- Useful LED display
- Looks great
- Responds quickly to changes in the air
- Navigating history is a bit clunky
- Some tips feel more like ads
- Review Price: £180.00
- VOCs, CO2, particulate matter, temperature and humidity sensors
- Android and iOS apps
- IFTTT channel
- Alexa skill coming soon
What is the Awair Air Quality Monitor?
Given the amount of time that we all spend at home, it’s important to keep your air fresh and clean to stay healthy. This is particularly true if you, or someone in your family, suffer allergies or asthma. Joining the rapidly growing ranks of air monitors is the Awair Air Quality Monitor. It tracks your indoor air quality via the provided app, offering tips and ideas on what to do when things turn bad.
Awair Air Quality Monitor – Design and Build
Hands down, the Awair Air Quality Monitor is the best-looking air monitor that I’ve tested. Crafted from North American walnut, the Air Quality Monitor looks more like a fancy clock or high-end Bluetooth speaker than something for measuring the air quality of your room. And of course, each unit is 100% toxin-free.
The Air Quality Monitor displays a simple LED clock when it’s sat idle. A single coloured LED lets you monitor the air quality, too: green is good, red is bad. To get more information, a double-tap on top of the Air Quality Monitor brings up your current Awair Score: the higher number, the better. Through the app, you can change the display to permanently show a clock, the Awair Score, or the temperature and humidity.
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Awair Air Quality Monitor – Features
The Awair Air Quality Monitor surveys most of the common issues that can affect indoor air quality. These include a CO2 sensor to measure the level of carbon dioxide in the room; high levels affect concentration and mean that the air needs to be refreshed.
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Next, Awair measures chemicals through its Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) sensor. These are harmful chemicals in the air, which can come from anything from cleaning sprays and hair products to the glue used in old furniture. Next, the Dust feature measures how the level of small particles in the air; this is known as particulate matter in other products. Small particles can penetrate the body and lungs, causing issues for allergy sufferers.
As standard, the Awair Air Quality Monitor can also monitor temperature and humidity. In particular, humidity is a useful measurement: a room that’s too humid may grow mould; a room that’s too dry can result in difficulty breathing and dry out your skin.
Once you’ve hooked up the Awair Air Quality Monitor to your Wi-Fi using your smartphone, you can monitor all these variants from the app. Here, you can see your Awair Score, alongside colour coded dots to show if things are good; the display moves from green through orange to red. Beneath the coloured dots sits the actual reading for each measurement, so you can see which area is causing problems. Tapping any measurement provides a little more detail on the reading, plus any issues associated with abnormal readings.
The default mode is a general one, but you can also select Allergy, Sleep, Productivity and Baby modes. These adjust the readings to suit these specific modes, such as warning you about CO2 levels at an earlier point if you select the Productivity mode.
If your Awair Score starts to drop, the Tips section of the app will offer up some sensible advice – such as cleaning dust filters and making sure a room is well ventilated. There are some handy general-interest articles on maintaining your health, produced in association with the Mayo Clinic. However, there are some bits of information that are little more than adverts, such as a plug for an air purifier. I prefer my apps to focus on the job, rather than trying to flog me extra kit.
Usefully, the Trend tab lets you see each measurement plotted over the past seven days, enabling you to keep tabs on air quality over a longer period. It’s a shame that there’s no option to tag events, such as noting when you did the cleaning or cooking. Being able to associate actions with measurements is useful, since it can help you recognise the possible cause of the problem so that you can change the way you do things – switch out more harmful cleaning products for gentler ones, for example.
Note that the Awair app shows only 24 hours worth of data, and you can only move back one day at time (today, yesterday, the day before yesterday, and so on).
Awair Air Quality Monitor – Performance
Awair responds quickly to changes. Typically, in the morning, the CO2 levels would rise after I first entered the room and started to use up oxygen. Starting to clean a dusty room, the display soon turned red and the app showed a high-concentration of dust. Similarly, using a room fragrance pushed up the VOC and dust count immediately.
Awair Air Quality Monitor – IFTTT and Alexa
Awair has an IFTTT channel, so you can use its measurements to trigger other devices. For example, if humidity jumps above a set level, you can turn on a dehumidifier connected to a smart plug. The channel isn’t quite as flexible as those of some other air monitors. There are high and low humidity and temperature triggers, but only high triggers for CO2, dust and VOCs.
Having high and low triggers is useful, as you can set a device to turn on when levels rise, and turn off when levels drop. Even so, being able to set custom warnings or track changes into a Google Spreadsheet, so that you can work out long-term trends and make suitable changes, is particularly useful.
Awair has built an Alexa Skill, so you can ask your Echo about the air quality in your home. At the time of writing, the Skill wasn’t yet working, but it should be available soon.
Should I buy the Awair Air Quality Monitor?
Awair has certainly made the most attractive-looking air monitor on the market, and it’s great to get more information from the front panel as opposed to having to use the app. For times that you do require more detail, the app is good, and the Air Quality Monitor updated quickly when changes to my environment were detected. However, the app is a little fiddly to use in some situations. In addition, I don’t like the links to other products to buy, and the IFTTT channel isn’t quite as flexible as with some other products.
On balance, the Foobot Indoor Air Quality Monitor is marginally the better product.
A great-looking air monitor with plenty of sensors, but the ability to record more data would have been useful.