All home automation fans have temperature sensors. Practical, they allow you to create all kinds of scenarios ranging from the automation of a fan connected monitoring a refrigerator with a waterproof temperature probe. Of course, that's good, but in addition to the temperature and humidity, knowing the quality of the air we breathe is even more interesting in order to automate the renewal of the air or its filtering. That's why we got the brand new Aqara TVOC, a temperature and humidity sensor, but also air quality sensor which, as its name suggests, is capable of measuring the levels of total volatile organic compounds ...
Aqara TVOC: air quality will hold no secrets for you
The Chinese brand does not deviate from its standards and gives us its Aqara TVOC in a small, super compact and very refined box. In addition to the traditional logo and visual, the packaging teaches us that this air quality sensor has a e-Ink screen and that it is necessary to have a gateway to use it.
Indeed, the Aqara TVOC sensor uses protocol ZigBee 3.0 and is particularly intended for use with "gateways" Aqara Hub M1S or M2. However, users of previous generations such as home automation boxes will not be left out as we will see below.
As usual, the ZigBee specialist has done in the compact and the TVOC only measures 4.16cm wide x 7.6cm long product for 1.4 cm thick. It is certainly more than twice as imposing as the Aqara temperature and humidity sensor, but this time we have an e-Ink type screen which displays the information in a very legible way.
But what are these TVOCs? These are the famous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) we talk about so much.
Mixture of gases and odors emitted by many toxins and chemicals, they are unfortunately found in many everyday products: floor coverings, paints, joints, glues, varnishes, furniture and rugs. Admittedly, the air outside is often far from clean, but the problem is that VOCs can cause illness. We speak then " Sick-Building Syndrome "Or sick building syndrome (SBM), and that's why more and more people are using air purifiers!
But, if the connected air purifiers generally measure this VOC rate, this is not always the case and not all of us have them. In addition, this does not prevent aeration regularly and this is where our little sensor Aqara TVOC will become particularly interesting.
Indeed, the screen offers two modes:
- VOC rate in ppb : 1 ppb corresponds to 1 µg / L. This is a misnomer, the liter is not equivalent to the kilogram, but this approximation is generally accepted. In reality, it is necessary to take into account the molar mass of the gas (m ͫ = kg / kmol ) and therefore use the following relation: 1 ppb = 1 x (m ͫ / 24,45)… Are we good?
- Leaf symbols : from 1 to 5, easier to estimate the air quality at a glance ...
They power par two CR2450 batteries product for 1 year autonomy, this sensor offers a detection range of 0 ~ 25 mg / m³ TVOC with an accuracy of 1 ppb or 0.01 mg / m³. In terms of humidity, the range will from 0 to 95% RH with an accuracy of 1%, and for the temperature of 0 ° C ~ + 50 ° C with an accuracy of 0.1 ° C.
- Brand : Aqara
- Model : Aqara TVOC - Air quality, temperature and humidity sensor
- Reference : AAQS-S01
- Protocol : ZigBee 3.0 IEEE 802.15.4
- TVOC : 0 ~ 25 mg / m³ at 1ppb or 0.01mg / m³
- HR : 0 ~ 100% RH at 1%
- Temperature : -20 ~ 60 ℃ (-4 ~ 140 ° F) at 0.1 ℃
- Dimensions : 41.6 × 76.0 × 14 mm (1.64 * 2.99 * 0.55 in)
- Weight NC
- Food : 2x CR2450
- Autonomy : 1 year
Now that you know all about this fun little sensor, let's move on to installing and using it ...
Installation and use of the Aqara TVOC
The installation will be able to be carried out in several ways ...
With Aqara Home
You will not be surprised to learn that the preferred application of the Aqara TVOC sensor is nothing else that Aqara Home ! Still not available on Xiaomi Home, so we installed it on our gateway Aqara Hub M2 already successfully tested here.
The procedure is usual and we are not going to repeat it to you for the umpteenth time. Here is a, here is the final integration after the very simple procedure installation:
You will notice that the data is displayed as three widgets: temperature / humidity / TVOC. Each of them offers us very precise summaries of the data collected with beautiful graphs as we like them so much… It is possible to display them by week or by day.
A synthetic view allows you to visualize everything in the blink of an eye.
Each of these parameters can be used to create automations in the very classic format:
IF [EVENT] THEN [ACTION]
A large number of events are available (see screenshot below) and it is possible to trigger automation if all the conditions are met or only one of them.
Thus, for example, we will be able to activate a socket Aqara Smart EU plug to which our air purifier will be connected in order to turn it on automatically when the TVOC concentration exceeds 0.3 mg / L.
Likewise, our good old fan will fire when the TVOCs are above 0.3 mg / L or if the temperature exceeds 27 ° C. Simple, but effective actions, which you can also push much further with a home automation box ...
With home automation boxes DIY
The sensor Aqara TVOC Air Quality Monitor is ZigBee2MQTT compatible and with integration ZHA from Home Assistant. Unfortunately, on the latter, only the temperature and humidity values went up during our tests, with of course the information about the batteries. On Jeedom, it is apparently not yet supported. We can bet that these integrations will arrive and improve in the future (if not already the case) ...
To go further, we chose to pair our Aqara TVOC sensor on the home automation box Homey Pro using the app Ted Toldboom's Aqara & Xiaomi ZigBee which allows us to directly use the integrated ZigBee hub and which takes care of all its parameters!
From there, we can indulge ourselves with our Homey Flows and create powerful automations based on the different parameters of this air quality sensor.
Example 1 :
When the temperature exceeds 27 ° C et that I am present, then mon Smartmi Fan 3 activates at 40% speed with one oscillation.
Example 2 :
When the TVOC rate exceeds 250 ppb et that I am present, then the connected socket of my air purifier turns on.
Who says data, obviously says Insights and our small sphere offers us as always interesting graphics like those offered by Aqara Home.
Amazon Alexa & Google Home
With Amazon Alexa, it is possible to request the temperature, but unfortunately not to create routines. With Google Home, it is downright a cold shower and only the existence of the sensor is indicated, the Assistant not even being able to display the temperature. Both are unable to provide us with humidity as well as air quality. In short, we can't really talk about compatibility with voice assistants.
Our opinion on the Aqara TVOC sensor
In use, you will understand, although it is small, Aqara TVOC air quality sensor offers great possibilities. Its installation with Aqara Home is always so easy and the possibilities offered are rather interesting, even if we remain limited by the connected objects compatible with the ecosystem: sockets, bulbs, blinds ... Nevertheless, it is always interesting to be alerted if the VOC rate is too high to even be able to think about ventilating ... Could the brand have some surprises in store for us with new devices? It's possible.
On the side of the voice assistants, it is almost nothing, but these parameters are not not really integrated into Alexa like Google Assistant, so we cannot blame Aqara for it. Too bad, it is still possible to use scenes, although it is a little more tedious, it must be admitted.
But, where the connected object becomes particularly interesting, it is with a home automation box. Indeed, the possibilities of interactions with other connected objects are then numerous and we like to imagine all kinds of scenarios. Note, however, that it was not yet possible to integrate it into Home Assistant or Jeedom in our tests, but it's only a matter of time for the developer communities to address the issue ...
Compact and complete, it provides valuable information on the air quality in our interiors. We regret that it is not yet usable as widely as the other products of the brand, but it is only a defect of youth linked to its very recent release. Its ZigBee 3.0 protocol and its manufacturer's commitment to Connectivity Standards Alliance (THAT'S IT) allow us to hope for wide compatibility in the future and no doubt that it will therefore appeal to many users.
In the meantime, it will delight all those who use the applications Aqara Home or Homey with which it is fully usable and allows you to create interesting automations, but also to see all the data at a glance thanks to its very easily readable e-Ink screen.
Offered to around 45 €, it's a excellent product that we can only recommend you to acquire!