How To Test Home Air Quality

Testing your indoor air is a smart thing to do. And fortunately, it’s not as hard as you may think. There are three simple methods anyone can try that I’ll show here.  

The first is a portable air quality tester. You can take this device from room to room to sample air all over your home.  

The cost of portable testers is around $100, and you can detect a wide range of substances. Next is a permanent air quality monitor. These devices plug into an outlet and continuously monitor the air quality in one particular room. 

They cost between $150 to $300 and detect similar things as portable air quality testers. The final method for how to check home air quality is using a sampling kit. These are one-time use only, and you send the collected samples off to a lab for testing. After about 7 to 10 days, you get the results back.

Related Article: What is the best air purifier for home?

They cost between $5 to $30 and allow you to test for individual substances. Now, regardless of the method you choose to test your home air quality, you might want to consider investing in an air purifier. Air purifiers can remove many of the substances that pollute your indoor air, so it’s healthier to breathe.  

Related Article: How To Clean The Air In Your Home

Everything This Unit Can Detect like:

Everything this unit can detect 768x768 1

PM 2.5 

What that’s testing for is the level of particulate matter in the air that’s less than 2.5 microns, to give you a few examples of particles up to 2.5 microns in size. 

It would detect smoke combustion particles from engines that are running candles that are burning organic compounds etc. When you are testing for particulate matter in the air, the PM 2.5 setting is the most commonly used. 


HCHO some units may show ch2o. What is testing for formaldehyde in the air formaldehyde is commonly found in building materials, furniture, cosmetics, clothing, household products, and preservatives. 

Exposure can hurt your eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs. Long-term exposure to high levels of formaldehyde can also increase your chances of cancer. This air quality detector will let you know if the level of formaldehyde in the air is safe or hazardous underneath. 


 That means it is total volatile organic. Pounds of volatile organic compounds are gases or vapors coming from chemicals, toxins, cleaning products, pesticides, cosmetics, perfume paint, and cooking all give off VOCs. Ofcourse VLC from a flower is generally not hazardous to your health. But other VOCs can be if you smell an odor. You can be assured it’s giving off VOCs levels below 0.5 or 0.6 milligrams per cubic meter are generally safe. If the levels above can cause headaches, irritation to the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, and coughing, being subjected to very high levels over time can also cause damage to organs. Some VOCs can cause cancer.   


PM 1.0 

PM 1.0 under that setting, the detector is looking for particulate matter. That is smaller than one micron the smaller. The particle is detected, the more hazardous it is generally because it will find its way very deep into your lungs, unlike larger particles particulate matter in the 1 to 2.5. The range consider fine particles, and under 1 micron is where you will generally find most of your viruses, bacteria, metal fumes, smoke, and smog 


 PM 10 

Ten microns are the biggest out of all of them. The particles like the PM 1.0 and a 2.5 smaller. They can stay suspended in the air for days or even weeks. But the larger particles like the PM 10 usually settle out over a few hours. 

For example, some of the particles that would fall into the PM 10 category would be dust pollen, and mold PM 10 particles are also considered coarse particles, the Environmental Protection Agency states. That exposure of 50 micrograms per cubic meter is allowable per day over the core of a year, and 150 micrograms per cubic meter are allowable over 24 hours period.