Saturday, August 26, 2023

Unveiling the Air We Breathe: A Journey through Air Quality Monitoring and Insights

In light of the California wildfires over the past few years and our recent move to the Midwest, I've developed a strong interest in monitoring the air quality at our home. The same curiosity was sparked by the presence of smoke from the Canadian wildfires. To fulfill this interest, I've been utilizing PurpleAir, a platform that provides insight into the current air quality around our residence. One of the notable features of PurpleAir is its ability for community air quality monitors to share their data with a broader audience.

Upon relocating to this new area and wanting to stay informed about the air quality in our neighborhood, I delved into the data offered by PurpleAir. Unfortunately, the nearest sensor is situated more than a mile away and operates within a different micro-climate, which could influence the accuracy of the air quality measurements.

In my pursuit of obtaining precise air quality information for our house, I explored various outdoor air quality monitors that could seamlessly transmit data to a network accessible to me. Among the options, the PurpleAir Zen Air Quality Monitor stood out as an excellent choice. This sensor is designed to withstand varying weather conditions, capturing air quality metrics and seamlessly transmitting them to our local WiFi network. Notably, being a part of the PurpleAir system, this sensor is set up to automatically share its data with the PurpleAir platform.

As previously mentioned, I've incorporated a MagicMirror to passively display relevant information. My next task involves finding a way to integrate the air quality data into the mirror's interface. Ideally, I'd like to access this data through our local network to avoid incurring unnecessary expenses associated with API usage.

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