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When you hear of indoor air quality, it refers to the environmental characteristics inside a building that can affect the health, comfort, and work performance of people.
Indoor air quality must be monitored since we spend most of our lives indoors. The poor indoor air quality will also lead to health issues such as headaches, dizziness, and respiratory illnesses if left untreated.
Investing in an indoor air quality monitor is one of the best ways to monitor common pollutants inside your home in real-time.
This is the first step in becoming aware of hazardous levels of contaminants inside your home and taking action to reduce and eliminate it.
Best Overall - EG Air - Air Quality Monitor
If you would like one device that lets you know about multiple hazards, EG Air Indoor Air Quality Monitor is the one.
It helps to detect levels of TVOC and formaldehyde, ensuring that unsafe levels of contaminants are picked up.
Since it is portable, you can take it along with you anywhere you go. The air pollution level is displayed at the top, and there are a total of 10 different buttons that control the functioning of the monitor.
It’s equipped with a lithium battery, so the battery life is pretty good. The LCD screen is large enough so you can see the readings clearly. If you need one device that monitors air pollution entirely and is portable, this is your best pick.
Runner-Up - IGERESS Air Quality Monitor
The IGERESS Newest Improved Air Quality Detector is ideal for people who are concerned about their indoor air quality. It is designed to detect formaldehyde, TVOC, fine particles of dust, and various other pollutants.
It is also easy to operate and contains three function buttons, a large LCD that displays the results and an English interface.
The device is also portable so you can take it anywhere. It also comes with a power adapter and micro USB for charging.
Calibration is required to ensure accurate results. This can be done in 3 easy steps.
All you need to do is take it outside then press the “sensor calibration” option and wait 5 minutes for it to calibrated. It is now ready for accurate detection.
The IGERESS Newest Improved Air Quality Detector is suitable for use in the home, office, car, on camping trips and basically anywhere that you need to test the air quality.
Alternative - YVELINES Air Quality Monitor
The YVELINES Professional Multifunctional Air Detector has an original design made with plastic. It detects multiple gases and pollutants such as formaldehyde, TVOC, HCHO, and other harmful substances.
The device is portable so you can take it anywhere and comes with a convenient LED display.
You may use it anywhere inside your home, such as the kitchen, bedroom, office and so on. It may also be used in your car and on camping trips.
It is advisable to use the device as a stationary unit to prevent high fluctuation in values.
This fluctuation occurs when the device is being moved around due to the higher air circulation rate. Ultimately, use it in one place at a time and focus on readings from anywhere between 30 to 60 minutes.
ECOWITT WH0290 Air Quality Monitor
The ECOWITT WH0290 Air Quality Monitor helps you monitor the concentration of harmful substances in the air. It is designed to detect fine particles and matter, with its six grades air quality level indicator.
It measures the air quality and lets you know the status of the air, buy showing you the results of the readings on the LED screen. Your results may range anywhere from good to hazardous.
The device also monitors indoor temperature and humidity and has a battery power indicator to let you know when your battery needs charging. It also has an outdoor sensor that needs charging every two weeks.
Best For The Money - Home Air Check Air Quality Monitor
The VOCs, Active Mold, & Formaldehyde Tests – Indoor Air Quality by Home Air Check is a single-use test. This means that you do not get to keep it after testing has been done, and it must be returned by the date stipulated on your box.
The advanced test kit measures hundreds of VOCs, also known as volatile organic compounds or airborne chemicals. It’s suitable for detecting mold in homes as well.
The laboratory handing out the results is accredited. The results are also easy to understand so you can correct it as soon as possible. The test covers approximately 2000 square feet and contains a sampling pump and sampling tubes to collect the air sample.
Once you have conducted the test, you will need to mail the pump with trapped air back to the laboratory so it can be analyzed. You’ll receive your results within five working days.
Indoor Air Quality Monitor FAQ
Indoor air quality monitors are priceless when it comes to detecting hazardous gases in the air.
These gases may contain bacteria, mold, and other pollutants that may affect your health. So in this light, an air quality monitor is incredibly beneficial.
What Is Indoor Air Quality Monitoring?
