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An air quality monitor is a great way to measure indoor air pollutants and make sure you are breathing clean, healthy air. Let’s take a closer look at the best air quality monitors of 2021.
What Should an Air Quality Monitor Measure?
According to the EPA, indoor air can be 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Some of the indoor air pollutants that should be monitored include:
Particulate Air Pollution
Fine particles and liquid droplets in the air can pose a health risk because you can inhale these tiny particles. Particle pollutants can travel deep into the lungs, potentially aggravating heart or lung diseases.
The most common indoor air pollution sources are wood-burning fires or stoves, cigarette smoking, dust, and cooking. In areas near wildfires or forest fires, smoke can also travel indoors and affect your air quality.
Volatile organic compounds are a variety of chemicals that affect indoor air as gases that may be inhaled. VOC levels are much higher inside the average home than in the outside air and can pose a wide range of health risks. Over-exposure to VOCs can cause mild symptoms like headaches or discomfort in the nose and throat, fatigue, nausea, and dizziness.
High levels of VOCs can cause serious conditions like visual disorders and cognitive impairment, or even cancer or organ damage.
The most common causes of indoor VOCs include solvents and paints, cleaners and disinfectants, aerosol sprays and air fresheners, pesticides, preservatives and adhesives, dry-cleaned clothing, and many common art and craft supplies or stored fuels and automotive supplies.
The most common VOC is formaldehyde, and many air quality monitors specifically measure this harmful gas.
- Carbon monoxide
- Carbon dioxide
Not all indoor air quality monitors measure all of these different pollutants or measure them with equal accuracy. In some cases, you may want to add an extra layer of protection by, for example, using an air quality monitor in the living areas of your home but adding a carbon monoxide detector in the garage or radon detector in the basement.
It’s essential to check any local regulations regarding monitoring for radon or carbon monoxide and make sure you comply.
Best Air Quality Monitors Reviews
The Huma-i (HI-150) Advanced Portable Air Quality Monitor is a portable air quality monitor that can be used indoors or outdoors. The interior fan draws air into the device for faster and more accurate air quality measuring. It has a large display that is easy to read, with icons that quickly alert you to airborne hazards, and it has a compact, rugged design that lets you take it anywhere.
The Huma-i (HI-150), Advanced Portable Air Quality Monitor measures and displays:
The Huma-i (HI-150) Advanced Portable Air Quality Monitor has an air intake fan that actively draws air over the sensors for faster and more accurate real-time air quality measurement. An interior laser measures fine airborne particulates, and it also monitors VOCs and CO2.
Temperature and humidity monitoring are an added feature. The large display is easy to read, with lights and icons that indicate air quality. It has a compact, portable design, so you can take it anywhere and ensure your air is high quality.
Like most air quality monitors, the HI-150 is battery powered. It is rechargeable by USB and then measures the air for 10 minutes before shutting down to preserve battery life. This model can operate about 10 times between charges.
- Pocket-sized and portable for use indoors or outdoors
- Large display is easy to read with simple icon indicators of air quality
- Measures most common indoor air hazards, including CO2, VOCs, and particles
- Temperature and humidity indicators
- For some metrics, it displays only light-based quality indicators, not actual measurements
- For the best accuracy, this device should be calibrated against a reference device, so you can perform actual measurements and adjust the quality indicators accordingly
The Temtop M10 Air Quality Monitor is a compact air quality monitor with a large display that is easy to read; it will display a specific measurement or cycle through all the functions, along with a visible battery indicator. It has a 3-year sensor lifetime, a 1-year warranty, and can be plugged in for continuous monitoring or operate for 4-6 hours per battery charge.
The Temtop M10 Air Quality Monitor measures and displays:
The Temtop M10 Air Quality Monitor has a big LED display with colored lights that alert you to air quality conditions at a glance. It is portable and easy to use, with 4-6 hours of battery life, or plug it in for continuous monitoring. Inside, a Dart electrochemical sensor measures formaldehyde, while lasers scan for particulate pollutants.
The 4-in-1 display allows you to monitor a single factor or cycle through all the air quality indicators. Because it doesn’t have an interior fan, it needs to be calibrated in a well-ventilated area for 6 hours or more before first use. It comes with a 12-month warranty and 24/7 customer support.
- Large, easy to read display with colored light indicators of air quality
- Easy to use
- Long battery life
- 3-year sensor lifetime and 1-year warranty
The SEAAN Air Quality Monitor has a large, bright display that shows multiple air quality measurements at once. It operates continuously for up to 4 hours on a single charge, so you can get ongoing air quality measurements. It requires only 5 minutes of fresh air calibration and provides accurate readings.
