[Written in collaboration with Dyson.]
You may not realise it, but you’re constantly breathing in air pollutants, like combustion byproducts, dust particles, viruses, and bacteria daily—even in the comfort of your own home.
To get rid of these air particulates, the usual course of actions involves cleaning your house, as well as having an air purifier to circulate and provide clean air to breathe.
However, not all air purifiers are not built equally, and some are far better at scrubbing the air than others.
So what do air purifiers need to have to be good at removing air pollutants effectively, and what do you need to look out for when getting one?
1. It has a combination of different filtering technology
First and foremost, arguably the most important aspect of any air purifier is the air filters.
Unlike the air filter sheet found on most air conditioning units, the filters, also known as High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are designed to remove particles ranging from 2.5 microns down to as small as 0.1 microns.
To put things into perspective, that’s up to 700 times smaller than the average thickness of a human hair.
High-end air purifiers can facilitate the removal of bacteria, viruses, and mould spores through filtration capture, thus only projecting out cleaner air as a result.
They also come with an activated carbon filter that helps absorb and eliminate odour from food, cigarette smoke, and more.
Some even include a catalytic filter to absorb formaldehyde, a colourless gas often found in paint, plywood, and fiberboard that’s commonly found at home.
Those that are exposed to it would often experience adverse effects like skin irritations, nausea, and watery eyes, just to name a few.
Sure, there are some air purifiers that come with the air ioniser functionality that releases negatively charged ions into the air to, supposedly, aid in eliminating, allergens, viruses, and bacteria.
The drawback of this feature is that it also releases ozone, a respiratory irritant that could lead to many side effects like throat irritation, difficulty breathing, and more.
In addition to that, long-term exposure can also trigger more severe issues like reduced lung function, lung inflammation, and a higher risk of respiratory infections.
With that being said, it’s best to avoid getting an air purifier that comes with this feature, as it may cause more harm than good when it comes to your respiratory health.
2. It’s able to sense and adjust itself automatically
While cheaper air purifiers are usually just glorified fans with a HEPA filter strapped onto it to filter the air, more expensive ones are typically equipped with smart sensors to detect particulates.
If there are many pollutants detected, higher-end air purifiers would intelligently adjust the suction fan to a higher setting until the surrounding air is cleaned.
By switching back and forth between fan speeds, it not only helps increase the lifespan of the air filters inside, but also reduces noise levels, as well as electricity usage.
Some of them are even equipped with humidity and temperature sensors, too. They display the information collected onto their LCD screens.
3. It’s able to accommodate the room size that it’s rated for
Another crucial feature that makes a good air purifier is the room coverage it is rated for.
If you use an air purifier that’s rated for 10m3 in a 30m3 sized room, it will not be as effective at cleaning because it does not have the power to circulate the air effectively.
How an air purifier is tested plays an important role, too.
For example, air purifiers that were tested using the industry-standard clean air delivery rate (CADR) that was first introduced in 1980, do not have the same room coverage compared to those that went through the new POLAR testing method that was developed by Dyson.
This new method provides a more accurate representation of the air purifier’s performance in real-world environments.
This is because in CADR, these purifiers are tested in a much smaller chamber of around 28m3 in volume, while POLAR tests them in an 81m3 chamber to evaluate their air filtration efficiency, cleaning performance, and air projection across the room.
What should you look for when getting an air purifier?
When getting an air purifier for yourself, you should first determine the size of the room you’re getting it for.
If you’re looking to get an air purifier for your living room, which is typically around 47m3, it might be better to get something slightly larger and rated for that large of a space.
Not only that, having the ability to draw in pollutants from afar and project purified air across the room, similar to Dyson’s Air Multiplier™, is also an added advantage for better circulation of clean air.
Going with something a little smaller would usually suffice if you’re getting one for your bedroom or study room.
But do make sure it has the Auto and Night mode function to limit the fan speed so that it does not generate as much noise while you’re asleep or concentrating on work.
My colleagues in the office can also see its importance and use a good and reliable air purifier, too.
Fadhilah, our video editor mentioned, “My mom is quite sensitive to dirty air (like smoke, dust, etc) and can’t stand the smell. So, she wants clean air for her comfort and health, I guess. For me personally, I would also need it for the same reason but also because I have allergies.”
If you only intend on getting one air purifier, it might be better to get something that’s smaller and easy to carry with you from room to room.
For those who smoke or vape in their room frequently, you might want to consider getting an air purifier with an activated carbon filter to remove odours from smoking.
Our senior editorial writer, Joyce, highlighted that she would consider getting an air purifier mostly to suck up unwanted smells such as cooking fumes, smoke from neighbours, and the occasional mosquito fogs.
Claudia, our editorial writer, chimed in with a similar sentiment and followed up by saying that she wants an air purifier because she gets nasal congestion in the morning, and she has mild asthma.
Last but not least, the design of the air purifier is equally as important if you want it to fit with the overall theme of your room.
An air purifier that we use at the office which fits our criteria is Dyson’s Purifier Cool Formaldehyde TP09.
With its fully-sealed filtration system, Air Multiplier technology, and the fact that it can swivel almost 360 degrees, it can circulate purified air reliably across the whole office.
I like how it’s not too heavy, which allows us to carry around the office and place it wherever it needs to be.
All in all, an air purifier can be a useful tool to rid the air at home of airborne particles, which are one of the leading causes of respiratory issues.
With many air purifiers available in the market, it’s best to properly do your research and understand your household’s needs before investing in one.
If you’re unsure where to start, you can have a look at Dyson’s range of Air Purifiers, such as the Dyson Pure Cool TP00, which starts from RM1,799.
Dyson’s having a promo until 31st July 2022, where you can get RM500 off when you trade in or upgrade your old vacuum cleaner and air purifier Dyson’s website and official stores across Malaysia.
- Find out more about the Dyson Trade-Up campaign here.
- Find out more about Dyson’s air purifiers here.