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This Smart Monitor Keeps Tabs on Your Home’s Air Quality

Studies show the air in your home is likely laden with pollutants. What are you doing about it?

Air quality in homes is a bigger issue than you might think. Between seasonal allergies, dust mites, and general air pollution, the quality of the air we breathe leaves a lot to be desired. It’s also no small part of the reason you and your kids seem to enjoy a perpetual cold season.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the air in your home can be more polluted than air in the heart of a city. Given the fact that people spend as much 90 percent of their time within their four walls, this is a very big problem. Indoor air pollution is mostly caused by products, such as cleaners, cat litter, or “air fresheners” (ironically named, we know), that release gases or particles into the air. And if you don’t have enough ventilation, the pollutants build up. High temperature or humidity levels can intensify the pollution in your air, making your home a health hazard.

All of this leads to the fact that, first of all, people need to get out more (90 percent of your time?! Go play outside, people!). Second, air purifiers are a must-have item for most homes. The best of them do a great job collecting dust and filtering a lot of the more dangerous substances in the air. But it’s hard to tell if they’re, well, doing anything. That’s why the Awair Glow C, an at-home air monitor, is such a brilliant device. This plug-and-play monitor lets you know the air quality in your home at a glance, tracking chemicals, temperature, and humidity. It then gives you instant feedback: Green for good; yellow for fine; red for bad. Through the Awair app, it also keeps tabs on the data over time and gives you an air quality score on up to 1,000 square feet of indoor air.

This air quality monitor also controls your smart devices to give you clean air at home.

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Glow C specifically monitors volatile organic compounds, which are emitted as gases from things like paint, cleaning solutions, and disinfectants. We’re talking things like ammonia (which can come from rotting plants or un-scooped cat pee), methane (from leaking natural gas), ethanol (found in cleaning products), and hydrogen sulfide (usually coming from your sewer or septic). After connecting it to the app, the Awair monitors the air and any changes over time, so you need about a week to track your home’s air quality and really get a good, reliable read.  The Glow C also works with smart devices like Nest, Alexa, and Google Home.

The best trick of the Glow C is its ability to control other smart devices, like an air purifier or fan, based on your current air conditions. You can customize your own personal air quality settings, set your ideal air quality criteria in the app, and let the Awair manage connected devices. If your air quality score drops, it will automatically turn on an air purifier. If you aren’t awash in smart devices, it also gives you personalized tips for improving your air quality, suggesting specific plants that can help clear your air or turning on your air conditioner to reduce indoor humidity levels that could make your allergies worse.

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The Awair has two major limitations when it comes to reading the air quality of a room. It does not measure carbon monoxide, for one, so it won’t replace your existing detectors. And, most importantly, it doesn’t measure dust, which is the main source of air pollution that makes you sick in your home (researchers have identified more than 45 toxic chemicals linked to respiratory, behavioral and neurodevelopmental problems in dust mites). That means a lot of your air quality control is still entirely up to you.

Still, the Awair is a big step in helping keep tabs on the quality of the air you (and your kids) breathe day-in and day-out. It’s a product that can, quite literally, help parents breathe easy.

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