Pollution has become a major problem all over India and the world. The situation is even worse in major metropolitan cities like New Delhi & NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, etc. Unfortunately what started as a state problem has now even reached the smaller cities like Pune and Kerala. Even worse is the fact that not only is the outside air rampant with pollutants even the air inside your homes is compromised. With the pandemic having stuck everyone inside and the new wave that seems to overtake everyone soon it has become imperative to improve the air quality inside your home for a healthier lifestyle. The air you breathe is responsible for the overall health condition of your body. Continued exposure to unhealthy air is the root cause of many diseases both physical and mental. It might sound surprising but poor air quality is linked to depression and other mental illnesses.
A good air purifier can help you regulate the air quality inside your home thereby aiding in giving you a healthy lungful of the precious oxygen every living being requires. The problem lies in deciding which air purifier to get home. There are too many myths and fakes circulating in the market that you need to make an informed choice. Some air purifiers are more harmful to your lungs than polluted air! You need to know how to choose a healthy air purifier and stay clear of the unhealthy versions. This guide will take you through the pitfalls to avoid and the features to be aware of while on the mission to pure homely air.
- Heavy-duty performance
- Very user-friendly controls
- Asthma certification
- High price point
Dyson air purifiers are one of the best air purifiers in the market today. It gives you an air quality that is free of pollutants even as small as PM0.1 matter. The air purifier is the best bet for anyone looking for the cleanest possible air to breathe.
The Dyson Pure Cool Link Tower uses the advanced “Air Multiplier” technology to circulate and filter the air inside your room at high turnover speeds which gives you the best AQI you can hope for. When you look at air purifiers the “face velocity” plays an important role in the level of cleansing the purifier can achieve.
Most air purifiers have a high face velocity. This means that the air is circulated through the purifier at high speed. This means that the air purifier fails to catch all the pollutants especially the smaller particles and these just keep getting circulated back in the room. With Dyson pure cool tower link you will not face this problem. The face velocity of this air purifier is low. This coupled with a highly efficient HEPA filter enables it to catch all the pollutants easily even the pollutants as small as 0.1 microns.
The HEPA filter used is 360 degrees vacuum-sealed glass HEPA filter and this is accompanied by a tris-coated activated carbon filter to trap all odors and pollutants in the air. This H13 HEPA filter is also pleated over 200 times with borosilicate fibers to give you the best performance ever. Another amazing feature of the Dyson Pure Cool Link Tower air purifier is its Wi-Fi compatibility. You can easily control the air purifier through the Dyson Link app remotely from anywhere within the house. This app also gives you all the information you need regarding the live air quality, the volume of air circulation, and the filter change and cleaning updates.
- Intelligent purification technology removes 99.99% of all pollutants
- Air multiplier technology for high volume air circulation
- Oscillation feature for good circulation
- Added fan feature
- 360 degrees vacuum-sealed glass HEPA filter with borosilicate fibers
- Tris-coated activated carbon filter
- Dyson app link for remote smartphone control
- Separate remote control for convenience
- Self-timer feature along with sleep mode
- 20 x 18.5 x 102.2 cm in dimension
- Weighs 6.65 kg
- 2-year manufacturer warranty
- Good value for money
- Quick air purification times
- Nano protect HEPA filter
- High maintenance cost
Phillips is one brand that is known for its household and consumer products. They rule the stock with their personal and lifestyle products. The Phillips AC1215/20 air purifier is one such low-cost product from the brand. Its high efficiency coupled with exciting user-friendly features will have you hooked onto this air purifier before you know it.
This Philips air purifier is capable of eliminating 99.97% of all air-borne pollutants making it ideal for people with respiratory sensitivities and other high-risk categories like kids, pregnant women, and the elderly population. It features a VitaShield IPS design that gives you a clean air delivery speed of 270m3 per hour. Further, the air purifier boasts of a Nano Protect HEPA filter along with an activated carbon filter that eliminates ultrafine particles and removes PM2.5 matter from the air. It also gives you protection against harmful VOCs and gases.
You get an auto purification mode in this purifier that helps to detect and eliminate the Pm matter in the air without any manual command needed. It also has a night sense mode in which the appliance automatically goes into the silent mode with a low fan setting to give you a quiet air purification experience while you sleep. You have filter replacement prompts to help you keep the air purifier in top shape all the time. It uses an attractive 4 color AQI index alert to tell you which level AQI you currently have in the room. The product is certified by the ECARF and the Airmid.
