Smart "luftbehandler"/Smart "air treatment" device

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This is a “mixed bag” of different types of products

The title of this category of components/products might sound a little cryptic, but the purpose has simply been to create a page for a group of products that in one way or another “treats” the air in the home (except for heating/cooling, which are mostly covered under climate control and smart thermostat). This group spans five different types of air treatment:

  • Air purifiers, removing different types of pollutants from the air

  • Humidifiers, increasing the air humidity

  • Dehumidifiers, reducing the air humidity

  • Diffusers, which distribute a pleasant aroma, typically based on essential oils

  • Fans, that circulate air for cooling or heating

As the list indicates, these serve somewhat different purposes and offer different benefits and opportunities, both with regard to basic functionality, smart control, and integration with other devices in the smart home. Each of the types are described further below.

In our smart home, we have installed this type of product in only one room in the house (see the individual room for more detailed information about the physical setup and programming of the solutions):

  • Living room, where a VOCOlinc FlowerBud Smart Aroma Diffuser maintains the air humidity level (and spreads a pleasant scent) and a Sensibo Pure air purifier keeps the air clean

Smart air purifier

This might sound like a “luxury product” with limited benefits. The fact is that most of us spend a large portion of our time indoor and indoor air contains an array of particles and pollutants that can have many negative effects, like dust, mold, pollen, virus, etc. Some are more sensitive to a particular type of particle, others have little reaction to any of them, so the needs are very different, but no-one will react adversely to cleaner air, especially if living in more exposed areas or suffering from allergies, asthma, etc. As most other product categories, there are many products to choose among, and also here both “smart” version, i.e., connected online and possible to control from an app or even integrate in the smart home, and many more “non-smart” editions. I will only mention some examples of smart air purifiers (notice that not all of these might be available for 220 V systems):

  • Sensibo, in 2021 launched an air purifier with support for HomeKit, the same was the case for VOCOlinc, Meross, and IKEA

  • Brid Air purifiers, which come in some different sizes, from an Italian company, and a little different from other products in that there are no filters to replace

  • Coway, a Malaysian company offering a range of purifiers based on different types of filters/technologies

  • Mi (Xiaomi), has already been presented on these pages as a supplier of a broad product range, and also offers a number of air air purifiers (as mentioned above, we have a Mi Air Purifier 2S)

  • Guardian Technologies from the US offers a vast range of purifiers, also many smart versions with support for among others Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

  • Blueair, from Sweden, offers air purifiers that have received generally good test results

  • Molekule is probably the most expensive air purifier mentioned here, but is said to be revolutionary (and HomeKit support has been promised)

  • Philips, which of these is probably the better known company, also offers smart air purifiers

  • Dyson, another well-known company, also manufactures air purifiers, though with a twist, the purifiers are combines with fans for heating/cooling, which are controlled from an app

  • OneLife, who recently announced an air purifier that looks more like a piece of furniture

In contrast to most of the other product categories presented here, smart air purifiers must primarily be seen as “stand-alone” devices. They can remote controlled, typically by using the manufacturer’s own app or through app/voice control from one of the main platforms (Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant), but they often operate in auto mode and mind themselves most of the time. It is typically also possible to define schedules and read data from built-in sensors, typically temperature, humidity, air quality, etc. For the products with best integration support, it is also possible to link them to other components or form part of more advanced automation, e.g., based on geolocation (like starting air purification when the first person is heading home), using sensor data to control other products (e.g., placing an air purifier in a spot where temperature readings are suitable and use these to control a smart thermostat), etc.

Smart humidifier

Another issue with indoor air is that humidity levels can vary a lot, especially in colder countries where heating is turned on for parts of the year. This usually causes the air to get drier, something that can cause/aggravate problems like irritated sinuses, nose bleeds, dry lips, etc. A humidifier can help alleviate such problems, but one should also be aware that such products require maintenance/cleaning to avoid growth/spread of bacteria. Humidifiers utilize different types of technology, with the most common approach typically being evaporation of water, but some are supersonic and some have a heating element to heat/boil the water before spreading a mist, which limits the bacteria problem. From these, we can also deduce that there are many variants to choose among, but not too many smart ones; many of the humidifiers only offer manual control at the device itself, others come with an old-fashioned remote control, but there are also some that can truly be called smart:

  • Habitat has a Habitat H1 Smart Humidifier, which both has support for most of the smart home platforms and offers a range of smart functions, like monitoring of the freshness of the water in the tank, learning the “house rhythm”, etc.

