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Kapsul Air and the Future of Appliances That ID Problems People Don’t Even Know They Have

They say a person’s home is their castle, but if you think about how much time we spend in our homes — especially in the age of COVID — and how our everyday environment affects our well-being, it might be more accurate to say a person’s home is their ecosystem. When you consider the qualitative and quantitative factors that go into a home’s collective ambience, according to Kapsul Air co-founder and CEO Kurt Swanson, it’s often the things we don’t immediately think about that can have the greatest impact.

After all, nothing is more important than the very air we breathe, and yet, air quality may not be something that routinely springs to mind when folks are buying, building, or refurbishing a home. But it should be.

In the not too distant future, Swanson foresees a time when homeowners will not only be able to understand nearly every aspect of home air quality but also control it. He believes this “smart air” concept is going to be a game changer in terms of both comfort and health.

“Smart air integrates devices that don’t just modify a dimension of air quality; they actually actively monitor it,” Swanson explains. “You can adjust the comfort in any room you want, but the technology also feeds you information that’s going to give you much greater control over your indoor environment.”

The Evolution of Smart Air

Air conditioning technology has come a long way, Swanson notes, and nothing better exemplifies the latest advances in this product arena than the current Kapsul Air W5 model. Boasting a 5,000 Btu output that rivals bulky legacy units, the W5 handily cools and dehumidifies 150 square feet of space. Standing only 7 inches in height, it’s the slimmest window air-conditioning unit on the market. Because it’s purpose-built with eye-pleasing aesthetics, the W5 can maximize a home’s interior and exterior views — all without blocking up half a window in the process.

“My grandfather had a window air conditioner in the 1960s. It could make cold air, right? But it’s like a Model T Ford versus a [Tesla] of today,” says Swanson. “They still do basically the same thing, but one of them does it a lot more wonderfully and is simpler to use and uses a lot less energy.”

As satisfying as the current advances are, Swanson is even more excited about the future of “smart air.” He believes the more consumers know, the better that future will be — because, as everyone knows, knowledge is power.  

The More We Know, the Safer We Are

Tapping back into the Tesla versus Model T analogy, in our grandparents’ day prior to the internet, when you wanted to research a topic you took a trip to your local library. After physically fingering through the monolithic card catalog, you trundled to the stacks to locate the pertinent tome — or waded through a sea of reference books — and then manually copied down the facts you needed … but only if the library actually had the information you were seeking. Things of a technical nature were often hit or miss. While there might have been other resources, if the library didn’t have it, most likely you were simply out of luck.

Of course with the advent of the World Wide Web, now even the most obscure knowledge can be hunted up virtually in the blink of an eye. Add smart technology to the equation and consumers are armed with the powerful tools they need to make the best possible buying decisions — and it’s only going to get better.

“I think consumers are going to be learning a lot,” Swanson predicts. “Even customers that may not have the most up-to-date air-conditioning systems are going to be a lot better informed.”

Today’s Technology Inspires Tomorrow’s Trends

Swanson says for “techno geeks” such as himself, there are already some products on the market to enhance consumer understanding and awareness of home air quality. “If you really want to nerd out like me,” he says, “you can buy sensors and review what’s going on in your home, but I think the future will be appliances that can tell you about the air quality in your home and identify problems that you don’t even know about.”

Current air conditioners — whether central air systems that employ whole-house ductwork, window air conditioners, or portable window-vented units — all come with some kind of air filter as standard equipment. These filters remove a measure of dust, dander, pollen, and other contaminants from the air; however, Swanson believes in the days ahead, there will be opportunities to improve home air quality even further.

“We’ll be looking at everything from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to other types of harmful pollutants,” he says.

Forewarned Is Forearmed: What’s in Your Home’s Air?

While we may be a ways off from having the ability to assess and police our home ecosystems, being aware of possible contaminants is the first step in making our homes safer and healthier places in which to live.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Volatile organic compounds have a high vapor pressure and low water solubility. Many VOCs are human-made chemicals that are used and produced in the manufacture of paints, pharmaceuticals, and refrigerants.”

VOCs are believed to cause negative health consequences over both the short and long term, and the EPA notes “concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to 10 times higher) than outdoors, and are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands … Organic chemicals are widely used as ingredients in household products. Paints, varnishes, and wax all contain organic solvents, as do many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing, and hobby products. Fuels are [also] made up of organic chemicals.” 

Basically, any product containing organic chemicals has the potential to “release organic compounds while you are using them, and, to some degree, when they are stored.”

The American Lung Association reports that along with VOCs, there are a number of potentially dangerous substances to be found in the air we breathe. “Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to the development of infections, lung cancer and chronic lung diseases such as asthma,” its site states. “People who already have lung disease are at greater risk.” It recommends learning which factors make indoor air unhealthy and how these contaminants impact health.

Other indoor contaminants of concern are:

Bacteria and viruses

Building and paint products

Carbon monoxide

Carpet emissions

  Cleaning supplies and household chemicals


Dust mites and dust

Floods and water damage



Mold and dampness

  Nitrogen dioxide

  Pet dander

  Residential wood burning

Secondhand smoke

Hopefully, the advances in integrated smart air technology that will allow us to detect noxious substances in our home ecosystems — as well as help extract and eliminate them — aren’t too far over the horizon. With pioneering concepts already making their way to the drawing board, Kapsul Air is poised to be in the vanguard of this cutting-edge technology.