- Vitashield intelligent technology
- Removes 99.97% of all airborne pollutants
- Eliminates 99.9% of bacteria’s and H1N1 viruses
- CADR of 270m3 per hour
- Purifies a 226 to 333 sq ft room in just 12 minutes
- 4 stage filtration with pre-filter, activated carbon, two H13 true HEPA filters
- 5 x 54.1 x 21.1 Centimeters in dimension
- Weighs 5.24 kg
- 2 years manufacturer warranty
- Stylish design
- Green anti-flu HEPA filter
- LED indicators for AQI and filter change
- Lower brand value and trust
- Poor after-sales service
Coway is a relatively new entrant in the Indian market. It is a popular Korean brand that is very well known for its efficient air purifiers. The Coway Professional Air Purifier AP1018F sports a deceptively simple design with a touch of flair and style that concentrates on giving you the best performance in terms of speed and efficacy. With a slim structure bearing only 18.3cm in depth this air purifier is easy enough to fit anywhere. The attractive design has won the air purifier 2018 Good design award as well.
It features a 3-layer air filtration pattern. The first line of defense of the air purifier is the pre-filter that catches all the big pollutants like pet dander, hair, dust, etc. Next in line is the activated carbon filter. This filter is responsible for the nasty odors, smoke, and other harmful gases. Then comes the main start of the air purifier the Green Anti Flu HEPA filter. This filter rids all the other pollutants from the air including the PM matter, bacteria, viruses, micro dust, and all the remaining small pollutant particles.
The Green anti-flu HEPA filter used by Coway is a patented HEPA filter. This filter is made of Ginko and Japanese Sumac both of which help in eliminating the H1N1 virus, seasonal influenza virus, and other prominent virus strains. It takes care of 99.99% of pollutants and comes with a washable pre-filter. The auto setting allows the air purifier to judge the AQI of the room and set the fan speed accordingly. You have a 4 light LED system that changes light with the AQI quality from pink color depicting severe bracket to blue which shows a healthy AQI.
- 3-part filtration technology
- Slim and stylish design
- Appropriate for rooms up to 355 sq. ft.
- Energy efficient with 38 Watts power consumption
- Air quality monitor sensor
- Auto-detection mode
- LED indicator for filter change and cleaning
- 25mm thick HEPA filter
- 5x 66.6x 20.5 cm in dimensions
- 1-year manufacturer warranty
- 3-layer filtration with 360-degree air circulation
- True HEPA filter with 99.97% efficiency
- Lower power consumption of 38 Watts
- Hard to find replacement filters
- Low on durability
The Mi Air Purifier 3 is the third-generation air purifier from the brand. It sports quite an uptake from its predecessor and even comes with a smart app connectivity feature. Mi is known for its quick technology and user-friendly products at a nice price point. The Mi air purifier 3 does not disappoint in its performance and lives up to the Mi reputation.
The air purifier comes with a True HEPA filter which is one of the best versions of the HEPA filter. It allows the air purifier to cleanse the air of 99.97% of all pollutants including sizes as small as 0.3 microns. Like all the other air purifiers the Mi Air Purifier 3 also sports a multi-step filtration process starting with a washable pre-filter. This is followed by a deodorizing filter. Then you have the true HEPA filter. Further, the 360 degrees air circulation feature ensures a ready continuous volume of clean air circulating through the room at any point in time.
The air purifier also has an OLED touch display that shows you the speed level, air quality, and temperature and humidity levels of the room. It is a smart air purifier and supports both Google Assistant and Alexa voice control. You can easily control the air purifier remotely using your smartphone through the Mi Home App.
- 3 step filtration process
- True HEPA filter with efficiency of 99.97% pollutant elimination
- OLED touch display
- Real-time PM level sensor
- Temperature and humidity monitor
- Mi smart app control
- Google Assistant and Alexa compatible
- CADR of 380m3/ hr.
