The most advanced air quality monitor on the market: Breathe Better!
Tired of individual sensors? In that case, why not purchase a 7-in-1 sensor for your home environment? Learn about the local radon, particulate matter, volatile compounds, co2, air pressure, humidity, and temperature. Easily pair the device with the App to gain additional insight into your environment. Use the data to adjust your surroundings to optimize your health. Quickly learn about the air quality and make adjustments to improve the air you breathe. Priced fairly, easy to install/setup, easy app pairing, and enjoy an easy to navigate/understand dashboard. A veritable tricorder for your room!
- EASE OF USE
- APP INTEGRATION
Airthings monitors show you what you do not know. It can hurt you!
The tricorder device may be one of my favorite pieces of tech from the Star Trek Universe. Even though replicators and holodecks slightly edge out the tricorder’s coolness, the scientist in me loves a good source of data. Over the past ten years, I have trusted Vivint Sensors/Cameras to guard my home. From automated door locks to thermostats, to power outlet sensors, water/flood sensors, fire/Carbon monoxide detectors, and outdoor/indoor cameras, I have learned quite a bit about my home.
I have used data to guide changes, and several of the sensors have helped me to save money. Beyond the physical safety and protection afforded by the setup, I wanted to expand into air quality monitoring. My main goal was to ensure that my basement was not poisoning us with radon; I also wanted to make sure that the particulates were low and that the humidity did not encourage mold/mildew growth.
Truthfully, I had a difficult asthmatic childhood due to poor air quality and ductwork issues at my elementary school. Moving into middle school and out of the elementary cesspool, I found my asthma symptoms essentially abated. The air we breathe can thus drastically affect overall health.
Over the past 6-12 months, I have trusted the Airthings Wave Mini and Corentium Radon detector devices to provide data about the air in my basement. Despite the cost of the aforementioned devices (~$180 for Corentium Radon Detector, and ~$80 for Wave Mini), the Wave Mini device did not detect radon, and the top-rated Corentium device only detected radon.
I was afraid that I would have to buy several more sensors to gain more understanding of the local area. Luckily, users do not need to purchase dozens of individual sensors for a single room when they can purchase a 7-sensor device like the Airthings View Plus. With pandemics aplenty, the website promised enhanced monitoring for asthmatics, wildfires, pollution, and viruses (CO2).
The AirThings View Plus monitor arrived in an 8 1/8 inches wide by 4 9/16 inches tall by 2 5/16 inches thick retail package. The cover panel listed the AIRTHINGS name/logo at the top left, “COMPLETE INDOOR AIR QUALITY MONITOR” along the top right, and three product features at the bottom left:
- Battery or USB Powered.
- App and Dashboard.
The View Plus device name and the short descriptor “Take control of the air you breath” were listed to the left of the panel. The main showcase was the slightly raised, glossy, ~4 inches wide by 2.5 inches tall image of the View Plus device. I was able to appreciate the central LCD screen and clear values for Radon and particular matter (PM).
The splash of yellow color for the word “Plus” provided a clever eye-grabbing accent, as did the green LED and monitor shadow. The top panel had a retractable cardboard hanging tab, which folded down to flat. The setup allowed the box to be displayed via either a hanging or shelf method. The View and Plus names were printed along either side of the panel in subtle grey font, while “Breathe better. Live better.” was provided in a vibrant yellow font just beneath the hanging tab.
The rear panel provided a quaint descriptive panel about the need to protect one’s family from contaminants at the top of the panel. Beneath the paragraph, I found three detailed icons about the ability to customize the display/wave functions, to build your own air quality systems by pairing other devices, and an easy-to-use intuitive design (rely on the included 2-year battery life or power the device via USB).
The right edge showed a phone with the AirThings App adjacent to a smaller inlaid oval image of the sensor. The bottom edge provided a helpful breakdown of the product features and sensor capabilities (Radon, PM, Co2, Humidity, Temp, VOC, Pressure). As per the packaging, the goal is to “Improve sleep, comfort and overall health by monitoring the above environmental factors.”
The bottom panel provided product manufacturing labels, SKU barcodes, copyright information, and icons for IFTTT, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. For those who are interested in environmental protection and sustained resources, the packaging had a 100% recyclable logo.
I removed the outer slipcover and was surprised to find the inner surface was a bright-neon yellow color. The inner surface of the back panel provided a little tidbit from the World Health Organization (WHO) that 9/10 people globally breathe unsafe air. The inner brown cardboard box provided no additional information outside of the AIRTHINGS name/logo on the cover. I lifted the front flap, perused the mountain range inked onto the inner flap, and noted the circular cutout with “Breath Better. Live Better.” upon a yellow background.
