The AirVisual Node combines the data from the detection of PM2.5, PM10 (dust), CO2, temperature and relative humidity to give you an air quality reading so that you know exactly how polluted the air is inside. Outside air quality readings are also displayed so that you know when to open or close your windows to maintain optimal air quality.
PM2.5 and PM10
Particulate matter (PM) consists of airborne particles measuring 60 microns or less in size. PM2.5 is suspected to pose a serious health risk due to their microscopic size and this enables them to penetrated deep into the body once inhaled. Examples of outdoor sources of PM include but are not limited to combustion, wood burning, motors, cutting and traditional farming methods. PM levels in the home can increase, leading to a deterioration in air quality which is due to a number of factors. Vacuuming can lead to millions of particulates being released into the air, especially if you do not have a leakage free HEPA vacuum. The cooking process as well as fireplaces can also lead to a number of harmful particles being released into the air you breathe.
The Node measures particulate pollution in the range of 0.3 -2.5 microns. This includes bacteria (but not viruses), some tobacco smoke, pollen, house dust mite allergens, and pet dander for example.
What it does not measure for, is ultra-fine particulate pollution - such as some traffic related matter if it is very small or large (PM 10 for example)- viruses, some tobacco smoke, and everything else that is smaller than 0.3 micron or bigger than 2.5 micron. It also does not measure for any gas or chemical contamination. Please find a pollution chart by size below.
CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) is a colourless, odourless gas which is released when we exhale. CO2 emissions can also be found in sources like coal, gas and oil, as well as fossil fuels. CO2 levels can be a concern if they become elevated. A lack of ventilation can lead to the air you are breathing becoming stale and lacking in oxygen. If this happens, you may experience symptoms which include but are not limited to drowsiness, fatigue, headaches or nausea. The Node makes it easy to see what your levels of CO2 are and enables you to take action by ventilating the area to increase oxygen levels. The Node has a gauge which fills up based on the level of CO2 in the air. The number in the middle of the gauge is the PPM (parts per million), this shows the CO2 concentration which is measured from 400 up to 10.000.
Temperature and Humidity levels
Relative Humidity (RH) is the measure of water vapour in the air relative to the ambient temperature. Similarly to CO2 levels, too high relative humidity levels can lead to mould forming on surfaces and generally people feeling more uncomfortable in the home. With the Node, you can see what the humidity levels are and act accordingly so that you can keep your air quality at its optimum in your environment.
While AirVisual recognise VOC’s are a health concern, they have decided not to include a VOC sensor in the Node as they feel there is no low cost VOC sensor currently available that is able to provide accurate values. Accurate VOC sensors cost over $500 and this would be cost prohibited in a device as the Node. AirVisual are continually monitoring the development of VOC sensor technology and feel a breakthrough in this price range could occur very soon.