- 24 x 24 x 52 Cm in dimension
- Weighs 4.8 kg
- 1-year manufacturer warranty
- Good value for money
- Does not emit ozone
- Low maintenance
- Faulty AQI sensor
- Replacement filters are hard to get
Honeywell is a Fortune 500 company that needs to introduction. It is well known for its products that range from simple consumer goods and household electronics to highly specialized aerospace equipment. The Honeywell Air Touch i8 Air purifier is one of the hottest selling air purifiers in the market today because of its easy user-friendly interface and star performance.
With a CADR of 250m3 per hour, the Honeywell Air Touch i8 delivers high-volume cleansed air circulation in the room. The HEPA filters ensure you get air that is 99.95% free of allergens and harmful PM 2.5 matters. The air purifier also engages a 3D airflow technology with air vents on both sides and at its bottom surface. This sucks in polluted air from all corners of the room and forces it through the filter giving you fresh clean air in just 10 minutes. The purifier engages a three-step filtration technique with a pre-filter, HEPA filter, and a Honeywell patented Hisiv filter.
This air purifier ranks high on cost-effective ratio as well with its low maintenance and very less power consumption. You also get a bonus of a child lock feature that prevents your kids from messing around with the controls.
- Child lock feature
- LED indicator for filter change
- Auto fan speed
- HEPA and Honeywell HiSiv filter gives 99% pollutant protection
- 3D airflow technology
- 45 x 28 x 56 cm in dimension
- Weighs 8 kg
- 1-year manufacturer warranty
- 7 step filtration system which includes all types of filters
- Low power consumption
- Very low maintenance costs
- Not a steady model for air purification
- Laggy performance
If you are looking for sturdy foolproof all purification filters in one sort of air purifier then the Atlanta Healthcare 7 in one air purifier fits the bill perfectly. It surpasses all the other air purifiers in terms of the multi-step filtration process. It affords you a 7-step filtration process as opposed to the standard 3 step filtration process that the other air purifiers provide.
The air purifier gives you a filtration process in the following order:
- Pre-filter: For all the bigger pollutants like pet hair, dander, dust, etc.
- Anti-bacterial filter: To take care of the bacteria’s
- HEPA filter: For all the PM matter
- Activated carbon filter: To neutralize odors and VOC’s
- Photocatalyst filter: For allergens, viruses, and mildew
- UV filter: To eliminates microbes
- Ionizer: To help neutralize all air borne suspended particles
With such a thorough filtration process you can rest assured you will get the cleanest air possible. The purifier also comes equipped with LED indicators that show all information on the top panel and can be controlled with remote control.
- 7 step filtration process
- Provides coverage up to 350 sq. ft. area
- H13 grade HEPA filter
- Auto start and night mode function
- Air quality and odor sensor
- 38 x 23 x 57 cm in dimension
- Weighs 6.03 kg
- 1-year manufacturer warranty
What Is an Air Purifier?
With all the hype around air purifiers, it is useful to know the exact meaning of an air purifier. In simple terms, an air purifier is a device or machine that improves the indoor air quality of a particular area by removing the pollutant and contaminants that are present in it. It is primarily used to cleanse the indoor air you breathe by getting rid of the common pollutants present in it. The result is cleaner and purer air.
How Does an Air Purifier Work?
The principal mechanism of an air purifier is very simple. It uses a basic filtration method that operates through air circulation. The air inside the room is circulated by the fan present in the air purifier. This circulation allows the air to pass through the filters present within the air purifier. The filters then trap the pollutants present in the air improving its quality and clean index.
The air purifier typically comes with a step-by-step filter design. This means that the air passes through not just one filter but a series of filters that work by trapping the smallest of pollutants in a phased manner. High-grade purifiers can trap even harmful viruses and bacteria’s along with common pollutants. The area that the purifier can successfully cleanse depends on the capacity of the purifier. Industrial-grade purifiers are adept at handling bigger areas than home purifiers that are suitable for just one room per purifier.
Different Types of Air Purifier
There are lots of air purifier varieties in the market. You can find one that suits all budget range and every preference you might have. The air purifiers are segregated as per the type of filters they use in their construction. The main types of air purifiers you will find in the market are:
HEPA Air Purifiers
HEPA air purifiers use the HEPA filtration technique in their design. HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air and can be dated back to the 1940s. These filters gained popularity because of their ability to trap 99.97% of particulate matter. They were able to trap any pollutant over 0.3 microns which is an amazing ICU care center. Over time they have been commercialized to be used in household air purifiers as well.
