Air pollution is a burning issue facing our planet today. Rapid industrialization and urbanization has made the problem extremely difficult to contain. Cities around the world are witnessing rising levels of air contamination, with Beijing, Kanpur and New Delhi recording some of the worst figures in recent years.
Air pollution has dire implications on human health and well-being. It affects plant and animal life, and also disrupts the ecosystem. It changes our environment irreversibly, often leaving it beyond repair. This calls for an urgent need to curb air pollution.
There are various things we can do to eliminate the causes and minimize the effects of air pollution. There is a macro and a micro level to dealing with pollution. While the government and the private sector need to rethink policies for controlling air pollution on a broader scale, we as citizens can fight air pollution in our homes and offices by installing air quality monitors and air purification devices.
Air pollution meters are new-age gadgets that detect pollutants present in the indoor air and measure their concentration on a real-time basis. They track and record the number of particulate matter (PM), total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) and formaldehyde. Particulate matter comprises of a family of extremely tiny air-borne particles with diameters of less than 10 micrometer. They are detrimental to health and can only be removed with the help of a special kind of air filter known as High Efficiency Particulate Arrestant (HEPA) filter. TVOCs and formaldehyde are released by household products like plywood furniture, paints, glues, cosmetics, deodorants and cleaning supplies. They have been linked with respiratory and cardiovascular complications in humans.
An air pollution meter identifies and quantifies solid, liquid and gaseous air contaminants. Some also provide information on temperature and humidity. If the device is Wi-Fi enabled, it can also show live AQI data of locations around the globe. Most air monitors offer indoor as well as outdoor air quality data with respect to their location.
Best Air Pollution Meters In India To Test Indoor & Outdoor Air Quality :
Prana Air Pocket Air Quality Monitor
Leading the list, Prana Air Pocket AQI meter is a portable pocket-sized AQI monitor. It measures the indoor concentration of particulate matter like PM 1.0, PM 2.5 and PM 10 using advanced laser sensors that run on light scattering technology. It is perhaps one of the few AQI machines with the capability to detect PM 1.0, a type of particulate matter so small most AQI meters do not show its concentration. Parameter range of the allergens is 0 to 2000 µg/m3 for PM 2.5. It has an accuracy rate of 0-150µg/m3 -/+ 10% and 150 µg/m3 and above -/+ 15%.
The machine is powered by an onboard 400mAh lithium ions battery that offers a screen illumination time of up to 4 hours on a full charge. If you want to keep track of both indoor and outdoor air quality, the Prana Air Pocket AQ meter is a good choice. It shows the pollution levels in different cities in countries around the world. You can also carry it with you in your pocket to check the purity of air wherever you are. The device is 200 grams and measures 6.7 x 4.3 x 3.4 cm. A type-C USB cable comes along with the device.
Temtop M2000 Air Quality Monitor
The Temtop M2000 is a reliable multi-functional AQI machine. It is armed with an electrochemical formaldehyde sensor, a laser particle sensor and a carbon dioxide sensor based on NDIR. Harmful air pollutants such as PM 2.5, PM 10, formaldehyde, CO2 and HCHO (methanal) are accurately detected and quantified to precisely assess the level of pollution in the room.
The gadget is further capable of measuring the humidity and temperature in the room. The settings can be calibrated to get a more accurate result. Compact and ergonomically designed, the monitor also has an audible alarm. A large colorful TFT LCD display screen offers up live updates of PM 2.5 and PM 10 and the number of particles per liter. It also shows the date and time, battery and buzzer statuses. Just below the screen are soft push buttons for managing the functions.
The Temtop M2000 runs on a built-in rechargeable battery and includes a USB cable. Battery voltage is 3.7 VDC and output voltage is 5 VDC. Dimensions of the monitor is 13.72 x 3.56 x 7.37 cm. It weighs 1.3 kg. The box contains the monitor, a case for storage, a USB cable and a user manual.
Temtop LKC 1000E Air Quality Monitor
Among budget AQI monitors, the Temtop LKC 1000E is a good option. It has a five-in-one functionality that offers real-time indoor air quality index, PM 2.5, PM 10, HCHO and particle concentration. A built-in electrochemical sensor detects presence of formaldehyde. It can be calibrated to maintain accuracy.
A 3rd generation Temtop Particle Sensor picks up particle pollution using a professional QSI laser diode as the light source and an optimized PSO algorithm. Apart from air quality data, the gadget also provides live humidity and temperature stats. The information is displayed on a large TFT-LCD screen with good readability and illumination. A rechargeable lithium ion battery is built into the monitor. It can be charged with the help of the included USB cable. Once fully charged, the device can run for up to 6 hours. Battery voltage is 3.7 VDC and input voltage is 5 VDC.
The Temtop LKC 1000E has a rear stand for propping it up on shelves. Large push buttons make the functions easier to navigate. Lightweight and compact, the monitor is easy to hold, carry and store. It weighs only 226.8 grams and measures 17.7 x 6.5 x 3.2 cm.
