Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor

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Pros

  • Flexible IFTTT channel
  • Event tagging in app
  • Responds quickly to air changes

Cons

  • Tips could be more detailed

Key Features

  • Review Price: £179.00
  • VOCs, CO2, particulate matter, temperature and humidity sensors
  • Android and iOS apps
  • IFTTT channel
  • Alexa integration

What is the Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor?

Think of pollution, and you probably think of things happening outside your house – yet it’s inside that we spend most of our time. The Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor is designed to monitor your home, telling you when air quality has dropped so that you can correct the issues and maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’ll even prompt you to make simple changes that can help everyone, although those with allergies or asthma will find the information particularly useful.

Related: Best fans

Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor – Design and build

Looking a bit like a fancy air freshener, the Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor is a rather unobtrusive cylinder that you can place practically anywhere. Ideally, the device should be positioned centrally in your home, with a single unit likely to be enough to cover the average-sized house. Larger homes may need two Monitors, or require one just to focus on a single area.

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It takes just a few minutes to set up the Foobot using the smartphone app, after which the Indoor Air Quality Monitor displays the current status of your home using the LED that surrounds the front: blue is good, moving through orange to red to show poor air quality. As blue LEDs tend to light up the room, the app gives you full control over the monitor’s light intensity, and you can set which hours the lights come on.

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Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor – Features

The Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor is designed to measure four main areas. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are toxic chemicals of the like that you might find in cleaning sprays; but, they can be present in old furniture. Particulate Matter (PM) are little particles that are not filtered by your body, including dust, aerosols and fumes. These can cause cancer, and trigger asthma amongst other things. Footbot can detect PM with a size of between 0.003 to 2.5μg.

Humidity detects moisture in the air: a room that’s too humid can develop mould and bacteria; too dry, and it can lead to sinus problems, dry skin and itchy eyes. Temperature keeps an eye on how hot your home is, but can be useful for other correlations. For example, VOC readings tend to increase in higher temperatures. Finally, CO2 is measured, with high levels indicating that the air needs to be refreshed.

As useful as the LED indicator is to show you, at a glance, what’s going on, it’s hard to tell what the cause is, as a spike in any measurement causes the LED to turn red. A more detailed display would have been useful, so you can tell what the causes is. Instead, you have to get out your smartphone and turn to the excellent app. A simple homescreen gives you a score (lower is better) and a descriptive word for the level of air quality: Great, Good, Fair or Poor.

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You can also see the exact readings for each of the main measurements. Tapping a measurement brings up more details, including the range for each level. For example, a PM reading of between 0 and 12 is Great, and above 37 is Poor.

For each reading, the app gives you tips on what to do, such as opening a window to refresh air, or being careful of cleaning products that contain VOCs. The tips could be a little bit more detailed, and the app could make it easier to scroll through multiple bits of information. Even so, as it stands the Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor’s goal is to get you to change habits and even the products you use, keeping your home healthier. It certainly does a good job of this, and I became far more aware of the cleaning sprays I was using and how leaving the windows shut affected air quality.

It’s not always easy to track what has caused a spike, but Foobot aims to help by prompting you to tag spikes in any of the measurements, saying what you were doing at the time, such as cooking or cleaning. In this way, it’s possible to build a picture of what’s causing issues, and then rectify the problems.

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A double tap (Knock Knock) on the top of the Foobot triggers the app to send a notification to your phone, showing the current readings, too.

Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor – Performance

Foobot reacts quickly to changes. Typically, starting work in the morning, Foobot would trigger a Co2 warning, as I start to use up the air in the room. Opening a window or turning on a fan for circulation really helped. I could also see the dangers of using room sprays: one quick spray and particulate matter and volatile compounds jumped up hugely, turning the app and Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor red.

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Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor – IFTTT and Alexa

While you can manually deal with a lot of problems yourself, the Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor has a full IFTTT channel so that you can trigger other things based on readings. For example, you could turn on a smart plug automatically to turn on a dehumidifier, turning it off automatically when a levels drop to the right level. Likewise, triggering an air purifier could be done similarly.

In fact, using a range of automations, you can keep your air pure without having to do a thing. Even if you don’t have any suitable smart devices to use, it’s still handy to be able to send custom notifications or track changes in a spreadsheet.

Related: 35 amazingly useful IFTTT recipes to simplify your life

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An Alexa Skill lets you use your voice with your Echo or Echo Dot to find out the current pollution levels in your house or perform handy tasks, such as switching off the Foobot’s lights.

Should I buy the Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor?

Knowing what’s going on in your home is surprisingly useful, and can certainly help you make changes to improve things. Particularly for those who suffer from allergies, being able to make real changes is incredibly useful. There are a lot of air monitors available, but the range of measurements available, IFTTT integration and smart app make the Foobot stand out.

Verdict

A great way to monitor indoor air quality, backed with a powerful IFTTT channel to help you automate your response.

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