The SEAAN Air Quality Monitor measures and displays:
- Air quality
The SEAAN Air Quality Monitor has a large screen with a big display that shows all the measurements at once, along with a battery life indicator. It is easy to operate and easy to read. It runs for up to four hours on a charge and charges in 3 hours.
It uses natural airflow to detect air quality but calibrates quickly with just 5 minutes of exposure to outdoor ventilation. It is made of environmentally friendly materials and has a rugged construction that makes it easy to move from room to room for continuous air quality monitoring.
- Large, easy to read display
- Shows multiple air quality measurements on the same display
- Long battery life with continuous monitoring
- Easy to use
- Doesn’t measure airborne particles
- Battery life may be inconsistent
The Hei Liang Air Air Quality Monitor measures and displays everything you need in one compact, attractive device. The interior fan draws air into the device for measurement, giving you readings faster and more accurate than no-fan devices, and it’s easy to calibrate and adjust settings. It measures all the critical air quality factors and displays the time, temperature, and humidity, with long battery life and standby time.
The Hei Liang Air Air Quality Monitor measures and displays:
The Hei Liang Air Air Quality Monitor has an interior fan that draws air over the sensors for faster and more accurate air quality measurement. Dart electrochemical sensors detect formaldehyde and other gases, while a laser scans for airborne particles. It has high accuracy and easy calibration, along with user-adjustable settings so you can control the sensitivity.
The battery recharges with USB, and it can be used for 8-10 continuous hours on a single charge. It also has an attractive design that is easy to read, and it is compact and portable for air quality in different rooms of the home.
- Interior fan, sensors, and lasers for fast, accurate measurement of multiple air quality factors
- Measures and displays a wide range of particle pollutants
- Attractive design is easy to read
- Also displays time, temperature, and humidity
- Long battery life
- Easy to calibrate
- Does not measure carbon dioxide
- Instructions may be difficult to understand
The EG Air Quality Monitor has a big, bright display with colors that quickly alert you to air quality concerns. The compact size is convenient for taking with you, and the built-in stand allows you to set it for continuous air quality monitoring. The interior fan ensures faster measurements, and it also displays the time, temperature, and humidity. EG backs this air quality monitor with confidence, including a 20 page eBook on air quality hazards, US-based technical support, detailed quality testing, and an on-staff chemist to answer technical questions.
The EG Air Quality Monitor measures and displays:
EG is the only US-based retailer of this air quality monitor, which they thoroughly test for quality and back by US-based technical support. It also comes with a detailed eBook that explains indoor air hazards.
The EG Air Quality Monitor has an interior fan, with a laser and Dart sensors that measure VOCs and airborne particles, for fast and accurate readings. The large LCD display has vivid colors for quick and easy reading of air quality. This air quality monitor is compact and can be taken anywhere to measure air quality or unfold the built-in stand to set it up indoors for continuous monitoring. It operates 2-3 hours on a charge and recharges via USB.
- Big bright color display
- Portable for indoor or outdoor use
- Fast and accurate measurement
- Also displays time, temperature, and humidity levels
- Comes with an informational eBook
- US-based technical support
- Does not measure carbon dioxide
- May give inconsistent readings
While consumer-grade indoor air quality monitors aren’t designed to give you professional results, they are still a great way to monitor your air quality and alert you to potential problems with your air.
Our top pick for the best air quality monitor of 2021 is the Huma-i HI-150. It has all the features we love in an indoor air quality monitor because it measures VOCs, particulate matter, and CO2 in a single device.
The best air quality monitors have a fan that actively draws air over the sensors for faster and more accurate readings. It uses high-quality sensors and lasers for accurate results.
We also love that it displays the temperature and humidity and has fast-read icons that alert you visually to air quality concerns without needing to refer to a chart. It is small and portable, convenient since you can recharge this device and take it with you in the car, the workplace, or anywhere outdoors.
It is a good idea to get a separate CO2 detector for your home for the best protection since those dedicated devices are often more accurate at specifically measuring CO2 and may be required in your area. Having a second device also creates an opportunity to verify the accuracy and calibration of the Huma-i HI-150.
Measuring and monitoring your indoor air quality is a great way to ensure that your home is as healthy as possible and protect yourself from the effects of indoor air pollutants. These air quality monitors are an excellent investment in your home’s health and the well-being of your family. Do you suspect you already need an air purifier? I take a deep dive into the best air purifiers on the market right now in this post.