While you have a choice to choose your drinking water, you don’t have any with regards to the air you breathe. The air you breathe is completely dependent on the surroundings you live in. So if your city is polluted, your air at home is equally bad. What do you do in such a case? Deploying an air purifier is your only option.
With numerous air purifiers in the market today, many come with a price tag which could probably make you think twice about owning one. In the midst of such a crisis, Xiaomi has brought to India its successful air purifier — the Mi Air Purifier 2. The device is pretty cheap, but functions at par with most leading brands.
The Mi Air Purifier is the first product in Xiaomi’s Smart Home Appliance Family to enter into India. The appliance is a second generation version and has a major improvement over the older variant.
The Mi Air Purifier 2 is a smart appliance and connects to the internet using your existing Wi-Fi at home or office. Xiaomi claims that the unit can clean the air in a room within 10 minutes, provided the room is enclosed and no windows are open.
Built with a rugged chassis, the all-plastic white frame has perforated holes on the bottom half while the roof has a powerful fan to blow the clean air outwards. The device consists of three parts—the electronics, an air filter and a blower. The electronics comprises of an intelligent circuitry which incorporates a Wi-Fi module, a couple of sensors and a speed controller. This connects to your smartphone via the internet (and your existing Wi-Fi) using an app. The bottom half comprises of a triple-layer cylindrical filter, which is replaceable. This filter is a custom filter manufactured by Xiaomi and designed for a full 360-degree air intake and is made of a primary filter to capture larger dust and dirt, a Toray EPA filter for capturing smaller micro dust particles and an activated carbon filter to remove other airborne particles and filter out any odours.
Clean air is sucked in from all 360-degrees around the filter and is blown out using powerful fans, designed keeping an aircraft turbine in mind. The blower comprises of two fans—one is an axial fan which increases wind speed to propel the air upwards for room circulation, while the lower fan is a mixed flow 9-blade design that uses turbine-styled blades for higher pressure gusts. The two blades create an increased pressure, sucking in the air from the filter and pushing clean air outwards from the top. The fans are powered by brushless DC motors that are quiet and design to last longer than conventional brushless motors. The Mi Air Purifier 2 does not use any ionizer like other purifiers in the market. Xiaomi relies on the filter itself to ensure that the filtration is adequate and cost-effective.
The Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2 has a purification capacity of 330 M3 per hour and the recommended area of use is around 400sqft – 500 sqft, enough for a large bedroom or a mid-sized living room. The device uses Wi-Fi connectivity and incorporates an air quality, temperature and humidity sensor, and adjusts its purification and fan speeds according to the air quality. The same can be monitored by a Mi Home app and the user had complete control over the appliance from within the Wi-Fi network or over the internet. The device can consume a minimum of 1.5 watts of power when in sleep mode, and a maximum of 75 watts when in full activity. Lastly, purifier is pretty silent and can keep noise levels to as low as 31dB. The Mi Air Purifier 2 measures 240 x 240 x 520 mm and weighs around 4.8Kg along with the filter. Bundled along with the appliance is a filter, power cord and a manual.
Installing the Air Purifier 2 is simple and straightforward, but first time Xiaomi users could find it a little cumbersome. Once needs to download the Mi Home app, create an account with Mi (if not already done), pair with the device and then start to operate it. However, if you don’t want to use the app, you can also use the appliance as a standalone unit.
The Mi Air Purifier 2 is best used in a bedroom (especially for children) where one spends the most amount of time in there and the air needs to be the purest. The appliance needs to be placed in the corner of a room with at least 6cm distance from the walls. You also need to make sure that your wireless network is in range in order to use the Air Purifier 2 with your smartphone.
The front of the unit features just three LED indicators for Auto, Sleep and Manual modes which can be controlled by the Mi Home app or a button on the top of the appliance. Next to the button is a Wi-Fi LED indicator which shows connectivity to the local network. The rear panel has another switch that helps you reset the unit in order to pair it with the Mi Home app. The user needs to press both the switches simultaneously for a few seconds and the Mi Home app will be able to communicate with the purifier. This needs to be done just once.
The rear panel has two doors—while the larger one opens to the filter compartment, another smaller one opens to the sensor department, which needs to be cleaned once every 6 months. Changing or installing the filter is pretty simple and takes just a few seconds. Simply open the door with the push if a lock, pull out the filter drum and push in the new filter—no connections, adjustments, whatsoever. On an average, you would need to clean the filter chamber from inside every 6 – 8 months using a brush, vacuum and cloth.
The filter is designed to last you around 145 days—which is around 3 – 5 months on an average. Do note: if you use the unit in a room that has windows opened at all times or if you are using it in a very dusty environment, you would have to change the filter more often. The filter has no sensor—the appliance takes into consideration the amount of time it is switched on and the approximate amount of air that has passed through it to determine the life of the filter. The price of a filter is Rs 2,499 and is only available online and via Xiaomi’s retail outlets.
As far as the app is concerned, the Mi Home app gives you real-time air monitoring wherever you are. So if you are at work, you can still keep a tab on the air quality inside your house. With smart controls, you can adjust the purification speed or keep schedules to automatically start/stop or adjust the speed depending on your sleep and wake cycles. The app also keeps a tab on your filter quality and will alert you when you need to buy a new filter.
We tested the Mi Air Purifier 2 and found it to be pretty satisfying. Keeping it running for a whole day in a closed bedroom, we could not gauge the effect immediately — but after a few days of use, you could feel the difference. Well, in order to actually test the purifier, we took it to a smaller room – around 50sqft, where we ensured that there are no windows or doors kept open. And what is best than to test it in a room full of smoke — we invited a few colleagues who smoke (Please note: We don’t promote smoking) and then switched on the Mi Air Purifier 2 in auto mode. The purifier immediately indicated that the air quality inside the room was bad with the front power LED on the unit glowing in red and the app showing a high of 585 PM2.5 estimate (as opposed to a standard clean 35 – 20 PM2.5 estimate). Immediately, the purifier switched to high power mode to purify the air at an escalated rate. The air inside the room was cleaner within minutes of the purifier taking charge and we also found that the tobacco odour from the smoke to be almost negligible —thanks to the activated carbon filter within the filter drum.
We definitely recommend the Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2 if you are concerned about having a healthy home. The Mi Air Purifier 2 is priced at Rs 9,999 and the filter at Rs 2,499 — an average daily expense of a mere Rs 6 to Rs 8 for fresh clean air. Since the device is portable, you can use it in any room or take it along to your second home during vacations....