The HEPA filters can catch any virus, bacteria, PM, and chemical over 0.3 microns. This means that it pretty much catches everything and that too with no known side effects or chemical emissions by itself. If you are looking for an air purifier that will give you the cleanest possible air then look no further than the HEPA filters.
On the downside, HEPA filters do not eliminate odors or gases. They are also typically the most expensive types of air purifiers in the market. The filters of HEPA air purifier have a life of 6 months to 1 year depending on the usage and need to be replaced after that time. Hence it is an ongoing expense and not just a one-time investment.
Carbon is known to be the building block of the entire universe. It is an element that is found in everything. You will find carbon in the human body structure, the plants, as well as the food you consume. Once carbon is ‘activated” it can absorb all the pollutants including all the gasses and chemicals. Activated carbon is also great at absorbing smoke. The best thing about activated carbon is that once it absorbs the pollutant it affectively traps it forever. The pollutant is never released back into the atmosphere.
Unfortunately, while activated carbon is great with smoke, gasses, and chemical pollutants it is not very effective when it comes to PM matter and various allergens in the air. This is the reason why most activated carbon air purifiers come paired with HEPA filters to give you the best of both filters and a 99% clean air quality.
Electronic Filter Air Purifiers
Electronic filter air purifiers are the least common air purifiers. They are the perfect example of innovation combined with efficiency in this department. The electronic filters are very effective in purifying the indoor air space. They are very similar to HEPA filers in terms of effective performance.
Instead of the traditional air filters that are used with HEPA and activated carbon, electronic filters rely on electric charges to purify the air. They send out electric charges through the air that travels through them to charge the pollutants within. These charged pollutants then get stuck within the filter allowing the air purifier to release clean air into the room. The electrostatic filters are very good at removing diverse pollutants like pet dander, smog, PM particles, etc. They are also more cost-effective than HEPA filters.
Ultraviolet Rays Filter
Ultraviolet rays are a good way of ridding the air of common allergens. They have a limited pollution control efficacy and are like activated carbon never used as a standalone filtration method for air purifiers. UV rays filter is always used with other filters like HEPA and activated carbon. While UV rays are very effective at killing the bacteria’s, viruses, and other germs, it does not do anything for the PM matter than is present in the air. As a result, a lot of these other pollutants tend to hide behind the PM matter and escape the UV filtration. This makes UV ray filters a lot less effective than other filters.
Some manufacturers have tried to make UV ray filtration more effective by allowing the UV rays to convert oxygen and hydroxyl into ozone gas. This allows the UV filter to eliminate the Pm matter as well. However, ozone by itself is a harmful gas and known to cause various respiratory problems. It is best to look for a UV filter air purifier that comes equipped with activated carbon and HEPA.
Healthy Vs Unhealthy Air Purifier
There is a lot of hype around air purifiers and rightly so. Given the rampant air pollution and the growing awareness regarding the harmful effects of breathing in toxic air, the consumer market has risen to the challenge of providing all types of air filters with different filtration techniques. Needless to say, some of these filters do more damage to your lungs with their emissions which hardly justifies the benefit of the clean air they provide in return. These types of air purifiers are termed “unhealthy” air purifiers and should be avoided at all costs for the following reasons:
Ozone Air Purifiers
The ozone layer is extremely important for environmental maintenance. However, zone as gas is extremely harmful to human health. It affects the eyes and respiratory system of the human body and is a strong lung irritant. Being strong gas ozone tends to kill the bacteria and virus present in the air as well. It is a cheaper version than other filters to rid the air of harmful bacteria and viruses.
An ozone air purifier has ozone generators designed within them that release ozone gas periodically into the indoor air thereby killing off the harmful parasites, bacteria, and other pollutants present in the air. Unfortunately, these air purifiers tend to themselves contaminate the air with ozone gasses that negatively impact your health. These are so harmful that they have been banned by the governments in certain countries. You should at all costs avoid these air purifiers.
Ionizers are negatively charged particles and are also known as negative ion air purifiers. They charge the air particles and purify the air by injecting a chemical compound into the indoor air system. This charged the ions which are natural chemical compounds found in the air and can be both negatively or positively charged. They are the culprits for all those static shocks you get while walking barefoot on the carpet or while shaking hands with someone.
