monitor at your home or in your room will keep you notified about the current state of pollutants that are in the air you are breathing.
Now that buying an air pollution monitor is not a cakewalk by any means. There are so many products available on the market and choosing the right one can be difficult. So we have developed this brief buying guide to provide you assistance in this regard.
What is an air pollution monitor & how does it work?
Air pollution monitoring is a practice that involves the evaluation of different ambient of air pollution within an area. The result of this evaluation indicates the current quality of air in that particular area. An air pollution monitor is a device that carries out this practice and provides you with the results.
Now such an indoor air pollution monitor features three different sensors that can gauge carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and oxygen. The sensor for oxygen and carbon monoxide are electrochemical sensors while the one for carbon dioxide is an infrared sensor.
An electrochemical sensor is fuel based and it can detect any gas that can be oxidized. The infrared sensor absorbs a beam’s energy based on carbon dioxide’s concentration. Both these sensors convert the information into the data and provide us with the results.
What you need to consider before buying an air pollution monitor?
Air pollution monitors come in all sorts of sizes and shapes and they vary in terms of features too. Therefore, there are various factors that you need to consider before buying an air pollution monitor. You have to look for certain types of elements before you finalize your purchase. This will avoid any chanced of overspending.
Ø Sensor accuracy & response time
This is undoubtedly the most important aspect of an air pollution monitor. If it cannot measure the current air pollutions levels in an accurate manner then there is no point in having one. Furthermore, the response rate of the sensor must be quick enough. It enables you to get the right readings all the time and take the necessary steps to improve the air quality as quickly as possible. This is exactly why we have put this point right at the top of all other factors.
Ø Elements that they can measure
Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs are the gaseous pollutants that are emitted within the atmosphere and they can adversely affect your health. The most well-known of such compounds is the Formaldehyde. This compound is present in building materials, fertilizers, and glues. Just goes to show how dangerous it can be for human health! VOCs are measured in parts per billion.
Carbon dioxide is a gas that is naturally present in our atmosphere in small scales. We also exhale this gas and it can be produced from combustion in the exhaust. The increased levels of this gas can be harmful and they increase when there is no proper air ventilation system present. The measuring unit of this gas is parts per million.
Particle Matter or PM is everywhere suspended in the air that surrounds us. These minuscule particles include dust as well as pollen. In addition to these, there are several other particles that enter our lungs when we inhale. For this reason, it can directly impact our health.
Particle matter can come from a variety of sources like combustion, cooking, etc if they don’t get filtered adequately. Now, there are different PMs as per size PM2.5 are the particles that are smaller than 2.5-micrometer while PM10 are larger than 2.5 micrometers but smaller than 10 micrometers. This is measured in terms of concentrations over a period of time.
– Humidity and temperature
These two elements are also there when it comes to measuring indoor air pollution. The reason behind that is low temperature and high humidity can promote the growth of mold and mildew as well as dust mites. This situation can promote conditions for allergens and asthma.
On the other hand, low humidity is no good because it can cause irritated and dry skin along with other respiratory issues. Therefore, your air pollution monitor needs to provide you information on these two elements as well and you shouldn’t need to buy separate sensor devices here.
Ø User friendliness
Numerous air pollution monitors are designed in such a manner that the user can extract all the information about the quality of air in one view. But there are some other models as well that are more technical in this regard. Your device needs to provide you with all the information in a way that you can easily understand. You also need to operate it authentically to keep everything under control.
The good thing is most of the models of air pollution monitors these days come with smartphone integration. You just need to download the application on your phone and can operate it from there like you are operating the device itself. It also saves you a lot of time. After all, who does want to spend an hour just to see what the current level of CO2 in the air is!
Ø Multi-functional capabilities
This is where you need to check what a particular model of air pollution monitor can gauge for you. For this reason, you need to properly study all the functions that a device has to offer. We would like to mention here that some devices can only provide you with information on what the current level of air pollution is in the room, which by the way is not very useful information. The device that you are considering must provide you with information on all the elements or most of them that we have mentioned above.
Ø Design and construction
You might be thinking that why do you have to look for design and construction when buying an air pollution monitor! Well, this is more of a point of aesthetics than anything else. Of course, you don’t want to place a device that doesn’t blend in with your décor.
You need to place it right in front so that the information is readily available to you. In this regard, you have to look for a design that goes well with your home interior. The best way to go is to buy a wall-mounted design or a small one and then it needs to be charged as well so the outlet should be in close proximity too.
Ø Detection capacity
This is a crucial one too; therefore, you need to measure the space before you buy an air pollution monitor for it. For instance, if you have a 500 square feet room then you will need a device that can cover 300 square feet area without any troubles. Here you can add a little more investment because it is going to worth it in the end.
Ø Smart integrations
Some of the expensive models of air pollution monitors come with smart integrations. This means that you can use them with Apple Home, Amazon Alexa or Google Home. Through the IoT (Internet of Things) you can integrate your fans or dehumidifiers and various other air quality units as well.
Ø Night Light
Another helpful feature is night light where you can see all the information in the dark. Don’t have to go close to the monitor and check to see what is the current status of air pollution in the room. This is not a mandatory feature because you can access all the data using your smartphone. But if you can’t find your phone then this might come in handy.
Ø Air quality history
With this information, you will be able to assess the trends associated with you’re the levels if air pollution in your room. You can check to see whether the trends are climbing or deteriorating and take necessary measures accordingly.
Some of the recent and more expensive models do a lot more than just measuring and providing you with information on the current levels of air pollution in the room. They come with inbuilt filters that allow you to clean your air.
Air pollution monitors have a key role to play in ensuring that you and your family members breathe high quality and clean air at all times. It is imperative to notice that indoor air quality can be lower than outdoor air quality purely because there are different types of equipment running in homes.
Different appliances, air conditioning systems, cookware, exhausts, and different kinds of electrical equipment all contribute towards polluting your indoor air. This can adversely impact our health in the long run. To avert all this you need to invest in top notch air pollution monitor as this device will assess the current air quality and provide you with necessary information based on which you can take a variety of precautionary measures.
Have you used an air pollution monitor before? How was your experience? Do you recommend it to others? What’s your story! Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you in no time!