Showing posts with label home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label home. Show all posts

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Awair Element monitors the air quality in your home or any indoor space you choose!

These days, we listen to the TV, radio, or read things on the internet that talk about how the air quality is so poor especially indoors. I've been interested in learning how to measure the air quality in our house over time and to improve it or what impacts it. After looking up indoor air quality monitors, I had the opportunity to test out the Awair Element air quality monitor.

The Awair Element tracks five factors that influence the quality of their air inside your home: temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide (CO2), volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), and PM2.5 (atmospheric particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns). I've had it running over the past few weeks and it gives you a visual representation using a bar graph on the front of the unit (represented in dots) as well as a percentage number out of 100.

If you are worried about your cleaning supplies or forced air system emitting so many chemicals or circulating the same stale air throughout the house, Awair Element will show you if you need to turn on your filter or open the windows to let fresh air in.

I have mine set up in my basement office where I spend a great deal of time whether I am working from home or looking to relax. Since it has been monitoring the air quality, I have been able to rest assured that the things I can control to help the air quality in my house are set up properly, whether its temperature, windows, reducing the chemicals we introduce into the air from cleaning or painting or something else!

Overall, the Awair element is a great air quality monitor if you're looking for something sleek and reliable to track and give you accurate air quality readings. There is a great app for iOS that will let you view more detailed trends and measurements along with giving you great tips to improve or keep the air quality in your space.

NOTE: We were provided with an Awair Element in exchange for this review. There was no promise made of a positive review and all opinions, as always, are our own. No other compensation was provided.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Xfinity xFi gives you the best speed, coverage and control of your in-home wifi

NOTE: This is a sponsored post from Comcast about xFi.

I had been using my own modem for a few years and it's been a good experience, especially when you're trying to save a few bucks off of the monthly bill. I quickly noticed some tradeoffs, most notably not getting the full benefit of increased network speeds since Comcast's technology is always evolving, which quickly made my purchase dated technology.

I've recently changed to renting the modem, which gives a few advantages: when Comcast makes any improvements, I can just swap the modem. They have also included quite possibly, one of the best new features at no additional charge - xFi, which is only available if you're using their latest rented, in-home gateway.

xFi gives you greater control through a simple, modern, easy-to-use experience so that you can choose who can access your network at any time.

You can download the enhanced xFi experience through your mobile device app store, available for iOS or Android, which enables you to see what devices are on your home WiFi networks, troubleshoot issues, and even pause your home WiFi connections during those times you want people to be focused on things other than the internet and screens.

One great feature is that you can assign a time allowance per device (think different lengths of time per iPad) so you can ensure your kids aren't spending too much time watching videos on Youtube.

Once your modem is installed by a Comcast technician, you have quick access to your home network and can customize things easily through the enhanced xFi experience. You can do things such as:
  • Pause with a Tap: using the xFi app you can pause the network access by time, device or even user.
  • Home Network information: you can view and/or edit the home network name and password
  • Name and Organize devices: You can assign a name to each device and organize the devices
  • Who's using a device: You can create users and assign devices to them
Check out for more information!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Comcast Xfinity X1 now supports Netflix and your Home!

Netflix on Comcast Xfinity X1 service.
Photo courtesy of Comcast.
Hey guys! Glad to bring you some updates for Comcast Xfinity service here in Massachusetts. Their X1 service which is pretty cool now supports Netflix as well as your smart home! The Netflix service should now be supported on millions of X1 boxes across the country! We've been X1 customers for the better part of a year now and it's pretty great. Some new updates include faster internet service (by 33% at no cost) in addition to the Netflix service.

Netflix content will be fully integrated into Xfinity On Demand, enabling X1 customers to watch past and current seasons of shows available on Netflix. If you're a current Netflix customer you can just sign in through X1 to your Netflix account. It's super easy to use and you can just start it by pressing the voice command button on your X1 remote and say "Netflix". If you're new to Netflix, you can sign up through this partnership and the service will be added to your Comcast bill which will make things easier to pay since it will be on a single bill.

