Air purifiers have become increasingly important given the ever rising pollution levels in India. High PM2.5 and CO2 levels threaten health, both outside and inside the house. You need air purifier for your home: to create a clean indoor breathing environment for your family and to minimize allergens we talked to real air purifier users and to experts and asked their opinion so that you can make a smart and informed decision, as to which air purifier to purchase. An air purifier in India (especially in cities like Delhi and Mumbai) is no longer a luxury: a home air purifier is a necessity for good health.
What is an Air Purifier?
An air purifier (also called air cleaner) is device which cleanses the indoor air of its contaminants or impurities to provide a clean home atmosphere. The impurities removed include dust, pollen, CO2, smoke and mold spores.
In short it is a device that sucks in contaminated air, filters it and releases clean air. Air purifier benefits those suffering from allergies and asthma.
What are the different types of air purifiers? How do they Work?
- HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Technology
HEPA filters need to meet a standard-they must trap at least 99.97 % of all particles larger than 0.3 microns. Since this filter can trap chemicals, bacteria and molds it cleans the air.
HEPA filters however are not capable of removing odour or gases and are used along with activated carbon filters. They last for about 2-4 years and produce no harmful byproducts, so they are good air filters for the home.
- ULPA (Ultra-low particulate air) filters
ULPA filters are more efficient than HEPA filters. While HEPA filters are 99.99% efficient with particles 0.3 microns and larger in diameter, ULPA filters are rated 99.999% efficient with particles 0.12 microns in diameter. ULPA filters are used to reduce the particulate levels in indoor air and prevent the spread of bacteria and germs. Hence, they filter the air while minimizing the threat of infectious diseases, in air filtration and purification systems to control airborne particulate levels and to stop the
spread of toxic agents and infectious diseases.
- Ionizing Purifiers
Ionizing Purifiers release (Ionizers) electrons in the air: they are air purifiers for dust and smoke. These charged particles (Ions) attract dust, pollen and cigarette smoke to form larger particles that are easily trapped by the filters of the air purifier. An improvement to this is the Plasma cluster technology available in Sharp Air Purifiers in which water vapor present in the air is broken by a pair of electrodes into positive and negative ions. These ions form a cluster with water vapor and are dissipated around the room due to the air flow of the device. When these clusters come in contact with pathogens: the hydroxyl ion (OH) reacts with the proteins in the pathogen oxidizing them and thus rendering them harmless. This cluster also reacts with chemicals in the air, neutralizing them.
- Adsorbtion technology
Adsorbtion is a process of adhesion of atoms, ions and molecules to the surface of materials. In simple words: certain substances attract and trap odor causing gases on their surface and are used as in air purifiers to remove smells from the room. Filters based on adsorbtion technology can be of several types.
Activated carbon filters: Activated carbon is material with a large surface area which adsorbs impurities like gases and odor causing chemicals. It is particularly beneficial for people suffering from MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity). It is used along with HEPA filters.
Zeolite filters: HiSiv is an advanced technology patented by Honeywell. This technology has been used commercially for drying and purifying liquids and gases by passing them through molecular sieves made of hydrated aluminosilicates and is now available in Honeywell Air Touch air purifiers. The zeolites in a special honeycombed filter adsorb odor causing gases and impurities in the air.
- UV Light
Ultraviolet Light is used to render harmful germs such as bacteria and fungi sterile. It does not eliminate airborne particles and hence it is used along with HEPA and Activated Carbon Filters.
Some FAQ’s on Air Purifier
We talked to actual air purifier users to find out their personal experience and opinion on air purifiers that they have been using. We asked them common questions about air purifiers so that you can make an informed buying decision.
Where should it be placed?
You should place the air purifier at that part of the house where you spend most of your time. If your family spends most of their time in the Living room, place it there. Bedroom is another good place in which to place the air purifier. Keeping it switched on at night will surely help you sleep better.
How much electricity does an air purifier consume?
The amount of electricity an air purifier consumes falls in the range 40-200 W. Assuming the Per Unit Cost of Electricity is Rs 6 and the air purifier stays on for 8 hours this is how your electricity cost of air purifier will look like:
|Power Consumption of Air Purifier||Daily Bill||Monthly Bill||Yearly Bill|
|40 W||Rs 1.92||58.44||701.28|
|160 W||Rs 5.76||175.32||2103.84|
|200 W||Rs 9.6||292.2||3506.4|
What is the running cost of an air purifier?
Electricity consumption is only a fraction of the running cost of an air purifier. The real expense is the cost of replaceable filters. These are the air purifier costs to be taken into consideration after an initial purchase.
Pros and Cons of Air Purifiers Systems
An Air Purifier definitely has a lot of benefits for your family and home but it may or may not have disadvantages. Regular users would be better aware of certain disadvantages if any, of the air purifier they have been using. Knowing the benefits and disadvantages will help you correctly know what to expect from your Air Purifier and which air purifier to buy.