Airthings Wave Plus Air Quality Monitor: Clearing the Air
In the crowded pack of air quality monitors, Airthings’ Wave Plus air quality monitor stands out for its discreet appearance and its ability to read indoor radon levels. Believe it or not, statistics show that radon poisoning kills up to twice as many Americans as drunk driving per year (sources below).
The Airthings Wave Plus delivers radon levels and several other air quality indicators at a glance on its associated app. The smart home device is the size and shape of a smoke detector. I set up the Wave Plus in my Las Vegas valley apartment to find out which air pollutants were floating around my space. Overall, its performance was consistent and helpful, despite a couple of drawbacks.
Wave Plus Air Quality Monitor Operation
The Airthings Wave Plus comes out of the box ready to use, with AA batteries included. Once you’ve fired it up, download the Airthings Wave app to your Android or iOS device and follow the simple setup instructions (note: app-based device setups irritate me easily, but this one was unabrasive).
Once setup is complete, the device needs 7 days to calibrate. That’s a long calibration period by industry standards, and it was a little inconvenient in my case. My bigger complaint is based on the principle: don’t we all like to rip open a new toy and play with it right out of the box? The good news is that the monitor still measures air quality during its setup period.
The Wave Plus was fully capable and ready to use after 7 days. There were two ways to access air quality information. 1) Wave my hand over the device itself, which triggers the green, yellow, or red glow ring for quick reading. 2) Open the app to access details.
The Airthings Wave Plus measures six indoor air quality criteria: radon (rn), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), CO2, humidity, temperature, and air pressure. The device’s ability to measure radon differentiates it from other IAQ monitors. The app uses line graphs to deliver historical IAQ data to the user (other functions are available — more on those shortly).
I was satisfied with the device’s findings and the app connectivity. However, for me, the glow ring feature was useless. In my apartment, the Airthings Wave Plus showed a good or moderate level for every measured metric except humidity — which, as one might guess, was categorically low here in the desert. Because my air was always in the red zone for humidity, the ring always glowed red. Eventually, this led me to stop paying attention to it. What was the point? I knew my air was dry, and I didn’t care.
Perhaps this is a personal or a niche gripe. After all, excess humidity can facilitate mold growth, etc. However, the Wave Plus notably does not measure particulate matter (PM1, 2.5, or 10), which is another way to indicate airborne mold spores.
Features and Connectivity
The Airthings Wave Plus is compatible with the IFTTT (If This, Then That) app, which lets users set notifications based on specific criteria. Let’s say your home environment contains many VOCs (see below for more information from the EPA), and you’d like to remediate it. In that case, you could set up IFTTT to send you a notification when your Wave Plus reads a certain level of VOCs. The function could help users get a better idea of pollution levels throughout the day, which often fluctuates.
Users can also use the Wave Plus app as a hub for multiple devices, which is helpful for those who want to monitor air quality in specific places inside their homes.
Finally, the device is compatible with Amazon Alexa.
Airthings Wave Plus Review Conclusions
At $230, the Airthings Wave Plus is a category-unique home radon detector. If you want to measure your home’s radon levels, your alternative is a mail-order test kit, which necessitates waiting for mail-in results.
The Airthings Wave Plus sacrifices other common home IAQ monitor features, notably a display and the ability to measure particulate matter and carbon monoxide. But its associated app and strong connectivity let users monitor their air quality over time and customize their experience. Its onboard glow ring function proved too rudimentary to be useful, but the unobtrusive unit delivered measurable results.