On our most recent IoT Podcast, Katie called into the voicemail hotline asking about connected air quality products. Specifically, Katie is on the west coast of the US, where massive forest fires have not only destroyed large areas but have also greatly reduced air quality. She’s looking for products that can both monitor air quality and also mitigate the problem based on the monitoring data.
I’ll start up front by saying: Don’t try to cheap out on such a solution. I bought a non-connected air purifier for my home office thinking I could use sensor data and a smart outlet. Unfortunately, many air purifiers, fans, air conditioners, and de-humidifiers won’t work with a smart plug. You really want to invest in products that have connectivity built-in.
Having said that, Stacey is very happy with the Awair Glow C she’s been using for over a year now.
The $90 Awair Glow C looks like a smart plug and it monitors Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Temperature, and Humidity as well as motion. You can plug in a fan, air purifier, or other similar devices to this plug, and when the sensor sees data indicating an unsafe level of air quality, it can turn that device on.
Again, you’ll want to be sure that you’re plugging a compatible device into the Awair Glow C.
My air purifier, for example, requires a manual press of the power button to turn on. You don’t want that. Make sure any air quality appliance you plan to buy can work with a smart outlet or with a smart home hub.
Indeed, Stacey has a non-smart Coway air purifier plugged into her Aware Glow C:
Coway does make smart air purifiers that monitor air quality although though they’re a bit expensive. This Coway Airmega line ranges between $549 and $749, depending on the features you want and the amount of coverage you need.
Keep in mind that while these do cost more than most air purifiers, they’re smart devices and just one can cover between 1,256 to 1,560 square feet, depending on the model. That might be enough for an entire floor of your smart home.
While you can manually control the Airmega smart purifiers, you can also schedule times for them to run. Or you can simply let the device monitor your air quality and run whenever it senses unhealthy levels of air quality. If I had to do it all over again, I probably would spend the extra money and go with an Airmega over the non-connected air purifier that I purchased.
To hear Katie’s question in full, as well as our discussion, tune in below to the IoT Podcast: