Running a smarter, more energy efficient home is a great goal—it saves you money and it’s more eco-friendly. But a truly smart home does more than save money and the environment: it also helps protect you, your family, and your house. These six smart detectors will keep an eye on things so you feel safer when you’re at home or away.
Instead of just sounding an ear-piercing alarm that sends you into a state of panic, the Protect uses a speaker to tell you whether it’s detected smoke or CO, where it is in your house, and whether it’s an immediate danger to you.
And when you’re away from home, you can use the Nest app to get details on what the Protect has detected, both at the moment and for the past ten days, so you can keep an eye on what’s happening in your home.
The Birdi (formerly the Canary) is more than a smoke alarm and CO detector; it monitors dust, soot, pollen, temperature, humidity, air staleness, pollution, and particulates, so you get a comprehensive picture of the air in your home.
It sends all of this information directly to your phone—you can also silence the alarm from the app, which will be a huge relief to anyone who has a tendency to burn things in the kitchen.
Birdi can send a wide variety of notifications, meaning it can let you know if there’s a fire in your neighborhood, call someone on a landline with an alert, and even send you an alert if there’s a natural disaster on the way. It’s not just a smoke detector—it’s a full-featured environmental detection system.
Roost Smart Battery
Don’t want to buy a whole new smoke and CO detector for your home? The Roost smart battery might be the way to go. By using it to power your existing smoke or CO alarm, you can get notifications on your smartphone no matter where you are. You won’t get as many features as you would with other items, but the $40 price tag can’t be beat.
You can monitor a number of different alarms in your house, and Roost will also send you a “replace battery” notification long before the annoying chirping starts.
First Alert Z-Wave Smoke Detector and CO Alarm
If you’re looking for a smoke detector that works with your SmartThings (or other Z-wave) hub, the First Alert detector is a great option. When it detects smoke or carbon monoxide, it sounds an alarm and sends an alert to your phone. It can also contact any other number of people (including the fire department) if you’re away.
Integration with the SmartThings system means you can also connect it to your smart lights, outlet, or plugs so that your lights turn on when the alarm goes off.
Foobot Air Monitor
The Foobot helps you monitor the air in your home. By reporting on volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, temperature, and humidity, the Foobot gives you an idea of how healthy your home environment is and lets you take steps to make it a healthier place for you and your family.
Although it doesn’t have a smoke detector, the Foobot will give you a great overall picture of the air quality in your home.
Halo WX Smoke Detector
The Halo WX packs two types of sensors—ionization and photoelectric—into a single smoke detector, giving you more protection than most other alarms. According to Halo, an ionization sensor could take up to 50 minutes to detect a smoldering fire, which means you might not have enough time to get to safety.
The Halo WX also detects carbon monoxide, uses visual and voice alarms instead of beeps, and even provides tornado alerts.
A Cheaper Option
All of these options are great, but putting down $100 or even $200 on a smoke detector might not seem reasonable. If it doesn’t, you could take on a DIY smoke detector with an Arduino using a sensor like this SainSmart MQ7 4P gas tester for carbon monoxide detection or the CG312 MQ2 smoke / gas sensor.
At $9 and $10, you could save a lot, and by combining these sensors with a Wi-Fi shield or module (one of the coolest Arduino components you can get) you could probably come up with a way to get most of these features.
The Future of Smart Home Monitoring
Smart home tech is growing quickly and has started to improve just about every different part of your home—and air monitoring is no exception. These six options are great ways to make your home safer and keep a closer eye on what the air in your house is like.
Would you consider using a smart air monitor? Have you used any of the ones listed above? Share your thoughts and experiences below!