Published on July 10th, 2017 | by Greg0
Blueair Aware & Classic 205: Monitor, Clean Your Air
Air quality is a major concern in most areas, whether rural, suburban, and urban. There are different issues in each area, and of course circumstances can depending on your own personal environment- if you have pets, for instance, or a smoker living with you, or perhaps construction blowing dust around. Pollen counts can be a problem for allergy sufferers no matter the season or the location. And you don’t have to live in Beijing to be concerned about smog and auto pollutants! Especially for those with a young child or an elderly family member, it can be critical to have an air purifier, and just as important, to know what is impacting air quality.
Blueair’s Classic 205 is a wi-fi enabled smart air purifier, meant for home use and rated to handle rooms up to 280 square feet with solid CDR ratings of 306-340 square meters per hour. Offering true HEPA filtration, it can clear 99.97% of airborne particles, including pet dander, dust, mold, pollen, and is one of the more attractive units that we’ve seen in this class. And it’s fairly slim and svelte, capable of sliding easily into a corner (though the company recommends placing it in a central location). There are multiple speed options- at the lowest speed, you shouldn’t be disturbed when you’re sleeping, though activating the fastest mode makes the 205 purrs fairly loudly.
Blueair is a Swedish company that boasts a wide lineup of differently-sized options, and we checked out their previous Sense model a couple of years ago. The Classic 205 comes with a particle filter, but an optional activated carbon ‘SmokeStop’ filter is available which can remove gaseous pollutants, such as smoke and VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. Indicators are bright and simple, and you don’t need a remote control thanks to the free app that’s available for iOS and Android devices (and even Apple Watch). But there are limited controls on the unit itself, so you’ll have to use the app to do much. That leads us to the wireless capabilities- it connected fairly easily in our tests, but you’ll need a visible 2.4GHz band on your router as there is no support for 802.11ac and 5GHz bands, which may be confusing for some people. And, though there are no built-in sensor capabilities, you can (and should) easily add the Blueair Aware, their cute air quality monitor. It looks kind of like a tall electric candle, but the softly glowing white form hides real-time data capturing, including temperature, humidity and hundreds of compounds from carbon dioxide to various particulates.
The Aware needs about six days of learning and calibration, but it can start having a positive effect sooner than that. Best kept near the air purifier but out of direct sunlight, it does require separate power and has similar wireless network requirements. The same app helps provide graphs and indicators, and it seemed quite responsive- plus the unit itself will flash with clear warnings as well. Outdoor conditions based on your geographical area are also available in-app, a nice touch, and you can setup your Aware to automatically take control of your Classic 205- a great feature that can take some setup and requires a bit of trust. The system has limitations- it doesn’t appear to detect pollen, for example- and we look forward to the sensor being built into our other home automation appliances (or into the air purifier itself). There’s not really outside integrations, so don’t plan on asking Alexa about your air quality… yet. But Blueair is taking steps in the right direction, and the only major downside is the cost- expect to spend $399 for the Blueair 205 and another $199 for the Blueair Aware.