technology

Feature Spotlight: Air Monitoring and Home Health

Why temperature, humidity, and air quality are an integral part of Canary’s approach to security.

Continuing our Feature Spotlight series—check out our last one on backup contacts—we’re talking about another feature we’ve built into Canary, how it works, and why.

Today, we’ll cover Canary’s humidity, temperature, and air quality abilities, and how they provide you with the most complete picture of your home.

The Home Ecosystem

When you hear the word “ecosystem,” you probably picture rainforests and exotic animals, but the truth is, each house and apartment has a mini ecosystem of its own. Whether you’ve got pets or plants, or you live alone, with roommates, or family, there’s always at least one living thing that can be affected by your home environment.

You might be surprised how much that environment can impact your health. If your home has poor air quality, inappropriate levels of humidity, or extreme temperatures, you can experience health problems, stress, decreased productivity, and mood swings. (These kinds of symptoms may even be building related illnesses caused by Sick Building Syndrome.)

In addition to helping you feel better on an everyday basis, environmental characteristics can also serve as signals for other problems in your home. For example, abrupt changes in your home temperature can be an indicator of a more immediate concern, like a broken window or a fire. Being notified of these incidents as they happen gives you the opportunity to reach out to friends, neighbors, or your local fire department before the situation gets out of hand. Tracking these environmental factors makes it easier to identify these potential issues when you’re not at home.

Environmental Intelligence

Home security is about more than just recording video. While you can see and hear your home through Canary’s wide-angle camera and high-quality microphone, Canary is a system that goes far beyond the capabilities of an IP camera or webcam. In fact, Canary gives you unseen information about your home environment; we think of it as environmental intelligence, and it’s made up of a few primary components.

Canary environmental monitoring: Humidity, Temperature, and Air Quality

Temperature and Humidity Monitoring

You’re probably adjusting your thermostat to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, but you might not have considered how temperature and humidity can play a role in your home’s health. Temperature can affect your mood, your productivity, the quality of your sleep, and even your weight. Meanwhile, excess humidity can attract pests and encourage mold, cause a host of health issues, and damage your furniture, fine art, and musical instruments. Tracking these two variables can help you improve your health, and identify issues before they turn into emergencies.

Air Quality Monitoring

Adding more awareness about the quality of the air you’re breathing can help you make better choices at home. That can be as simple as opening a window when you cook to reduce contaminants from your stove to something more proactive like adding houseplants to your home to remove VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and other materials from the air.

Everyday ease, urgent alerts

With the Canary mobile app, you can easily check the temperature, humidity, and air quality of your home whenever you like. The Canary app can show you if it goes outside of a healthy level—for example, your home’s humidity should be about 30-50%—so you can use a dehumidifier or increase air circulation to prevent mold. Most people don’t monitor their humidity or air quality, but Canary provides indoor environmental awareness in a way that easily fits into your routine, like checking the weather.

For example, a pet owner might realize that the temperature in her home spikes uncomfortably during the day. Once she realizes this, she can make sure the curtains are drawn so that her dog doesn’t overheat while she’s out.

In less routine scenarios, Canary will immediately notify you of any abrupt changes in your home. Most security systems can only detect motion, but Canary can also look for sudden spikes in temperature or drops in air quality—or perhaps both, which could mean a fire. For us, a security system that can’t detect these types of issues doesn’t really provide true security.

When it comes to keeping your home safe, protecting yourself from break-ins or intruders is only one part of a much larger picture. The best security isn’t just reactive to outside threats; it’s proactive about giving you the information you need to optimize your space for your personal health. By increasing your awareness of your home’s temperature, humidity, and air quality, you’ll be more attuned to factors that can indicate problems or emergencies, and you’ll learn to recognize environmental changes that might influence your mood, your productivity, and your overall well-being.