Some times dust and other contaminants are visible in your indoor air and can be easily identified as the cause of discomforts and health problems in your home. However not all air pollutants are visible to the human eye and this is where air quality monitoring devices become useful.
Air quality monitoring devices are very useful both before and after you implement a solution to improve your homes air quality. With the right air quality monitoring device you will know whether or not air pollutants are prevalent in your home and this will point you in the right direction, especially in finding an air purifier to remove the pollutants your monitoring device detects.
Once you put in place a device like an air purifier or dehumidifier to improve your indoor air quality, an air quality monitoring device then comes in handy when you want to check if these devices are actually working and improving your air. Good overall air quality monitoring devices are priced between US$150 - $500 and its very tricky to find a device that works well under US$150. If you want a device under US$100 the best you can do is to go for a device that monitors one specific thing like carbon monoxide or humidity levels.
In case you don't have time to go over this post, my recommendations for an air quality monitoring device that will help you effectively keep an eye on your home's air quality is the Awair 2nd Edition (you can click here to see it on Amazon). From my research and deep dive into countless user experiences across the internet the Awair 2nd Edition, holds its ground as a stable household air quality monitoring device.
I found countless times that if I am getting a device that monitors multiple pollutants, I would rather go for a mid-higher end device around the US$200 price point. Not to say devices in the mid-higher range are without problems but anything below this range just does not cut it, and most devices I have seen are riddled with faults.
In the rest of my recommendations I cover the Awair 2nd Edition in more detail, then I touch on hygrometers if you are only concerned about humidity levels and finally smoke and gas detectors if you only care about carbon dioxide, and smoke pollution.
Best All Round Air Quality Monitoring Devices
Awair 2nd Edition: If you want a lower priced device, at just around US$200 the Awair air quality monitoring device is quite a bargain. Like all devices it has its short comings but it works. Like the IQair AirVisual it integrates with your WiFi, phones and computers, but the Awair goes the extra mile and is compatible with Alexa, Nest and Google Home.
Awair will also monitor toxins, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). This device is very suitable for situations like monitoring air quality in your babies room. The Awair, from my observation is the most accurate all round air quality monitoring device I have found so far.
You will get discrepancies in readings especially if you have a poor WiFi connection. So its main drawback is its strong reliance on your WiFi, and if this goes down so does your device. Otherwise the customer support for this device is awesome and they will replace your device easily if its faulty within the limits of your warranty. I recommend the Airwair (click here to see it) as your first point of call when it comes to an all round air quality monitoring device.
IQair AirVisual Pro: What I like most about the IQair AirVisual Pro beyond its robust design is that it can detect PM 2.5 particles such as invisible pollutants from traffic pollution and ultra-fine dust quite well. It however, falls short in that it does not monitor dangerous gaseous chemicals and VOCs at all.
The AirVisual is a smart device that links up to your WiFi, phone and computer to provide you with remote sight of your air quality both outdoors and in your home. What's really cool about it is that the device can also provide you with recommendations on safety measures to implement based on the kind and level of pollution it detects.
However, its not as nice as the Awair as it does not link up to home assistants like Alexa or Google Home. The AirVisual also reportedly fails on its meter readings accuracy. I have seen numerous complaints on this but the discrepancies are not earth shattering.
If you must, you can test discrepancies out by checking weather reports on outdoor temperatures and humidity levels and testing your indoor air with separate thermometers and hygrometers and comparing with what the the AirVisual shows. Worst case scenario if you are not happy with the results of the AirVisual you can return your device and get a refund within 60 days of buying it.
All in all, the AirVisual is the next device I would get to monitor my home air quality if I have no joy with the Awair. Also, If you want a device that will tell you when to open the window to let some fresh air in, or that the afternoon pollution is too intense and you are better off just leaving the windows closed, then I strongly recommend the AirVisual over the Awair. Check out the IQAir AirVisual here.
Best Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
First Alert SCO5CN: There are many smoke alarms being marketed out there but First Alert stands out for designing solid devices that get the job done. They are not perfect but they generally have the most positive feedback if you go over millions of customer reviews. If you are looking for a basic smoke and carbon monoxide detector that goes off when its supposed to try the First Alert SCO5CN.
Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm: If you want a smart and more sophisticated detector, then the Nest Protect Alarm is for you. It will link to your phone and tell you which room in your home the fire is in if you have multiple detectors set up around your home. It can even tell you when your toast is about to burn and you can use your phone to switch off the Nest Protect's alarm.
I have seen complaints about it not working and failing to warn people in actual fire emergencies. The best way to avoid this is to run real fire tests at least once or twice a month to ensure your device is working with no glitches. If you find your device is faulty you can return it anytime within your 2 year warranty for a new one.
ThermoPro TP50 Digital Hygrometer : Hygrometers measure humidity levels and are so widely available. If there is anyone who manufactures a bad hygrometer out there please let me know and I will punch them in the face for you. You can go out and get pretty much any hygrometer brand or design but I recommend the ThermoPro TP50 Digital. It comes builtin with a thermometer at such a low cost ( you can see it here on Amazon).
Final Thoughts on Monitoring Your Air Quality
In conclusion, an important point you should take note of is that all round air quality monitoring devices all come with some discrepancies and inaccuracies in their meter readings as compared to single pollutant, and factor (e.g. humidity) air quality monitoring devices. Use all around air quality monitors to point you in the correct direction about your air quality and then for accuracy rely on single factor devices like a hygrometer or carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.