In a nutshell, indoor air quality refers to the environmental characteristics inside the building that can potentially affect human health, work performance, and comfort. The air needs to be monitored simply because we spend most of our time breathing indoor air.
And unlike outdoor air, it is recycled continuously and tends to trap and cause a buildup of pollutants. When the indoor air quality is monitored or tested, it is done so with the intention of detecting pollutants, air temperature as well as humidity indoors.
Indoor air quality monitoring is, therefore, a means of detecting pollutants, contaminants, mold, and various other gases and chemical substances in the air that harm your health. This process is important and helps prevent health issues.
In most cases, homes and offices are exposed to similar levels of fumes, solvents, and dust as factory workers. However, households and office staff may additionally be exposed to contaminants that cause poor indoor air quality and ill health.
These fumes could be emanating from furniture, cleaning materials, buildings, excessively low or high humidity, as well as from inadequately vented kitchen equipment or boilers.
Indoor air quality monitoring usually tests for high temperatures that can cause discomfort, as well as humidity in the air as this increases, dust mite populations as well as fungal spores.
Also, low humidity levels may increase eye and respiratory problems and is ultimately a clear indication of air pollution.
Some monitors also check the quality of outdoor air to provide context for your indoor readings. These measurements are then displayed on the device screen or LED as well as on the companion app on your phone.
Most monitors will alert you of unsafe levels by an indicator light or push notifications to your smartphone.
Can Air Quality Monitors Detect Mold?
Mold is probably one of the most common household pollutants. You’ve probably seen it in your home at some point and time, on a piece of bread or fruit that you forgot to throw away.
However, that mold is easy to deal with, and all you do is throw away the spoiled food. However, what’s less obvious is the fact that mold spores are airborne and will pollute your indoor air.
Some people may question whether they actually do have mold in their homes or not. However, the truth is that mold exists just as air does. In fact, it’s just about anywhere you go, and it definitely is inside your home.
There are many ways to test for the presence of mold, and one of the best ways to do it is by using an indoor air quality monitor. Airborne mold spores that are found in homes are excessive, and there is differently is no guideline on exactly how much is too much.
One of the ways to determine whether you have mold inside your home or is by considering the following factors. If you are experiencing allergic symptoms such as headaches, scratchy throat, stuffy head or runny nose, and you don’t know why you probably have mold.
If you see furniture or items inside your home with black spots, and you’re not sure if it is mold, let’s just say that in most cases it is. If you smell a musty odor and don’t see any visible mold, there probably is mold lurking somewhere inside that room. Homes that have had plumbing leaks and water issues are usually more prone to mold.
The type of mold you have is irrelevant simply because there are literally thousands of different types of mold. Black mold, however, is probably the most toxic mold and the one that leads to health issues.
All you need to know is the source of the mold because you can’t fix the problem until you know where it is coming from. The truth is most molds, including black mold is dangerous if you inhale large amounts of it.
By using an indoor air quality monitor, you will be able to detect the presence and also quantity of mold inside your home, and this will allow you to get rid of the problem as soon as possible.
How Do You Test For Mold In The Air?
If you’ve recently found out that you have a mold problem, then you’re probably wondering exactly how to get rid of it.
However, before you get to that point, you need first to understand exactly how mold affects your health. Simply because you can’t see mold contamination does not mean that it is not affecting you.
Mold spores are airborne, and therefore you’re highly likely to breathe it in unknowingly. Mold and mildew are a result of moisture intrusion as well as water damage. So it is prevalent in places like the attic, basement, bathroom and any room in the home that is prone to moisture problems or leaks.
So you need to be extra careful since water damage is always a possible problem. They remain hidden from sight and most of the time stay behind walls and under the carpets. However, if you get a musty smell and cleaning does not resolve the problem then you definitely have a mold infestation.
They are two ways in which you can test for mold inside your home. Both of these methods are effective in identifying the mold in your indoor air. Mold testing is one way of determining the presence of mold in your home, and the next method is by means of an air quality test.
Lots of people are confused by these two options, and here is the difference. Some people do mold testing by taking a swap of suspected material, inserting it into a special liquid and then waiting for the color to change.
