Fight your spring allergies with these smart home air quality devices
Your smart home can help protect you by keeping its air clean and fresh - GearBrain shows you how.
You likely already know how the smart home can entertain, illuminate, heat, cool, and make your life easier. But it can also be used to keep you healthy by monitoring air quality and even working to improve it.
During the spring and summer, this means eradicating pollen and other hay fever-inducing particles from the air. During the fall and winter, our attention turns to keeping cold and flu viruses at bay.
Broadly speaking, there is a two-pronged approach to take here. First, you must use an air quality monitor to understand your home's air better. You can use this and its connectivity (plus a bit of help from IFTTT) to make changes to the air you breathe with a smart air purification system.
Some of these smart air purifiers start at around $100 and can stretch beyond $2,500 - or you can go all-in on a home-wide system like the Darwin by Delos. Most require an annual subscription, as their filters need replacing every six or 12 months depending on the make and model.
Here are some connected devices to consider when tackling allergies in your smart home:
Awair 2nd Edition - $209
An air quality monitor that is as attractive as it is functional, the new second-generation Awair includes finer dust detection than its predecessor - useful if that causes your symptoms to flare up.
The device gives your air quality a score out of 100; the higher, the better, and it provides an individual reading for temperature, humidity, CO2, volatile organic compounds (VOC), and fine dust particles. Any significant changes are sent to the companion smartphone app, and IFTTT integration means you can have changes trigger other devices into action, like a fan or air purifier.
Toshiba Smart Air Purifier with Alexa - $299
Toshiba Smart Air Purifier with Alexa Voice Control GearBrainToshiba Smart Air Purifier (CAf-Z40US) is a smart air purifier that uses a Wi-Fi connection with the Amazon Alexa voice platform. It comes with real-time air quality monitoring, a visible filter lifespan progression bar, and an indicator light that alerts users when to replace the air filter. And speaking of air filters, this smart air purifier has two: an H13 True HEPA filter and a carbon filter to help remove airborne contaminants down to 0.3 microns in size, including pollen, dust mites, mold spores, viruses, and more. It also comes with a child safety lock which can turn off the air purifier when the front grill is removed when operating. This is good to have since the device is rather tall.
Blueair Aware - from $340
Like the last two options, the Blueair Aware monitors particulate matter, VOCs, carbon dioxide, temperature, and humidity and logs this data every five minutes. As with the others, this data can be viewed on Aware's iPhone and Android smartphone app.
Where the Foobot and Awair need to tap into IFTTT (more on this later), the Aware can talk directly to Blueair's air purifiers, like the Classic 205. This setup was reviewed by GearBrain and scored four stars out of five.
However, this solution will be out of reach for some readers at $350 for the purifier and $200 for the monitor. Thankfully, cheaper systems can be set up thanks to IFTTT and smart plugs.
Blueair also sells a range of non-smart air purifiers, ranging from $120 to $2,500, depending on the room size you want purifying.
Afloia Smart Air Purifier - $220
Afloia Smart Air Purifier GearBrain
Afloia is a smart, controlled air purifier that can help clean the air in any large room. It works in rooms up to 1500 square feet and can detect in real-time allergens, pet hair, smoke, and any particles as small as 0.1 microns, including pollen and dust. It can even filter pollution from wildfires. It also comes with a True HEPA H13 filter, an activated carbon filter, a fine preliminary filter, and a UV-C light. This smart air purifier also has a 4-stage purification system that can filter out 99.9% of particles as small as 0.3 microns.
If you live in an apartment or need a good smart air purifier for your dorm room, Afloia is a good choice. This smart air purifier would work well in an office, conference room, and big kitchen. But the best part of this smart air purifier is the price. Only $220 for this smart air purifier
AirMega 400S with Alexa - $750
Coway is a popular air purifier brand, and its AirMega 400S is a smart option with its own phone app and Alexa support. This purifier also hooks up with Amazon Dash Replacement, automatic ordering new filters from Amazon. Each replacement pack includes a HEPA filter (to be replaced annually) and two carbon filters (to be replaced every six months), and costs $50, although it is currently on offer at $43.
Coway claims the AirMega 400S captures and reduces 99.97 percent of particles 0.3 microns or larger, including pollen, pollutants, and other allergens. The purifier is designed to clean the air twice per hour in a room measuring up to 1,560 square feet. Alexa integration means you can control the purifier by speaking to the assistant on your smart speaker or phone.
Molekule - $1000 plus filter subscription
Most air purifiers claim to kill 99.97 percent of bacteria using a HEPA filter. But the Molekule Air Pro takes things a step further by trapping all airborne toxins and breaking them down on a molecular level, then releasing their components — which are no longer harmful — back into the air
Molekule's manufacturers say the device eliminates allergens, mold, bacteria, viruses, and airborne chemicals and can break down pollutants 1,000 times smaller than HEPA filters can catch.
This device is not cheap, however, at $815 — plus an annual $280 subscription for a new nano-filter every six months and pre-filter every three months. There is a smartphone app for iOS and Android, but unfortunately no IFTTT support at this stage.
IFTTT - free
IFTTT helps take your smart home to the next level by creating automation. As outlined above, IFTTT can help one device trigger another into action when set up correctly.
For example, an IFTTT applet can be written to switch on a Samsung air purifier when a Blueair Aware detects high levels of particulates. With a tweak of the applet, this could be used with an Awair or Foobot.
Similarly, the applet can be modified to take control of other smart home devices, like a WeMo air purifier or a smart plug connected to the Molekule we featured earlier.
Air purifiers with Alexa
Stepping away from IFTTT - and thus taking a less automated approach - there are now air purifiers with their own Wi-Fi connections and Alexa skills. This means you can set the purifier to work at certain times of day via the Alexa Routines function or have the device to switch on when you ask Alexa out loud.
Air purifiers that Alexa can control include:
A whole home solution
Finally, if your budget stretches far enough, you can look at installing a whole-home air quality system. One such system is the Darwin Air Purification System by Delos. Using proprietary hardware and a tablet application to control everything, a complete Darwin air system helps reduce allergens, expel odors, and remove toxins from the air in your home.
The system is designed to keep tabs on carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, radon, pesticides, ozone, and formaldehyde. The Darwin can also be expanded beyond air quality to include smart lighting, water quality, and sleep technology.
Dyson Pure Cool Link TP02 Wi-Fi Enabled Air Purifier, White/Silver
Check out The GearBrain, our smart home compatibility find engine, to find the smart air purifiers compatible with your existing smart products or ones that work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa-enabled devices.