Oil Particulate

Just curious if anyone else has had noticed that any oil based air pollution (indoors) like cooking bacon or seasoning a cast iron skillet… sends our monitor to the maximum reading for an extended amount of time… Would be interested to understand the science here… Does the oil cover the sensor and for longer?

We’ve found that cooking generally, whether using oil or oven cooking with/without oil, raises the particulate reading of our sensors. While I believe the sensor reading lags the ambient conditions by a few minutes, cleaning the air (with air filter, air-to-air heat exchanger and/or opening doors) does bring down sensor reading within a few minutes. Both high & low readings seem fairly accurate, if delayed by 5 minutes or so.

I’d also be interested in any underlying info re: particulates due to oil & other domestic pollutants.

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We only have an outdoor sensor, but we definitely know when our neighbors are either grilling outdoors or are using their fireplace. Our sensor jumps 75 to >100, due simply to these two ignition activities. We are lucky that no one has oil burners for heating in CA and the previous owner next door who idled his diesel truck for 20 minutes to “warm it up” (this was a truck from post 2010, so absolutely no need to do this) no longer lives here.

I would be concerned about placing sensors near sources of vaporized oil or similar materials. Inevitably, that oil will deposit in the sensor and permanently disrupt the readings.

Remember, air quality meters use optical sensors, and anything that can foul the optics will affect the results. Especially in the case of PurpleAir, there is no way to clean the sensors once fouled.

Any kind of smoke from outdoor cooking grills, fireplaces, or diesel from auto exhaust, naturally will raise the pollution count in your neighborhood. If you are out in the countryside well away from these sources, you likely will have a more accurate ambient air pollution reading.