There are many air quality meters. Either as a separate measuring device or integrated in air purifiers, which ideally not only detect contamination, but also filter it out of the room air. However, good air purifiers are expensive. And they are no substitute for regular ventilation either.
Special measuring devices like the are cheaper Amazon Smart Air Quality Monitor for just under 80 euros. The compact box measures 65 x 65 x 45 mm (L x W x H) and can be placed anywhere. However, unlike battery-powered competing models – such as those from Eve – it needs a socket nearby. The required power supply unit including a 1.5 m long micro USB cable is included. The Air Quality Monitor is nice to look at with its matt finish and the ventilation grille on the front.
Speaking of which: if you hold your ear close to the opening, you can hear the air being sucked in for analysis. Also gratifying: According to Amazon, 70 percent of the plastics used come from recycled consumer waste.
Easy setup via Alexa app
As usual with Amazon, the setup is child’s play: plug in the device, scan the QR code from the operating instructions using the Alexa app on the smartphone, integrate it into the WiFi (2.4 GHz), wait a moment, done. The Smart Air Quality Monitor shows the air quality after a short time by means of an LED according to the common color scheme: green = good, yellow = medium, red = bad, but requests a calibration phase of two days.
In the Alexa app, the data is presented in somewhat more detail and the five measuring ranges can be selected via individual tabs:
- Fine dust (PM 2.5)
- volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Carbon monoxide (CO)
If you have an echo speaker, you can connect the air knife to it and, depending on the device, get information about the measured values visually or acoustically. Alexa also prompts you to take action, i.e. ventilation or the use of air purifiers.
When it comes to integration into the smart Amazon Alexa universe, there is still room for improvement. So far, you can only use the temperature as a trigger for a routine. It is currently not possible for an air purifier to start automatically if the VOC or fine dust values are too high.
Index provides a quick overview
The IAQ, the index for indoor air quality, provides an overview of all measured values. The IAQ ranks the data on a scale from 0 to 100. 100 is the best value, the color scheme mentioned above is also stored for immediate understanding. In the following tabs for the individual values, there is a link at the bottom to further information that classifies the data. Here you can find out where VOCs or CO are generated, what effects they have and what you can do at high concentrations. All of this, of course, is rather superficial. If the humidity is too low, it is generally advisable to use air humidifiers – which can create completely new problems if the quality and maintenance are poor.
Checks carbon monoxide levels
Chemists know: CO means carbon monoxide. The colorless and odorless gas is created indoors when wood, gas or coal does not burn properly or ventilate in chimneys, stoves or stoves. Gas boilers can also pose a risk. And a serious one, because too high a CO concentration is fatal in the worst case. Anyone who uses fossil fuels has an opportunity here to protect themselves.
CO2 measurement is missing
What the Smart Air Quality Monitor does not measure, on the other hand, is the CO2 concentration. That would be interesting information, especially in winter and in pandemic times, because people are known to breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. The following applies: if the CO2 content is high, there are a lot of aerosols in the air. This could also be helpful in more public spaces such as offices or classrooms and encourage timely ventilation.
Particulate matter relevant to the respiratory tract is recorded
In the case of fine dust, the Amazon device detects particles of the size PM2.5. They can penetrate deep into the airways and cause chronic lung diseases such as bronchitis or asthma. Good air purifiers detect particles of various sizes and filter them out of the air. A match in front of the ventilation meter confirms this by increasing fine dust values. In general, the Quality Monitor is patient: The LED mostly shows green. After cooking for a test with the windows closed, he switched to red: The VOC value is too high. VOCs are mostly caused by chemical vapors, but also when the frying pan is used.
Source: RSS Feed: Connect – Tests by www.connect.de.
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