August 11, 2023
Dear Awair engineering team,
I bought an original Awair sensor over 5 years ago in its nice classic hardwood case. It performed well with temperature, humidity, organic vapours , CO2 and PM2.5 aerosols. After a few months however, it developed issues with PM2.5 reading. After working with Awair support with only temporary success, Awair shipped me a brand new device with a new fan desgn and layout. Gratis.
That 5+ year old replacement Awair device is still working quite well. However, last year I noticed it was not tracking the outdoor PM2.5 aerosol variation in the range 50-200 ug/m3. Outdoors locally, burnt carbon aerosols appear typically in late August through October and originate come from distant forest fires (in British Columbia and Washington State). The clouds are generally near ground level to a few thousand feet and travel hundreds of kilometres to reach my location near Vancouver, Canada. The old Awair device was starting to miss the high peaks and the reading was maybe only 10-20% of the real aerosol value.
Well, I want to know the real value of PM2.5 aerosols in my house. So last month I went to your Awair website and bought a new device, my first Awair Element. I have it next to the old walnut replacement by my sleeping area. The two instruments track quite well on all 5 measurements. We have not had serious aerosol levels yet but the aerosol season has yet to begin.
I’d like to take this moment to express my thanks to the engineering team and the Awair staff who produce the reliable Element product. IMO it continues to be superior to anything else available to retail consumers. I see some negative reviews on Amazon dot com - those negative opinions seem bogus or focused on trivial or imagined details. The Element product IMO is rock solid conservative engineering, well integrated, with a great iOs device interface. The CO2 measurement has helped me improve my sleep by showing me when air circulation in the bedroom was inadequate - I did not expect it was an issue but - turns out - CO2 levels over 900ppm are to be avoided while sleeping. The volatiles measurement has helped me identify when to move the occasional little solvent cleaning projects outside. The PM2.5 measurements showed that the house walls and the fancy HVAC air filtering delayed an outside aerosol step function of 100 ug/m3 by less than 20 minutes with a reduction of about zero ug/m3. It is as if outside aerosols move through the thick walls into the house with little delay and no reduction in amplitude. I did not expect that and surely it is of interest (a product selling feature) to many consumers in the US and Canada now that aerosols from distant fires are an issue in the midwest and the eastern seaboard.
Again, I want to thank the AWAIR team for making the Element sensor. It has improved my life in significant and unexpected ways. I am impressed with its long term utility and durability.