The IKEA FÖRNUFTIG undercuts just about every other air purifier with its US$60 price tag. While some corners might have been cut, the device looks sleek thanks to a fabric cover, and it can even be wall-mounted in both orientations, as it exhausts the air through side-vents. As with most modern air purifiers, it comes with a three-stage filter: one for large dust particles such as cat and dog hairs, an activated carbon filter for gases, and finally an EPA12 filter for large particles.
While the price tag might be attractive, the IKEA FÖRNUFTIG has one major downside for us users of Home Assistant: it is dumb. By that, I mean that it can only be controlled using the rotary encoder on the device itself. There is no Wi-Fi or Zigbee connectivity, despite IKEA having a whole line of smart products called TRÅDFRI. One Home Assistant community member took on the task of adding some smart functions to their own FÖRNUFTIG air purifier, and by doing so, they might have turned it in to the best air purifier for Home Assistant.
I would like to point out that this article is for informational purposes only. I do not recommend modifying your hardware, if you are note 100% sure of what you are doing. Do never open up your device while it is attached to the mains, and make sure you do not cause any shorts or damage the original hardware. Your warranty will likely be void after performing this modification. You are responsible for your own actions.
How the IKEA FÖRNUFTIG ESPHome hack works
What the creator did was to place a LOLIN (previously WEMOS) D1 mini between the rotary encoder and the IKEA FÖRNUFTIG’s controller. This has the advantage of still being able to use the rotary encoder, while also being able to set the fan speed using the ESP8266 board.
- A mini Wi-Fi board based on ESP-8266EX.
- Has six GPIO pins.
- Can be used to control the IKEA FÖRNUFTIG with ESPHome.
The air purifier’s 24V power supply has enough power to spare for the ESP8266 board, and all the extra hardware sits nicely inside the enclosure. You will need a step-down converter (buck converter) to convert the 24V down to 5V. A small converter will nicely fit behind the D1 mini, but you do have to make sure to not cause any shorts. For safety’s sake, I would cover the back of the D1 mini with electrical tape.
With the hardware in place, you can modify and flash the D1 mini with the code provided in the community thread, and you are done. After replacing the IKEA FÖRNUFTIG’s shroud and cover, you will have successfully smartened up your dumb air purifier. Add to this a hacked IKEA VINDRIKTNING air quality monitor, and you can set up automations based on the particles currently floating around in the air you a breathing.
- Consists of 36u thickened circuit boards, high-Q inductance with output LED indicator, and superior solid-state capacitors that can effectively filter out high-frequency noise.
- 45 mm × 23 mm × 14 mm (with potentiometer).
Why the hacked IKEA FÖRNUFTIG is perfect for Home Assistant
In the introduction, I mentioned that this set up might be the perfect air purifier for Home Assistant. The IKEA FÖRNUFTIG is as basic as it gets, you have a three-stage fan placed behind a couple of filters. If you can control that fan, you control the air purifier. That simplicity makes it a device ripe for hacking.
The benefits of using ESPHome over any pre-built smart air purifier are obvious: You have complete control over everything, it seamlessly integrates with Home Assistant, and none of your data will ever be sent to any remote server. If a hacked IKEA FÖRNUFTIG does seem like too much work for you, there are plenty of smart air purifiers that can be integrated with Home Assistant available for purchase. Once blocked from the internet, they also won’t be sending any data home.