8 Best Air Quality Monitors | March 2017
- continuously monitors air quality
- alarm relay for vent control
- only displays temperature in celsius
- can be manually co2 calibrated
- quickly tracks air quality levels
- simple to program
- comes in a handy carrying case
- software and cable included
- user friendly operation
- budget-friendly price
- displays temp in c or f
- self-calibrating system
- sensitive enough to pick up smog
- detects particles down to 0.5 microns
- slim, unobtrusive design
Why Are Air Quality Monitors Important?
While everyone can comprehend the idea that breathing air directly from a car's exhaust pipe is very bad for a person's health, understanding the overall air quality may be more important than ever imagined. A recent study found that children who grew up within 500 meters of a freeway have substantial deficits in their respiratory health which have lasted years.
Many studies show that exposure to freeway exhaust and simply the regional exposure to similar contaminants in the air have detrimental effects on the function of the lungs. Moving children away from these areas can help them improve their lung function and recover from any damage caused by exhaust pollutants, but in order to know that you need to do this, the number of contaminants and gases like CO2 must be measured and monitored. This is where an air quality monitor comes in handy.
These monitors are also very important in the houses of people with asthma and allergies. For these people, normal dust and pollen are also irritants that can cause big problems in their everyday lives. A monitor can tell them when it is time to clean the house to remove dust, or close the windows and turn on the air purifier in their home.
Most air quality monitors check for things like humidity, CO2 levels, and volatile organic compounds. It is important to understand the levels of these contaminants so users can know when it is time to take action. From re-painting the house with low-VOC paint to using certain indoor plants, users will know which actions to take when an air quality monitor can alert them to levels of certain contaminants that may be hazardous.
Air quality monitors also alert users to the presence of carbon monoxide. This is a poisonous gas which can make a person ill when they breathe it in, and can cause death if they are exposed to high levels of it. It has no smell or taste, so having a monitor around is the only way to know if it is present.
What To Look For In An Air Quality Monitor
Each region has their own set of safety standards for many different pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, lead, and sulfur dioxide. When looking for an air quality monitor, the EPA recommends looking for one which can accurately monitor as many of these contaminants as possible.
Understanding what the monitor will be used for most will help the user to decide which one they should purchase. Some may alert the user only to contaminant levels, while others can be used to measure common issues people have with air quality, such as humidity levels, temperature, particle density, VOCs, and CO2.
For those who have kids or other loved ones at home while they are at work, the ability to remotely check on the status of the air in the house can be extremely beneficial. Very sensitive individuals who want to limit their exposure as much as possible to air pollutants that can cause them issues would also benefit from a monitor that allows them to check the status of the air in their home before ever setting foot inside. For these groups of people, a model with Wi-Fi capabilities is often a smart choice.
There is also the consideration of purchasing a fixed unit or a portable one. Fixed units are more geared towards office or home use and are often designed to be mounted in some manner, whereas mobile units will be better for professionals who need to test new areas regularly.
Some users may also need to know what different types of particles are in the air. For them, there are monitors which show the levels of both small and large particles, in addition to contaminant levels. This helps one make an educated decision about what the next step should be toward safety.
Simple Ways To Improve The Air Quality In The Home
While air purifiers and dehumidifiers are great to help adjust the air within an indoor environment, it is also necessary to take preventative measures to avoid contamination as much as possible.
The EPA recommends that you remove as much environmental tobacco smoke as possible. There are over 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, which have been linked to respiratory disease, heart disease, and cancer. When smoke is in the air, it is obviously a big hazard, but the contaminants do not disappear when the smoking stops. The chemicals and pollutants in tobacco smoke settle on walls, furniture, and flooring, where they can still be made airborne, inhaled, and cause health problems. Completely eliminating smoking in or near the home is one way to greatly improve the air quality.
Taking the time to do chores correctly can mean the difference between a safe breathing environment and a toxic breathing environment in the home. It is not well known that vacuuming quickly does little to remove the dust in the carpet, and in many cases it increases airborne contaminants. When vacuuming, make sure to pass the vacuum slowly and with care. This allows for the proper levels of suction to take away pet dander, pollen, dust, and other contaminants which become lodged in the carpet. It is best if one uses a HEPA vacuum, as well.
When the vacuum bag is full, it is also important to clean the bag outside. This is because pathogenic bacteria like E. coli can multiply very quickly within the vacuum bag, and opening it inside releases a cloud of bacteria into the air.
One of the simplest tips to improve the air quality in the home is to open the windows. This is especially important in the room of someone who is sick or in spaces the kitchen. Exchanging the air within a sick room can help to drastically reduce the number of bacteria floating around, as people who are sick often exhale the bacteria and viruses they are sick with. Cooking with the window open and the stove fan on can also help improve the air quality, as kitchen appliances like stoves and ovens can cause levels of nitrogen dioxide in the surrounding environment to spike. Researchers have found that home interventions such as these are effective at decreasing indoor concentrations of nitrogen dioxide.
It may also help to reduce the amount of fragrance used indoors. Fragrances are found in candles, laundry and dish soaps, perfumes, air fresheners, potpourris, and cleaners. Several studies have noted that nearly all top selling fragrance products emit toxic or hazardous substances like phthalates. It is best to choose soaps and cleaners free of perfumes when possible.