New User / PA-I Set Up Issues


I’m a new user and I recently bought a PA-I.

To be quite honest, the documentation about how to start using the unit, feels lacking and incomplete.

I’m seriously thinking about returning the unit and getting my money back, but want to post here first. I must be missing something.

If you can help, greatly appreciated. If there are links to existing documentation I’ve missed please let me know.

For my purposes, I only care about air quality in my apartment, and not the surrounding areas. (For now). I live near an overpass,

Here’s what I’ve been able to accomplish thus far:

  • I’ve been able to associate the MAC address to my email.

  • At one point, I was able to find the unit hotspot in my wi-fi drop down and I think was able to connect it to my network, but is this a one-time only thing? I’ve haven’t been able to find the hotspot in drop down since.

  • How do I confirm the unit is working and connected?

  • Once it’s connected, can I move it to another room if it’s covered by the same network?

  • What do the colors mean? (My assumption is green is good.)

  • What I do if the colors turn a “bad” color? Anyway to discern source?

  • Can I connect to the map if I don’t have a gmail account?

Thanks for any assistance.


I don’t have all your answers, but you can use this link to see real-time values:

http://purpleair-YYY/?live=true, where YYY is your sensor ID

should be able to move to another room, if still in range of your wifi connection

green is good!

bad inside can mean cooking, or windows open with bad air outside.

I think the connect to network is a one time thing



  • Once you have successfully connected your sensor to Wi-Fi, the PurpleAir**** network (hotspot) will disappear from your list of available networks. This is a one-time thing unless your sensor disconnects from the Wi-Fi.

  • Your sensor emitting a light that reflects the air quality indicates it is getting power. If your sensor’s map marker on the PurpleAir Map is a color that reflects the air quality, that will indicate that it is connected and reporting data otherwise it would be grey.

Here is more information on using the map: Map Start-up Guide
Learn more about viewing your sensor on the map here: View Your Sensor on the Map

  • Here is a helpful article on AQI and an explanation of each color: AQI Information

  • You need a Gmail-associated account to log into the map.

Learn more about logging into the map here: How do I log in to the PurpleAir map?
More information can be found here: Logging Into the Map vs. Into the Community