Tutorials and toolkits: Build your own air quality sensor

Measuring air quality is not just for professionals.

You can build your own air quality sensor in an afternoon. Measure the particulate matter exposure in your street, or go to locations of interest like schools, parks and industrial complexes.

hackAIR has guidelines for four different types of sensors.

  • hackAIR cardboard. An easy way to provide measurements of air pollution using cardboard, grease and a bit of time. No electronics are needed, and you probably have all materials already at home. Go to the instructions.
  • hackAIR home. This sensor connects to your home or office internet, and automatically uploads a measurement every ten minutes. You will need to plug it into an electricity socket. The node is based on Arduino and costs ca. 50 EUR. Go to the instructions.
  • hackAIR home v2. This sensor connects to your home or office WiFi and costs less than 30 EUR. It is based on the Wemos microcontroller, and you will need power through USB. Go to the instructions.
  • hackAIR mobile. This sensor is powered with a mobile power bank and uploads its measurements through Bluetooth on your phone. You can move it around and measure in multiple locations. The sensor is based on PSOC and costs ca. 50 EUR. Go to the instructions.

Step by STEP


No matter which sensor you build, you can follow the same sequence of steps:

  1. Gather materials
  2. Build the sensor
  3. Install software
  4. Measure air quality

If you run into trouble, you can always consult the Frequently Asked Questions.

Open air quality datasets

Learn how to use the hackAIR API to contribute your own air quality data – or to access hackAIR’s data automatically.

hackAIR workshop toolkit

Are you interested in organising a workshop on air pollution and grassroots air quality monitoring –  for your neighbourhood, school, organisation, city council?

Check out the hackAIR workshop toolkit: it is easy to use! And, of course, you can tailor the content to your needs.

In this toolkit, the hackAIR team walks you through the whole process of planning and organising your own hackAIR workshops. All resources are compiled for you – ready to go.

Download the hackAIR workshop toolkit! We’d love to hear from you how you are using it.

Four modules are available: