The air we breathe daily inside is a critical part of our health and well-being, but even more importantly, it is often overlooked. In the western part of the world, air purifiers are not yet a household base, and potentially harmful gases are not detected by conventional home monitors. While smart technology has certainly maintained top air quality, there is still a long way to go before it becomes commonplace.
This is especially true with Radon, with its deadly links to lung cancer with long-term exposure, but for one reason or another, it just isn’t in everyone’s mind. As with other eye-openers, such as indoor VOCs and CO2, the smart home sector is trying to change that with products like Airthings Wave Plus, which I tested in my house last month. This compact but capable sensor measures almost anything, including Radon, and does so with an easy setup process and an intelligible application, making it an excellent solution for smart security in any home.
He knows everything
Airthings Wave Plus
Bottom line: Airthings Wave Plus has everything you need to monitor and maintain a healthy environment inside the house. With an easy setup process, easy-to-use application and six sensors, which include Radon, Wave Plus is your home monitor.
- Easy setup
- Long battery life
- Fast and reliable connection
- Six integrated sensors
- Works with Alexa, Google, IFTTT
- Weekly calibration
- Does not work with HomeKit
You feel everything
Wave Plus Circuit: features
Airthings Wave Plus looks like a typical smoke detector, with a round, white design that can be mounted on walls or ceilings. The front of the device is filled with small air intakes, along with two built-in areas near the bottom, used to detect movement and power. Positioned in the center of the Wave Plus is a large light ring that provides a quick overview of the air in the house through a number of different colors, such as green for good.
At the back of the sensor are two compartments of the AA battery that keep it running completely wireless for up to 16 months. The back of the sensor is magnetized, allowing it to attach to a removable mounting plate without having to position it in place. A single screw is included for mounting, which is inserted directly into the center of the board, making installation quick, and also works well, being set on top of a surface such as a table or countertop, if needed.
In addition to Radon, Wave Plus includes sensors for five other indoor values: temperature, humidity, VOCs, air pressure and CO2. Wave Plus, like most sensors, does not offer truly accurate measurements, and in this case, the provision of Airthings can achieve accuracy within 10% after the first seven days and 5% after two months. When critical levels are detected, the sensor can sound an audible alarm to raise awareness in the home and can be silenced for a month, giving homeowners time to make any necessary changes.
The data collected by Wave Plus is stored locally on the device for up to 80 days and is synced with the Airthings Wave app, available on iOS and Android, for historical tracking. Wave Plus communicates with the application via Bluetooth, which makes the setup process faster without having to enter a Wi-Fi password. Airthings provides all recent measurements in numerical form, along with a status ring that mimics the one on the device, on a home screen that is displayed when the application is launched. Clicking on a measurement will show additional data points and a line graph that can display readings from the previous 48 hours, week, month, or year. All sensor data is also available through a web portal, accessible from any desktop browser, which makes it easier to discern exactly when a problematic measurement has taken place.
Accessing data and features through the Airthings Wave app or web portal app doesn’t require a subscription, which is surprising (in a good way), given the recent push for almost anything. Wave Plus works with Alexa Amazon, Google Assistant and IFTTT, for convenient voice checks via voice. Once connected to a smart assistant, a general overview can be called upon request, as well as room-specific data or metrics through commands such as “Check radon”. Unfortunately, the sensor does not support Apple HomeKit or Siri shortcuts.
Informative and understandable
Wave Plus Circuit: What I like
As previously mentioned, Airthings Wave Plus connects directly to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth, which makes the initial setup process a breeze. After logging out, simply download the Airthings app, create an account and follow a few directions to launch and run, it’s really that simple. For the initial setup, I chose to place Wave Plus on a table, and after it was connected, I mounted it on a wall with the hardware included, just as easily. This is largely due to the careful design of the mount, which uses a screw to hold a magnetic wall plate, which allows the Wave Plus to attach to it just lining the back of it. Because the sensor is battery powered, this great design will make the replacement process quick and not something I’m afraid of.
