FAQ air-Q

FAQ - Answers to questions we are frequently asked.

Time and again, we receive questions about our solutions and the air-Q air measuring device. These concern, for example, the service life of the sensors, the functionality, for example, as a carbon monoxide alarm and the air-Q App or air-Q Web App. In the FAQ - frequently asked questions - we answer your questions about the air analyzer air-Q in general, the hardware and software.

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General questions

What do the three particulates readings PM₁₀; PM₂'₅ and PM₁ mean?


The PM₁₀ particulates measurement value detects particles with a size of up to 10 µm; PM₂'₅ detects particles with a diameter of up to 2.5 µm and PM₁ detects particles with a size of up to 1 µm. The PM₁₀ measured value also contains the PM₂'₅ and PM₁ measured values and the PM₂'₅ measured value also contains PM₁. For the measured values measured in µg/m³ or in particle count, the following applies: measured value PM₁₀ > measured value PM₂'₅ > measured value PM₁.

Matthias U.

What is the service life of the air-Q?


The service life of the air-Q air analyser depends on the service life of the individual sensors (see hardware) and is at least five years.

How loud is the air-Q in operation?


The air-Q is as quiet as a whisper. A very small fan in the particulates sensor is only perceptible when listening closely directly to the ear. If sensitive people are also bothered by this noise, the fan can be deactivated in the app in night mode. In this case, no particulates measurements are taken.

How fast does the air-Q measure the data?


The first air quality values are displayed immediately after switching on the measuring device in the air-Q app and by the LEDs directly on the device. Individual sensors (for example NO₂, SO₂) require a warm-up phase after disconnection from the power supply, so that their measurement results are displayed with a delay.

The measuring interval of the air analyzer air-Q in continuous operation is less than two seconds. This means that the air-Q measures in real time, so to speak. The measurement data can then be viewed immediately via the air-Q app (Android / iOS).

How secure is my air quality data collected by air-Q?


All data is stored on an SD memory card and in the app as soon as it connects to the device. The data is only transferred to the Internet and the air-Q Cloud with the owner's consent. However, this is useful for making sense of some functions that cannot be implemented otherwise - for example, the health advisor.
The server on which the online data is stored is physically located in Germany.

Question asked by Thomas H.

How much energy does the air-Q need?


The air-Q requires approx. 1.5 watts (5V x 300 mA). A power bank with 10,000 mAh is therefore sufficient for mobile operation for approx. 33 hours.

How are the sensors calibrated?


The production of all sensors is subject to manufacturing-related variations - for example, the electro-chemical sensors we also use, such as nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and ozone. We therefore only use sensors from manufacturers who provide us with individual calibration data for each sensor. This is the only way to ensure accuracy.

In addition, we perform an additional base-line calibration prior to shipment of each instrument.

In the smartphone app, there is the option to perform the baseline calibration yourself at home. Furthermore, the air-Q has an automatic drift correction.

For cost reasons, we do not send individual calibration certificates.

Will the air-Q restart when I remove it from the power supply?


In order to collect measurement data, the air analyser requires power. If the power supply is interrupted, it is restarted as soon as the unit is supplied with electrical power again.

What must be observed when maintaining / cleaning the air-Q?


The air-Q does not need to be cleaned. The sensors it contains are sufficiently protected from dust. Externally, wiping is sufficient. Dust that has fallen through the slats can be removed carefully by shaking or blowing.

Can the air-Q also be used on the move?


In principle, the air-Q is intended as a stationary measuring system, as it constantly adapts to its environment by means of automatic calibration. However, by using a mobile power source (e.g. power bank), it can also be used on the move. Here are two sample calculations for the capacity required for a certain period of time. The figures refer to power banks that indicate the capacity in mAh at 5V:

The power source is to supply the air-Q for 24 hours. How much capacity is required?
Calculation: 0.26 A * 24 h = 6.24 Ah = 6240 mAh.

The power source has 25000 mAh, how long does it last?
Calculation: 25 Ah/0.26 A = ~ 96 h.

Does the air-Q detect cigarette smoke?


Cigarette smoke is a complex and dynamic gas mixture that can be recognized by increased particulates- carbon monoxide and also nitrogen dioxide and VOC values. There is no measured value for "cigarette smoke", as smoke cannot be quantified precisely depending on the source and age.

Cigarette smoke or smoke of any kind can be reliably detected by measuring the particulates value. The particulates sensor used in the device is very sensitive. The sensor reacts immediately to cigarette smoke close to the odor threshold. It is advisable to set an alarm at the PM10 measured value of 100 µg/m³, then the air-Q alarms reliably. A lower threshold of 60 µg/m³ can also be set. The alarm then reacts more quickly, but false alarms can also occur, e.g. if chimneys are running in the vicinity.

