A Good Option for CO2 Monitoring

A Good Option for CO2 Monitoring

Taken from TechGearLab

We researched more than 50 of the best CO2 and air quality meters available in 2021 before buying the 9 best for hands on testing. We compared the readings of each model to professional grade CO2 and air quality meters in multiple different settings to verify their accuracy. We also used each meter for multiple weeks to see how easily they could keep track of long-term air quality trends. Whether you're looking to monitor the CO2 levels in your home to make sure you have proper ventilation, or want a way to verify that your new air purifier is actually making a difference, we can help you find a great air quality meter.

Wireless?: yes | Measures: CO2, temp, humidity

Battery lasts up to 12 hours
Can set high and low alarms
Doesn't measure many common air pollutants
Doesn't provide trends or averages

For those that are specifically concerned with CO2 levels, the Forensics Basic CO2 Meter offers simple, straightforward, and accurate monitoring. In our testing, it consistently read very close to our professionally calibrated CO2 meter, providing us with confidence in its accuracy. This meter is powered via a micro usb cable, and has an internal battery that can last up to 12 hours. The clear digital display conveys the current CO2 level, temperature, and humidity. You can also set low and high alarms to warn when the CO2 level moves above or below a user-defined threshold.

This meter's biggest weakness is its specificity — it only measures CO2. Additionally, it lacks the ability to easily provide any longer term trends or averages for its measurements. If your main concern is knowing when the CO2 concentration moves past a certain limit, we think the Forensics Basic CO2 Meter is one of the simplest and most effective devices on the market.


Analysis and Test Results

We found that most consumer air quality meters provide similar measurements to professional grade meters, with some notable exceptions. Therefore, once we verified that each meter displayed a baseline level of accuracy, much of our testing focused on how easy each meter is to use, and what kind of data each provides.

Ease of Use

The ideal air quality meter should be easy to set up, and should provide quick access to current air quality readings as well as longer term trends and averages (for many air pollutants trends can be more illuminating than isolated readings). We tested the ease of use of our meters by installing them in our own homes, and then using them for multiple weeks to track air quality trends.

CO2 Accuracy

Our CO2 accuracy tests closely mimicked our air quality accuracy tests. We put all of our meters on the same table next to a professionally calibrated CO2 meter. We repeated this test multiple times, comparing the reading of the professional grade meter to those of the meters we were testing. If those meters consistently read within 10% of the professional meter's reading, we called it a pass. CO2 is a good proxy measurement for how well ventilated your home is. Specifically, it can let you know how much fresh air is coming into your home to replace all of the air that is exhaled by you, your family, and visitors, and whether you need to open some windows or ramp up your HVAC system to improve ventilation. Less CO2 in the air generally indicates there is less of a chance that airborne pathogens will be passed between individuals.Unfortunately, there are no guarantees this strategy will work well in mitigating transmission risk for new and quickly evolving airborne pathogens. However, there are medical facilities that use CO2 meters to ensure ventilation systems are working adequately, and there are successful examples where that strategysignifigantly reduced the transmission of pathogens like tuberculosis.

Most of the meters we tested easily passed this test, including the YVELINES Air Quality Monitor, the Airthings 2930 Wave Plus, the Awair Element Indoor, the Gain Express Wall Mount, and the Forensics Basic CO2 Meter.

A few monitors did not pass this test, but consistently read 15-20% higher than our pro meter throughout the test. While we have some doubts about the specific accuracy of these meters, they still seem to be consistent. Since they also consistently read higher levels of CO2 than our pro meter, we still feel they could be a useful tool for people that want a warning when CO2 levels start to rise. The Yvelines Air Quality Tester and the HEI LIANG AIR Accurate Tester fell into this bucket.


Whether you want to make sure the air in your house remains healthy during the next wildfire season, or you'd like to track CO2 levels to see how well ventilated your home is, a good air quality meter can provide valuable peace of mind. We hope that our testing results have helped you find the perfect meter for your needs and budget.