Air ionizers make use of negative ions that are negatively charged oxygen particles. Because of their negative charges these ions tend to attack pollen and dust mites and stick to these pollutants. These particles then stick to the walls or get stuck on the ground with their pollutant load. It sounds like a fuss-free solution but in effect, this solution is rather tedious and ineffective. It does not kill the pollutants just makes them stick on your walls till the ions are sufficiently charged. Once the ion losses its edge the pollutants are back in the air stream.
The air ionizers are also known to release ozone gas into the air system. This not only makes them ineffective in purifying your indoor air and also makes it dangerous to the air quality.
Buying Guide for Air Purifier
It is good to have a general idea about what to look out for when buying an air purifier. Certain pointers can steer you towards a good purchase and help you avoid common mistakes. These are:
You have different size air purifiers for different spaces. Big spaces typically require a bigger air purifier than small spaces. That is the reason why your car air purifier comes in a compact little size and your living room air purifier is a good-sized appliance that stands out. To get the best performance and result look for an air purifier that best suits the size of the room you plan to keep it in. It is better to opt for a slightly larger air purifier so that it can effectively cleanse the air at a lower setting. This will help you save on electricity bills and improve the life of the air purifier as well.
Clean air delivery or CADR is the measure with which the air purifier removes or cleanses the air in your room. In other words, it is the speed at which the air purifier works. The higher the CADR measure of an air purifier the faster that air purifier will clean your air. HEPA filters generally have the highest CADR measure. Also, there are different CADR ratings for different types of pollutants so you should look at the CADR specific to your needs. General CADR and efficiency rating is as follows
- Over 240: Excellent
- 240 – 180: Very good
- 180 – 120: Good
- 120 – 60: Fair
- Less than 60: Poor
This is a very important consideration. Loud noisy air purifiers are all too common in the market and have budget rates as compared to noiseless versions. You do not want to swap air pollution for noise pollution. Remember noise is also an irritant to your emotional well-being. You will not be able to get any rest with a noisy whirring machine constantly working in the background. Look for an air purifier that has a noise rating of 50 decibels or below. Also, the noise levels will be different as per the speed levels so keep that in mind as well. While a slightly noisy machine will work well for the living area you need a quiet machine for the bedrooms since it will be working while you sleep.
Filters are the most essential aspect of any air purifier. It is the factor that does all the work. You have a couple of options in the filter department. Depending on your needs look for the most appropriate filter. If your primary concern is odour then go in for activated carbon. For a general air purifier always opt for HEPA filter as the primary filter of your air purifier. HEPA is by far the best and most cost-effective option in the market. You should ideally look for the following options:
- HEPA primary filter
- HEPA filter with activated carbon
- HEPA with activated carbon and UV technology
- Pre-filter for trapping bigger particles
Air purifiers need to have their filters changed periodically. They also need to have their pre-filters washed depending on the model you buy. It is easy to lose track of time and keep using your air purifier with these dirty filters if you are not reminded of the change. This is not only harmful to health but also beats the purpose of buying an air purifier. For convenience’s sake, you must try to get an air purifier that has indicators that will warn you when your filters need to be replaced or when it is time to wash the pre-filters. These indicators also work for keeping you updated on regular maintenance of the air purifier or if there is something wrong with the filter placement.
Air Quality Control
Good air purifiers have an air quality sensor built within them. This allows the machine to get an exact read on the Air Quality Index (AQI) of the indoor air. It also gives you the required information about the quality of the air you are breathing and how well the air purifier is performing in general.
Air change per hour or ACH is another important factor to keep in mind with air purifiers. It tells you the number of times the entire air in your room gets filtered through the air purifier. A Higher ACH rating is an indicator of better performance. You should look for a 4 to 5 times ACH rating especially if you have children in the house or are suffering from respiratory conditions like asthma.
Always look out for zero ozone emission features within your air purifier. If an air purifier claims low ozone emission gives it a miss. Ozone is an extremely dangerous gas with severe health repercussions. Only buy an air purifier that has zero ozone emission features.
Tips for Buying Air Purifier Online
While a lot of air purifiers do the job they advertise and give you healthy air, certain simple tips can help you identify the best of the lot in any price range.
