What Are Indoor Air Quality Monitors?

March 16, 2021
Indoor Air Quality

No matter how regularly you clean your home, you cannot rid it of all indoor air pollutants through housekeeping alone. Dust particles, pet dander, pollen, and chemicals from cleaning agents are only a few of the particles that will remain floating about in your indoor environment. If you live near an industrial area or a busy highway, dangerous fumes may find their way in through open windows or doors. If the level of particulate matter is low indoors but high outside, it is worth remembering that even with impeccable ventilation, those particles will still find their way into your home. You may not see them, but the side effects might be conspicuous, even causing serious health issues. With continued exposure, your family members could experience asthma attacks or allergic reactions.

Despite their persistence, these indoor air pollutants can be eliminated. While some, such as mold and dust, can be easily seen, other airborne particles require detectors. This is where an indoor air quality monitor comes in. It can effectively get a reading of the various substances present in the air you breathe, helping you determine the right course of action to take. If the indoor air quality is below par, you will then know whether to install a new HVAC system, an air purifier or a humidifier and whether you need to carry out maintenance on your equipment. At this point, you may be wondering about how an air quality monitor works.

Air Quality Monitors

Simply defined, an air quality monitor measures the amount of particulate matter in the air. The device has different meters and multiple sensors within it to check the oxygen level as well as concentrations of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and volatile gases found in your home.

Depending on the type and number of meters it has, an air quality monitor will assess the level of each type of particulate matter and give you a reading based on that data. Of course, knowing the level of oxygen present in your home is good information but not absolutely essential. What you should be concerned about is the level of volatile gases present.

Do You Need an Air Quality Monitor?

According to experts, having your own air quality monitor is highly important if you live in a sparsely populated area or a region where wildfires are common. If, however, you live in a densely populated region, you can use the EPA and Purple Air real-time air quality map.

Air quality monitors are also extremely valuable to people with asthma triggers, those prone to allergic attacks and those who have underlying lung diseases. You’ll want to prevent the respiratory illness and allergy symptoms from worsening among the members of your household. This device will help you know if it is safe for your loved ones to remain inside the house or if it would be better if they stayed somewhere else as you rid the premises of air pollutants.

When you already know that the quality of your indoor air is poor, you can reach out to professionals to have the situation remedied. If you’re anywhere in the vicinity of Farmers Branch, the conscientious technicians fromAir Patrol Air Conditioning, Heating & Fireplaces are available to test your air quality, install an air purifier and more.

How Do You Select a Good Air Quality Monitor?

Harmful particles floating in the air are difficult to discover, but with the help of an air quality monitor, you can effectively detect and get rid of them. But how do you find a good air quality monitor?

The effectiveness of an air quality monitor is largely determined by the size of particles it can measure. Of course, some dust particles will always be present in the air. In small amounts, that doesn’t usually do any harm. Too many particles, however, can affect breathing and may cause serious health issues. Consequently, investing in an air quality monitor that can effectively detect significant particulate matter in the air is advisable. The monitor you get should detect fine particles sized 2.5 microns and below.

It should also be able to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Examples of this large group of chemicals with high vapor content can be found in the majority of cleaning, freshening and renovation products we use in our homes. A good air quality monitor should alert you when the concentrations of these harmful particles is high.

Carbon monoxide is not considered a VOC, but you should ensure that the monitor you get can detect its level as well. It’s colorless and odorless, so you’re not likely to discover its presence otherwise. Alongside carbon monoxide, the detector should also be equipped to alert you of the levels of carbon dioxide. This gas is not actually a pollutant. In fact, routinely exhaling it is part of our normal respiratory cycle; however, high enough concentrations can be extremely harmful. These gasses are asphyxiants. They deprive the body of sufficient oxygen.

Air Quality Monitor Options

There are many types of indoor air quality sensors on the market, and finding the right one will depend largely on your household’s requirements. While considering the device you’ll select, bear in mind that accuracy is vital. It may not seem like a mammoth issue to be off by a few microns, but large discrepancies between what the monitor shows and what is actually present in the air may lead to overexposure, which could cause serious harm to your health. The most accurate units will cost you a bit more, but cheaper models are often unreliable. To find the best solution, you may wish to seek expert advice. You can always request it from the technicians at Air Patrol Air Conditioning, Heating & Fireplaces.

Another factor to weigh is the output mode. Air quality sensors can be digital or analog. Some come with the UART interface while others incorporate the I2C interface. The signal options are available in raw values or with an algorithm output. Modern air quality sensors can be connected to IoT systems such as smart appliances, and they come with firmware updates. If you want the system to be integrated into your smart home or other appliances you own, choosing an air quality monitor with a digital output is recommended. Also, consider a unit with a modern I2C interface.

Indoor Air Quality Expertise at Your Disposal

When you feel that it is time to check the quality of the indoor air at your home or you want to install a system that can always alert you when the level of particulate matter is high, turn to Air Patrol Air Conditioning, Heating & Fireplaces assistance. We deal in superior products that are finely tuned to give you the quality of air that you and your family need for optimal wellness. With close to two decades of experience in handling air quality issues throughout Dallas, Fort Worth, and the surrounding areas, our team of experts will thoroughly test the air quality in your home and analyze all the different factors before offering a long-term solution at an affordable price. You can also rely on us for a complete range of heating and cooling installation, repair and maintenance. We’ll even perform a whole-home audit for you. Call us today!

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