Best indoor air quality monitors of 2019

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Research indicates 96 percent of homes have at least one type of indoor air quality issue. An indoor air quality (IAQ) monitor will report on the levels of common pollutants and other air conditions inside your home in real time.

The culprit could be anything from excessive dust to high humidity to emissions from household cleaners or building materials. The problem is, most people don’t know there’s a problem, and if they do figure it out—usually tipped off by allergy-like symptoms or more dramatic health effects—they don’t know precisely which pollutant is causing it.

Some indoor air quality monitors will also track outdoor air quality to provide context for your indoor readings. The measurements are then displayed on a screen on the device itself as well as in a companion app on your mobile device. Most IAQ monitors will alert you to unsafe levels via an indicator light and/or push notifications to your smartphone or tablet.

Once you’re aware something has risen to hazardous a level, you can take action to reduce it—usually by opening some windows. Some monitors will even trigger other smart appliances—such as an air purifier, a fan, or a dehumidifier—to help improve the air quality. Ultimately, a good IAQ monitor should provide enough clues for you to investigate and eliminate the source of your air quality woes.

Here are our current top picks for indoor air quality monitors. We’ve also included a guide to the pollutants a good IAQ monitor should track. And if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you’ll find links to all of our latest IAQ monitor reviews.

Best indoor air quality monitor

This unobtrusive IAQ monitor plugs directly into an AC outlet and tracks temperature, humidity, CO2, and chemical pollutants. These levels are displayed in an easy-to-read app dashboard and are aggregated into an overall air quality score of Poor, Fair, or Good. You can select from five monitoring profiles, ranging from general comfort to monitoring optimized for allergy sufferers or newborn babies. Best of all, you can plug in a “dumb” appliance—such as a fan or a dehumidifier—and the Awair Glow will automatically activate it based on a schedule, when pollutant levels rise, or when someone enters the room.

Runner up

Radon is one of the most common and deadly indoor pollutants, and it can’t be detected unless you’re actively looking for it. The Airthings Wave Plus is currently the only monitor that tracks Radon in real time. While that alone makes it worth the investment, it also tracks levels of carbon dioxide and VOCs (volatile organic compounds). You can get a quick air quality status by waving your hand in front the unit—hence the name—or dig deeper into current and historical measurements on the easy-to-use mobile app. The Airthings Wave can also be paired with IFTTT applets to alert you to high radon levels by text message or by changing the color of your Philips Hue smart bulbs.

Top indoor pollutants

If our top picks don’t match your needs, this guide will help you understand the most common air pollutants, so you can find one that does. Most IAQ monitors currently available can’t monitor for all of these, so choose the ones that matter most to you.



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