Clear The Air

A quick guide to choos­ing the right air pu­ri­fier to brace for the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing air qual­ity this sea­son.

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - CONTENTS - By NIDHI SIN­GAL

With air pol­lu­tion on the rise, air pu­ri­fiers have be­come a must. Choose the one that fits your bud­get.

In the times we live in, pure air is a rare re­source and with the on­set of win­ter, even more so. The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) has pre­scribed 25 mi­cro grams per me­tre cube (ug/m3) as the stan­dard for PM2.5 level in the air. How­ever, sev­eral ar­eas in the cap­i­tal ex­ceed this con­sid­er­ably. Not just the air out­side, in­door air, too, is laden with par­tic­u­late mat­ter that can lead to al­ler­gies, cough­ing, wheez­ing, chest dis­com­fort and even asthma at­tacks. For­tu­nately, you can con­trol the air you breathe at home or in of­fice with air pu­ri­fiers.

Be­fore buy­ing one though, it’s wise to go through a check-list – what fits your room size, the clean air de­liv­ery rate (CADR), air changes per hour (ACH) and the type of fil­ter in the pu­ri­fier, among other things. CADR is af­fected by room area and height. The CADR should ide­ally be two-thirds of the room size. So, for a room mea­sur­ing 300-350 sq.ft., a CADR of 200-250 cu­bic me­tres an hour (m3/h) is prefer­able. Higher the CADR, bet­ter the air fil­tra­tion ca­pac­ity of the air pu­ri­fier.

CADR and ACH are ter­mi­nolo­gies that de­fine the air pu­ri­fier’s func­tion­al­ity. The for­mer shows how much clean air is com­ing out of the air pu­ri­fier, the lat­ter de­ter­mines how quickly it can clean the air in the room in an hour. Ide­ally, ACH should be four times in an hour – which means an air pu­ri­fier should clean air ev­ery 15 min­utes.

The type of fil­ter is yet another im­por­tant fac­tor – a HEPA (high ef­fi­ciency par­tic­u­late air) fil­ter can fil­ter up to 99.9 per cent air­borne par­ti­cles of upto 0.3 mi­crons in size; ac­ti­vated car­bon in com­bi­na­tion with a HEPA fil­ter can re­move odours, too. It’s im­por­tant to note that air pu­ri­fiers are not one-time in­vest­ments. The fil­ters need to be re­placed once or twice a year, de­pend­ing upon us­age.

Here are some aIr pu­rI­fIers you can con­sIder buy­Ing:

Xiaomi’s Mi Air Pu­ri­fier 2 is a com­pact pu­ri­fier with min­i­mal con­trols and can be op­er­ated through the Mi Home app us­ing the home Wi-Fi net­work. With a CADR of 310m3/h, it is ca­pa­ble of clean­ing 400 sq. ft. area in 10 min­utes. It tracks air qual­ity in real time; the read­ing along with hu­mid­ity level and tem­per­a­ture is dis­played on the app. The app also shows how many days the fil­ter is slated to last. The cylin­dri­cal triple-layer fil­ter com­prises a pri­mary fil­ter, To­ray H11 grade HEPA fil­ter and ac­ti­vated car­bon to re­move dust, odours and other harm­ful par­ti­cles. This air pu­ri­fier is re­tail­ing for ` 9,999. With a new fil­ter cost­ing only ` 2499, this is not an ex­pen­sive buy.

Uni­ver­sal 450 from At­lanta Health­care comes with a built-in hu­mid­i­fier along with an air qual­ity sen­sor and fil­ter change in­di­ca­tor. The fil­ter keeps in­door air free from dust (PM2.5 and PM10), gases, smoke, odours, al­ler­gens and air­borne in­fec­tions. Its ‘seven-stage’ air pu­rifi­ca­tion process in­cludes pre-fil­ter, anti-bac­te­rial fil­ter, H13 grade HEPA fil­ter, ac­ti­vated car­bon, photo cat­a­lyst, UV light and ion­izer. It has a CADR of 225m3/h. This air pu­ri­fier is cur­rently re­tail­ing at a dis­counted price of ` 21,560, and the fil­ter is eas­ily avail­able on Ama­zon In­dia for ` 3,000. Af­ter launch­ing high-end air pu­ri­fiers last year, Honey­well has in­tro­duced mid­seg­ment air pu­ri­fiers – Air touch I8 and A5 – fea­tur­ing a three-layer fil­ter that elim­i­nates large dust par­ti­cles, bac­te­ria, formalde­hyde and vo­latile or­ganic com­pounds. It claims to of­fer PM2.5 re­moval ef­fi­ciency of more than 90 per cent. Honey­well Air Touch range of air pu­ri­fiers come with a three-stage fil­tra­tion process – the com­pany’s HiSiv fil­ter, HEPA fil­ter and a wash­able pre-fil­ter. Both the Air Touch I8 and A5 fea­ture a touch panel with con­trols and in­di­ca­tors; they do not come with a re­mote or mo­bile app. This means one has to go the pu­ri­fier to op­er­ate it. This new range is priced in the range of ` 11,490 and ` 22,990. The cost of re­plac­ing the fil­ter could be be­tween ` 2,500 and ` 6,000. Philips 2000 Se­ries Aer­aSense (`15,999) and Kent Aura 45-watt (`10,999) are some of the other pop­u­lar air pu­ri­fiers in the mar­ket. Air pu­ri­fiers from Blueair and its new Clas­sic range of air pu­ri­fiers (avail­able from 55,000) are also worth con­sid­er­ing.

Xiaomi Mi Air Pu­ri­fier 2

At­lanta Uni­ver­sal 450

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