How To Find Out if You’re Breathing Dirty Air!
Recently my mom (who lives in Louisiana) told me that she had just purchased an air quality monitor and was shocked with how bad the air in her house was. She had low quality air and too much carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide was a relatively easy fix (open the windows and buy a few snake plants), but the air quality ended up needing a much more extensive fix. She had to replace her whole indoor heating and cooling system. Now she and my dad are breathing easier!
That got me thinking about my air quality. Los Angeles is well-known for having low quality, smoggy air. And it seems like parts of Southern and Northern California are ALWAYS on fire! We just had a major scare with my in-laws (we were prepared for them to take their 3 kitties and come to our place during the last big fire a few weeks ago), and currently there are several fires going on in the area. Even if your home isn’t in immediate danger, or you can’t see the fires from where you live, you can bet that the air quality is going to suffer. But if you live very close to a fire, even more reason to take action!
Air IQ reached out to me at exactly the right time. I was just starting to consider my own air quality, when they reached out to see if I’d like to review their Air Visual Pro air monitor and their Atem Personal Air Purifier. I’ve been using them for several weeks now, and I am so impressed.
The Air IQ Air Visual Pro air quality monitor shows me what the air quality is in my house (low numbers are better) versus the air quality in my city (as well as forecasts for later in the day and the next day). It also tells me what the carbon dioxide levels are in my house (not to be confused with carbon monoxide which you should have an alarm for), and if I should open or close the windows, or avoid strenuous outdoor activity. You also get temperature, weather forecast and humidity readings.
This is a really sensitive air monitor. It uses advanced laser technology to give highly accurate readings of tiny fine particles (PM2.5) – all the way down to 0.3 microns. When I burn a candle (or “blacken” something a bit too much while I’m cooking), it will immediately tell me that the air is not so good and I may need to crank up the air purifiers, or open up a window or two!
I have been mainly keeping this in my living room (where I work most of the day), but I’ve also tried it out in my bedroom and back office, and I’ve found that the air quality in my house is generally better than the air quality outdoors (thanks to my air purifiers). But sometimes the carbon dioxide goes up and I need to be alerted to open the windows. There is an Air Visual app that will alert you if the air is bad, and you need to stay indoors, open a window or take other action. Air Visual Pro can also be connected to ITTT (If This Then That) to alert you for these things.
I’ve also been testing out the IQ Air Atem desktop air purifier. This is a small, but very powerful air cleaner. As I mentioned, I have several air purifiers in my house. We have a dog and a cat who both do their business indoors (we have a Pet Loo and of course we have a kitty litter box), so we need a lot of stink-busting devices! Even with all the air purifiers, once I turned on the Atem, I could see on the air monitor that the air instantly started to get cleaner.
IQAir’s HyperHEPA filtration technology has been proven through rigorous independent testing to effectively filter air down to the 0.003 micron level. That’s smaller than most viruses! IQAir machines are designed in Switzerland and made in Germany. They are extremely high quality, and a must-have for anyone who is sensitive to the elements (like me!).
The Atem retails for $399 so it’s not a cheap device, but consider this: if you have a smoker in your family (or live near one), the Atem can get rid of the teeny tiny particles from smoking (0.01 – 1 micron) as well as soot from fireplaces (or fires if you live in California!), which are 0.01 – 0.3 microns. The Atem can even filter out viruses as small as 0.003 microns! If you (or your kids) have asthma or allergies, this type of air purifier is a no-brainer.
This works well in your house or at your office. If you need a different size, IQ Air has everything from personal to entire house air purifiers. There’s even an air purifier for your car!