Keep your home safe with the addition of a smart radon detector.
I was never one to be concerned with air quality in my home. It was just not something I really considered. In the past few years, it’s become more of a concern in our house because my fiance’s grandmother (she lives with us) has COPD and the smallest air irritant can cause her to get very sick. So, in the past few years when we’ve had the opportunity to try out air quality monitors or even air purifiers, we do it. Recently, we stumbled upon Airthings, a company with the mission of providing radon detectors to the masses and making them as common as smoke detectors. Radon is a chemical element – a radioactive gas – that can be found in homes due to the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. It’s odorless and colorless – sort of like carbon monoxide. In order to know if your home is polluted by it, you have to use a detector like the Wave from Airthings.
Wave is aptly named because with a ‘wave’ of your hand, you get an instant visual representation of the air quality in your home. Wave contains three types of sensors – radon, humidity, and temperature. It requires two AA batteries and provides an audio alert (similar to a smoke detector) when radon levels are too high. If the LED ring glows green, the air quality is good, orange/yellow is a warning, and red means ‘danger’ or unhealthy levels. Wave is circular in design and looks very much like a smoke detector. With it, you receive data in the form of graphs (2-day, 1 week, 1 month, or 1 year) so you have long-term data at a glance. There are no lab fees associated with Wave and you get meaningful accurate data. Wave works with IFTTT and Amazon Alexa and features Bluetooth connectivity for low-power consumption and longer battery life (~1.5 years). There is a companion app (free) available for iOS and Android mobile devices. The app gives you the ability to monitor radon levels at any time and will update to the latest data when it’s within Bluetooth range.
One of the things I really appreciate about the Wave is its simplicity. It’s a single unit and Airthings made it possible for a low-frustration installation. There is a single screw that comes with the device and a magnetic plate that the Wave attaches to. You screw that plate into the ceiling (or another place) and then set the Wave onto it. The magnet is strong enough to hold the Wave in place without dropping it, but not so permanent that you can’t remove it for various needs. I love this design because it means you don’t have to go through a lot of stressful installation steps just to get this detector mounted. You also don’t have to get frustrated when you need to remove it for battery replacement. You just grab a hold of it and pull it off its magnetic plate.
The set-up is very easy as well. The app walks you through the set-up and honestly, within a few seconds, the device was up and running. Since the Wave only connect through Bluetooth (it’s not a WiFi device) you do have to be in proximity to the device in order to have up-to-date data. Wave will continuously monitor the air quality of your home whether you are nearby it or not, but in order to have the data accessible on your phone, you have to be within Bluetooth range. I’ve not had any issues with the app syncing when I’m nearby it.
Ever since it was installed, the Wave has been recording data and it hasn’t remained the same number – it’s fluctuated day-to-day. Since I was always seeing a green light, I know the air quality has been within safe levels. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to test out the alarm since the air quality in my house remained stable. Therefore, I can’t comment on the alarm’s sound.
I really like the idea of multiple types of air quality detectors in the home. I especially like devices like the Airthings Wave because it’s easy to set-up and use. It is an investment at $199 USD, but well worth it if you live in an area where radon detection has become a hot topic. You can use radonmap.com to find out what the concentration of radon is in your area. I can recommend Wave by Airthings to all types of users.