- The unhealthy air purifiers generally come branded as providing you with “pure” air. However, don’t fall the marketing gimmick. Pure air can also wreak havoc on your system and aggravate many problems like depression, asthma, sleeplessness, etc. You should be looking out for “quality” air instead.
- Go in for an air purifier that comes with layered levels of filter. Like a primary HEPA filter with a pre-filter and an added carbon filter or UV filter. This allows better longevity to the expensive HEPA filter by eliminating the load on the primary filter. The bigger pollutants like pet dander get caught within the pre-filter with the HEPA only responsible for the PM matter and small pollutants while the carbon activated, or UV filter takes care of smog.
- Buy a primary HEPA filter air purifier. Of all the filters the HEPA filter is your best bet. It removes pretty much all the pollutants including the Pm matter from the air. For better air quality try HEPA with activated carbon.
- Look for an air purifier as per the room size you wish to put it in. A small air purifier will not be able to effectively cleanse the air in a larger-sized room.
- Look for a high “CADR” index. CADR refers to the cleaning speed of the air purifier. Typically, it falls within 140 to 400. For a normal 300 sq ft room you need a CADR of 140 for it to be effective.
- Washable filters are a must-have. This will help you keep the costs down in the long run and allow you to maintain a spiffy air purifier performance throughout.
- Air purifiers are heavy appliances. Moving them around from room to room is problematic. It is better to get one with a wheelbase that makes portability easier on your back especially if you are getting one air purifier for the house.
- Multiple fan settings are another good feature to have. This way you can control the air purifier speed to high when the AQI index is high and keep it working on low when the AQI index hits the satisfactory mark. This saves you one electricity bill and extends the air purifier lifeline.
Getting the Most Out of Your Air Purifier
Once you buy an appliance especially one with a heavy price tag you want to justify the price and get the most out of it. Some simple tips that will help you make the most out of your air purifier are:
- Regular maintenance in terms of cleaning the pre-filters and changing the main filters.
- Place it in an unobstructed corner of the room a few feet away from the wall. Ideally, it is best to place the air purifier in the centre of the room then move it towards the corner when the AQI improves. You are looking for a place away from windows and curtains where the air purifier can easily circulate air through its filters.
- Keep the doors and windows shut in the room where the air purifier is working.
- Use a high fan setting when you switch on the air purifier and then shift it to a low fan setting after 10 to 15 minutes. Never keep it running on high for a long duration.
- Make sure the air vents in the air purifier are never obstructed by any object.
Is Air Purifier Worth It?
Given that people seem to be living just fine without any air purifier and have no apparent immediate health problems cropping up from lack of one, it is somewhat reasonable to doubt the efficacy and productiveness of an air purifier. This is especially true when you look at the high price tag associated with a good quality ait purifier. And to make matters worse it is not just a one-time cost either, you need to keep replacing the filters periodically which can work out to be quite a burden in the long run. So, is it worth investing in an air purifier, and are these devices even effective?
To be honest, air purifiers are not mandatory devices. They fall more in the non-essential category but then again even an air conditioner is not mandatory it is a choice that you make. Air purifiers are immensely beneficial to health and are a must-have appliance for those who have sensitive respiratory problems. For the normal population also there are lots of practical and medical reasons to invest in an air purifier. Some of these are:
- As per the medical community, air purifiers help relieve asthmatic symptoms. These devices cleanse the air of any pollutants and lung irritants that can trigger a possible asthma attack helping you stay in control
- Takes care of unpleasant odours in the house
- Reduces chances of infections and diseases by killing bacteria’s, germs, and viruses
- Purifies air of any harmful chemical substances and VOC’s like asbestos
- Medically proven to improve sleep quality
- This leads to improved life expectancy
An air purifier figures into the top 5 must-have appliances in the home especially if you are in a country like India with record-breaking high air pollution levels. This device ensures that the most elemental requirement of your body i.e., the air you breathe is both clean and healthy. The repercussions of breathing in unhealthy and polluted air might not be obvious or instant but poor air is a slow poison that attacks your system to undermine your respiratory organs. With so many pocket-friendly options available in the market you must get yourself an air purifier that suits you best and gift yourself and your family the ultimate present of clean, toxic-free air.