This second-generation sensor is no better than the first when it comes to detecting radon, but it will track other pollutants in your home’s air, too.
Winter is an excellent time to test your home’s radon levels. When you close your windows and doors and rev up your furnace, you create an ideal environment for pulling the naturally occurring gas up from the soil and trapping it indoors. It’s tantamount to inviting a killer into your home, as radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, according to the EPA. Only smoking is worse.
Airthings has made raising awareness of and mitigating radon risks its mission. Its Wave air quality monitor was the first to provide real-time radon detection—a welcome alternative to the charcoal-based kits that require 90 days of testing and a lab analysis that was previously the only viable option. The Wave Plus builds on that product’s foundation with additional sensors for carbon dioxide and total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs).
The Wave Plus looks virtually identical to the Wave: It’s a smoke-detector sized disc with a light ring that glows green, yellow, or red when you wave your hand in front of it. The colors indicate the current air quality status. A pair of AA batteries are preinstalled in the unit, so all you need to do is remove a battery tab and launch the Wave companion app to start the pairing process.
I initially tried to pair it using the Android version of the app, but after seemingly completing the process, the app looped back to the beginning of the setup wizard. Following several more attempts with same frustrating results, I switched to the iOS app and it paired on the first try.
The magnetic lid on the battery compartment on the back of the Wave Plus doubles as a mounting bracket. To mount the Wave Plus to a wall or ceiling, you just remove it, attach it to the whichever surface with the supplied screw, and then snap the unit onto it. To produce the most accurate readings, Airthings advises installing the sensor at least three feet from windows or vents.