  • Philips makes both “non-smart” humidifiers and a combined Philips Air Combi Serie 3000i air purifier/humidifier, which also offers app control

  • Motorola also makes smart humidifiers, seemingly both “regular” and meant for nurseries, which can be controlled from an app

  • Venta makes humidifiers in different sizes and the largest line, 6 Series, can also be controlled from an app

  • There are also several products that combine humidifiers with diffusion of aroma from oils, but which can also be used solely for humidification–these are covered further down

A different solution to achieving a “half smart” humidifier is to buy a less expensive version, without smart control (e.g., from Dyson, Vicks, or Pure Enrichment), and then combine this with a suitable climate sensor, which also measures humidity, and a smart plug, which can then turn it on/off based on measured humidity.

Smart dehumidifier

This is, as the name clearly implies, the counterpart to the above-mentioned humidifiers. In some homes/areas of a home/in some seasons, the problems is not dry air, but too high humidity, which can also cause/worsen problems, typically related to allergies and mold. So where a humidifier takes water from a tank and adds vapor to the air, a dehumidifier does to opposite; pulls moisture out of the air and stores it in a tank. Also here, there are “non-smart” and smarter versions, where the latter typically allow app control, show sensor data, and even integration with other components. Some examples of relevant products are (there are fewer alternatives available for 220 V systems):

  • Tasciugo AriaDry Pure DDSX220WF, which is said to be the first HomeKit-compatible dehumidifier (but it seems to be sold in only some select countries)

  • Fluo is a Greek company with dehumidifiers as part of its portfolio, where the Aeolia-serien has WiFi control from an app

  • Inventor appliances is a Scottish company, and also offers a smart dehumidifier, Eva II Pro Wi-Fi 20L, with app control

  • Hisense has a number of dehumidifiers, and at least the model Hisense 70 pint 2-speed Dehumidifier has app control and integration with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

  • Frigidaire, which for Europeans is probably best know for refrigerators, also sells dehumidifiers, including at least one model with WiFi-based app control, Frigidaire Gallery Large Room 70 Pint Capacity Dehumidifier with Wifi

  • Also here, there are combination products, e.g., merging cooling and dehumidification, e.g., ROLLICOOL A20, which both heats, cools, and removes humidity

Smart diffuser

This is partly a somewhat more special type of product and partly something that is sometimes combined with dehumidifiers. I say “special” since the three types of products described above all have a scientific/medical motivation, while this is about spreading a pleasant scent in the home. Some will argue that essential oils have positive health benefits, but there seems to be very little evidence supporting this claim. But if you have been to a store or restaurant where (industrial) solutions for “mood-creation” through scent is used, you know that this can be pleasant (or not, depending on your taste). So we are here dealing with products that do the same at home, typically based on heating of oils (mixed with water). Examples of products are:

  • VOCOlinc, which offers other smart products as well, has a FlowerBud Smart Aroma Diffuser, which is compatible with Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant

  • Asakuki, to me an unknown company, offers several models, also some compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant

  • There is also a rich selection of products available at Amazon, many for which it seems impossible to find a home page for the manufacturer

One should beware, though, that essential oils, especially if ending up directly on the body, but also through inhalation, can be dangerous to children and pets. And like humidifiers, there can be problems with bacteria growth, which can be spread into the air.

Smart fan

In contrast to the other product types covered in this category, which perform some kind of chemical treatment of air, a fan exerts a mechanical effect by setting air into motion. This is probably most efficient for cooling purposes on hot days, but fans can also aid heating by distributing warmer air (it is generally recommended combining heating/cooling solutions with a fan to increase the efficiency). As described under climate control, there are several types of fans, from tiny, handheld ones to table fans, floor fans, and ceiling fans. Under climate control there is also a discussion about solutions for smart control of non-smart fans, while the focus here is on fans that are smart themselves (of which there are not that many, there are far more "dumb" fans available). Some examples of smart fans are (notice that some of these only work in 110 V systems):

  • Haiku, supplier of great, but expensive smart fans

  • Modern Forms, with several types of ceiling fans with support for some of the smart home platforms

  • Hunter, a large fan suppliers, with some smart models

  • Minka Aire, has a broad product range, including fans that are compatible with Amazon Alexa

  • Dyson, offering both combined air purifiers/fans and stand-alone fans, where the smart versions are combined products

  • Xiaomi, selling a smart floor fan that can be integrated with other products using the Mi Home app

A smart fan means it is connected and can be controlled from a phone/computer/by voice, programmed to turn on/off at certain temperatures/times, or even integrated into a more extensive smart home system, including smart thermostats.