Several cities across India have been witnessing growing pollution levels, especially cities in the National Capital Region including Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon and others. Even Mumbai has been witnessing high levels of pollution, as is the case with several other cities in India. And it’s not outdoor air that’s been affected. Indoor air has become a major source of concern with doctors increasingly suggesting the use of air purifiers. With the market flooded with choices, it’s necessary to use one’s discretion to buy the right purifier. Ken Armstrong, Air Purification Scientist at Dyson, suggests how to choose the right air purifier to suit your needs.
Buying An Air Purifier? 6 Things To Keep In Mind
“Whether we’re sleeping, working, cooking, or exercising, we are potentially breathing dirty air. We can do little to control the quality of the air we breathe outside. But there are ways we can protect our health and wellbeing in our homes. One such way is to invest in an air purifier. The decision to purchase an air purifier could be a positive step towards providing purified air for both you and your family. Purifiers come in various shapes and sizes, remove different kinds of air pollutants in your homes, and offer a wide array of features and specifications,” says Ken Armstrong. He shares the five important things that one should note before buying an air purifier:
1. Type Of Filter Used
There are different types of filtration and cleaning systems present in purifiers. “Ultraviolet light, for example, uses electromagnetic radiation to destroy bacteria, viruses and mould but does not remove dust, allergens or particles in the air. Activated carbon filters react chemically with pollutants to clear smoke, odours and gases from the air, but alone do not filter out harmful fine particles. Ionisers work by sending out a stream of charged ions to attract dust and allergens. While fairly popular, it is important to know ionisers can produce ground-level ozone. This raises indoor ozone, which can irritate your lungs,” says Amstrong. He adds that HEPA H13 standard filters are highly effective at capturing 99.95 per cent of particles as small as 0.1 microns such as allergens, bacteria, H1N1 virus, pollen and mould spores. “HEPA filters alone, however, will not remove formaldehyde,” shares Amstrong.
2. Ability To Remove Fine And Ultra-Fine Particles
While seemingly fundamental, it is important to be aware of the invisible enemies that we are dealing with in our homes. “In India, PM2.5 is the most commonly mentioned particle size – which is prevalent in India, almost throughout the year. Particles, unfortunately, do not stop at 2.5 microns. PM0.1 particles, also known as ultra-fine particles, tend to penetrate the fine sacs in our lungs (also known as alveoli) and may even enter our bloodstream easily. Using air purifiers which are fully sealed ensures that no air bypasses the filter and blocks any potential leak points through which dirty air might enter the machines,” says Amstrong.
3. Area Of Coverage And Ability To Circulate Air
To gauge the scale of your needs, measure the approximate length, width and height of your room, and multiply them together to obtain the amount of coverage you require, says Amstrong. He adds, “Do however bear in mind that the ability to distribute clean air evenly across the room is equally important, as many air purifiers only release air in a singular or upward direction.”
Also Read: Air Pollution Is Harming Your Eyes: How To Maintain Eye Health As Air Turns Toxic – Doctor Shares Tips
4. Size And Weight Of Air Purifiers
Purifiers can be bulky and heavy, making them difficult to transfer across rooms. “Light-weight purifiers on the other hand, usually mean that coverage is compromised. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. Certain models of purifiers combine the functionality of a fan with an air purifier, providing the best of both worlds,” says Armstrong.
5. Frequency Of Use
For the best results, your air purifier should run continuously. “If you plan to run your purifier regularly, consider the noise level at the highest and lowest speeds. A volume of less than 30 decibels will allow you to sleep peacefully. If you plan to have an air purifier in your bedroom, consider one that offers a night mode,” says Amstrong.
6. App Connectivity
Some air purifiers connect to an app from the manufacturer. Amstrong says, “These apps allow you to control your machine from your smart device. They also provide updates and reports on air quality and alert you when your machine needs maintenance or a filter replacement.”