Indoor Air Quality Assesment

When monitoring indoor air quality (IAQ), it is important before we pick up any piece of monitoring equipment, that we have a method and protocol to tell us what we are monitoring, how and where we sample and with what equipment.

There are a number of good iaq guides which have devolved from ASHRAE, there are also indoor air quality specification with part F of the building regulations

We recommend as a basic monitoring scheme that the following would be need to be monitored,

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indoor air quality em-monitors
indoor air monitor

Item                        units                        range

  • Carbon Dioxide       ppm level                  0-5000
  • Carbon Monoxide   ppm level                  0-500
  • Relative Humidity    %                               0-95%
  • Temperature            Deg C                        0-50 Deg C

A good quality, professional grade monitor for this typically costs around £1800 to purchase or

Real time data logged using accredited devices

additional monitoring may be :

  • VOC’s- Total voc’s at ppb level
  • specific voc’s  – Formaldehyde

Particulate and fine particulate

real time dust monitor
Dust monitor
  • pm10
  • pm2.5
  • possibly ultrafine particulate (nano particulates)

depending on the type of room being monitored, it is also important to consider

  • Airflow – along the floor area, around the head area
  • microbio sampling for different bacteria  Aspergillus, Cladosporium, Penicillium

other considerations

  • light
  • decor
  • noise and vibration

Multiparameter monitor:

real time dust and NO2
Dust and NO2

PM10, 2.5. 1

Relative Humidity

Temperature

NO2 ppb

please click on the specification below

Airmite Mini Spec 2021

 

contact

info@em-monitors.co.uk

01539 727878

 

 

 

 

 

Smart Air Quality Monitors- We are moving in the right direction but..

We currently live in a world where we are able to access a myriad of facts, all a button click away on our phones.

We then enter beautifully manicured websites promising us a utopic world where everything can be monitored and then be directly read to an app on your phone.

The good new is we are getting cost effective monitors that we can carry around with us or use in the home but…. what are they reading.

I have spent most of my life working in air monitoring. In order for a product to give you some information that you can look at and trust you need to have a set of rules to to help define what it is you are looking at.

 

For example when you buy 5 kg of potatoes in a sealed bag – you either trust your getting five kg or you don’t care you just want spuds. The 5kg comes from the fact that the potatoes have been weighed. We know the weight is correct because at some point in the day, or week a calibration weight of 5kg is placed on the scale where they are packed and the scales are adjusted to be accurate.

This applies to any measurement we take. The thermometer at your doctors, or the speed camera used by the police.

Many indicative monitors don’t have this, though some do

Professional Reference Monitoring equipment would typically cost around £100,00.00. it would use reference monitoring techniques. However it would be used as follows:

So as you see it is all quite complex. lots of checks.

Moving down below reference equipment is cell technology. It is small and compact. it is what we are seeing out on the street now and in a myriad of pretty boxes for the home. Some of these are accredited and some also have very serious algorithms to correct their functionality. These are professional use tools and cost £3,000 upwards.These are Indicative Monitors. There are also more basic home use indicative monitors

Indicative Monitors

But be careful, many of the Chinese imported products are simply garbage and will respond to anything.

What do most of the Indoor Air Quality Monitors Do well?

  • Relative Humidity (%RH)
  • Temperature
  • Air Presure
  • Carbon Dioxide

Areas where they tend to perform poorly

  • VOC’s most commercial voc monitors require regular and careful calibration, VOC’s can include anything from Formaldyde , to perfumes & deoudorant
  • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) – product of combustion
  • Fine particulate – respirable dust PM2.5

in test we conduct with a calibrated reference the budget indoor monitor typically showed results 10 x lower PM 2.5 than an accredited calibrated tool. Other items simply did not respond

So there is a reason why tested monitors cost £1,000’s and basic ones a lot lot less. This should change with the emergence of goods British Standards.

In the meantime, rather than look for specific numbers , look for trends. That is significant changes in the air quality

https://smarthomeairquality.co.uk/