Always with the Wave Plus design, I like how compact and unbearable the sensor is. There are no lights, always on, or ridiculous, look at the brand style that can be found here, which allows it to properly match the smoke detectors that already exist in the house. Of course, this extends to the large ring of LED light, which only lights up when you walk or wave your hand in front of it, which is a pretty nice touch. I love being able to get a quick status check on demand, and even better, I absolutely love that you can silence any critical alarm with a wave.
Moving on to performance, even using Bluetooth for connectivity, which is notorious for being slower and having a shorter range than Wi-Fi, I still haven’t solved any issues. Wave Plus remained solid for a few weeks when I tested it, syncing the data every time I opened the Airthings app. Yes, it takes a few seconds to get the latest data, but we are talking about charts between five and ten seconds, nothing recklessly long or frustrating here.
With six sensors, Wave Plus is the ultimate home monitor, reducing the need for temperature or CO2 sensors
Of course, the real star of the show here is the crazy amount of sensors that are included inside. With six sensors, Wave Plus is the ultimate home monitor, reducing the need for temperature or CO2 sensors. The inclusion of Radon monitoring is also huge for the smart home world and for safety in general, as it seems to be one of those values that are often overlooked, despite its importance. I’ll admit, before testing Wave Plus, I had no clue what the levels of Radon in my house were or what the acceptable measurements were, but it was always something I was interested in finding out about.
That being said, I was quite happy to learn that the levels of my house were safe after calibration, especially with the children in the house. Along with the LED indicator for status and application measurements, I was impressed by the way Airthings offers a detailed but easy-to-understand breakdown of all its measurement capabilities, complete with explanations of the real dangers on tolerance levels. These explanations include steps you can take to bring things into acceptable areas, such as “experimenting with ventilation” for slightly elevated Radon levels, or “contact a professional Radon attenuator” if things get out of hand. For other values, such as CO2 that my house struggles with, the app even includes some of the symptoms I might face depending on the amount in the house, which may be eye-catching for some.
The wait is the hardest part
Wave Plus Circuit: What I do not like
While setting up the Airthings Wave Plus was extremely quick and easy, the sensor itself requires time to calibrate before providing an accurate picture of the air inside. In this case, the sensor takes a full week to establish a reliable measurement for some values and at least an hour for others. Now, the Airthings app will really give you data during the calibration process, it will only include a message saying that it is still in the process. The process is not the biggest issue, and I certainly understand and appreciate that Airthings wants to make sure the data it provides is valid, but as with all things shiny and new, it was just a little disappointing that it didn’t. was 100% ready to go after installation.
Disappointingly, despite the fact that I have integration capabilities with Alexa, IFTTT and Google Assistant, Airthings Wave Plus does not support my smart platform of choice: AppleKomeKit. Wave Plus seems like a natural fit for HomeKit, as it offers a lot of features that are baked into the Apple platform and connect via Bluetooth, another common HomeKit connection method. Because I like the sensor so much, I will look for ways to conjure data through Siri via IFTTT and shortcuts, which is possible, but I’d rather not have to go this route.
Finally, I think the price for Wave Plus is a bit high. Compared to other smart home monitors with similar capabilities (apart from Radon), Wave Plus is slightly two to three times more expensive. I guess the higher price point is really due to Radon monitoring, but I would definitely like to lower it to more affordable levels, because indoor air quality is a vital part of maintaining a healthy home environment.
He knows everything
Wave Plus Circuit: Bottom line
As you can probably already tell, I’m pretty much in love with Airthings Wave Plus and I have absolutely no reservations to recommend it if you’re in the market for a home monitor. The easy-to-configure process, reliable connectivity, smart hardware design, easy-to-use application and the inclusion of Radon detection make it the ultimate home monitor.
Sure, it has its flaws, such as the fact that it’s not compatible with the Apple HomeKit and has a high cost of admission, but it’s so much loved by Wave Plus that it’s easily worth the inconvenience and price. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the air in your home or want that little peace of mind that Radon detection offers, then go out and grab Wave Plus, it’s a fantastic addition to any smart home.
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