The other cool thing about this product is that when you use the Last button on your X1 remote you will see Netflix shows and movies as well as regular TV shows and on-demand items in the last viewed list.

As for Comcast Xfinity Home service, this service can be added to your existing subscription as a bundle and you will get the peace of mind home security along with your TV, internet and phone subscription. You can add different devices like cameras, Nest thermostats and other items. You get 24/7 professional home monitoring that can be armed and disarmed remotely, live video monitoring, and remote control of the entire system through your Xfinity apps on your iOS and Android device.

NOTE: We were provided with a Nest thermostat as well as a gift card for this review. No other compensation was provided.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Withings Aura Connected Alarm Clock and Sleep monitor

The Withings Aura Connected Alarm Clock and Sleep monitor is a high-tech alarm clock combined with a sleek equally high-tech lamp. This device gives you the perfect way to fall asleep and wake up each day while monitoring your sleep using the optional sleep sensor.

The sleep sensor sits under your mattress and is connected via a quite long USB cable to the Aura alarm clock and tracks your sleep duration, sleep cycle variation (deep, light and REM stages), time awake and wakes you at the best time during your sleep cycle within the time frame specified in the Withings Health app on your iOS device.

Once paired with the iOS app, the Aura goes to work. You set it up to your home Wi-Fi network and it automatically sets the time, monitors the room temperature (hoping that it’s in a comfortable range of 65-72 degrees F), and can wake you up to your favorite songs on Spotify.

It uses research that Withings has done to use the lamp to display optimized colors which promote the secretion of sleep hormones if you use it to fall asleep. It will also play a sound program you specify from a predefined list of songs designed to help induce sleep.

We strongly recommend this alarm clock and sleep monitor if you're looking for a better night's sleep and a way to get more data about how you sleep!

NOTE: We were provided with a Withings Aura to facilitate this review. There was no promise made of a positive review. All opinions are our own.

Monday, June 3, 2013

SimpliSafe: A unique home alarm system

We were fortunate enough to be able to review the SimpliSafe alarm system. This easy-to-setup system is easily expandable to fit any house situation. The kit we received included a base-station, three sensor units for doors and/or windows, a wireless keypad and a keychain remote which doubles as a installation USB flash drive for your computer.

To start, we opened the box and followed the instructions for setting everything up which was very easy. All of the pieces came with the appropriates batteries. I went around and figured out what we wanted to alarm and tested out each sensor as I connected it. One great thing about the system is you can set it to make a chime noise when one of the sensors are triggered. This happens when someone opens or closes a door, which is a great bonus feature since we have a two year old who can find her way out of the house easily now.

The setup process for the base station was easy and works with any web browser and computer. We set up a few codes for ourselves, a master password and some codes that we could give out to contractors. The base station connects to the internet and SimpliSafe has a monitoring company that will watch for notifications from the base station if anything is triggered and the alarm isn't disabled. The monitoring service starts at $15/month and goes up to $30/month at the high end which includes the ability to enable and disable the system from an iOS app.

This system is great and unique because you install it yourself so people don't need to be traipsing around your house putting in tons of equipment and wires. It is also wireless and in addition to the internet connectivity, has a cell-phone network backup (which is included in the $15/month monitoring cost) in case your phone/internet lines get cut. If the power happens to go out, the system has a battery backup that will last for a few hours so your house will stay monitored even if someone tries to cut the power and phone lines to your house or rob you in the event of a natural disaster.

The best thing about this system is that it is fully removable (they use special double stick tape that doesn't appear to damage walls) so if you move apartments or houses, you can take it with you. This is great for people and families who live in apartments, condos, houses, really any living situation.

NOTE:  We received a base-station kit from SimpliSafe to facilitate this review. We did not promise a positive review, but rather an honest review. All opinions are 100% our own.