March 16, 2022
Indoor Quality Monitors
There are many contaminants inside your home such as smoke, carbon monoxide, pet dander, and dust that could make it uncomfortable and cause or worsen conditions like asthma and allergies.
Research shows that indoor air pollution is sometimes higher than outdoor air pollution, and the World Health Organization states that approximately 3.8 million deaths annually are a result of indoor pollution-related issues. You can protect yourself by getting an air quality monitor to help you determine indoor air quality and understand how to improve it.
What Is an Air Quality Monitor?
Air quality monitors are electronic devices used to detect and measure the presence of tiny liquid and solid particles plus gases in your house or business that could be dangerous. Sometimes, the contaminants in your home or commercial building could accumulate. Without the monitor, you might not notice it, and it could eventually become a health threat for your family.
Depending on the size of your home or business premises, you can choose a floor or tabletop model, a ceiling- or wall-mounted model, or a handheld, portable monitor. Wall or ceiling-mounted are permanent, and you can’t move them from room to room like the handheld or tabletop and floor monitors.
You should note that air quality monitors only detect and measure the contaminants but cannot reduce them. You have to buy other devices like air purifiers to improve your indoor air quality once you discover that there is a problem.
How Do They Work?
Air quality monitors have sensors that they use to detect different pollutants. Electrochemical sensors, for example, measure oxygen levels and detect the presence of toxic gases like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and radon. They also detect and measure VOCs, which result from building materials like particleboard and plywood, cleaning solutions, fuels, paints, and other household items.
Particle detectors detect particles like mold, pollen, dust mites, and pet dander. Your air quality monitor can also measure the particulate concentration depending on the array and strength of its beam. They, however, cannot tell you which specific particulate in your house as they can’t tell them apart.
Most models usually have a display panel so that you can see the real-time values and readings. Others have color codes, which change depending on the level of pollutants in the air. Some monitors, especially those that detect toxic gases, might produce a loud noise when they detect potentially dangerous gas levels. The ones that detect particles don’t always give the alarming noise, but they do record the different particle levels.
You can also get an air quality monitor that you can pair with your smartphone or tablet, which will send notifications in case of a change in contaminants levels. If you have not connected yours to your devices, it will only be effective if you read the values on it regularly and in-person. You can also pair air quality monitors with gadgets like air purifiers, which trigger them when contaminants are high.
Indoor air quality monitors only measure the air quality around them. Therefore, a clean reading in the living room does not always mean that other rooms also have good air quality. However, some monitors will monitor outdoor air quality levels to give context for the indoor readings.
Like any other electrical device, you need to maintain your monitor often for accurate readings and a longer lifespan. The most important thing is calibrating it regularly according to the manufacturer’s schedule and instructions. If yours operates on batteries, you need to change the batteries often. Don’t wait until they are drained because that could reduce their lifespan.
How to Choose Indoor Air Quality Monitors
There are different air quality monitors in the market, but to ensure you get the one that fits your needs, you need to consider a number of factors.
What They Detect
Some monitors detect multiple things like toxic gases and particles, but some detect single pollutants. If you live in a place with an excess of one type of pollutant, then it’s best to buy one that detects specifically that.
However, if you or a family member suffers from allergies or any respiratory disease, it’s wise to buy one that detects several pollutants like mold, dust, and pollen. If you live in an area with wildfires, choose a monitor that detects smoke, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide.
If you want an indoor air quality monitor for your workplace with high levels of contaminant gases, get one that monitors different toxic gases or the specific gas in the premises.
Having an indoor quality monitor helps you identify what contaminants are highest in your home or business premises so that you know the best way to eliminate them. That helps improve your health, prevent allergies and respiratory diseases, improve sleep quality, and increase work productivity in employees.
All monitors come with lasers, and they determine the number of pollutants by measuring the ones that pass in front of the laser. These measurements are not always accurate as larger particles might not get into the laser chamber, and the laser might overlook small particulates.
To know the size of particulates a monitor detects, look at its PM rating. If a monitor has a PM rating of 2.5, it will detect particulates that are 2.5 microns or smaller.
Ease of Use
Look at how easy it is to set up the monitor and interpret the readings on display. If it can connect to your devices or Wi-Fi, consider how easy it is to set up the connection. Find out if you have to download a specific app. Some will work with already established apps like Apple’s HomeKit.
Consider the size of your house or the room you want to have the monitor in when choosing your monitor and decide whether you need the monitor to be portable. Some people only opt to monitor the air near a major appliance like a furnace.
Some monitors operate on batteries while others are corded, and you have to plug them in. Both are effective, but if you want one you can carry around, the one with batteries is the best option.
Indoor Air Quality Monitor Price
Prices differ depending on the type, size, brand of the monitors, additional features, and where you are purchasing it from. The average prices are usually between $100 and $300.
Ensure you research the types and brands before shopping and ensure the retailer you are buying from is licensed, reputable, and a verified distributor of reputable monitor brands.
Contact the Pros
If you are in St. Louis or the surrounding areas and you are looking for the best air quality services, Scott-Lee Heating Company is here to help. With over 40 years of experience, we have dealt with different air quality needs, giving us the know-how to deal with any air quality-related issue.
Customer satisfaction is our number one priority, and we work according to your schedule. We have also partnered with reputable brands to install and distribute their indoor air quality monitors. Other services you can trust us with include heating, cooling, geothermal, and metal work services. For more information or to book an appointment with us, call us today or send us an email.