You can also activate a smart alarm via e-mail and/or push so that you can monitor your house / apartment / vacation home while you are on the move.

Is the air-Q compatible with smart home and voice assistants?


Yes. Smart home standards like IFTTT, Home Assistant and others are already supported. Matter support is firmly planned for the end of 2023 or early 2024.

Compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant is in the works. Unfortunately, the voice assistants do not support devices with as many sensors as the air-Q out of the box. We have to rely on updates from the providers here.

Is the air-Q safe for use around children?


Yes, due to the very low voltage of 5 volts, there is no danger from the air-Q. However, as a high-precision measuring device, air-Q should not fall into the hands of children. Careful attention should therefore be paid to a suitable location in children's rooms.

Can the air-Q also measure air quality outdoors?


The air-Q is generally designed for indoor use, as splashing water or dew can cause corrosion after some exposure time. However, if the device is protected from direct water, it can also be used for outdoor measurements for short periods. The air-Q can be used under a roof, for example, within the scope of the specifications (data sheet) .

However, when measuring outdoors, the electrochemical sensors (such as ozone and nitrogen dioxide) may provide inconsistent measured values in places, as the strong temperature and humidity fluctuations outside affect the sensors due to the measuring principle and the calibration must be improved (--> automatic calibration of the air-Q)

Is the air-Q suitable as a fire alarm / smoke detector?


Yes, in principle, the air-Q is suitable as a fire detector, as it precisely detects the substances produced in a fire such as smoke (particulates), nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide as well as volatile organic compounds(VOCs) precisely and quickly. In addition to a shrill alarm sound, a push message is also sent to the owner.

From a purely legal point of view, however, it cannot replace the usual smoke detectors. This is mainly due to the fact that the air analyser does not have battery operation and thus cannot - as prescribed - be mounted on the wall or ceiling. Otherwise, the air-Q is in no way inferior to an ordinary smoke detector.

Unlike conventional smoke detectors, however, the air-Q also measures carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and VOC gases in addition to particulates values. This means that smoke development can be detected early, reliably and much more precisely, and false alarms can be avoided.

Can the measured values of the air-Q be used in court?


The measurement results of the air-Q can help to take action against unwanted and unauthorized odor nuisances. The air-Q logs many different values very closely. Odors and noxious fumes from, for example, cigarette smoke, shisha bars, strong-smoking fireplaces and other industrial exhaust fumes can be easily detected and logged. However, the records can only be a first step in a legal process, since even recorded values can only ever represent circumstantial evidence. As a rule, a special expert is necessary. Please seek legal advice from a lawyer specifically for your case.

Annett N.

How are the health and performance index calculated?


The Health Index is based on the limit values of the Federal Environment Agency, the WHO and the so-called Vienna Health Index. The air-Q health index is always calculated from the "worst" measured value from all measured variables at a certain point in time. If, for example, the increased particulate matter value leads to a 20% discount and the high nitrogen dioxide value justifies a 30% health discount, the health index shows 100% - 30% (nitrogen dioxide value) = 70%.

The calculation of the performance index is based on a different, cumulative procedure, which is based on recent studies by various research institutions that have analyzed the performance degradation of certain loads in the breathing air. For example, if the high carbon dioxide content of the air leads to a 20% performance penalty and the high temperature leads to a 5% penalty, the performance index shows 100% - 20% (CO₂ penalty) - 5% (temperature penalty) = 75%.

How many indoor air measuring devices are needed per room?


Basically, the air-Q is oriented to the regulation for smoke detectors.
To ensure a sufficiently high reaction speed to occurring gases, we therefore recommend a maximum room size of 60sqm (with a normal ceiling height of approx. 2.8-3.2 m). In L-shaped rooms, several air-Q measuring devices should be set up - one device on each side.

How does the air-Q help prevent mold?


The risk for mold can be assessed indirectly by observing various measured values. The air-Q indoor air meter detects a tendency for mold growth, for example, by measuring the development of absolute and relative humidity, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and particulates in real time and correlating them.
If these values are higher than normal or even increase continuously over a period of time, the source of this increase should be identified - this may already be a mold infestation or may signal good growing conditions for mold.
In order to determine an already existing mold contamination also legally safe, a laboratory examination is nevertheless indispensable.


Is a version with a battery planned?


No, there are currently no plans for a device with a battery. Since the air-Q has a standard USB-C port, it can easily be connected to a power bank.

