What is an Air Purifier ?
Air Purifier is a device which cleans up your indoor air in the room by removing small particles like dust mites, contaminated particles, molds, pollen etc. There is NO denying the fact that Air Purifier cleans up the indoor air. The extent to which it cleans depend directly on the technology used for air purification. You can read more about common technologies used in the Air Purifier in this post.
So we all shall agree to the fact that Air Purifier does work. Now let’s address the original question if you need Air Purifier or not ?
- Do you suffer from Asthma or Bronchitis ?
- Do you suffer from allergies ?
- Do you have pets ?
- Do you live near a construction site ?
- Have you recently moved to new apartment ?
- Does your apartment does not get proper sunlight ?
- Does your apartment lacks proper ventilation ?
- Do you have infants at home ?
- Do you have senior citizens at home ?
- Do you have someone recovering from illness or surgery at home ?
- Is Mar-Apr-May the months when you feel discomfort in breathing ?
- Do you see people wearing masks when you go outside ?
- Are you worried about air quality in your city ?
If answer to anyone of the question above is Yes, then you shall buy an Air Purifier.
Is Air Pollution for Real ?
Now you may ask if Air Pollution is really a serious problem or is it just a myth ? I don’t want to say much on this but would like to present some facts here :
- Every now and then reports are published by WHO and other organisations and recently I was reading a report which states that almost 2 and half years life expectancy is reduced due to Air Pollution to which our Environment minister denied. You can read more about it here.
- 1.24 million (1.09–1.39) deaths in India in 2017, which were 12.5% of the total deaths, were attributable to air pollution, including 0.67 million (0.55–0.79) from ambient particulate matter pollution and 0.48 million (0.39–0.58) from household air pollution. Source: click here
- Measures taken by Indian Government like BS-6 compliant vehicles in place of BS-4, promoting electric vehicles, more focus on renewable energy sources, shutting down of few thermal power plants, banning of garbage burning, launch of National Clean Air Program and Swach Bharat Abhiyan, providing cleaner LPG for cooking in place of wood,coal used in rural areas etc.
- Banning of fire-crackers during Diwali and other festivals.
- Banning of rice stubble. Even after which farmers in Punjab/Haryana/U.P. do it and if you live in DELHI-NCR then months of Oct-Nov-Dec-Jan are worse and is evident. With red teary or itchy eyes as soon as you go outside, discomfort in breathing, poor visibility etc are ocular.
In short, my point is Air Pollution is for real and is a serious problem which needs immediate attention. Now if you are convinced that it is a problem I will recommend you to buy an Air Purifier at least to fight indoor pollution.
Why worry about Indoor Air Pollution ?
Indoor air is considered more polluted than Outdoor air and few common sources are:
High humidity causing molds
House paint/Furniture, Carpets
No proper ventilation/sunlight
Points to consider while buying Air Purifier ?
First point shall be TRUE HEPA Filter. If Air Purifier does not comes with it, please do not consider it.
Consider the room size for which you are looking for Air Purifier. Every Air Purifier comes with the configuration which tells how quickly and efficiently device can clean air. It also mentions it is suitable for how much area. Please consider it.
Air Purifier main purpose is to clean up the indoor air and remove contaminants. The look and feel or the appearance of Air Purifier must not compensate on the air cleaning ability to give you clean air. Many people prefer buying fancy air purifier without considering the cleaning capacity it has. Please don’t be that “people”. If it comes with good appearance then there is no problem in buying it.
Running cost and electricity consumption
Noise created by Air Purifier. Some are very quiet while some may produce some noise.
Smart Air Purifier which can be controlled via mobile app
Last but not the least, PRICE to buy the air purifier. It must fit in the budget.
Air Purifier – It’s all in the Technology
Planning to buy a new Air Purifier ? Then you have come to right place. Because before you actual buy one we would like to tell you everything about technology used to build one. Knowledge helps you make better selection when multiple options are available to you. So let’s see all the important technologies used to build the Air Purifier.
True HEPA Filter
Most effective technology available in the market today. So which-ever Air Purifier you are going to buy, you must make sure it has HEPA filter in it. Now some air purifiers comes with HEPA but we are referring to true HEPA filters. Some companies do confuse customers by mentioning their product comes with HEPA but they don’t mean true HEPA filter. So how to identify True HEPA and just HEPA ?
True HEPA filter will filter 99.97% of contaminated particles which can be as small as 0.3 microns. On the other side, just HEPA filter shall remove only 99% of particles upto 2 microns size. So you can see there is considerable difference between TRUE HEPA and HEPA filter. So you must buy air purifier with TRUE HEPA filter.
Activated Carbon compliments HEPA filters very well. Other than purification of atmospheric air, you may want to remove bad odors in the surrounding. Activated Carbon has property of absorbing gases and can remove pungent smell from environment. However it cannot remove all type of gases present indoor. We will talk about it in some other posts. For time being, let’s say you must buy air purifier with Activated Carbon to remove bad odor.
Also some purifiers come with filter with Carbon coating which has limited performance while others come with Granular Activated Carbon which is better than earlier one. So look for purifier with Carbon filter rather than Carbon layer.
These have positive and negative charged plates with collection plates. The idea is to trap contaminants in the stream of air by using electric charge. The particles stick to the walls of collection plates. The only good point is it does not need you to replace filter but clean it. Problem is it is not considered very optimum when it comes to cleaning indoor air. It may clean only 30% of the air which is not good. It is also not good for people who suffer from allergies or asthma.
There generate negative ions generally which stick to air pollutants making it heavy and thus contaminants stick to walls, ceilings or to filters. However it is also said that these contaminants can stick to human lungs too if we inhale which is not at all desired. The idea is to collect pollutants rather than leaving them in atmosphere to stick to something by their own.
Ozone generators produce Ozone gas which has extra-ordinary ability to remove bad odor, kills bacteria, molds and other micro-organisms. However it is also harmful for human beings when inhaled. It is dangerous lung irritant and can be fatal if inhaled in excess. Hence it is used in controlled environment in absence of human however it is not at all preferred for indoor rooms with people staying inside too. So it is NOT recommended for indoor use.