Assess your mold risk with the Wave Mini.
Given that we live in a pandemic-laden world, air quality is top of mind for most people these days. Even though mask-wearing is part of our daily lives, it’s still a good idea to monitor the air particulates where you work, live, and spend your free time. There are a lot of options out there for air quality monitors, but one of the best options I’ve found is the Wave Mini from AirThings. Almost a year ago, MacSources writer, Jon Walters, completed a thorough review of the AirThings Wave Mini and its main functionality. So, this review is going to focus on Wave Mini’s mold risk indication, which is a new feature that was released after Jon completed his review.
The Wave Mini is an air quality monitor that measures a variety of elements in a room including airborne chemicals (VOCs), temperature, humidity, and mold risk. It has a visual indicator included that allows the user to see with just a wave of the hand what the air quality is in a room (green—good, yellow—fair, and red—poor). The Wave Mini is battery-operated with three AA batteries that are supposed to have a 2-year lifetime. The device does work with Google Assistant and users can create custom alerts using it or IFTTT. The sensors in the Wave Mini are designed to provide you with an understanding of the air quality in your home so that you can make small changes to everyday habits that will optimize your air quality. The Mold Risk indication is a new feature that works with a created algorithm based on the ASHRAE mold index and uses the humidity and temperature sensors in the Wave Mini to assess growth risk in the location where you place the device.
The Wave Mini is very easy to set-up. The device comes with three AA batteries installed. To get started, you pull the tab so that the batteries are powering the device. After that, you use the app to finish the set-up. Once you finish the in-app instructions, the device will start collecting data and you can place it where you like. It comes with a stand, but you also have the option to drill a hole through the center of the backplate so you can hang it on a wall. It takes 7 days to fully calibrate the sensors and 48 hours to process enough data to provide a mold risk assessment.
AirThings provides a lot of information about the Mold Risk Indicator on their website and one of the things the site suggests is where to place the sensor. The site reads, “For the most accurate readings, the device should be placed where mold is most likely to grow. The most vulnerable areas are often the coldest and the least ventilated.” Some of the areas that are suggested are next to a wall or windowsill, underneath or behind furniture, towards the floor on external walls, next to underground external walls, and small enclosures. Some of the rooms that most commonly have mold problems include rooms with external walls and/or poor insulation, rooms with poor ventilation, basements, attics, bathrooms, garages, sheds, and crawl spaces.
After completing the set-up of the Wave Mini, I placed it in my office. My office is a small bedroom in the center of our house. Across the hall is our main bathroom and the room is usually closed off from the rest of the house. Even when I’m working, I keep the door closed. There is only one window in the room and since it’s the middle of winter, that window has remained shut and locked. I’ve noticed in the mornings – after the room has been vacant for several hours and closed off from the house – that it’s a lot cooler than other parts of the house. I’ve kept the sensor right next to a wall and allowed it to collect data. The mold risk in my office has stayed a reading of 0. The risk levels are indicated on a scale of 0-10 and described as good (0-3), fair (4-5), and poor (5-10). Since the relative humidity in my office has remained at an average of 30% for the past week, the risk of mold in the room is going to be very low. Fortunately, that risk has remained the same for the last 7 days.
The Wave Mini is a really great device to have in your home or your office to monitor your air quality. I love the Mold Risk indicator because our house is a little older and we’ve had water/moisture problems in the past. So, it’s a welcome addition to our home. It’s easy to use and affordable. I can recommend this to anyone who wants to protect their environment from harmful air pollutants.