Some time ago Noida-based entrepreneur Sushmita Sinha’s son had a cough that lasted for almost a month. A worried Sinha decided to buy an air purifier. “It had a dramatic effect. Earlier, my son would lie awake at night coughing, but now he sleeps peacefully,” says Sinha.
An air purifier can be a panacea for many. “If pollutants like pollen, dust, dust mites, mould, tobacco smoke and pet dander trigger seasonal allergies in you; if there is someone with asthma, a child with an underdeveloped immune system, a pregnant lady or a pet in the house; or you live in a construction zone, you should buy an air purifier,” says Jayati Singh, business head – air, health and wellness.
The first thing to look for in an air purifier is a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. “Buy an air purifier with a HEPA filter and not one with a HEPA-type filter,” says Marzin Shroff, chief executive officer – direct sales and senior vice president – marketing, Eureka Forbes. An activated carbon filter and microbial disinfection are other must-have features.
Also pay heed to the air purifier’s Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR), a measure of the purified air being delivered (metre cubes per hour) by an air purifier operating at its highest speed setting. “Match the appropriate CADR to your room size,” says Mahesh Gupta, chairman, Kent RO Systems.
Buy an air purifier that is suited to your needs. According to Singh, the HEPA filter is a boon for an asthmatic, while an ozone-based purifier should be strictly avoided. ECARF certified models (a European certification meant to help allergic customers) with HEPA filters are ideal for people with allergies. A device with a pre-filter is a must for those residing in areas with heavy construction activity. For people living in places with high levels of gases, odours and pets, activated carbon works well.
If you are going to use the machine in your bedroom, buy a machine with a low level of noise. Also, buy one with adjustable speed settings so that you can turn it up to a higher setting when you are not in the room. “Purchase a machine with a slightly higher square-foot capacity than you need, so that you can run it effectively on its quieter ‘low’ setting, resulting in less noise and less energy consumption,” says Singh. A display, which shows the quality of indoor air, is a useful feature. Some air purifiers come with a humidifier, which helps maintain the right level of humidity indoors.
When choosing a manufacturer, go for one whose replaceable items such as filters will be easily available. Most air purifiers have two filters — a HEPA filter and a carbon filter — that have to be changed every six months or one year. Pay attention to the number of years of warranty provided with the machine. Prices of room purifiers can begin from Rs 9,000 and go as high as Rs 40,000. According to Shroff of Eureka Forbes, “The price depends on the room size, CADR, number of stages of filtration, and so on.”