CO₂ Meters – Top Pick of 2024

High levels of carbon dioxide (CO₂) are dangerous and in closed spaces they must be controlled, that is why there are CO₂ level meters in the air.

Humans, like other animals, when we breathe we breathe in the air absorbing oxygen (O₂) and expel carbon dioxide (CO₂) resulting from the body’s metabolic mechanisms.

Places where a large number of people remain, with insufficient ventilation, tend to increase carbon dioxide levels, so they must be monitored with CO₂ meters to take measures before reaching dangerous levels.

The best selection of CO₂ detectors for 2024

To help you choose the CO₂ detector that best suits your needs, here we show you the result of the selection that we have made of the best meters on the market.

If you need help & nbsp; to know what aspects you should look at when choosing an air quality meter take a look at our buying guide:

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    What are CO₂ detectors or meters?

    As its name indicates, a CO₂ meter is a device that measures the concentration of CO₂ in a certain place.
    It is usually used for measurements indoors, that is, inside constructions, whether in offices, restaurants, hospitals, gyms or houses.

    Measurements are not usually made outdoors because in an open environment the gases tend to disperse, distributing according to the typical concentration, therefore, concentrations do not usually occur.

    CO₂ Meters - Top Pick of 2021
    CO2 meter

    The units with which this measurement is given are ppm (parts per million) or mg/l (milligrams / liter) where the equivalence between both units is 1 ppm = 1 mg/l.

    How do carbon dioxide meters work?

    The most widespread technology is infrared without dispersion or NDIR, which is used by most manufacturers, this consists of taking advantage of the fact that CO₂ absorbs infrared light .

    Then the meter emits, through a diode, infrared light that is then bounced back to the meter which measures the difference between the amount of infrared light emitted and received resulting from the calculation a concentration of CO₂ in the environment .

    CO₂ Meters - Top Pick of 2021
    Meter operation

    From this calculation a fairly accurate measurement of the amount of CO₂ is achieved.
    Some more sophisticated devices use intelligent algorithms to make an even more exact approximation.

    What are CO₂ detectors for?

    CO₂ detectors are used to monitor carbon dioxide levels in places where high concentrations can occur.

    As we have already mentioned previously, the level of CO₂ that exists in the air, in a closed space, can be the result of the amount of air exhaled by the people who are in the place.

    A high concentration of CO₂ is harmful, both because it is a harmful element if we breathe it , and because it occupies the space that other elements such as oxygen (O₂) that we need would occupy.

    CO₂ Meters - Top Pick of 2021
    Example of a high CO2 measurement

    In these cases it is advisable to open the windows so that the air can circulate and it is renewed, obtaining the correct proportion of breathable elements.

    These devices are considered security elements and are known as CO₂ alarm systems, CO₂ sensors or CO₂ meters and work by sending an acoustic or visual signal when they detect high levels of pollution concentrated in a space.

    CO₂ detectors to combat COVID-19

    According to the latest studies on COVID-19 and the new variants, it has been determined that this can be found in suspension in the air with the higher the risk of contagion the higher its concentration.

    We know that the virus is transmitted into the air when an infected person exhales the air inside, leaving it in suspension, being able to be breathed in by other people.

    CO₂ Meters - Top Pick of 2021
    The virus is transmitted through the air

    Infection is not usually caused by breathing in a few virus particles, but by breathing in or getting enough of them into the body. This is known as viral load.

    Currently, there are no devices accessible to the general public capable of measuring the existence of viruses in the air, and specifically COVID-19, but we can measure the concentration of CO₂ that has been issued by the people who are in the place.

    CO₂ Meters - Top Pick of 2021
    CO2 concentration meter

    Making a correlation between exhaled air (CO₂ concentration) and the amount of virus that can be found in suspension, we can quickly see that the higher the amount of CO₂, the greater the risk of contagion.

    Starting from this premise, we can assert that we will reduce the risk of contagion if we maintain low levels of CO₂ in the environment. For this purpose, it is advisable to install carbon dioxide detectors in closed spaces that will be crowded, such as restaurants.

    Types of CO₂ meters

    There are several technologies, although the most widespread, and also the most modern, is the infrared without dispersion.
    This is the technology used to read or measure the concentration of carbon dioxide. carbon (CO₂) but they can also incorporate other technologies, both for data management and connectivity, facilitating their management and utility.

    There are models that allow us to read continue storing the data in a memory, either internal or on an SD card and then download them.

