Indoor air quality is a major influence on the health and comfort of your home. With 90% of our time spent inside, determining the quality of the air that surrounds us is important. Most people don’t know that the air they breathe in their homes can be up to five times worse than outdoors.
The concentration of CO2 (carbon dioxide) has long been used as an indicator for indoor air quality and can be measured by low-cost sensors. However, there is more than CO2 that should be measured.
The quality of air you breathe can deteriorate with activities such as cooking, cleaning and painting to name a few. These activities can introduce Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs). Home building materials and furniture may also release these particles. In the process of trying to secure your home by locking doors and keeping the windows shut, you may also inadvertently seal in unhealthy air.
Luckily, there is an increasing range of connected devices that allow you to monitor your home for air quality and alert you to take action when necessary.
The French company Netatmo sells a fully featured weather station that also monitors the quality of the air inside your home. The weather station consists of an indoor and an outdoor module but you can also add up to 3 additional indoor modules, a rain gauge and a wind gauge. The outdoor module measures temperature and humidity, and also downloads air quality settings from the nearest weather station.
The indoor module measures your comfort and alerts you when its time to air out your home to bring down its pollution levels. It does this by measuring temperature, humidity, air quality and CO2. There is also a sound metre to detect the level of noise. All of your data is recorded online and made permanently accessible to you, on your smartphone, tablet or PC.
Foobot is an indoor air quality monitor designed to help you take control of your closest environment. With a first reading on the device your will be able to know in an instant if your air is polluted or not.
By scanning 24/7 your environment and learning from your habits, Foobot will provide you warnings and actionable advice to keep fresh air at home. On the mobile app, you will be able to: access to your historical data and tag pollution peaks; get notified when crossing a threshold (as defined by the World Health Organisation); and get warned from future pollution peaks.
Pollutants detected include: Volatile Organic Compounds (Formaldehyde, Benzene, Xylene, Toluene etc.), PM2.5: Particulate Matter, Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide.
Air Mentor Pro is an intelligent air quality monitoring device. With built-in industrial grade sensors, it can detect concentrations of CO2, VOC together with CO, PM2.5 and PM10, Temperature, and Relative Humidity.
The sensor can record 3 days of measurements and syncs automatically via bluetooth with your smartphone. The app shows air quality changes via hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly charts. It also analyzes air quality patterns in your home and provides suggestions for improvements.
The Awair Smart Air Quality Monitor keeps track of the air around you, measuring temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, toxic chemicals, and dust. You tell the app what’s important to you — allergy concerns, sleep quality, or productivity— and it will make recommendations based on its readings and learn your preferences as you interact. The LED display offers a quick snapshot of your current air quality and can be set to multiple modes, including an optional clock feature.
Awair’s TrueSense technology uses dedicated monitoring and complex analytics to achieve greater accuracy and control. TrueSense analyzes data from sensors integrated into the device to individually measure temperature/humidity, dust, VOC levels, and CO2. The Awair Score (0 to 100 scale) and colors communicate like a stop light. Green is for Good, yellow for Fair and red for Poor.
Eve Room goes beyond CO2 by analyzing substances that directly affect a user’s well-being by employing MEMS, humidity and temperature sensors. The MEMS sensor detects and measures VOCs such as alcohol, aldehydes, ketones, organic acids, amines, as well as aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. Organic compounds are not only byproducts of human metabolism, but high concentrations of VOCs can be found in everyday objects and remain hidden to CO2 sensors.
Using Eve Room, the measured gas concentration of VOCs is converted into equivalent CO2 concentration that is easy to read and understand. The Eve app displays current and historical measurements in ppm. Values are displayed in different colors and divided into “Excellent” (450-700 ppm), “Good” (700-1100 ppm), “Acceptable“ (1100-1600 ppm), “Moderate” (1600-2100 ppm), and “Poor” (above 2100 ppm).
Eve connects directly to your iPhone or iPad using Bluetooth Smart technology, without requiring a hub, gateway or bridge. The device is HomeKit enabled and works with Siri.
Blueair Aware checks your environment for carbon dioxide, humidity, temperature, total VOC’s (including benzene and formaldehyde), and airborne particles such as dust, organic compounds, metals, mold, smoke, and pollen. The device works seamlessly with your smart phone and the Blue Friend App.
Air quality data is collected in real-time, sending updates every 5 minutes via Wi-Fi. The data is summarized under five measures: PM 2.5 (airborne particles), VOC (gases), CO2 (carbon dioxide), temperature, and humidity. Aware operates silently and is equipped with a glowing LED to alert you of issues with your air quality.
Atmotube is another crowdfunded device. We were one of the first ones to receive and test the product, and can say that this is one of those rare crowdfunded projects that has delivered on (nearly) everything it promised.
So what exactly is Atmotube?
Well, this is a portable air pollution monitor. The device was created to raise awareness about both indoor and outdoor air quality, so you can make the right choices every day and live healthier. It is especially helpful to asthmatics and lung disease sufferers, but is also useful for parents of young children and the elderly.
Atmotube goes with you wherever you go, and monitors VOC, carbon monoxide, humidity and temperature. At the moment, it takes reading every second which means the battery life is about 6-7 hours. Unfortunately, we are still waiting for a forthcoming firmware update will extend this to up to two weeks by taking readings less often.
All real-time measurements are accessible from the app on your mobile phone – together with your personal Air Score that motivates you to avoid the most polluted places and live healthier. The app also displays a map with all your readings and readings from other Atmotube users around the world.
One of the problems with smart air quality monitors is that you typically need to open up an accompanying smartphone app to view the readings. AirVisual does away with that, and instead provides a built-in, always-on 5-inch screen which you can use to check the readings at a glance.
Detecting everything from bacteria to, humidity, temperature, PM2.5 concentration and CO2, you’ll also receive real-time alerts right on your device. The device was designed according to medical-grade standards to specially benefit those who suffer from asthma, COPD, lung cancer and high blood pressure.
The air outside your home is just as important. AirVisual provides detailed figures on six key pollutants for over 8,000 locations in more than 35 countries. The display compares indoor readings with outdoor data, from the nearest official station, by collecting cloud data so you know when to ventilate, go outside or stay inside.
Wynd is different from the competition in that it doesn’t purify all air, just the air around your head. It does this by using a clever combination of a detachable particulate matter sensor, bottle sized purification unit and accompanying smartphone app.
It comes from an outfit called Wynd Technology. Having raised over $600,000 on Kickstarter to develop the product, the gadget is now available for purchase to all.
The entire device is 17cm tall and 7.1cm wide at the base. Despite its relatively small form factor, the company says Wynd can deliver over 8 liters of clean air per second. While the device is marketed as portable, it works best when set up in a small, enclosed space.
The medical-grade filter removes particulates, cat dander, mold, bacteria, and pollution in a matter of minutes. The detachable particulate matter sensor monitors the quality of air around you, and automatically adjusts the purification level as needed.
In our review, we found Wynd to be a really well thought out product. A lot of work has clearly gone into packing lots of great functionality into a small package.
Like this article? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and never miss out!