Review: IKEA VINDRIKTNING Air Quality Monitor

In 2021, IKEA made available an indoor air quality monitor, which is very very affordable. I bought one because I was curious to answer some basic questions like how did they manage to build and sell a particulate matter sensor that costs only 14€ or US$12 but also how smart and reliable is it in relation to other monitors.

IKEA is obsessed with naming all their products with Swedish words, so the AQ monitor VINDRIKTNING (which I can’t pronounce) translates as Wind Direction. Obviously, they don’t aim to create names memorable to people’s minds.

Let me share a story with you. Long before covid19 (2018 if I remember well) I and a company I worked for, decided to pitch IKEA into building an AQ monitor as I saw their interest in air quality because they designed some photocatalyst curtains that neutralized VOCs back then. Unfortunately, they turned us down, but I think we planted a seed into them. Long story short in 2021 they released the VINDRIKTNING.

Specifications

  • Particulate Matter Sensor Cubic Sensor PM1006K
  • 1 Green / 1 Yellow / 1 Red LED
  • USB-C connector
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Thailand School sets the AQ bar high – An example to be followed

On Earth, there are over 7 billion people but very few of them have a clear vision of a future and how important air quality is for our health. You will find politicians that are unwilling to enforce air quality laws, you will find educators scared to share with parents the indoor air quality, and you will find lots of people unaware of what they breathe or what they burn.

Among all of them, you will find very few people that want to make things right for the rest. In this case, the Head of School at Prem Tinsulanonda International School in Chiang Mai, Thailand was brave and educated enough to recognize the power of air quality data.

Chiang Mai is a city in exotic Thailand that always ranks in the top polluted cities in the world between March and April. The reason is the burning season. I was taught about the 4 seasons (Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter) at school but it turns out that they have a fifth season − normally in March and April − when crop waste burning and forest fires fill the air with particles, PM2.5 levels can reach 300 μg/m³.

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