When I folded the inner flap outward, I found the 6 1/2 inches wide by 3 1/2 inches tall by 1 1/4 inches thick, 12.5-ounce, a pill-shaped device within a cardboard ring. The instruction manual was placed into two tabs on the inner flap, while the lower cavity housed the accessories: 1. Three 1 3/4 inches tall by 5/8 inches wide double-sided tape command strips. 2. Multilingual regulatory information booklet. 3. 72-inches long round-type, white-colored, USB-A to USB-C cable. 4. Silica Packet.
I removed the multi-lingual (English, French, Norwegian, German, Finish, Italian, and Spanish) instruction manual and reviewed the “HOW TO SET UP” panel. I navigated to the IOS App Store, updated my 2.5* Airthings Wave App, and then followed the instructions. I placed the sensor facedown onto my table, removed the clear plastic battery tab, and started the pairing process with the sensor and App.
When I selected the “+” icon at the top right of the panel, the App connected to the View Plus device. The App asked for country information, and WiFI network information, and then walked the user through the setup/notification screens. The App subsequently reviewed the sensor thresholds for Radon, VOC, CO2, Humidity, Temperature, and particulate matter. After approximately two to three minutes, the device was connected with the App and ready to be placed in my basement for testing.
I set the AirThings View Plus, AirThings Mini, and Corentium Radon detector side by side on my basement table and left them for several days. I liked that I could wave my hand in front of the device to view the different screen details. on the 2 5/8 inches wide by 1 1/8 inches tall LCD Screen. Additionally, I liked that the display sensor display resembled a Kindle Paperwhite Device.
The main panel showed Radon and particulate matter, while subsequent screens provided information about CO2, PM, and Humidity. When I navigated to the App, I found the screen demonstrated a large red/orange ring with AirQuality fair to Poor. The immediate demonstration of the air quality, although a bit disappointing, provided a helpful universal data summation.
The main App Dashboard showed Radon <.3, PM2.5, CO2 1322, Humidity 60%, Temp 73, VOC 236, Pressure 998. When I compared the View Plus data to the Airthings Wave Mini device, I found the VOC 181, humidity 62%, temp of 73, and fair air quality. The Radon detector showed average values for the last week to be 0.3-0.4 pCi/L.
Over the last 48 hours, the View Plus device showed <0.4 for Radon and PM 2.5-3 microgram/m3. Interestingly, I noted a few surges in the values of PM and VOC. When I asked my wife about daytime activities, she noted that she sprayed cleaning chemicals and vacuumed the room that morning. I was impressed with the quality of the sensors and with the sensitivity to changes in the air quality.
The CO2 value averaged 666 ppm over the last 48 hours, with a swing from ~419ppm to 908ppm. The app provided data that increased CO2 could like to increased infections. The humidity of my walkout basement seemed to run 64-65% over the last several days. I tried the device in several regions around the basement and found similar information. The current recommendations for humidity suggest it is best to maintain a room at less than 60% humidity to avoid mold/mildew. With the added knowledge of excess moisture in the region, I decided to purchase a dehumidifier for the downstairs.
The sensor monitored the temperature over the last 48 hours and found it to maintain a 67-69 degree temperature. The volatile organic compounds (VOC) sensor provided a reading of 53-60 ppb for airborne chemicals. As noted above, my wife decided to have a deeper “spray lots of things” day, and the sensor registered 227ppb VOCs.
The pressure reading ranged from 997mbar to about 1002 mbar with an average of 1000. I liked that the main dashboard provided a quick summary of the parameters and a large ring rating. Even though the sensors were in calibration mode, the device provided similar data to the Wave Mini Device that had been sampling the basement for the last 6 months. I appreciated the add-on sensor types beyond the VOC, humidity, and Temp of the Wave Mini device and the Radon only sensor.
The App provided helpful information about the variation between the onscreen values and the App values. As an example, the Co2 sensor sampled every 5 minutes and showed the latest reading on the device screen, while the App synced/updated every 10 minutes. The App recommended 30-day calibration for full effect, even though the sensor data was similar to that provided by a fully calibrated device.
For those interested in their environment and its impact on overall health, the Airthings View Plus may be just the device you were looking for. The web dashboard allowed me to dive deeper into the trends, and I look forward to reevaluating the status of my basement in the next 30 and 60 days. I loved the App/device integration and felt that the overall setup was mostly foolproof.
I selected Device Settings and changed the screen settings from Radon/PM to Radon/Temp and then realized that I could change it to display indoor temp and outdoor temp/weather data on the main page. The rear panel of the Airthings device had two screw holes for easy mounting for those who desired wall-mounted sensors.
For those interested in wall preservation, the kit provided double-sided tape for your wall. Lastly, you could rest the device upon the lower rubberized foot or place it flat upon a shelf/table. Overall, I was quite impressed with the hand wave sensor, the sensitivity of the readings, and the easy to use App.