Now that we’ve covered the basics, you are faced with some major questions and decisions to make. Many buyers have specific air monitoring needs—whether that is to detect dust, VOCs, or implement home automation.
To help you make your decision, here are some key questions that you should consider when reading product descriptions and tech specs that to determine which air quality monitor is right for you:
Question #1: How Accurate Is the Sensor?
This is a big one, likely many buyers’ first question when shopping for an air quality monitor. After all, you are buying a device for its main function which is to measure pollutants.
An accurate sensor relies on three things:
- Precision – the ability to yield consistent output
- Resolution – the sensitivity to small changes to the measured parameter
- Calibration – the device can be adjusted for accuracy (namely for different environments)
Look for tests that compare the device’s results to those of more professional instruments. Research shows that a deviation of less than 10% will serve as a good indication of how accurate the sensor is. Additionally, research the sensor’s technology and see what is written regarding its accuracy and overall performance.
Along the same lines, you should check the monitor’s tech specs for range. Range refers to the measurable limit, beyond which accuracy declines. Some monitors measure up to a certain concentration level, when in reality, the average indoor environment far exceeds the limit by two to five-fold.
Question #2: How Easy Is It To Use?
An air quality monitor needs to be accessible and easy to use. Air quality affects everyone. Therefore, knowing your air should be simple, fast, and convenient. A thoughtfully designed device should offer an intuitive experience through display and design.
Question #3: Is It Portable?
To help answer this, consider where your monitor will spend most of its time.
While we may spend most of our day indoors, we hardly ever stay in one spot. If you plan to use an air quality monitor in more than one room or environment, you might want to consider getting a device that is lightweight, compact, and portable.
If a portable air quality monitor is something you need, make sure to check its battery life. You need to know how long it will last before needing a charge. Look for a product that keeps you protected during workouts, car rides, or the times you forget to charge it for the night.
Question #4: What Other Features and Qualities Should I Look For?
There is no right answer for this, as it depends on your needs. With that in mind, there are some features that provide additional control and convenience. These include:
- Response time – Assuming the sensor is accurate, the faster a monitor can display readings the better.
- Connectivity – For those looking for a device that is made for the modern, smart home, there are several options that are connected to a web-based application. This allows for remote control and automation of home appliances. Look for monitors that can support Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, or other IoT applications.
- Noise – Your monitor may be up all night, but you shouldn’t be. Monitors are most commonly placed in bedrooms, so the less noise, the better—especially for our sensitive sleepers.
Indoor Air Quality Monitor Features
The primary intention of a monitor is to provide accurate readings on indoor air quality, but it doesn’t hurt for it to come with a little extra. Easy to use and portable are key indoor air quality monitor features to look for. With that said, the primary factor you should consider when shopping for an air quality monitor is accuracy.