green coconut trees near body of water

Social Distancing and Indoors with better air handling with HEPA filters and Indoor Air Monitoring


Well during the summer we had our socially distanced walks and meals with 2-4 friends. That is wearing masks and at least six feet apart and outdoors as much as we could.

But now that the fall is here in the Northern Hemisphere that is going to get harder and harder. So what can we do to prepare for those cases when we are indoors with people. Well, there are lots of things including the usual wearing masks and things, but there are some things to be done judging by what big companies are doing:

  1. Don’t go to places with lots and lots of people particularly if they are going to be unmasked.
  2. Have good air handling. For homes that means having a MERS 12 filter which takes particulate out of the air.
  3. Have in room filtration as well which is the point of this post

So in looking at the various posts on the topic, two machines tend to come out on top. The Wirecutter folks really like the Coway AP1215-H which is normally $250 but you can get for $170 in the darker color at Walmart. Consumer Reports tested this against their second favorite, the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ and felt the reverse about it mainly because the Coway is less efficient at lower fan speeds. It costs $299 and filters a 520 square foot room every 12 minutes which is pretty great.

The nice thing that they are still available. And in fact, Best Buy has them in stock in certain places. If you do buy there, make sure to use Cashback, sign up for the Best Buy rewards program and also right now there is a 5% discount on Best Buy gift cards (although these are mailed, so not really applicable right now).

We tried it and it is a nice looking white box that sits there and has just one button to set the fan speed. Got to love simplicity. It also glows red when the air filter is used up which is supposed to happened every year or so with occasional use.

The other too is the indoor air quality monitors. These are not really COVID-related, but since we are doing this might as well go the whole hog. Techhive likes the Awair Glow C which is just $90 and is a combination air monitor, night light, and smart home appliance, controller. And no, I’m not making that up. It doesn’t have a PM2.5 particulate monitor but does have a VOC (volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde), so not as useful. The Airthings Wave Plus is the other one that comes up and it does have a PM2.5 monitor but costs $200. it does measure Radon which is pretty cool.

Wirecutter likes the Kaiterra Laser Egg, but this seems to be completely out of stock. They thought the original Awair was buggy.

Finally I’ve never heard of The Spruce, but they like the Airthings Wave Plus as well and the Amazon reviews seem ok with Fakespot saying it is ok as well. They mentioned the uHoo as well, but the Amazon reviews are not heart warming.

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