By Marci Johnson Business Development Manager
Laser particle counters are handheld devices which can help you monitor indoor air quality by detecting particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. These include common allergens like pollen, fine dust, pet dander, and mold spores.
Knowing the size of these particles can be helpful when considering the purchase of HVAC air filters, an air purifier, or other appliance to help eliminate them and create healthier indoor air.
How Laser Particle Counters Work:
A laser particle counter uses scattered light technology to detect particles of various sizes suspended in the air within a space. This data is expressed as the concentration of particles in a specified cubic-foot volume of air. Depending on the model of your particle counter, you may see the number of large particles and the number of small particles displayed separately.
The particle sizes monitored can vary from model to model, anywhere from as small as 0.3 microns as a minimum, up to 25 microns as a maximum. Although particle monitors can’t tell you what kinds of particles are being measured, you’ll know the concentration of the different sizes of the suspended particles in the air.
Features to Look for in a Laser Particle Counter:
There is a fairly wide variety of laser particle counters on the market for a similarly wide range of prices. While commercial particle counters are highly accurate and sensitive to very tiny particles, they’re also on the high end of the price range and may be overkill for home use.
Laser particle counters designed for home use have a handful of features that make taking particle counts simple and analyzing them easy.
- Particle Size Sensitivity: Most residential laser particle counters can detect particles 0.5 microns and larger. But if you have severe allergies, you might need one with increased sensitivity to smaller particles, as small as 0.3 microns.
- Fast Sampling: Look for a particle counter that provides quick sampling, from just a few minutes to a matter of seconds. With fast results, you’ll be able to take action sooner.
- Multiple Sampling Modes: This feature gives you more options when it comes to analyzing the air’s particle counts. For example, a continuous mode samples your air non-stop, while an intermittent mode samples your air at set intervals.
- Data Storage: It can be helpful to understand particle count over time to track trends of seasonal highs and lows. A particle counter that logs and stores data makes tracking and comparing counts simple, enabling you see how an air purifier or other IAQ improvement treatment is working.
Size and Weight: Obviously there can be several rooms that need a particle counter. A model that is compact and easily portable will make this process easiest.
Size Chart for Airborne Pollutants:
Tracking the particle count can help you determine what might be the most effective treatment for your Indoor Environment, and then track how well the treatment is controlling the target allergens or pollutants on an ongoing basis.
Laser particle counters are simple devices which literally count tiny particles polluting your indoor air. Based on the size and concentration, you can know best how to eliminate them using one of a variety of methods, from furnace filters to HEPA air purifiers.
Featured Particle Counters for Indoor Air Quality Monitoring:
Model 804 Handheld Particle Counter
The Model 804 Handheld Particle Counter is a 4-channel portable particle counter that counts particles 0.3 microns to 10.0 microns – giving you portability and reliability at very competitive pricing.
Though compact, this unit is completely self-contained with its own internal battery and sample pump. The unit is configurable, allowing you to choose your particle sizes of interest from seven sizes: 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1.0, 2.5, 5.0, or 10.0 microns.
The 804 is simple to operate, using only two front-panel buttons and scroll wheel to control a user-friendly, menu-driven platform for easy configuration. Unlike other counters that can take up to a minute to deliver results, the 804 incorporates user-selectable sampling times up to 1 minute and displays counts in as little as 3 seconds. The unit will take single or continuous samples. A self-contained battery pack powers the unit for 30 hours of typical intermittent operation, and up to 8 hours of continuous use. The included AC charger / adapter operates the counter, even when the battery pack is discharged, and recharges the depleted battery in 2.5 hours. The 804 can also store up to 2,500 records for output as Excel formatted output via included COMET software. A USB interface provides quick data download and firmware upgrades.
Model 804 FEATURES:
- Fast Sampling
- Simple Operation
- Selectable sizes with available favorites and (2) sizes displayed.
- Low cost w/ data logging
- Self Contained
- 1-Year Warranty
GT-324 Handheld Particle Counter
The GT-324 Handheld Particle Counter is a full-featured handheld particle counter that provides the functionality of a bench unit in a portable package.
The GT-324 has seven selectable sizes; 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1.0, 2.5, 5.0, and 10.0 microns, of which the operator can choose any 4 of the particle sizes of interest. The GT-324 is suitable for many applications, including but not limited to Cleanroom Monitoring, Controlled Environments, Filter Testing, Compliance Testing, Process Control, Indoor Air Quality, HVAC Applications, QA Programs, etc.
The GT-324 features a simple user interface via a single multifunction rotary dial. User settings can be password protected to comply with 21 CFR Part 11. The self-contained battery pack powers the unit for 8 hours of continuous operation. The included AC adapter/charger operates the GT-324, even when the battery pack is fully discharged, and is able to recharge the fully depleted battery in 2.5 hours.
- Select Between Seven Particle Sizes: >0.3, >0.5, >0.7, >1.0, >2.5, >5.0 & >10 Microns
- 2,200 Stored Data Samples
- Integrated Temperature & Relative Humidity Sensor
- Handheld Unit With User-Friendly Operation
- Fast Sampling
- Battery & AC Powered
- 1-Year Warranty