Kaiterra Laser Egg+ Chemical
For those looking for a smart compact air quality monitor, we highly recommend the Kaiterra Laser Egg+ Chemical. It has some of the best reviews on online shopping portals like Amazon. Developed with sophisticated laser light scattering technology, it offers readings for PM 2.5, total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), temperature, humidity, AQI index and weather forecast. The product is available in 14 countries including France, USA, UK, Germany, China and Indonesia.
Under Indian conditions, an accuracy margin of ±10% is assured. The Laser Egg+ Chemical is a smart home device. You need to download the Kaiterra app to control it remotely. It supports Android and Apple devices, and is also compatible with Apple HomeKit. The best thing about the gadget is that you can check your home AQI from wherever you are through your smart phone. You get detailed stats including historical data of your house’s air quality. A round display provides the information in large easy-to-read letters and digits. You can place the device on your bedside table or on a bookshelf. Its dimensions are 14.48 x 14.48 x 13.46 cm, and weighs 500 grams.
Airveda Smart Air Pollution Monitor
The next top-rated air pollution meter is the Airveda Smart Air Quality Monitor. It is a Wi-Fi enabled app-controllable smart air quality measuring gadget. It is lightweight, portable and can be used in homes and cars. The Airveda meter has a Beta Attenuation Monitor (BAM) with a laser sensor specially calibrated for Indian conditions. It displays real-time PM 2.5 and PM 10 concentration.
The gadget has prefixed outer limits for PM 2.5 and PM 10 pollution. It alerts the user if and when the limits are crossed when air pollution is acute. It also informs the user when the air quality goes back to normal. The Airveda monitor can be synced with your home or office Wi-Fi to receive live feed of AQI in cities across the globe. It uses the internet to furnish second-by-second AQI data irrespective of monitor location.
The device lets you compare historic AQI data with detailed hourly, daily and monthly stats. This is a big plus point of the device as it lets you plan your outings based on outdoor air pollution trends and forecasts. The gadget also gives you data on outdoor and indoor AQI separately.
In the absence of Wi-Fi, the machine calculates and stores AQI data for up to 2 days. Once it connects with Wi-Fi, the data is uploaded to the cloud for long-term storage. The Airveda monitor has a 3000mAh rechargeable battery that provides back-up for 6-8 hours. It can be charged through any USB power source such as a power bank or a laptop. The sensor has a life of one year.
IQAir Air Visual Air Pollution Meter
The IQAir Air Visual Air Pollution Meter is a highly accurate air quality monitor. It shows live PM 2.5 and carbon dioxide concentration using artificial intelligence (AI) and laser sensor technology. It also calculates and displays temperature between -10ᵒC and +40ᵒC and humidity between 0 to 100%.
The IQAir Air Visual monitor is asthma friendly and is safe for use by patients of high blood pressure, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is made from medically-tested materials and can be handled by people of all ages.
The device is app-controllable and sources information from the internet. The IQAir meter uses Advanced Analytics to furnish live AQI stats in over 8000 locations in more than 40 countries based on 6 main air pollutants.
The gadget also provides indoor and outdoor AQI of its current location. It offers historical air quality data and AQI forecasts for 3 days. This data comes in handy while planning family activities like visits to the supermarket and the park. On days predicted to be unusually polluted, you can plan to stay indoors in order to minimize your family’s exposure to polluted air.
The IQAir Air Visual has a large 5-inch LED screen. It has a rechargeable lithium ion battery that offers a run time of 5 hours. The carton contains the air pollution meter, a micro USB-to-USB cable, a power adapter, a node and an instruction manual.
Airveda CO2, PM 2.5, PM 10, Temp, Humidity Air Quality Monitor
The next air pollution meter to make our list of top air quality measuring devices is the Airveda Air Quality Monitor. It is a smart Wi-Fi-enabled device that provides real time PM 2.5, PM 10, CO2, humidity and temperature data.
The Airveda monitor uses laser sensors which have been specially calibrated for Indian conditions against Beta Attenuation Monitor (BAM), the most advanced technology used in studying ambient air quality. The machine is equipped with NDIR CO2 sensors which can be calibrated by the user for optimum results. The sensors for temperature and humidity are calibrated by a NABL master source.
The gadget needs to be connected to the Wi-Fi for real-time AQI data. In case Wi-Fi is unavailable, it relies on its inbuilt local memory to store air quality data for 2 days. Upon connection with the internet, the data is uploaded to the server from where it can be retrieved and viewed anytime.
The Airveda air pollution meter shows historic AQI data with hourly, daily and monthly figures. It also provides indoor and outdoor air quality information with instant high-pollution alerts. The sensor has a life of one year, which can be extended by switching off the device at regular intervals, configurable to once every 5, 10 and 20 minutes.
The machine has a rechargeable battery that can be charged with the help of any USB power source like a power bank, laptop or in-car USB charging point. Once fully charged, it gives a back-up of 4-6 hours.
