- Handy LED display
- Responds quickly to air changes
- New version provides more detailed readings
- Tips that feel like ads
- Can't tag events
- Review Price: £179.99
- Android and iOS apps
- Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support
- VOCs, CO2, PM2.5, temperature and humidity sensors
What is the Awair 2nd Edition?
An air purifier can help keep your home’s air free of allergens and other harmful particles, but they usually don’t provide detailed information about what’s going on. The Awair 2nd Edition aims to rectify that, letting you know the health of your home at a glance, so you can react and improve your air quality as a result.
This 2nd Edition is an update to the Awair Air Quality Monitor. New sensors to detect ultra-fine particles and a more detailed display make this model an improvement over the original, but the app could still do with some work.
Related: Best air purifiers
Awair 2nd Edition – Design and build
Design-wise, there isn’t much that distinguishes between the Awair 2nd Edition and the original model. That’s to say the Awair 2nd Edition remains the best-looking air-quality monitor on the market. Crafted from North American Walnut, it looks more premium Bluetooth speaker than air purifier, and could easily be placed anywhere in your home.
An LED display filters through the front grille. This time around, there are buttons on the rear of the unit that let you cycle through the various readings that the Awair 2nd Edition takes, or it can simply display a clock. The panel is best read at distance, since it can be difficult to make out detail when close-up.
A simple colour LED provides an at-a-glance view of your current air health levels: green is good, amber is middling, and red is poor.
Awair 2nd Edition – Features
It’s the individual readings that make the Awair 2nd Edition useful for diagnosing and fixing problems with your indoor air quality. Detailed readings can be taken from the unit’s screen, or via the app. The latter provides a greater number of options, including information on what each reading means. Nevertheless, the former is useful for a quick view.
There are temperature and humidity sensors, with the latter particularly useful. A room that’s too humid will encourage mould growth; a room that’s too dry can cause breathing problems.
A CO2 sensor measures the level of carbon dioxide in the room, with high levels affecting concentration and signalling that it’s time to refresh the air by opening a window.
The ‘Chemicals’ reading provides information about the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in your room. VOCs are harmful chemicals, which can be present in everything from glue in old furniture to harsh cleaning sprays.
Finally, the new PM2.5 sensor measures the level of dust (particulate matter or PM) less than 2.5um in size. Such dust can penetrate the lungs, causing breathing difficulties and other health issues.
Via the Awair smartphone app, each reading is displayed as a figure. However, there’s also a colour-coded chart through which you can denote how harmful those figures are, moving from red (bad) to green (good). Tapping any measurement offers up a little more information, and shows a bar that plots the ideal levels.
There’s also an overall Awair score, ranked from 1 (bad) to 100 (good) to show you the general health of your home. By default, Awair monitors for all scenarios, but you can change the mode to Allergy, Sleep, Productivity or Baby. This adjusts the weightings of the readings to give an air quality targeted for those particular instances. For example, Allergy mode will place emphasis on PM2.5 levels. You can change the mode at any time to see how it affects the overall Awair score.
Under the Trend tab in the app you can view your Awair score or specific reading, plotted over a day. You can step back in time, too, although you can’t jump to a specific date and can only move forwards or backwards one day at a time.
There’s still no option to tag events, which could prove useful. For example, if you tag a spike in VOCs when you clean, you may find that it’s your cleaning spray that’s the cause of those spikes. As such, a change in the brand of cleaning products could serve to reduce harmful levels and improve your health.
The Tips section provides general advice on bettering air quality. Suggestions made could include using a humidifier or avoiding caffeine in hot rooms. However, beware that some tips are simply an advert for goods. One tip was promoting a $900 air purifier, which is a little cheeky.
Awair 2nd Edition – Performance
Awair responds quickly to changes. Entering my office in the morning, I’d quickly receive a pop-up on my phone warning me that it was time to refresh the air. Using an insect spray caused the PM2.5 and VOC readings to spike rapidly, too.
Opening a window and turning on a fan soon saw both levels reduce to to healthy readings.
Awair 2nd Edition – IFTTT, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
An Amazon Alexa skill will enable you to ask your Awair for the current air quality. As well as providing an overview of the Awair score, Alexa will reads out any problem stats – if the room is too hot, for example – and the health impact it could have. You can also ask for a specific reading.
Related: Amazon Alexa Guide
Google Assistant support is available, too, but the skill isn’t quite as useful. Asking about air quality results in the supply of the score only; it lacks the more detailed information provided by Amazon Alexa.
There’s currently no Apple HomeKit support. IFTTT support is available, with the system letting you trigger a rule for high or low temperature and humidity thresholds. This lets you turn on a humidifier when humidity drops below 30%, for example, and turn it off when it hits 45%.
There are only high triggers for CO2, VOCs and dust levels. This means you can enable a remote device – such as using a smart plug to turn on an air purifier – but you can’t turn it off once levels return to normal.
Why buy the Awair 2nd Edition?
The Awair 2nd Edition is an improvement over the original, including more powerful sensors and providing greater information. It’s also great-looking and a device that you’ll happily have on display.
However, the adverts that feature in the app remain over useful tips, and the IFTTT channel isn’t as powerful as it could be. As a result, the slightly uglier Foobot Smart Indoor Air Monitor remains the best choice for such observations.
Improved sensors and great looks, but the app could offer better advice on improving air quality in your home.
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