The Pis controlled the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system in each house, based on data from three off-the-shelf wireless particulate pollution sensors added to each house, two inside rooms and one under cover outside.
The research was trying to work out how much HVAC energy would be required to cut pollution in the houses as well as maintain desired temperature – the HVAC systems draw air from rooms through filters, heating or cool it, then returning the it.
In a nutshell: the SmartAir setting cleaned the air almost as well as if the HVAC fan was operating all day, but it used 58% less energy.
In Normal setting, air was 31% dirtier than when set to SmartAir.
According to the University, ordinary activities in the home such as cooking, vacuuming and running the clothes dryer can make air quality much worse than outside.