Air quality continues to be a hot topic in the world as we (individually) progress further down the rabbit hole of understanding how it affects our daily lives. From the many forest fires of California to the various chemicals we pump into the air. All of this has an effect on our well-being and most of these variables can have an effect on the air quality of our own homes. Hence the uptick in sales for air purifiers and monitors, which allow us to better understand our personal environment. The latest is the Airthings View Plus, which gives us a deeper insight than most options out there.
In fact, this is quite possibly the best consumer-level monitor we have run into yet. It is incredibly powerful and informative, breaking everything down into user-friendly data.
The overall design of the unit is similar to the size of a smart (AC/heat) thermostat you’d find mounted on the wall. It’s a little thicker, but not larger. It’s a great size for mounting this to the wall all the same. It would blend in naturally and provide open access to the environment it is monitoring.
It can also sit on a flat surface as you can see in the main header image for this story (top of the story) if you choose not to mount it to the wall.
There are no physical buttons on the View Plus. The face of the unit features a built-in motion sensor. If you wave your hand in front of it, you are taken away from the normal display and given a quick preview of your current overall status. Either it will tell you that your air quality is “good”, or it will give you a heads up to anything out of the normal. It could be something as simple as a high humidity level, or something more serious (high levels of PM, Radon, VOCs, etc). It is also represented by a small LED that will either be green (good), yellow (fair), or red (poor).
You can adjust what the default normal display says (the always-on display) by using the app. In our case, we set it to display Radon and PM results. Everything else is displayed within the app.
As mentioned, you have access to a lot of data. It tracks radon, PM 2.5 (particulate matter), CO2, humidity, temperature, VOCs, and air pressure. Giving you a deep outlook for the environment within your home (or office). You can individually enable or disable notifications for each of these.
All of the data is stored in the cloud and accessible via the app from anywhere in the world. You can dig deeper with the web dashboard where you can view chart/history information hours, weeks, months, or years.
It does take some time to calibrate the results. Some information takes minutes (ie, humidity, temperature, etc), where other stats could take days (ie, VOCs and CO2) or up to a month (Radon). Once you have passed this window, you will have reliable readings for everything.
There is even API access for integrating the monitor with other devices and ecosystems. However, unless you yourself are a developer, you will have to wait for these other ecosystems to pick it up. Eventually, you’ll see integrations pop up with options like Home Assistant, Vera/Ezlo, SmartThings, and more.
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In the meantime, you do have access to integrating it with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. You just have to link your Airthings account using the skill/integration of each option.
The setup process is pretty simple. All you have to do is pull the tab on the back that is preserving the battery connection during shipment. Then, download the Airthings app and search for the device. The app quickly walks you through adding the monitor to your account, joining it to your Wi-Fi, and designating a location and room that it will be in. It also walks you through a few pages of information to inform you on how everything works and how long calibration takes for certain readings.
The only issue we ran into was that the app is called “Airthings Wave” in both stores (iOS and Android), where the instructions simply refer to “Airthings” for the app name. However, upon installing the app, it does simply show up on your device as Airthings. This could cause confusion since the View Plus isn’t mentioned in the app’s description or title, which may lead to the user assuming that the app they found in the search was limited to the Wave models. This is the app that works with all of the Airthings devices though, so you will likely see the company properly rename it in the stores in the near future.
Once you have added the device to your account, all of the information will immediately become available on your device. Keeping in mind that some of it will take time to properly propagate with reliable information.
It is powered by 6x AA batteries, which may seem a bit excessive at first. However, you do get one to two years of battery life depending on use. The front display is e-ink, which helps to contribute to this, which is the same reason e-readers like the Amazon Kindle last for so long on a single charge. Everything else is thanks to low-power operations happening within.
If you find that relying on batteries is a bit much for you, there is a USB connection and they do provide a cable. If it is plugged in, it will operate using that instead of the batteries (then the batteries are simply a backup power source in case you lose power at the wall). This option is great for when it is just resting on a flat surface, or you have the ability to run USB through the wall to it. Then you’d never have to worry about swapping batteries every year or two.
As mentioned, this is quite possibly the most powerful and most all-inclusive air quality monitor we have run into at the consumer level. It comes packed with valuable information about your environment, allowing you to rest safely, knowing that you and your family are safe from various invisible hazards.
It is incredibly user-friendly and will hopefully be supported by various smart home ecosystems in the near future as some of these options start picking up the available API. Right now, you have access to integrating with Alexa, Google, and IFTTT. However, integrating it with larger hub environments may be a bit of a wait as companies and communities test out API support with each platform.
It is a bit expensive at $299, which may chase certain consumers away. We also wonder how having CO2 detection affects the lifespan of the unit. CO2 detectors typically have a shelf life of around 5-7 years and we don’t know how this would affect this product, if at all. Hopefully, worst-case scenario, you may lose CO2 detection over time but retain the ability to use the unit for years to come for the other analytics and alerts.
- Sensors: Radon, particulate matter (PM 2.5), Carbon dioxide (CO2), temperature, humidity, airborne chemicals (VOC), air pressure
- Display: 2.9” 296128 pixels e-ink
- Visual indicator: Red/yellow/green glow indicator
- Long battery life: Up to 2 years (depends on sensor interval and WiFi router)
- Optional operation on USB-C (runs from batteries if removed)
- Supports wall mounting or placement on a table
- Wireless connection: WiFi or Airthings SmartLink (with Hub)
- Bluetooth for onboarding and daily use configuration
- Hub functionality: Enabled when connected with WiFi and USB-C cable is plugged into the device
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.
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It’s interesting that expert reviews never test the accuracy of the device. I purchased two. The readings are very different.
You mention the life of CO2 detectors is 5-7 years, is that really true? I think you are confused with CO detectors. Could you please reference the source of that info?
It’s funny that when you search Google for this, it tells you 5-7 years like they do here. However when it says the question mentions dioxide, you click to expand to see the answer and it starts talking about monoxide. I have tried to format the question in every which way possible and it leads to the same thing. There are simply no answers that directly mention dioxide. I think they are right though as my pops tells me up to 10 years for co…co2…smoke and he’s an electrician, so maybe they are on to something here.