If you’re a regular reader of my blog. You will know that we have been back and forth many a times with Ava to hospital due to her asthma. Touch wood we have had a good stretch recently. I think were getting better and knowing her signs of becoming poorly. So we act fast with the inhaler and prevent it from getting worse. Well a few months ago I was contacted by the people over at Airboxlab to see if we would like to trial their indoor air quality monitor ( Foobot). I was instantly intrigued to see if it would give me more of an insight in to the air in our house. Maybe there was something in it that was triggering Ava’s asthma.
When I started to look into the company more I found out that the Foobot which is the name for the indoor air quality monitor. Was actually designed by the company’s CEO to monitor the air in his own home. As he too had a child that suffered with asthma. Knowing this gave me more of a reason to want to try this. As surely it should work as he had made it for the same reason I’m wanting to try it.
My Foobot arrived and I got to setting it up straight away. I did like the little added messages on the box I thought these were a nice little touch.
There really wasn’t many instructions . There was a leaflet that basically told you to plug it in and download the app. There’s me thinking this was going to be really easy. plug it in and away you go. Well it was a little bit harder than that. I did have some issues with the Foobot connecting to my internet and did take me several attempts to get it working. I have found sometimes if my internet cuts out for some reason I have to reconnect and this too can take some time.
Once it was up and running I got to looking through the app to see what it can do. On the main screen it shows you an over view of the air quality both indoors and outside. The outside one did surprise me I thought it was going to be a lot worse than it actually was. We live near the centre of Wolverhampton off a main busy road. I also live on a new estate with lots of building work going on. So I was surprised to see that the outdoor quality was 37 which is deemed Good. This has stayed around this figure for the whole time we have been trying the Foobot.
The indoor air quality is then split into different sections these are
- Particle matter: Fine partials that are suspended in the air in the form of solid partials or liquid droplets,
- Gas pollutions : These are volatile organic compounds, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide,
- temperature: Not much to explain there it measure the indoor temperature.Which at the moment in this heat it has been going slightly crazy,
- Humidity: Again this reading has been all over the place the last few weeks. They suggest that moulds and bacteria develops quickly in humid environments.
The one things I will say about all these readings is yes they are fab to know but I didn’t fully understand them. I did have to hit google too see what they all actually meant. I wish they had made the explanations or section names easier to understand. Seeing some of the official names for things can be really scary. But it may just be saying your house is too hot.
It is easy though to understand if one of your readings is too high. As it will shows on the app or on the Foobot itself. It will be one of two colours. It will show blue if all is okay or Orange if a reading is too high.
However I did find it interesting to see what made the sensors go off. Things like cooking and cleaning did make it go crazy. It has made me think about the type of cleaning products I have been using.I am on the look out for some more natural products that don’t have all the chemicals in them. That may be setting the sensor off. The sensor I will say is very sensitive.This may be because our front room and kitchen are right by each other. I have been thinking about placing it upstairs. Where there is less chance of it going off because of cooking fumes. This way I might be able to see a true reading of our air quality.
You can also see in the app a chart of the different sections by minute,Hour,day or week. Which is handy if you’re trying to pin point a moment to see what was going on in your air.
As I said earlier the Foobot monitor it self glows either blue or orange dependant upon your air quality. If you wanted to you can turn this light off . Which we have done as we didn’t want Ava to start messing with it because she could see the light.
If you’re wanting a quick update of the overall air quality. You can tap the Foobot it will then send a message though to your phone via the app . You can also set it up So you get notifications when a reading is showing high. This has been handy whilst were having this nice weather. As it tells me if the house is getting too warm. Perfect if your worried about the temperature of your house if your leaving pets at home.
Our overall thoughts on the Foobot
Although it was a bit of a faf initially setting it up it has been interesting having it . It has made me more conscious about what cleaning products I’m using. Or if I’m ventilating my house enough whilst I’m cooking. I can also see if Ava’s asthma is playing up becuause of something in her environment. I really like how I can tell how good the air quality is by just looking at the colour showing on the Foobot or the background colour of the app. I just wish that they made the wording simpler to understand so I didn’t have to Google what it was on about.
During our time using it Ava hasn’t actually had a bad episode of Asthma. Which I’m grateful for.It will be interesting to see if it does happen in the future if the Foobot can help me see what may have triggered it. Were also hopefully moving house soon so it will be interesting to see the difference between the two houses.
*We were sent the Foobot for free in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own*