Both devices are equipped with the basic home-environment sensors.
- Temperature sensor
- Humidity sensor
- VOCs sensor
- CO2 sensor
- Particular Matter sensor.
Foobot features all the above sensors except the CO2 sensor, it calcualtes the CO2 through an algorithm and the VOCs sensor which doesn’t make it very accurate. Awair has a dedicated sensor for the CO2 which makes it a winner in this category. Both devices display the CO2 in parts per million (ppm) values.
Foobot can measure and display the VOCs in parts per billion (ppb) values which make it perfect if you want to have precision into your measurements. Awair from the other hand can display the VOCs in Index values from 0 best to 5 worst. Foobot wins here (Awair could fix that with a simple app upgrade).
Foobot measures PM10 and PM2.5 and Awair measures PM10 PM2.5 too. Both measure them in μg/m³. They use exactly the same Sharp dust sensor, but the readings I get are different!
I had the devices side by side for a week and they always had different indications for temp, humidity and CO2. As you can see on the pictures below.
Both companies claim that they have tested the devices into a chamber.
Foobot so far works fine via WiFi network WPA2. Awair has had some trouble staying connected, it looses the connection time to time. Awair features Bluetooth but it is only useful during initial connection with your phone (they told me that they are working to fix the wifi issue).
Both devices have a unique interface. Foobot history browser is far more advanced and it can remember measurements for a long time although they need to design it a little more intuitive. Awair can’t display the history far from 24h but the main screen is friendlier and easier for the simple user to understand.
Some of the features can be enchaned during time because they are software based. As a result, for the moment the scores are:
After all the problems that I had in my bedroom (Part1) (Part2) with air quality I want to share some conclusions and tips.
First of all I placed next to the AQI device a snake plant as I’ve already mentioned. It can suck some of the VOCs in the air but not in a high rate, so don’t wait that it will suck up all the pollution inside the house. An estimated rate is ∼3ppb/10min. The size of my pant is small 18cm wide, 11cm tall and with 16 tiny to small leaves (roots are actually responsible for VOCs’ absorption). The bigger the better of course.
From the other hand it can handle better the CO2 during night sleep, before the snake plant the CO2 readings could reach easily +3500ppm but after the snake plant the CO2 readings are about -2800ppm. Yes I know they are quite high but during night time, windows are close.
The Window is your true friend but trust it with wisdom. Which means that you have to open the window if you want to renew the air and get rid of the VOCs and the CO2 but make sure the air outside is better. It actually doesn’t need to be open for a long time 10-20min per session, 3-4 times per day during winter. In summer I personally leave some windows always open.
As always stay tuned.
So, after the horrible discovery I moved the device next to my night stand and I removed the chest of drawers from my bedroom. Many people including myself think that we sleep in a nice cozy environment but we don’t.
Why the readings were so high? Well it’s because of the low quality WPCs Wood-plastic composites. There are many variations and ratios of wood and different type of plastic or resins that they use to make the final product. I estimate that the resin that they have used to make the WPC was the most economic and as a result the most harmful.
On the night stand the readings are lower than before around VOCs: 280-510ppb. If I isolate the room the VOCs build up with time. I have to refresh the air inside the room 3-4 times during the day by leaving the window open. It acts quickly actually so that’s a relief.
As you can see in the short animation I have a Snake Plant on my night stand as well, mostly for O2 production during night. I will talk about that on my next post.
As always stay tuned.
Last week I decided to move my foobot in my bedroom mostly to check the air quality and humidity during night. I decided to place it in front of my bed between the window and the room door and on top of a chest of drawers that I have.
I was shocked to notice that the readings were too high. At the beginning I thought it was because of the fire of the previous night (Yes, someone decided to start a fire of wood and plastic, almost next to my house I had to call the firefighters the following day because the previous day they didn’t turn it off properly and it was burning slowly all night, I was desperate for clean air). Anyway, so I thought that the air was still polluted from that but the PMs were low 5-10μg/m³ after the fire something that I couldn’t understand at the moment. The time and the days were passing and the VOCs were still high even with the window open the quality of the air couldn’t get better below safe limits. I had to do an experiment which I did it. As a result I was monitoring the device closely and my conclusion is that the source of VOCs was the chest of drawers under the foobot. The average reading was about ∼730ppb. Yes quite shocking for a furniture.
After that I moved it next to my night stand. The experiment continues, so stay tuned.