The hidden cost of air quality monitoring

In recent months, a major air quality monitoring manufacturer has made changes to their free data plan, rendering it essentially useless and forcing customers to upgrade to a paid plan. This trend is not exclusive to this manufacturer, as others in the industry are also employing tactics to increase the costs of owning an air quality monitor. One way they do this is by using proprietary sensor modules, which are sold at a much higher price than their actual cost. Additionally, some manufacturers create a lock-in effect by not allowing monitors to send data to other servers, and they may even discontinue support for older models. The lifespan and repairability of monitors is often neglected in the pursuit of short-term profits. Another concern is the ownership of air quality data, with some manufacturers claiming ownership rather than allowing customers to retain control over the data collected by their sensors. We believe that air quality data should belong to the owners of the monitors and not the manufacturer. At AirGradient, as a self-funded startup, we prioritize sustainability and honesty to our customers. We hope that our approach will be emulated by other monitor manufacturers. When searching for an air quality monitor, it is important to ask specific questions about data ownership, data monetization, repairability, and the company’s commitment to

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