If the color turns green, the room is clear free of mold, and it turns purple, then it means you have a mold problem. However, air quality testing is the most accurate way of identifying the type and concentration of mold spores inside your home.
And air quality test analyzes a sample of air that’s collected from the room you believe to be contaminated with mold. The results will let you know about the various particles found inside the such as asbestos, pollen, allergens and of course mold spores that are floating in the air.
How it works is that each sample contains 75 L of compressed air, and this provides a snapshot of the condition of your indoor environment.
Most air quality tests will reveal significant moisture, ventilation, and mold problems in standard spaces. Indoor air quality testing is usually the most recommended way of detecting mold inside your home as it is incredibly accurate.
What Does An Air Quality Test Detect?
Air quality monitoring tests for gases, chemicals and pollutants in your indoor air. Poor quality of indoor air or pollution inside the home leads to irritation and dryness of eyes, throat, and nose.
It also leads to headaches, fatigue, nausea, and dizziness. You will usually notice the symptoms after several hours and feel better after you leave that specific building.
This is a clear indication that the indoor air quality definitely is polluted. When you conduct indoor air monitoring, certain substances and issues are tested for.
In most cases, the temperature inside your home is tested since high temperatures can cause discomfort.
Humidity causes dust mites and mold spores to increase as well. This also leads to eye and respiratory issues when the humidity is too low.
Carbon monoxide is usually found in road traffic, boilers and leaking flues. The potential side effects of carbon monoxide are dizziness, headaches and vomiting and nausea.
Carbon dioxide is a byproduct of human activity as it is breathed out. High levels lead to lack of concentration, and some people will feel drowsy.
Nitrogen dioxide leads to airway inflammation in healthy people and increases respiratory issues, especially in people who have asthma.
Hydrogen sulfide is found in sewers, and when you’re exposed to low levels of it, it can irritate your eyes, cause shortness of breath, give you a sore throat call and lead to fluid accumulation in the lungs.
Formaldehyde comes from building products, furniture, and certain types of insulation. Exposure to this can lead to throat, as well as eye and nose irritation.
Benzene and xylene are considered aromatic hydrocarbons, and they are usually found in cleaning products like detergents, cleaning products as well as oil spills. High levels of this inside your home can lead to tiredness, confusion, memory loss, weakness, loss of appetite as well as hearing and vision loss.
Ozone is a substance produced by photocopy machines, UV lamps, and printers. The side effects of exposure to ozone include chest pain, throat irritation, congestion, as well as coughing.
It can also worsen the symptoms of people suffering from both bronchitus and asthma. So these are basically all of the substances or contaminants that indoor air quality monitors will test.
How Is Air Quality Measured?
If you have been wondering exactly how air quality is measured, then the short answer is that it measures the air quality index or AQI. This index looks like a thermometer and runs from 0 to 500 degrees.
However, instead of indicating changes in temperature, the air quality index shows changes in the amount of pollution in the air.
Air Quality Metrics
As we mentioned, the air quality index is a means of reporting daily air quality. Basically, it lets you know how clean or polluted the potential air is.
This index basically focuses on health effects that you may experience within a few hours or days of being exposed to the polluted air.
The EPA has established national standards to protect public health. Airborne particles and ground-level ozone are two pollutants that pose the greatest threat to people on the planet.
When it comes to air quality metrics, you need to know that it ranges from 0 to 500 degrees. The higher the value, the greater the level of air pollution.
A value of under 50 represents good air quality, and any value over 300 represents hazardous air quality.
If you’re like most people, then you spend the majority of your time inside your home. So irrespective of what you might think, indoor air quality does, in fact, matter.
Whether you are simply interested in understanding what is circulating in your indoor air or you suspect a more sinister problem such as a mold infestation, an air quality monitor will definitely add value to your life.
Once you invest in this device, you’ll be able to discover allergens and pollutants that you didn’t even know were present inside your home.
And once you are armed with this information, you can take the necessary steps to eliminate these contaminants from your home, making it a safer and healthier environment for both you and your family.