When you think of HomeKit enabled products, most people think of light switches, cameras, and door locks. Have you ever considered what an air purifier with HomeKit would look like in your home? I hadn’t until I tried the VOCOlinc PureFlow Air Purifier, but it’s confirmed my thinking that I want everything in my house to controlled with HomeKit.
HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.
When I first heard about the VOCOlinc PureFlow, it was the first time I had considered what adding HomeKit support to an Air Purifier would do. In a time when we’re more concerned about germs and our physical well being, having good quality air is incredibly important. I’ve been dealing with allergy issues much of this year, so I am happy to do whatever I can to improve the air quality I breathe. My middle son also deals with chronic allergy issues, so we’ve always bought the best air filters for our HVAC unit that we can find. At its core, an air purifier’s goal is to remove contaminants from the air to make it more breathable. This product category isn’t new, but the addition of smart home platforms to it is. Why would you want HomeKit support in an Air Purifier?
Why HomeKit for an air purifier
The past few weeks have been a perfect time for my family to test the VOCOlinc PureFlow. Unless you follow me on Twitter, you probably don’t know that I had tornado damage at my house in April. As part of the repair, I had to have my hardwood floors repaired and refinished. We had this repair done while we were on vacation, as it’s quite challenging to remain in the house during it. Since we’ve arrived home, we had a lingering smell of polyurethane and knew it was going to take time to go away completely. My VOCOlinc PureFlow came the day we got back, so it’s been perfect to have it running since we’ve been home.
The reason I want everything I can get on HomeKit is for Siri and automations. For something like an air purifier, I’d ideally never want to use an app or have to touch the device. Using Siri with my HomePod is precisely how I want to use it. When I am ready to turn the unit on, I say: “Hey Siri, turn on my air purifier.” I can also set the fan speed with Siri by saying “Hey Siri, set my air purifier to 75”. Depending on what we’re doing (watching a movie), I might want to keep it quieter. From an automation perspective, I have it automatically turned on through HomeKit if the air quality drops below excellent. If the noise is too loud, you can easily set it to automatically come on when the last person in the home left as well.
Like anything with HomeKit, the setup process was straight forward. After I unboxed it, I plugged it in and scanned the HomeKit code using the Home app. I initially got an error message about the device not being HomeKit compatible, but a quick reboot of my iPhone fixed it.
Once it was in the Home app, I was also able to see it in the VOCOlinc app. Opening the app, I was able to update the firmware of the device. As I mentioned in a previous article, I’d like to see firmware updates through the Home app.
VOCOlinc PureFlow app vs Home app
One of the downsides of the product is that the VOCOlinc app does offer several options for control that the Home app doesn’t provide. This downside isn’t likely the fault of VOCOlinc as that affects many other products. Since this is one of the first HomeKit air purifiers on the market, it’s likely Apple will expand support for features in the future. Some of the features only in the VOCOlinc app are the ability to quickly set a timer, manage the brightness of the display, and check the filter status.
The PureFlow contains two air filters that must be installed for it to work. They are designed to last anywhere from six to nine months depending on usage. Replacement filters will cost $79.95 for a pack of two. The ones included in the box are composite filters (Pre-filter+HEPAfilter+Carbon filter).
VOCOlinc Pureflow vs Air Purifier with a smart plug
When I was setting up this product, my wife asked why wouldn’t we get a regular air purifier and use the VOCOlinc smart plug to turn it on. While that might work depending on how the dumb air purifier is turned on (physical switch vs. digital switch), you’d lose the ability to monitor air quality from a device and use automations.
In the past few weeks of using the VOCOlinc PureFlow, I’ve really enjoyed having it in my home. I am able to monitor the air quality on the main level of our house, control multiple aspects of it using Siri on my HomePod, and know that it will immediately come on if it detects poor air quality. It’s a premium product at a premium price, but it’s performed flawlessly in my experience.
VOCOlinc PureFlow is available on Amazon.
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