In these times of outbreak where many of us are working from home, ensuring clean and fresh air indoors is more important than ever. That’s why at IoT Business News we have accepted to review a smart home device dedicated to air quality sensing, the Aranet4.
Air quality matters
According to SAF Tehnika1, the manufacturer of the Aranet4, an optimal air quality:
- Helps to maintain good health and immunity to viruses2
- Improves productivity and performance
- Provides energy throughout the day
Even without being a scientist, it is easy to admit that everyone should care about air quality in our living or working spaces, or in any other closed environment where we have to spend some time.
Always on CO2 level display
The Aranet4 helps get a sense of the air quality we breathe, whether at home or at the office, by measuring CO2 level thanks to a precise Nondispersive infrared (NDIR) sensor technology. The CO2 measurements are displayed on a low-power e-ink screen with a color-based quality indicator. The device also measures temperature, relative humidity and atmospheric pressure levels. A dedicated smartphone app (iOS and Android) is available to connect to the Aranet4 and allows the user to configure the device, view the history of data, set sound alarms and adjust the sensor reading frequency.
The setup of the device is quite straightforward. The only question we had when starting up the device was whether or not we should proceed to a (re)calibration of the CO2 sensor. After checking this point (a complete documentation and video tutorials are available), it appears that the device comes pre-calibrated and if a first test in open air shows a CO2 level close to 420ppm (particles per million), you are good to go with no re-calibration required.
As a second step we installed the app and could easily pair it with the device. The app is user-friendly and it enables quick device configuration and (firmware) update, as well as it displays the history of the parameters sensed (CO2, temperature, humidity and pressure).
The Aranet4 in details
Sold 149 Euros (excluding shipping costs) on the dedicated Aranet4 web site or on Amazon, the Aranet4 gives you a clear view of the CO2 level in your environment, in addition to measuring temperature, humidity and pressure. Although knowing CO2 level in your environment is clearly a plus, one could argue that the CO2 concentration is not enough to evaluate the air quality. Other air pollutants like Nitrous Oxides (NOx), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) or Particulate Matter (PM1, PM2.5, PM10) are generally measured when evaluating air quality. SAF Tehnika, the manufacturer of the Aranet4 has chosen to focus on CO2, considering that it is the only air pollutant constantly produced by a human being.
SAF Tehnika explains :
- Humans exhales CO2, so no matter how pure the air is in a room, a human presence will always alter the quality of the air in a closed environment.
- According to many studies3, a high CO2 concentration affects our mental abilities and is likely to poison us.
- CO2 is one of the main drivers of climate change. As the economic activity and the road traffic experience dramatic reduction on a global scale due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, air quality levels in the world’s major cities are significantly improving in March and April 2020. This improvement is largely due to the reductions of air pollutants emissions like carbon dioxide (CO2) as well as nitrogen oxides (NOx) – and related ozone (O3) formation – and of particulate matter (PM) from factories and road traffic.
Anyway, whatever air pollutant makes sense for you, one obvious benefit of a device like the Aranet4 is that it raises awareness on air quality issues and definitely helps adopt good habits for your indoor environment (like opening your windows as often as possible to renew the air!).
The Aranet4 is a compact and portable smart environment sensing device which is easy to move and to take to any place. If you are not looking for a sophisticated air quality monitoring station, the Aranet4 will help you keep an eye on the air you breathe, wherever you are. It will also most likely help you change your daily habits and pay attention to renewing your indoor air several times a day. This alone is clearly a benefit of adopting this easy and fun to use, low power air sensing device, sold at an affordable price.
- Compact, easy to move and to use
- Precise CO2 level measurement and display
- Color-based CO2 concentration “criticality” indicator
- Smartphone app to view historical data and set alarms
- Not all air pollutants are measured by the Aranet4
2 Read more: Why Air Quality Should be Your Top Priority During Coronavirus Outbreak
3 For example:
- Harvard University demonstrated that a heightened CO2 concentration reduces the brain’s cognitive abilities by 50%. These are the core abilities your brain uses to think, read, learn, remember, reason, and pay attention: https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/27662232/4892924.pdf?sequence=1
- Article in the New York Times: “Is Conference Room Air Making You Dumber?”: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/06/health/conference-room-air.html