Air quality has become a hot topic, and I tested a new smart air quality monitor from Sensibo, designed to alert you to the dangers of everyday pollutants in enclosed spaces like offices, homes, and even public buildings.
According to research, the typical western person spends 90% of their time indoors, especially in winter. In addition, according to the WHO, 93% of young people regularly breathe in harmful air. The most typical indoor contaminants come from scented candles, paint, building materials and cleaning products. Pollutants in closed rooms such as dust and pollen can also come from outside. Inhaling such pollutants only causes the production of CO2, but it can also cause a number of adverse health effects such as: B. decreased energy, headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and irritation of the skin or respiratory tract.
Sensibo Elements has an easy to use and read app. Image: Sensibo.
The Sensibo Elements is a small device that connects to your home network and can then use an app to display readings from its six sensors to determine air quality.
Hooks are built into the back so it can be mounted on a wall or placed on a shelf with the included stand. It does not run on batteries and requires a permanent connection to a power source. It comes with a small power adapter and a detachable USB-C cable, meaning you may have limited space as it needs to be close to an outlet.
On the front of the device is the Sensibo icon, which can be made to glow via the app. The color of the light changes depending on the air quality – green is normal and indicates good air quality, while red indicates poor air quality.
High levels of indoor pollutants including CO2, TVOC, PM2.5 and ethanol are detected by Sensibo Elements. It also monitors humidity – high humidity levels can lead to disease and mold growth.
The six sensors combine and evaluate an air quality score that helps determine the overall indoor air quality. The Sensibo app notifies you when air pollution levels increase and provides advice on how to protect against poor air quality.
The Sensibo Elements can be mounted on a wall or placed on a flat surface using the stand provided. Image: Noel Campion.
Sensibo Elements is easy to set up using the free Sensibo app for iOS and Android. It connects to your WiFi but is only compatible with a 2.4GHz network. As soon as you assign it to a room, the monitor starts assessing the air quality in that room. It can be controlled remotely via the app, along with integration with Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, SmartThings and Apple HomeKit.
It also supports IFTTT, but I found it very limited. I was hoping to turn on my dehumidifier when humidity reaches a certain threshold, but Elements doesn’t support IFTTT triggers. However, it works within the Sensibo PureBoost ecosystem, which connects all Sensibo devices to work together: when pollution is high and an alarm is activated on Sensibo Elements, PureBoost activates the Sensibo Pure (smart air purifier equipped with HEPA filter) high-performance fan, to fight pollution. In combination with the AC controllers of Sensibo, Sensibo Sky and Sensibo Air, the air conditioner is also activated to circulate air through the air purifier to quickly reduce pollution.
Sensibo elements. Image: Noel Campion.
To test the Sensibo Elements sensors, I placed several pollutants near them. I started with a cloth soaked in denatured alcohol. Within seconds the air quality meter went into the red and the TVOC (Total Volatile Organic Compounds) shot up to 6645 ppb. Next I placed a smoldering piece of wood near the device and again the sensors quickly detected it and reported it in the app. While it can detect things like smoke, it can’t track things like carbon monoxide.
Unlike AirThings air quality monitors, Sensibo Elements does not have a sensor to detect radon levels. If you live in an area known for it, the AirThings might make more sense to you.
Sensibo Elements monitors common air pollutants such as carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, volatile organic compounds (fumes from household cleaning products, as well as emissions from items like new upholstery and things like natural gas), PM2.5 (particulate matter like dust, pollen and smoke, less than 2.5 Micron). It can also detect ethanol levels commonly found in rubs, lotions, tonics, colognes, cosmetics and perfumes. In addition, the sensor records the temperature and relative humidity of the room air.
The device sends you a push notification when the indoor air quality deteriorates and advises you to take action, e.g. B. opening the window to let in fresh air.
If you want to check how effective your extractor hood is, place the Sensibo Elements in your kitchen. Frying meat was the worst for quickly getting the air quality into the red, but I can confirm baking pancakes is all good.
Screenshots from the Sensibo Elements app show the differences between good and bad air quality. Image: Noel Campion.
The Sensibo app makes it quick and easy to use and view sensor readings. If you click on an individual metric, you can see a tracking graph for that day. If you want to see historical data tracked over weeks and months, you’ll need to opt for a Sensibo Plus subscription for €4.99 per month or €29.99 annually and unlock several other features, including weather and air pollution updates .
You can also turn notifications on or off from the app and set custom notification thresholds. Interestingly, there is no way to update the firmware on the device.
The Sensibo Elements has a wide range of sensors that alert you to air quality hazards in your home or office. I would have preferred better integration with IFTTT to be able to control some of my not-so-smart devices. If you just want to monitor your air quality and make some changes to the products you use and buy, then Sensibio Elements is a great choice. It’s also worth taking a look at some of their other products that can work with Elements using Sensibo’s PureBoost ecosystem.
Sensibo Elements €259 (currently on sale for €159) Sensibo