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Sensibo’s Sensibo Air is our long-time favorite smart thermostat for window air conditioners and stand-alone heat pumps. It’s simple to set up and use, and it makes those appliances smarter and more efficient to operate by connecting them to your Wi-Fi network (2.4GHz networks only).
The all-new Sensibo Air Pro adds a wholly new feature: An indoor air quality sensor. A quick note: The product was to be launched as the Sensibo AirQ, and that’s how our review is labelled. If you’re in the market for a controller for your air conditioner, this feature is well worth the additional cash. If you already have and are happy with a Sensibo Air, on the other hand, you should probably look at a stand-alone air-quality monitor. You’ll find our picks of the best indoor air quality monitors at the preceding link, but our AirThings Mini review found that device to be a great entry-level pick at around $80, while our Awair Element review concluded that the pricier instrument ($240) will check for more types of indoor pollutants.
The Sensibo Air Pro is a compact square that adds smart, connected features to your window (or portable) air conditioner and heat pump systems. It’s broadly compatible with air conditioners that have remote controls, provided the appliance’s original remote sends signals via infrared. If the existing remote is based on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, it won’t work. Scroll about halfway down Sensibo’s website and you’ll find a field where you can enter your model’s manufacturer name to check its compatibility.
Sensibo has made many improvements to its app since I first evaluated one of its smart thermostats. Setting up this model was easier and quicker to accomplish than previous models I’ve tested. To connect to my LG window air conditioner, I needed only to aim the LG remote at the Sensibo Air Pro and press the power button when prompted. That was the extent of the setup required, I was then able to use Sensibo’s app to remotely control all the air conditioner’s functions, from temperature, to fan speed, to operating modes.
Set up through Sensibo’s app has gotten easier and quicker over the last several years (there are no buttons or other physical controls on the device itself). To connect to our LG window AC unit, all we had to do was aim the remote at the Air Pro when prompted and press the power button. It just worked with no fuss at all. The Air Pro was then able to remotely control all the functions of the AC, from temperature to mode to fan controls.
Setting up operational schedules is quick and easy with the Sensibo Air Pro: You simply pick a day and time, set a temperature target, and which mode the air conditioner should be in. Scheduling your A/C to cool the room down to 68 degrees just before bed, and then bump it up to 74 during the day when you aren’t using that room is a breeze (pun intended).
The Sensibo Air Pro also supports Sensibo’s remote sensors, which enables you to have the air conditioner turn on and off automatically based on room occupancy. Geofencing is also supported, so you can automatically turn off the air conditioner when you leave home and turn it back on when you return. You can also control a connected appliance with voice commands via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri; the device is compatible with Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem, too. Finally, you can link the air conditioner controller to the Sensibo Pure smart air purifier and that appliance will kick on to scrub the air when the air quality monitor in the Sensibo Air Pro detects high percentages of airborne pollutants.
How does the Sensibo Air Pro monitor indoor air quality?
The Sensibo Air Pro monitors concentrations of carbon dioxide and total levels of volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) in your home’s indoor air. It also monitors the temperature—natch—and relative humidity. Unlike many of the standalone air quality monitors TechHive has evaluated—not including the previously mentioned Airthings Wave Mini—it does not measure the levels of particulate matter in the air.
Overall indoor air quality is reported as a score on the Sensibo app’s main screen, but not on the device itself. When the Sensibo Air Pro detects poor air quality, it will send a push notification to the app on your smartphone suggesting you open a window; curiously, it does not provide the option to automatically turn on your air conditioner’s to at least circulate the air in the room.
In line with the original, all the expected smart features are still intact with the Pro. You can set up geofencing to have the app on your phone signal the AC to start cooling when you’re a specific distance from home. For voice controls, there are skills for Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant.
Should you buy a Sensibo Air Pro?
Air pollution isn’t a problem only when you’re outdoors. Research shows that 96 percent of homes have at least one type of indoor air quality issue. Integrating indoor air quality sensors into the Sensibo Air Pro makes a great smart thermostat for stand-alone air conditioners and heat pumps even better. That said, the Sensibo Air Pro only monitors two indoor air pollutants: Carbon dioxide (CO2) and VOCs. It won’t evaluate the level of particulate matter in your air. If you already have a Sensibo Air controlling your stand-alone air-conditioner or heat pump, you really don’t need to upgrade. If you want to monitor your indoor air quality, you’ll be better served by a dedicated sensor (again, you’ll find our top picks in indoor air quality monitors at the preceding link). If you do need a new controller, on the other hand, this Pro model is worth stepping up for—especially if you also own a Sensibo air purifier.