    Obtaining this data can be done either by removing the SD card, by means of a USB cable connection to a computer or wirelessly either by wifi or bluetooth.

    Other CO₂ meters allow continuous data transmission over LoRaWAN being able to be installed permanently in a room.

    The formats with which this data can be obtained can be diverse, such as PDF or CSV.

    Most of these devices work with a internal rechargeable battery or batteries, which can last for several months.

    Most detectors are small and portable, made of durable materials and even protected against humidity, making it easier for us to measure in all kinds of places and environments.

    When is it important to use CO₂ detectors?

    CO₂ is a harmful element for health if it is breathed in for a long time, therefore, it will be necessary to make periodic measurements less or more frequently < strong> in closed or poorly ventilated places where the concentration of people is high or they remain in the place for a long time, especially if it is children or elderly people such as schools or nursing homes.

    There are many office and apartment buildings, especially if they are tall, that lack windows that can be opened, in many cases for security reasons, both personal and structural of the building itself.

    These buildings must constantly renew the air by means of ventilation circuits with forced air.

    For this reason, this type of building must perform a real-time measurement of gas concentrations, including CO₂.

    Here we show a table with different levels of CO₂ concentration:

    Normal level outdoors350 a 450 ppm
    Acceptable level indoors600 a 800 ppm
    Tolerable level indoors1.000 ppm
    CO₂ Meters - Top Pick of 2021
    Acceptable concentration level vs. high level

    If the tolerance level of 1000 ppm is exceeded, measures should be taken to correct said concentration in order to avoid serious health problems.

    Where to install a CO₂ detector?

    When we decide to install a CO₂ detector or meter in a room, it is because we already know that concentrations of carbon dioxide can occur in that place.

    To choose the place within the room, where to place the detector, we must check that it is as close to the area where a higher concentration of CO₂ can occur.

    We must also check that there is no obstruction between the concentration zone and the measurement zone, as this would produce an erroneous reading.

    We will avoid placing it in an area where there may be leaks of possible CO₂ concentrations because we would not have an accurate reading.

    Even if we install a carbon dioxide detector, we must ensure that the site is well ventilated to avoid possible concentrations.

    How to choose a CO₂ meter?

    If you are thinking of acquiring a CO₂ meter, here we detail a series of characteristics that you should take into account when choosing one that fits your needs.

    FunctionalityYou should know that there are meters that, in addition to measuring CO₂ levels, also measure other elements that can be as much or more harmful.
    Many also show the temperature and relative humidity of the environment with which you will have more information to be able to act with more data.
    Where it will be usedBefore knowing the measuring capacity of the device, we must know where it will be used.
    In many cases they will be meters that are installed permanently and, therefore, we must know if their placement and dimensions of the room will allow you to make a correct reading of the CO₂ concentration based on their reading capacity.
    TechnologyIn the market you can find a whole range of meters, from some that have simple sensors to others that use more sophisticated detectors, with intelligent algorithms, for greater precision in their measurement.
    Others also have Wi-Fi connectivity, bluetooth or even the ability to record continuous measurements for a period of time that we can later view on a computer. Thus we can study the evolution in the concentration of the element or the result of applying measures for its correction.
    If you are not sure that you want a simple one, we recommend that you look for one that provides you with greater benefits or versatility so that you can face future needs.
    Fabrication materialWe must bear in mind that most CO₂ meters are going to be portable to be able to carry from one place to another and make measurements in different places.
    This implies that it will be subjected to more demanding conditions, it may suffer chasers, blows, spillage of liquids, etc.
    We must choose products that are made with good materials to achieve greater durability.
    BudgetBefore we start looking at products we must know what budget we have, a maximum price and even a minimum price, to choose a meter that is within this range.
    It is not always true that the most expensive product is the best, since sometimes its characteristics exceed what we need or we are simply paying for the brand.
    We can find good quality CO₂ meters at an affordable price for any pocket.

    Now you know everything you need to find your air quality meter from the selection we have made for this 2022.

    Have a nice shopping 😀!

    Are you looking for an air purifier?

    An air purifier will help us keep the air clean, free of pathogens, although we must bear in mind that a high concentration of CO₂ will not be eliminated with the use of a purifier.

    The best way to eliminate excess CO₂ or any other gaseous element is by opening windows for room ventilation.

    But a purifier can help us to capture elements in suspension in the air benefiting from its use being very positive for avoiding colds or allergies.

    Purificadores de aire

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