Tired, fatigued or feeling congested? Sure, you might be sick or allergic to pollen. Or you could be living in a “sick building”.
Sick building syndrome is usually represented by acute health issues experienced by the occupants of the dwelling. This includes fatigue, headache, and other symptoms that can’t be specifically associated with any one illness.
So stop guessing and get yourself an Elgato Eve. At $79.99 it’s a no brainer and at the very least, if nothing is detected, you can negate it as in issue to why you feel so crappy during the day or at night when you arrive home.
Where does Sick Building Syndrome come from? There are a variety of contributing factors that can cause these mild illnesses or symptoms. It could be the result of toxic materials used to construct the building, poor HVAC systems, or even plants or cleaning chemicals.
Table of Contents:
- Setting Up the Eve
- Room Readings and Measurement
- Actionable Data
- Wrap Up
Summary: An inexpensive smart air quality household sensor this is without small fault, but a sound investment at just $79.99.
What We Didn’t Like
- Initial setup didn’t work – had to remove batteries/reset
- Only connects over Bluetooth, for now; HomeKit could enable any where connectivity
What We Liked
- Inexpensive for peace of mind
- Quick and easy setup
Setting Up The Eve
The setup of the Eve is straight forward and should be fairly painless. I stress fairly painless as my experience wasn’t without some minor issues. Included are a set of AA batteries, which will power the Eve for up to 6 months before you have to swap them out for new ones.
However, in my case it completed the initial setup then wouldn’t show any readings or connect to the Eve Room. Since I knew it took sometime for the Eve to collect data and analyze the compounds in the room I thought I’d try later that day – oh the pains of home automation. And later I did, to no avail. Where upon I removed the batteries and in effect restarted the Eve. Presto, that worked and I was able to view data about the room. So lesson learned.
Once the batteries are installed you’ll need to download the accompanying Eve app and then follow the onscreen process to begin pairing. Provided you have Bluetooth activated on your mobile device – this is how the Eve Room connects to smartphones and tablets – the app will ask you to enter your Eve’s unique ID. You can do this manually, or automatically by pointing your phone’s camera at the back of the Eve box or the manual, which should display a unique number. Following that it should pair and activate the Eve.
Room Readings and Measurement
Accessing that data is simple as opening up the app and selecting the room in question. Of course you’ll need to be within Bluetooth range of the device to download the data, and assuming you are, it happens fairly quickly. Once completed, you’ll be able to review not only historical data about the room, but the current air temperature, humidity and air quality. Everything is displayed on an graph, showing the fluctuation over the day hour by hour. Or you can simply view a more generalized screen, which is probably best called an overview, displaying the temperature, humidity and PPM.
Air quality value is displayed in colors ranging from red (bad) to green (excellent), and divided into “Excellent” (450-700 ppm), “Good” (700-1100 ppm), “Acceptable“ (1100-1600 ppm), “Moderate” (1600-2100 ppm), and “Poor” (above 2100 ppm). Elgato says that you should try to keep the air quality excellent to good, all within reason to who is in the room and what is happening. For instance, cooking and producing smoke will cause the readings to move into the red.
The Eve automatically captures data throughout the day, allowing you to look back at historical numbers by month, day and week, but also by hour, which can be important for drawing corollaries. For example, why did the PPM (parts per million) increase at 8am?
Examples of things that can cause a “poor” or “moderate” readings: carpet, paint, furniture, printers, perfumes, cleaning products, tobacco smoke, or other household appliances.
I have yet to capture a reading that remains in the red, though I’ve seen the data move in that direction, albeit for short periods of time, and then return to normal.
That being said, the graphs can be a bit cumbersome to navigate, but with some poking and prodding I was able to get the data into a digestible enough format to lead me to believe that if there was something glaring (i.e. a “poor” reading), I could utilize it to make some changes to my environment.
Look. At $80 you’d be foolish not to invest in an Elgato Eve Room. Setup issues aside, the data is invaluable, and provided it’s accurate, you’re making a small investment for some peace of mind. If you find that your air quality is poor, an investment in a HEPA filter, closing windows or negating a cleaning product from your regimen could be the simple answer. But you won’t know until you capture the data and begin your A/B testing.
Moreover, there is a compare option, which works only within the day and week views, allowing you to compare either the previous day or previous week to the current ones. Handy if you want to quickly compare historical data and see if there is a growing trend, which could indicate something is happening at that time of the day or week to cause the air quality to diminish.