How does an air quality sensor work?

Air quality is generally very poor in the city centre. Where pollution is high and when there isn’t enough sunshine. Do you think you breathe better at home? This is without taking into account the fact that your indoor air is even more polluted than the outdoor air: between 5 and 10 times more! An air quality sensor can help you measure the level of indoor pollution in order to tackle it. But how does this measuring device work? How reliable is it?

What exactly is the purpose of an air quality sensor?

An air quality sensor can either be a separate device in the form of a sensor, or it can be integrated into another measuring device such as a weather station.
While we spend more than 80% of our time indoors, we should be aware that air pollution is even higher than outside. An indoor pollution sensor, or air quality sensor, is therefore very useful to continuously measure the level of CO2 level inside our home.
But that's not all, because even if it is an indicator of the level of indoor pollution, it is not enough: the level of fine particles is also very important to measure, among other things.
Depending on the measurement taken by the sensor, the latter informs you in real-time: if it is connected (or the device on which it depends is connected), then you will receive an alert directly on smart phone's screen. If not, you can check the indoor air quality data on the unit itself.
In any case, the air quality sensor is a great ally in the fight against indoor pollution. Although, of course, measuring air quality is only the first step: it is then necessary to act. Air more regularly, ventilate efficiently, opt for complementary solutions such as indoor plants sunshine! There is no shortage of solutions and fortunately, indoor pollution is a problem that can be solved.
So let's take a closer look at how an air quality sensor works to understand how it detects indoor pollution.

Better than an air quality sensor, the indoor module of the Netatmo Smart Weather Station allows you to take control of your home's indoor environment. By providing you with key data on the air quality in your home, you can reduce indoor pollution by taking appropriate measures. Air quality, but not just that!

How do air quality sensors measure indoor pollution?

Unlike other regional structures that assess air quality, indoor air quality sensors are based on ultra-localized measurements.
The levels of pollutants (cigarette smoke, carbon monoxide, and dioxide, scented candles, fine particles, etc.) are measured in your home, at the precise location of the sensor.
The device then works non-stop and allows you to check indoor pollution levels throughout the day. Depending on the results observed, it is up to you to adapt your habits (household, products, activities, etc.) and to implement solutions to reduce the measured level of pollution.
Often, indoor pollution comes mainly from cooking, the use of household products, or from smoke (cigarettes, scented candles, cleaning agents, incense, etc.).
The sensors, therefore, analyse air quality data that vary according to the model. Then, on the connected sensors, you receive the information directly to your mobile application or tablet.
Pretty simple, right?
The great advantage of connected sensors is that they can compile data overtime to draw accurate conclusions. The more accurate the information, the greater your ability to reduce indoor air pollution.

The Netatmo Smart Weather Station gives you real-time access to the air quality inside your home as well as the weather forecast. To live in a healthier home, take action by taking into account the indoor pollution information that is available directly on your smartphone. Don't waste time with ventilation alerts!

The air quality sensor is the first step towards a healthier home

Firstly, as we have seen, measuring indoor air pollution with sensors is not enough: action is then needed to improve air quality.
But it is not a miracle solution for making your home more comfortable, because air quality is not everything you need for your comfort. Of course, reducing the level of indoor pollution, fine particles, CO2, or VOCs (volatile organic compounds) is very important. But this is not enough!
The temperature also plays a role in your home comfort, ideally not exceeding 22-23 degrees and staying above 16 degrees (in the bedroom, where the temperature should be the lowest). Here, there's nothing like a good old-fashioned thermometer to measure room temperature.
The humidity level is also important, and measuring it with a hygrometer (the reference sensor) can help you make your air even more breathable.
These devices and sensors provide essential measurements of your indoor air quality and complement information on indoor pollution. But you can combine all these data for simplicity, especially with a weather station. And if it is a smart weather station, you have even easier access to this information.

The more information you have about indoor pollution and air quality in general, the more you can improve your comfort. So when will you start? Breathing better is not only good for your health but also your daily life. And all this can start by analysing the indoor air quality of your home.