Founded in 2015 in Germany, AirQ is a company that develops and markets sensors of all kinds, including sensors for analyzing air and the gases contained in the air.
Because you may not know it, but what we breathe every day has an impact. On our long-term health of course, but also on our current well-being, and even our physical or intellectual performance. If I tell you pollution, you may think “factories” and “cars” when we talk about air quality, it goes even further.
Indeed, the air of our interiors is often extremely loaded with harmful products. This pollution comes from our furniture, the packages we receive, the objects we collect, poorly cleaned carpets, etc. The pollution factors are extremely numerous and that is why it is often necessary to ventilate your home or office even in winter.
But if you want to go further and know exactly what is in the air you breathe, I take you to discover the air-Q, the large air quality measuring device best performing audience on the market.
What is Air-Q?
Thanks to these smart sensors, this small device, which connects to Wifi, is able to measure, monitor and analyze your entire environment in real time. Thus, the air-Q measures a whole host of things such as atmospheric pollutants (fine particles), carbon monoxide or even ozone, it can also monitor the indoor climate and even the noise level.
The air-Q can be configured via a computer, but it is above all thanks to the Android / iOS mobile application that you will be able to appreciate the high precision of the device.. Through the application, you will have access to all the measurements taken at 2-minute intervals as well as a percentage assessment of the air quality on your health and on your physical or intellectual performance. You can of course see the level of each element in real time, but also over longer periods thanks to the measurement history.
A virtual assistant also alerts you when certain limits are exceeded and not only gives you possible reasons, but also tips on how to fix them. In the event of fire or smoke/monoxide, the air-Q may also start ringing to alert you. It’s super cool, but be careful, legally, it cannot replace a usual smoke or monoxide detector, because it does not work with batteries, but on mains. I also find the ringtone not very loud even pushed to its maximum, so it is better to keep your traditional detectors.
Finally, in terms of settings on air-Q, there are some very cool things such as the possibility of storing measurements in the cloud, but also of adjusting the light indicators on the front to know the general status or more specific measurements such as the VOCs or the rate of fine particles. You choose.
What does theair-Q?
I will go over all the measurements taken by the air-Q Basic that I received.
This is to measure the CO₂ contained in the air. You know it well since it is one of the most important greenhouse gases. And unfortunately, too much CO₂ in your home will lead to some fatigue that can lead to death if it becomes too concentrated. This gas is produced when you burn things so if you have a gas stove, wood oven, smoke or like to light candles, you will produce it. But even without that, the humans and animals present in your home will also naturally produce this gas with their breathing.
It stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. They are carbonaceous substances that evaporate at low temperatures. This can be produced by living beings through different biological decomposition processes, but are also produced by a whole host of glues, varnishes, solvents, household products or cosmetics. Not all VOCs are toxic, but they have an effect on concentration, headaches, fatigue, allergies, etc.
Relative and absolute humidity
We often underestimate the humidity, but if its rate is too high, it can affect the regulation of the temperature of the human body, and promote the appearance of mold which in turn will cause allergies, respiratory problems or other. . And if the humidity is too low, you risk having mucous membrane irritations and difficulty breathing. A good relative humidity should be between 40% and 60%.
Relative humidity is the ratio of water vapor density to maximum humidity. It is expressed in %.
While absolute humidity describes the density of water vapor i.e. the mass of water vapor contained in a given volume of air. It is expressed in g/m³.
The temperature also plays a role in our well-being. Between 23°C and 28°C, you will be intellectually softened and beyond that your thermal regulation will be more difficult. Combine higher temperature with high humidity and hello dust mites and mold.
Personally, I am very sensitive to noise. Above 65 dB during the day, there is a health risk if exposure is prolonged. Currently, in my office, I am around 13 dB, so I can say that I am relatively not bad.
High sound peaks or too much continuous background noise will not only damage your hearing, but also cause stress or tinnitus. At home, noise immediately generates a strong irritation in my mood.
Particles are solid and liquid particles that are suspended in the air. What makes us breathe them. It is dust that will have an impact on health, regardless of its level of concentration. This irritates the airways, promotes allergies, and even damages the air cells of your lungs. There are different sizes of fine particles: PM1, PM2.5 and M10. The finest particles (PM1, PM2.5) can even pass into the blood and have carcinogenic effects (like asbestos). These fine particles can be of natural origin (volcanoes, forest fires, soil erosion, spores, viruses, pollens, etc.), but also of human origin (road traffic, intensive farming, factories, chimneys, etc.) . And all this is deposited in our homes before ending up again in the air at the slightest vacuum.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is arguably one of the most dangerous gases. It comes from the incomplete combustion of carbon. It is odorless and colorless and above 170 mg/m3, it begins to cause fatigue and dizziness. Above 460 mg/m3, your life is in danger. In short, watch out if you have a pellet stove or a fireplace at home.
NO₂ is emitted mainly by motor vehicles or certain boilers. It is toxic in high doses, but since it stings, you can feel it coming. However, in small concentrations, it can cause headaches, dizziness and a whole host of health problems. For example, I could see that at certain times of the day, there were peaks at my place, probably due to nearby road traffic. In this case, it is better to close the window at such times.
It will seem strange to you, but atmospheric pressure also has an impact on health. Indeed, some people are “weather sensitive” and a change in atmospheric pressure to have an impact on their health. Old wounds that wake up, the famous rheumatism, respiratory problems, migraines and even allergies.
Atmospheric pressure changes according to the movements of air masses in the atmosphere.
Finally, the dew point is the temperature from which the humidity of the air is 100% and begins to condense into water. It’s water dripping on walls or windows and this will eventually cause the development of mold and its consequences.
The other air-Qs
As I told you, I received the air-Q Basic worth 399 €, but there is a whole range of air-Q devices that go from the basic light version (249 €) to the expert for scientists with even more sensors (629 €). It is also possible to add or replace certain sensors according to your needs and that is really great.
I disassembled the device and I was amazed by the quality of the motherboard and its practicality with all the slots to add the sensors. It’s really good work.
How does it install?
In terms of installation, it’s super simple. You can do this from a computer or a smartphone. You create an account with AirQ, you scan the device’s QR Code, you make it join your wifi network and you’re done.
So I’ve been using it for a few weeks and monitoring the measurements. What I can tell you is that at the level of the sensors, we are sure of the very good one which goes up the information without ever failing. The mobile application is sometimes a little slow I find and it clearly does not pay tribute to the quality of the device. It’s a shame, but it will probably improve with updates. Indeed, the product is still quite young.
I love the customizable side of the devices and above all I really appreciated all the literature both in the application and on the site, which allowed me to learn a lot about pollutants and gases, in particular their origin, their dangerousness, but above all how to remedy their excess. What I mean by that is that air-Q isn’t just a super sensor bombarding us with info. It is above all a companion who alerts us and guides us. And that’s really what I liked about this device.
In short, if you are air quality or health geeks, it is certain that this kind of electronic object will please you. Especially since the device is quite open, as you have seen, including the collected data which is simply stored on a micro SD card and which you can then appropriate to import this into your own tools. In the top !