What Does an Air Quality Monitor Detect?

South End Plumbing, Heating, & Air Expert Tips

What Does an Air Quality Monitor Detect

Getting and using an air quality monitor is a way to know more about the air inside your home or workplace. Before buying one, though, what does an air quality monitor detect? Which one fits what you’re looking for, or maybe even a specific need for you or a loved one? We’ll go into what you should know about air quality monitors.

What’s an Air Quality Monitor?

Air quality monitors measure pollutants or contaminants in the air. Most monitors are electronic devices. They detect and gather data about the level of various particulates or pollutants which are airborne in a given space. In short, you can use an air quality monitor to know what’s in the air in your home, office or any other indoor area. You can use one outside to know if there’s air pollution or a situation such as smog, a wildfire or other pollutants.

How Does an Air Quality Monitor Work?

This device detects the pollution in the air and it sends the data to a screen or a computer. Generally speaking, a monitor will take regular measurements at set spans of time and send the data so you can track it easily.

There are particle monitors and gas monitors. Particle monitors measure the level of particulates in the air. It will detect dust, pollen, mold and smog. Gas monitors detect gas contamination. It will measure carbon monoxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide and other dangerous gases.

It’s important you know if there are high levels of unwanted matter or gas in your indoor air, which could lead to difficulty breathing or other health symptoms. If you live in an area with high outdoor pollution, you might consider getting a filter or filtration system with activated charcoal which will purify air.

When to Get an Air Quality Monitor

There are some reasons that make it more useful or valuable to monitor your home’s air quality. Air quality monitors are helpful if you or a family member has COPD, asthma or allergies. Those with a health condition such as this may wish to stay up to date and proactive as possible about indoor air quality.

In you live in an area with higher pollution, or with fumes or odors often in the environment, an air quality monitor may help you know more in and nearby your house.

More to Consider

There are features and different factors to consider with air quality monitors. Some specific features will be important to you and others won’t, based on the main reasons you’re using the device.


An air monitor is only giving you good, accurate information if it’s updating regularly and giving you live, or at least frequent, readings. Air quality can change fast and often, so a reading from earlier in the day doesn’t tell you much if you get home a few hours later. A device which can send pre-set readings on a regular basis helps you know more about what’s going on in your home.


Along with staying up to date, you probably want to see how different pollutants or contaminants change. Air quality can change with the time of day, the weather, your HVAC usage, or any other variables. You probably want a monitor which tracks and lets you easily see the results of data over a course of days or weeks.

Multiple Pollutants

This can vary based on need, but it’s usually best to have a monitor which detects and tracks multiple pollutants. If your area has high levels of air pollution, it might be helpful to recognize which pollutant is one of the most hazardous so you can much better safeguard yourself and family.

Types of Air Quality Monitors

DIY Air Quality Monitors

You can build your own DIY air quality monitor. DIY monitors may have fundamental sensors and displays. DIY monitors can screen for different contaminants. While this is normally less expensive and can be effective for certain contaminants. Typically, DIY air monitors do not give real-time information or the ability to track.

Indoor Air Quality Monitors

Indoor air quality monitors are devices that discover all types of pollutants. Many are wireless. Many have sensors for carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, particle matter and VOCs. All outside monitoring information is incorporated with current weather information, which can tell you outdoor air quality information.

Pro Caliber Monitors

Higher-end, professional air quality monitors generally cost more, up to several thousand dollars. They are more complex, require expert installation and monitoring. More features typically are real-time updates, air quality readings around an area and GPS technology.

When looking for the best air quality monitor for your purposes, you’ll think about budget and what you need to monitor. In most cases, a simple monitor is enough to give them the information they need. Some people will want the best real-time information or other data or features.

Prior to purchasing a monitor, you should discuss what you need with a physician. Everybody should know what pollutants are in their area and their home or other common places they spend a lot of time in. Some people may take extra safety measures, especially those who have allergies or problems that high levels of air pollution could aggravate.


At South End Heating and Air we specialize in HVAC and furnace repair, call us for a free consult and free estimate. We’ll evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help with your heating needs. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? Give us a call 704-684-5339.

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