Can I change the brightness of the LEDs?


Yes, the brightness of the LEDs on the air-Q can be adjusted via the smartphone app. Thus, a different brightness can be selected for the night than for the day. The LEDs can also be completely deactivated.

Can the lights of the air-Q be switched off or dimmed at night?


Yes, the LED brightness can be adjusted continuously in the app in both day and night mode.

Can individual sensors be replaced and supplemented?


Most sensors are socketed and can be replaced if they are defective or the shelf life has expired. In this case, the air-Q gives a hint in the app or on the device.

The air-Q has one or more free slots for additional sensors (depending on the version). It is conceivable, for example, to add a sensor for ultra-fine dust or for methane. All additional sensors available so far can be found at https://shop.air-q.com/.

Does the air-Q also measure radon?


From probably late 2023 or early 2024, there will be an air-Q Radon, which will be offered as a stand-alone device.
The software / smartphone app is identical, so that all air-Q variants can be operated together.

Does the air-Q have an alarm function?


The air-Q has a very shrill alarm tone to warn of smoke or fire, for example. In addition, the owner of the device receives an alarm message as a push notification on his smartphone as soon as an emergency occurs.

What are the dimensions of the air-Q?


The air-Q has the following dimensions: 114 x 135 × 43 (height x width x depth in mm).

What is the service life of the sensors in the air-Q?


The service life of individual sensors installed in the air-Q air measuring device is - depending on the measuring principles - sometimes infinitely long:

  • particulates sensor measures the particles optically. No wear and tear.
  • Carbon monoxide sensor measures according to a chemical principle. Service life > ten years
  • Carbon dioxide sensor > ten years
  • Sulphur dioxide sensor > seven years
  • Ozone sensor > five years
  • Oxygen sensor measures according to the principle of optical luminescence. Service life > 5 years
  • Nitrogen dioxide sensor measures electrochemically. Service life > 5 years
  • VOC sensor > ten years

Which measuring ranges are covered by the respective sensors?


A detailed list of the exact ranges of all measured values can be found in our technical data sheet. This is available for download here .

Is the data also stored directly in the device and if so, for how long?


Yes, the measurement data is stored on an SD card in the device. It is 16 GB in size, which means that with a data volume of 1.5 MB per day and all planned additional functions and data, the storage space is sufficient for considerably more than 10 years.

How much current (power consumption) does the air-Q require in operation?


In continuous operation, our air meter requires approx. 1.3 watts (0.26 amps * 5 volts).

How is air-Q supplied with power?


The air-Q is supplied with electrical power via a USB-C plug-in power supply unit (5 volts). In principle, any compliant power supply unit can be used with the measuring device. However, we recommend using the original power supply unit supplied: This is a tested power supply unit that not only meets the legal requirements (EMC) but also the high demands of the air analyser for a constant voltage supply. If you do not have a power socket available, you can also supply the air-Q with power via a power bank.


How does the air-Q help with poor air quality?


The air-Q is first and foremost a high-precision, intelligent measuring device for air quality. The long-term analysis of the air helps users to be able to follow the development of the air quality and to recognise possible peaks of pollutants or also noise and to avoid them in the future. Through the air-Q app, users also receive helpful and individual tips to identify problems. For example, if there is systematic pollution with particulates, we recommend high-quality air purifiers from our partner companies, which we have already had the pleasure of testing.

Can the Wi-Fi be switched off at night?


Yes, the Wi-Fi can be deactivated for the night. However, no connection with the app is possible during this period or until the device is restarted (disconnect power).

Does the air-Q also relate the outdoor air data to the indoor air?


Yes, the data collected by the air-Q will be related to the air data collected by the Federal Environment Agency. There will be a function for this in the air-Q app.

Does the air-Q support MQTT?


The air-Q supports MQTT with the"Science Option" - only the air-Q Science has this function.

How can I integrate air-Q into my Smart Home?


The air-Q can already be integrated with IFTTT, Home Assistant, Homey, MQTT, Homekit (via homebridge). An integration of Matter and other standards will follow shortly.

What are the options for exporting the measurement data?


The measurement data can be exported as a CSV file. There are two ways to do this: 1. download the data from the SD card and convert it using our JSON to CVS converter or 2. export data via our air-Q Web App.

More questions?

The air analyzer air-Q is the most powerful measuring instrument for air quality. On our FAQ page we provide answers to questions we are frequently asked. Are there any other questions we can answer for you? Feel free to contact us!

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air-Q Air Quality Meter

Monitor air quality, all air components and environmental influences with the air-Q. For your health and performance.