SMILEDRIVE Advanced Pollution Meter
Another reliable air quality monitor is the SMILEDRIVE Advanced Pollution Meter. It is a portable device with a foldable stand/holder that keeps it in an upright position on flat surfaces. It can be used in homes, offices and stores to track ambient air quality.
The SMILEDRIVE Advanced meter shows atmospheric concentration of PM 2.5, PM 10, formaldehyde and TVOCs. It uses state-of-the-art laser detection to monitor particulate matter pollution. For formaldehyde and TVOC readings, the device needs calibration.
The meter measures both indoor and outdoor air quality. It features a 2.8-inch color LCD screen that displays individual data of PM 2.5, PM 10, formaldehyde and TVOCs using a 3-color scale to indicate intensity of pollution. Green indicates safe level, yellow average and red dangerous.
The machine also notifies the user if and when a particular pollutant, say formaldehyde, exceeds the sustainable limit. The SMILEDRIVE Advanced meter has an integrated 2200mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery which can be charged using a USB power cable. When battery is low, the device blinks to signal low-battery status. If not in use for a long time, the gadget switches to sleep mode to conserve power. To start the device again, it has to be manually turned on.
The SMILEDRIVE monitor has 4 detection holes and separate buttons for power on/off, mute, function and calibration. Measuring range of formaldehyde is 0.000~1.999mg/m3 and of TVOC is 0.000~9.999mg/m3. Sampling range of PM 2.5 and PM 10 is 0~999μg/m3. The product measures 5.9” x 2.8” x 1.7” and weighs 199g.
Health Innovative Airbliss Air Pollution Level Meter
The next product on our list of top indoor air quality monitors is the Health Innovative Airbliss meter. It is a mobile air pollution monitoring device for home, office and car use. It can be used in indoor and outdoor environments.
The Health Innovative Airbliss monitor is based on cutting-edge Laser Scattering Detection Technology and Semiconductor Sensing Technology. It uses Laser Scattering to accurately count particulate matter present in the atmosphere. It records minute-by-minute PM 1, PM 2.5 and PM 10 concentration. Formaldehyde and TVOCs levels in real-time are measured by this.
The meter weighs only 185g and has a super-portable design. It incorporates a collapsible stand that keeps the device in an upright position on flat surfaces like table tops and counters. A large easy-to-read LED screen displays air quality data. Buttons are available on the side panel for power, mute, function and calibration (required for formaldehyde and TVOC).
The gadget has a 1200mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery. A USB charging cable is included in the package for quick and easy recharging. Detection range of PM 1, PM 2.5, PM 10 is 0~999μg/m3, of formaldehyde is 0-1.999mg/m3 and of TVOCs is 0~9.999mg/m3. The machine has a simple and functional design. It is black in color and has single-key calibration. Dimensions of the product are 5.9” x 2.8” x 1.7”.
Technology Used In Air Pollution Meters
Laser Scattering Detection
Laser Scattering is one of the most widely used air quality measuring techniques. It is a particle sizing technology used in calculating the number and size of microscopic air pollutants. These pollutants have diameters ranging from nanometers to milimeters.
The technique involves a beam of laser, and provides instant feedback on particle dispersion. Calculations are instantaneous with results being displayed within seconds of the air coming in contact with the detector. A laser scattering monitor can perform hundreds of measurements in a single day with each measurement sampling of a large number of particles (in millions).
Non-Dispersive Infrared Radiation (NDIR) Sensor
This technology involves a non-dispersive infrared radiation sensor which measures the attenuation of infrared radiation of a particular wavelength in the air. The NDIR sensor is fitted with a source which emits infrared radiation. It also contains an infrared detector and a light-water pipe.
This method is used for calculating atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is a highly accurate process. The sensors are known for their stability and are capable of recording high concentrations of carbon dioxide.
An electrochemical sensor comprises of an electrochemical cell with a solid electrolyte. It is used for detecting and measuring carbon dioxide. It usually comes with an integrated auto-calibration feature which lets the user re-calibrate the sensor periodically. This function prevents the sensor from ageing and makes it more stable and reliable.
Beta Attenuation Monitor (BAM)
This method is used for measuring the concentration of PM 2.5 and PM 10 in ambient air. It is an effective dust monitoring system. It is based on the absorption of beta radiation by solid particles extracted from the air when it is passed through an ultra-fine filter cartridge.
Let us now take a look at some of the latest gadgets that monitor ambient air pollution. Our team recently conducted a study on air quality measuring devices. Based on the technology used, features and design, they drew up a list of the top 9 air quality monitors. Here they are.
Reduce indoor air pollutants with a good vacuum cleaner. Read our detailed study. Exhaust fans are pretty good way to eliminate room odor and pollution.
Reduce indoor air pollutants with a good vacuum cleaner. Read our detailed study.
Exhaust fans are pretty good way to eliminate room odor and pollution.