Tech special: Breathe easy with these air purifiers

Jun 21, 2015, 08:08 IST | Harpreet Kaur Sapra

When was the last time you opened the window and inhaled fresh air? According to reports, the pollution level of the air we inhale is off the charts. Here are a few air purifiers to help you breathe in peace

We breathe in air that is polluted with harmful gases and allergy-causing particles. Gone are the days when we could open our windows and take a deep breath. The Pollution Index for Countries 2015 rated India in the top 30 most polluted countries with a pollution index of 77.7 per cent.

Air pollution causes various diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and lung cancer among others. We can wear face masks when out, roll up the windows of our cars or simply lock ourselves at home.

However, one has to remember that even while indoors, we inhale the same air that surrounds us while out. According to studies, the air inside our homes is five times more polluted than the air outside and makes up for 57 per cent of our total air intake per day. So, the easiest option would be to purify the air that we breathe in with an air purifier. So here are a few options that are worth checking out.

The FU-A80E-W from Sharp is perfect for bigger spaces, like your drawing room or big basements, as it can clean air up to 667 sq feet in the radius area. The HEPA filter manages the level of harmful particulate matter in the air and the activated carbon filter removes the odour. Its high density plasmacluster ion technology powerfully and quickly removes airborne particles. The FU-A80E-W comes with a built-in humidifier. The ‘shower mode’ uses water from the eight-litre water tank to clean excessive pollutants for one hour returning to the previous fan settings. This helps prevent breathing problems caused due to a dry throat or dry cough. It even has a child lock to ensure that the young ones do not fiddle with the settings. The digital display on the purifier indicates the quality of air and also when you need to change the filters. Priced at R29,990, the FU-A80E-W claims a filter life of over two years. However, looks-wise, it does not come close to the aesthetically beautiful purifiers by Philips.

Like most Panasonic air purifiers, F-PXH55 uses ‘nanoe technology’ to stop and prevent bacteria, including the notorious H1N1, from growing. Nanoe technology penetrates into fabrics and inhibits allergens up to 99.99 per cent. The ‘econavi’ technology memorises the pollution patterns of the surroundings and the unit operates automatically based on these patterns. The all angle 3D circulation of airflow helps catch dust and other allergens close to the floor level. Luminous colour indicators at the switch panel give an active feedback about the quality of air at a given moment — a large red light for ‘dirty’, a small red light for ‘slightly dirty’ and blue for ‘clean’. There is even a built-in light sensor feature that turns off the unit if it does not sense anybody in the room. The filter replace indicator reminds you when to replace the filter to ensure best functioning. At R29,995, it makes for a good buy because Panasonic claims a 10-year life on both the composite and the deodorising filter. It is good enough to clean a room that measures approximately 452 sq feet.

Built more like a personal gadget, the AC4025 by Philips is a lightweight handy device that can be easily carried to the room you want to sit in. Advanced filtration system includes a pre-filter – wherein the carbon filter catches those particles that are not visible to the naked eye. The Hepa filter kicks-in in the second stage to clean out the fine dust particles, bacteria and other allergy causing elements, making the air fit to breathe. The deodorising filter also cleans the air of all odour.
The three-step light indicator changes with every step – red for when the air is dirty, purple when it is averagely clean and blue for when it is clean. The three-step fan speed also lets you adjust the air flow to your liking and you can easily set the timer to the one, four or eight-hour cycle. You can even use the AC4025 in a ‘sleep mode’ wherein it cleans the air in a silent mode and all the light indicators are also dimmed, so that it does not disturb your sleep. The Healthy Air Protect warns you when you need to replace the filter. This 40 watt air purifier is priced at Rs 16,995 and is good enough to clean the air of a single room. It is available in a white and green ABS plastic body and comes with a two-year warranty. One can also go for the higher model AC4072 if the air of a bigger room needs to be cleaned.

Daikin Air Purifier comes with a six stage filtration process to decompose and remove bacteria, viruses, allergens, mould spores and other undesirable airborne components. The Titanium apatite photo catalytic filter acts on the bacteria and viruses by absorbing them. The components that cause foul odour are absorbed by the filter and then decomposed by the Streamer deodorising catalyst. The MC70MVM6 continually renews its ability to absorb odour, so you do not need to replace the catalyst ever. The dust and odour levels are indicated by three lights, which automatically dim when in the sleep mode. You can even set a shutdown timer and leave the purifier to do its work while you step out.  It can even be put on the turbo mode for instant air cleaning — for example, right after the house has been dusted in the mornings. At Rs 26,000, Daikin’s MC70MVM makes for a good buy.

Claimed to be one of the most energy efficient air purifiers, Blueair’s 270E uses a patented two-stage HEPASilent technology. It can capture up to 99.97 per cent particles of 0.1 micron size, including allergy causing pollen grains, dust mites, mould spores and pet dander particles. It uses a unique advanced filter and ioniser that charges the dirty particles, making them easy to trap. The built-in auto sensors constantly monitor air quality and adjust the speed of the unit to ensure clean air at all times. You can also manually select the speed depending on where you put the unit. To operate it, you do not even have to get off your seat as it comes with a remote control and digital display system that gives the user instant feedback on particle detection, air purifier speed, and timer operation. The display always indicates the number of days remaining for a filter change and the warning light indicates when it is time to change. In their attempt to be environmentally friendly, Blueair has replaced the standard filters with biodegradable polypropylene filters. Priced a little above other purifiers at R49,990, 270E does offer a remote and is environmentally friendly. You can get an additional SmokeStop filter that reduces the odours, smoke, fumes and various harmful gases.

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