Saturday, September 16, 2023

Revolutionizing Air Quality Monitoring: How I Upgraded Our System with Mila Integration for Smart Home Automation

In this blog post, I explained how I set up an air quality monitoring system for our neighborhood. With this setup, we can keep an eye on the air quality outside our home. However, this monitoring system is somewhat passive because I need to manually check the air quality and take actions accordingly, such as turning on the HVAC fan to filter and circulate the indoor air.

I considered using the standard Home Assistant integration for Purple Air, but it shares the same drawback as the Magic Mirror integration in terms of API usage limitations. I wanted to avoid an integration that might eventually become unreliable due to API quota limits.

Recently, we purchased Mila connected air filters. These filters not only measure the air quality in the rooms where they're installed but also allow you to select a sensor for neighborhood air quality in the Mila application. Within a month of setting up our Purple Air monitor, I was able to choose it as the neighborhood air quality sensor in the Mila application. This feature enables the Mila filters to determine the relative differences in air quality between the indoors and outdoors.

Once the data is in the Mila application, integrating it into Home Assistant is straightforward, with the Mila custom component. Adding the Mila integration to Home Assistant brings in a sensor with this air quality information. This sensor can be used to automate actions based on the outside air quality.

This seems to reduce the concerns about API usage. This integration is likely using the API quota that Mila has set up with PurpleAir. Presumably, they are doing a cloud-to-cloud integration, which can be optimized to minimize API usage.

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