New, Smartphone App-Controlled Skylight Automation System Designed to Improve Indoor Air Quality and Temperature

Staff Report From York County CEO

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

With rising use of smart-home technology to improve the way we live and increasing demand for products that improve home health, VELUX Skylights introduces a new skylight automation system that aims to improve indoor air quality and create a comfortable living environment.

VELUX ACTIVE with NETATMO is the first smart skylight system that connects with Apple HomeKit, allowing homeowners to manage indoor climate control at home or remotely across all Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and HomePod. The system can be controlled using Siri, Apple's voice-controlled intelligent assistant, or with the touch of a button on the Apple Home app.

Homeowners can now control their new or existing VELUX Skylights, automatically opening the skylights two-to-three times daily to help remove stale, polluted air or adjusting the blinds to bring in or block natural light.

"VELUX ACTIVE makes it easier than ever to achieve a healthy and comfortable indoor climate," said Ross Vandermark, national product manager for VELUX America. "Without having to program or operate a remote control or timer, the system has the ability to recognize the need for fresh air and open the skylights automatically."

Smart sensor technology monitors CO2, humidity levels and temperature in the home and data from local weather stations to automatically open the skylights if fresh air is needed. The system can also automate skylight blinds.

In an average home, the pollutant level is normally low when people first enter the house, or after effective ventilation. However, after an extended period of time, daily activities can raise the level of humidity and CO2 to unhealthy levels that can cause headaches, dizziness and sleepiness and can contribute to long-term health issues such as asthma due to mold in the home. Opening skylights in conjunction with vertical windows removes polluted air from the home and promotes an overall healthier lifestyle for the inhabitants.

"Few are aware of the impact of indoor air on their health and wellbeing, but the air we breathe is just as important as the food we eat or the water we drink," said Kent Holm, senior vice president, global product management, the VELUX Group. "An average adult breathes in around 4,000 gallons of air every single day and spends up to 90 percent of their time indoors. A healthy indoor climate goes way beyond simple convenience, which our new smart home solution ensures." 

The product introduction supports the growing desire for smart home technology and healthy living products in the United States. In fact, some projections show the number of connected homes will exceed 35 million by 2021.

It also taps into a desire by homeowners to improve their home's health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, we spend a staggering 90 percent of our time indoors and often forget to ventilate our homes. A recent survey1 of homeowners and renters by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, showed that 1 in 4 households surveyed had some concern about whether their homes might contain health risks. The leading concern among survey respondents was indoor air quality.

VELUX ACTIVE with NETATMO works with iOS and Android, so homeowners can manage and monitor their skylights across all Apple devices with the Apple Home app or VELUX ACTIVE's own app. 

"VELUX ACTIVE with NETATMO is the result of two stunning technologies: high standard VELUX skylights and Netatmo's know-how for creating simple and useful products and apps," said Fred Potter, founder and CEO of Netatmo. "By automating the opening, closing and shading of skylights, we can make a big difference and improve indoor climate so users don't have to worry about it."