If you're concerned about the air that your family and you are breathing, there's not much you can do about it. The potentially dangerous fine particles (PM2.5) that we're breathing are so small that they're virtually invisible.
Unfortunately, these microscopic particles can do serious damage, according to Carnegie Mellon University. If PM2.5s get lodged in your lungs or blood stream, they can cause heart disease, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and pneumonia.
Unless you have a lot of money to buy an air quality monitor, you can only hope your home's not filled with PM2.5s. That's unlikely, as they're most commonly caused by us, whether we have wood burning in the fireplace, a smoker in the house, pesticides in the house, household cleaners and many other everyday products.
However, there's a new, incredibly affordable solution. The Speck sensor, developed by Carnegie Mellon University, detects the presence of fine particles, and shows you if your home's air quality is good or not. (See photo above.)
You just plug it in and it starts working. You can remotely access results, and see historical trends.
The best part about Speck, though, may be how inexpensive it can be. While you can buy a Speck, starting at $149, Carnegie Mellon University and the National Library Program are making three Specks available at participating libraries. You can check out a Speck using your library card. It's just like borrowing a book.
You could ensure healthy air quality inside your home for your family and you.