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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

Techilicious by Rajiv Makhni: The no BS air purifier buying guide - Part 1

Air pollution is real and it’s in our lungs. Know the facts before you tackle it.

brunch Updated: Nov 17, 2019 01:30 IST
Rajiv Makhni
Rajiv Makhni
Hindustan Times
(From left) Xiaomi, Sharp, Amway Atmosphere-Mini and Dyson air purifers
(From left) Xiaomi, Sharp, Amway Atmosphere-Mini and Dyson air purifers
         

It’s here. The much awaited smog, that choking feeling, those burning eyes, most children on nebulisers and that wonderful poisonous air that defines our country in winter. And the only solution is to buy an army of air purifiers. Let me make you feel even better. That air purifier you’ve bought isn’t really doing much for you. Chances are you’ve bought the wrong one, are using it totally wrong and are doing an even worse job maintaining it. It’s time to blow away the gimmicky claims of brands and actually help you and your family breathe better.

The myths
Let’s first get rid of all the myths around air purifiers (and there are a lot of them).

#1: You don’t need one. This whole air pollution thing is all nonsense floated by air purifier brands.
If you’re from that school of thought, then may be I could also interest you in a theory that says the world is flat! Air pollution is a serious disaster in the making.

#2: Closing doors and windows ensures that the pollution doesn’t come in.
It does! It seeps in and once it’s in, it gets trapped and builds up. The air inside a house or office is way more polluted than the air outside.

#3: All air purifiers just suck in air through a filter and blow it out. Right?
Wrong! From the way an air purifier gathers air inwards, the level of filtration and the amount of clean air it blows out, air purifiers and their ability to clean air are as different as night from day.

Using one
Let’s move onto using an air purifier the right way.

# 1: Shut the Door!
Think of an air purifier as an air conditioner. It does nothing if the room it’s in isn’t shut. An air purifier has a certain capacity of air it can clean. One room, one air purifier, all doors shut!

#2: Get it off the floor
If you have a tower AP, then it’s fine. If it isn’t, then put it on a table or stand. Or else you’re basically using it as a sweeping device to gather dust off the floor around it.

#3: Power it off when you leave the room
If you’re out of the room for a while and the AP is blowing away, you’re wasting the filter. Every filter lasts for a certain number of hours. Don’t make it work in an empty room!

Most companies won’t give the right information because what they make is pure crap in the guise of a purifier

#4: Shut it off when sweeping your room
Your room’s being swept, large chunks of dust are blowing around and it’s all getting sucked into the pre filter. Waste of the device. For that period of time, shut the AP off.

#5: Place it correctly
Place it in the most uncluttered area so it can suck in more air. Position it so it blows out the air into the centre of the room.

#6: Filter, filter, filter
It’s the lifeblood of your device and it needs to be cleaned and changed at the right time. Clean the pre-filter and replace the HEPA filter exactly at the time it’s specified.

#7: Buy the right air purifier
Many things affect its efficacy – clean air delivery rate (volume of filtered air the device can blow out), air changes per hour (how quickly the purifier changes the air in the given space) and cubic feet per minute (how many cubic feet of air move through the unit per minute). Most companies make crap in the guise of a purifier.

Fortunately, you don’t need to get into all this because I will do that for you. In Part 2, I take you through how to buy the right air purifier and which ones make sense for every budget and price point. Till then – hold your breath!

This is the first of a two-part series on air purifiers. Part 2 will appear on November 24, 2019.

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

Techilicious appears every fortnight

From HT Brunch, November 10, 2019

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