Learning about the quality of the air you breathe should be as easy as borrowing a book from the library, and that’s why the newest addition to our Library of Things is the Speck air quality monitor. Speck detects fine particulate matter in your indoor environment and informs you about trends and changes in particle concentration.
Air pollution is a problem for all of us. Clean air contains nitrogen, oxygen, and other gases that are part of its natural composition. The air we breathe — both indoors and outdoors — is being polluted by vehicle emissions, fossil fuel burning, and chemical manufacturing. Most people associate air pollution with the outdoors only because we can see see and smell smog, smoke, or emissions; however, indoor air can be much worse than outdoor air. Between work, school, and home, we spend up to 90% of our lives indoors. Using Speck can help you evaluate indoor pollutants and take action now to improve your air and keep you safe.
Check out Speck to monitor the air in your home. Getting started is simple. Simply plug it in...there is no step two! Within seconds, Speck will begin reporting your air quality. Move Speck around your home to see what happens when you cook, when you open windows, or when pets are in your bedroom. This immediate and continual feedback about how your activities and environment affect the air you're breathing empowers you to experiment, learn, and take action to make improvements.
There are multiple ways for you to access Speck data: on screen, via download, or in the cloud. The Speck download software and mobile app are completely optional, and Speck does not require internet connectivity to use.
If you are seeing high Speck readings, here are some steps you can take to ensure you are working to fight indoor fine particles and pollution:
- Wash pillows, furniture (did you know you should vacuum furniture?), and/or plush toys frequently in hot water with gentle detergent.
- Limit window opening during periods of high pollen counts in outdoor air or when the weather is extremely hot.
- Wipe surfaces with a damp cloth to remove dust, and wear a filter mask to ensure you are not inhaling dust.
- Vacuum often, and do so with HEPA bags and filters with fine particle filtration. Be sure to do this when those with asthma are out.
- To reduce the use of volatile organic products, use simple cleaning products such as soap, vinegar, or baking soda, and reduce the use of pesticides or paint that contains VOCs.
- Eliminate smoke and combustion acts or appliances (i.e. candles, the act of pan frying).
- Filter outdoor air using a high performance filter in a circulation air system. To reduce indoor fine particles, use HEPA stand-alone fans or duct filters.
- Tighten the house/building envelope to reduce the amount of outdoor pollution that makes its way indoors.
Gasping for Air: How Breathing Is Killing Us and What We Can Do about It by Kevin Glynn.
How to Grow Fresh Air :50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home or Office by B.C. Wolverton.
Smogtown: The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles by Chip Jacobs & William J. Kelly.
Citizen Science by Kristin Fontichiaro.
What is An Asthma Attack? by Carol Ballard.
Care for Your Air: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality from the EPA
Air Quality Data and Tools from the EPA
Try Speck under different conditions in your home.