You probably have a smoke detector in your home and office, but do you have an indoor air quality (IAQ) monitor? The Airthings Wave Plus fills that gap with a device that's bristling with sensors.
Externally, the Airthings Wave Plus looks like a smoke detector -- it's a white plastic puck 4.7 inches in diameter (119mm). It has color-changing LEDs on the front and is powered by two AA batteries (which should last over a year).
But it's inside where the magic happens. It contains six sensors that monitor the quality of the air you breathe indoors.
- Radon gas: Radioactive gas, invisible, dangerous, found in every home. As radon levels fluctuate daily, the only way to ensure radon levels stay low is by long term radon testing.
- Carbon dioxide: An exhaled gas impacting sleep, health, and productivity. Occupancy and daily activities can increase carbon dioxide indoors, using a CO2 detector can help you adjust ventilation accordingly.
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): These are toxins found in everyday items including cleaning products, furniture, and paint. The Total VOC sensor alerts you to high levels of a long list of chemicals. To keep levels low make small adjustments like using VOC free paint or installing a VOC air purifier.
- Humidity: Moisture promotes mould while dry air can lead to cold and flu. To get the best indoor humidity level for your home, monitor daily.
- Temperature: Affects sleep patterns, mood, comfort level, and alertness.
- Pressure: The weight of the air can cause headaches, joint pain, and fatigue. The barometric pressure of the atmosphere changes depending on elevation and weather patterns.
The Airthings Wave Plus is a breeze to set up. You pull the plastic tab on the battery, download the app and the detect, update, and setup process takes mere minutes. There's no need to input Wi-Fi passwords, although you do need to create an online account.
Then you pop the sensor up somewhere -- Airthings recommend having it at breathing height, although you can place it on a shelf or even mount to the wall of ceiling using the supplied mount -- and then let if start monitoring. Some sensors start working right away, but other sensors such as the radon sensors take seven days to properly calibrate.
I've been using my Airthings Wave Plus for a few weeks now, and I have to admit that I've found it quite useful, especially during these times of coronavirus-related lockdowns and isolation. If nothing else, it reminds me to open the window and get some fresh air into the office.
I find the app pretty straightforward and it works well, letting me know if the air quality is not its best.
I also love the feature that allows me to wave my hand in front of the sensor to trigger the red/amber/green status LED lights on the front of the device, which tells me what the air quality is like without firing up the app.
That's a nice touch.