Best Air Quality Monitors: What Are They?
Air quality monitors are devices used to measure the concentration of pollutants in the air. These monitors are usually placed outside your home or office and they measure different types of pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3). Some of these monitors are also equipped with other sensors which detect various health effects like irritability, cough, asthma attacks etc.
The most common type of outdoor air quality monitors are those that use either CO detectors or NO2 detectors. Other types include those that detect particulate matter (PM10, PM 2.5, PM 3.7), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and others. All these monitors have been tested to ensure their reliability and effectiveness in measuring pollutant concentrations in the air.
Types Of Outdoor Air Quality Monitors: Types Of Monitors And Their Features
There are several types of outdoor air quality monitors available today. Most of them are connected to a computer via USB port, so that you can view the data from it online. You may choose one according to your needs and budget. There are also some models that do not require any external power source and operate solely off batteries.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors: These sensors detect carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless toxic gas. Inhaling this gas can cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea, and in severe cases, coma and death. The symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to those caused by the flu. This type of air quality monitor is especially useful for homes with a gas stove or a fireplace.
NO2 Detectors: These sensors detect NO2, one of the six criteria air pollutants regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). NO2 is a colorless gas with a distinctive, sharp odor. When exposed to high levels of this gas for prolonged periods, it can cause severe eye and respiratory tract irritation, wheezing and shortness of breath. This type of air quality monitor is suitable for people who are prone to respiratory problems such as asthma or other lung diseases.
PM10 and PM 2.5 Detectors: These sensors detect PM10 (particles with a diameter of 10 micrometers or less) and PM2.5 (particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less). These are the smallest particles that can enter the lungs.
Breathing in large quantities of these particles can cause respiratory problems, cardiovascular disease, and lung cancer. These air quality monitors are suitable for people who are prone to respiratory problems such as asthma or other lung diseases.
VOC Detectors: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are the broad class of chemicals with high vapor pressure. These are emitted as gases from many household products like solvents, glues, aerosols, and some fuels. Prolonged exposure to high levels of these gases can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat. These air quality monitors are suitable for people who suffer from allergies or other respiratory problems.
Ozone (O3) Detectors: Ozone, a form of oxygen, is a toxic gas with a sharp odor. It is harmful to breathe in high concentrations of this gas for prolonged periods as it can harm the lungs and respiratory tract. Ozone is naturally present in the stratosphere, where it protects the earth from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. However, ground-level ozone—a byproduct of air pollution—is harmful. These air quality monitors are best suited for people who are prone to respiratory problems such as asthma or other lung diseases.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Detectors: This sensor detects carbon dioxide, a gas emitted during respiration. When exposed to high levels of this gas for prolonged periods, it can cause headache, dizziness, and fatigue. These air quality monitors are suitable for people who have respiratory problems such as asthma or other lung diseases.
Light Pollution Monitors: Light pollution is excessive artificial light that disrupts the natural day-night cycle and causes adverse effects on wildlife and humans. This type of sensor can detect levels of light pollution.
Humidity Sensors: Humidity sensors detect the level of moisture in the air. These sensors are useful for people who have respiratory problems such as asthma or other lung diseases.
Pollen Monitors: Pollen sensors can detect the presence of plant pollens around a person. These sensors are useful for people who have allergies or respiratory problems such as asthma or other lung diseases.
Fire Monitors: Fire monitors can detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless, and toxic gas. These sensors are suitable for people who have respiratory problems such as asthma or other lung diseases.
UV Detectors: These sensors detect Ultraviolet (UV) light, which causes sunburns and skin cancer. These sensors are suitable for people who have a skin disease or are prone to sunburn.
Note: All these sensors are not intended to replace a doctor’s recommendations or advice. They are meant only as an additional tool to help you manage your health better.
Download AirVisual Android App
You can download the AirVisual app from the Google Play Store here: AirVisual
AirVisual was founded by a group of young passionate engineers in 2015 with a vision to make air quality information accessible to everyone. Our main focus is on addressing the issue of air pollution through increased awareness. To address this problem, we are building a platform that will provide accurate real-time information on air quality to the public.
We built a network of air quality sensors that cover many locations in the United States to collect air quality data. This data is then processed and made available to our users through our apps and website.
Our motivation comes from our own experiences of health problems that we believe are caused by air pollution. Our aim is to help others to protect themselves and their families against the damage that air pollution causes.
Sources & references used in this article:
Computational intelligence for smart air quality monitors calibration by E Esposito, S De Vito, M Salvato, G Fattoruso… – … Science and Its …, 2017 – Springer
Capacitive detection of micrometric airborne particulate matter for solid-state personal air quality monitors by M Carminati, L Pedalà, E Bianchi, F Nason… – Sensors and Actuators A …, 2014 – Elsevier
Response of consumer and research grade indoor air quality monitors to residential sources of fine particles by BC Singer, WW Delp – Indoor Air, 2018 – Wiley Online Library
Stochastic comparison of machine learning approaches to calibration of mobile air quality monitors by E Esposito, S De Vito, M Salvato, G Fattoruso… – Convegno Nazionale …, 2016 – Springer
Transient and frequency response of air quality monitors by KB Schnelle Jr, RD Neeley – Journal of the Air Pollution Control …, 1972 – Taylor & Francis