The Foobot is an indoor air quality monitor, providing readings of particulate matter, volatile compounds and CO2. We were impressed with how easy to use it is as well as its potential to connect to other products to help keep the air inside your home clean. It’s not the cheapest and it won’t clean the air itself, but can really help you take control of the air quality in your home.
Footbot Air Quality Monitor Review
Air quality is becoming more and more of a concern, particularly in big cities, but most pollutants are invisible to the naked eye and you can’t even smell them; so how can you tell that the air inside your home is as clean as you want it to be? An air quality monitor will give you an insight into levels of air pollution helping you take actions to remedy build ups.
The Foobot aims to provide an easy solution, giving you quick and easy insights while also hooking up to other products to make a direct change to conditions within your home.
The monitor itself is a cylinder that stands slightly taller than a can of soft drink. It has the look of an air freshener with vanes to allow air to penetrate the monitor, as well as housing a set of LEDs. It is pleasantly unfussy, even to the point where it has no external buttons, so shouldn’t make too much of an impression on your decor.
It is exceptionally easy to set up, even the lack of buttons is solved by upending the cylinder when you need to. All you need to do is plug it in, download the app and follow the simple instructions. It does take 6 days for the monitor to “warm up” and provide fully accurate readings, although you do get readings immediately so you can get an idea of what is happening straight away.
Air quality readings
The readings are split into three sections measuring particulate matter, volatile compounds and CO2 levels – as well as providing humidity and temperature information. In addition to the current reading you can see how the levels have changed by the minute, hour, day or week. We found the hour readings particularly useful for seeing how changes could affect the air quality, for example opening a window and seeing the CO2 levels drop.
You can also mark events in the app to help it to learn certain behaviours and predict why certain changes are coming about.
As well as getting the readings in the app the monitor itself has a series of LEDs that light up and go from blue (good) to orange to red (bad) according to the current air quality. These lights are pretty intense (especially the blue lights) but thankfully you can adjust the times that the lights do show so you can keep them off at night.
On top of the readings the app provides some limited advice about improving each condition. This is a nice addition but we found it quite basic and it would have been nice to have a little more detail. For example, with volatile compounds it suggest that any increase must be down to cleaning products but we did find there was often some unexplained peaks we weren’t sure how to prevent.
The app includes the ability to contrast your indoor air quality with the local outside air by pulling in information from the service BreezoMeter. This provides a total air quality score but it isn’t broken down into the 3 sections for a direct comparison.
IFTTT and Alexa support
One of the best features of the Foobot is the ability to integrate with other products. This would allow you to, for example, use the If This Then That channel to connect the Foobot to a smart plug attached to a fan or an air purifier, so when the air quality dropped below a certain level it would automatically turn this on and then turn it off again once the quality rose again.
Connecting to an Alexa device also gives you the ability to ask an Echo device to tell you what the current air quality is in your home without opening the app.
All this functionality doesn’t come cheap and the original price of £255 can feel particularly steep considering it does nothing directly to improve the air in your home. Thankfully it can be possible to pick it up at a discount, at the time of publication it was on sale for £180. It is possible to pick up other air quality monitors for less, but there aren’t many with the same smart home features.
An incredibly easy to use monitor that provides detailed insight into the changing air quality in your home. Coupled with its smart features it’s possible to automate other devices to provide a stable level of air quality, allowing you to think about other things. It is not cheap but if air quality is a concern, particularly if you or your family suffer from asthma or something similar, it is a great tool for taking control of the conditions in your home.