Air Particle Counters - Choosing an Airborne Particle Counter

air particle counter comparisons proveded by indoor air quality technicians and cleanroom designers
airborne particle counter experts are currently active in air quality control careers making them knowledgeable of air monitoring for clean rooms, mold remediation and indoor air quality

Are You Confused About Air Monitoring Technology?  Read Our Air Particle Counter Comparisons and Reviews by Leading Industry Experts

ParticleCounters.Org has reviewed all the leading air particle counter instruments and placed them in  comparison charts.

Airborne particle counters come in three varieties: portable particle counter instruments for benchtop & cart systems, remote sensors and handheld particle counters.

Handheld units are quick and easy to take on the spot measurements of particulates. A handheld airborne particle counter is good for troubleshooting and verification.

Do You Need to Buy an Airborne Laser Particle Counter?

Are you still uncertain about what exactly you need?

Our industry experts can help you determine the proper equipment ...and even help you learn to use it.

air particle counters that are handheldPortable, Benchtop or Cart Systems are ideal for continuous monitoring of an environment with report printing capability or clean-room certification.

Remote particle counters are permanently installed in a monitoring system and provide dedicated continuous data from one location.

We made our comparison charts to help you choose which kind of airborne particle counter you need. You will find that portable particle counters are the most versatile, yet most expensive.  The Handheld air particle counters are a little less expensive but have fewer features.  The remote particle counters are least expensive per unit, but may require a more costly system depending on your needs.  A lower price solution for multiple remote sensors may be the universal sequencing manifold, though performance does not match that of using individual dedicated remote sensors.

airborne laser particle counter for portable applicationsIn our comparison charts we take a look at all the features of air particle counters to give you unbiased industry expert reviews on the best available airborne laser particle counters.  Our Industry experts have put  Lighthouse, IQAir, Climet, Fluke, Kanomax and Met One air particle counters up against each other for quick reference on features, applications, price and pro's / cons of each model. Our team of industry experts has years of working knowledge with cleanroom, indoor air quality and mold or dust particulate counters and will help educate you on what air particle counter is right for your application.

Categories Choose a Category to See Comparison Charts...
Handheld Particle Counters Spot checking and locating contamination sources make handheld air particle counters ideal for:
  • HVAC personnel to check vents or find leaks
  • IAQ professionals to check temperature, humidity and find mold or other contamination problems
  • Filter testing
  • Checking contamination levels of spray paint booths
  • Cleanroom packaging
  • Cleanroom laundries
Portable Particle Counters Offering a combination of handheld and remote particle counter features, the portable particle counters provide a complete continuous real time monitoring system in a box you can carry to location or put on a cart.
Remote Particle Counters These are also known as dedicated sensors.  A remote particle counter is made to install in one location and provide non stop contamination data and alarming to a Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) or Area Control Unit (ACU) which communicates with a central control room with host computers for a Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, Facility Monitoring System (FMS), building automation, or Facility Management System (FMS).
Remote Manifolds Extend effective coverage of a remote particle counter.  Usually used within part of a large monitoring system for minienvironments or process tools.  A manifold connects several probes to one particle counter, collecting samples from one probe at a time.  Ideal for documenting trends.  Multiplex sequencing manifolds require careful planning.  Depending on how probes are installed, they may allow gaps in data collection.

Unlike liquid or surface particle counters, air, airborne or sometimes called rosol particle counters suck in a sample of air and test it.  Airborne particle counters use a laser or white light shining across the air sample, onto photo detection electronics.  The light is either absorbed or reflected by particles in the air.  The light reacts in a pattern depending on the size of the particle floating in the air sample.  Photo detection electronics can interpret this pattern and thus find the size and number of particles.

Air particle counters can generally detect particles as small as 0.2 microns or as large as 25 microns.  Airborne particulate contamination that falls into this size range include pollen, mold spores, house dust mite allergens, bacteria, cat allergens, suspended atmospheric dust, cement dust, fly ash, oil smoke, smog, tobacco smoke and soot.  Gaseous contaminants and viruses are too small to be detected by air particle counters.

airborne particle counters that act as remote dedicated sensorsAir particle counters have a variety of uses.  Residential and commercial Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) deals with mold remediation, sick building syndrome and general health concerns.  Even though the air in commercial or residential buildings may be at a healthy level of cleanliness, to cleanroom professionals, these are considered dirty environments.  Particulate contamination level of indoor breathing air will generally depend on the pollutant levels of nearby outdoor air.  A decent contamination level for healthy indoor air can be several hundred thousand particles per cubic foot.  An excellent level of cleanliness for indoor air would be under 100,000 particles per cubic foot, comparable to a clean room of the "dirtiest" classification.

Indoor Air Quality professionals and enthusiasts can use airborne laser particle counters to not only evaluate the contamination level, but also find the source of contamination in order to remove it.  Cleanroom professionals may use the same technique to find leaks or contamination sources in their cleanroom.  Some air particle counters can be used to verify the effectiveness of a cleanroom while others can be used to certify the classification of a cleanroom or critical environment.  Dedicated or remote air particle counters are important to industries that must constantly monitor contamination levels within a facility.

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