Do we actually need an air purifier? This is a million-dollar question which is persistent in everyone’s mind. We tend to believe that those articles in the newspapers talking about air pollution and highlighting about poor air quality does not concern us because we are at home and not on the streets. So why waste money on air purifiers?
We spoke to Arvind Chabra, Country Head for Blueair India, to get some insiders about this myth. He had a lot to say about who should and why should you opt for air purifiers today.
‘Well here is an eye opener. — a recent WHO report revealed an alarming death toll of 7 million people every year caused by ambient (outdoor) and indoor pollution. The air we breathe affects our brain. And when you start breathing fresh air then you not only feel better but also feel protected against many diseases,’ said Chabra.
Since India is in a nascent stage in the air purifier market, there are certain myths around it. Chabra helped us debunk some myths:
- I don't need an indoor air purifier as air pollution is outside my home.
People tend to believe that we can inhale pollutants only when we are outdoor whereas we are protected staying inside our home. But the reality is that indoor air can be 5 times more dangerous that the air outside. Commodities and activities that make our home complete like cooking, mopping, smoking, synthetic rugs, pet’s fur and even burning a candle or incense stick causes harm to the air quality of your home. And given that people spent 90 percent of their time indoor, you can estimate how important indoor air is.
- I don't need an air purifier as air pollution is present only during winters
Though occasional hazards like smog due to environmental conditions in winters catches our attention, air pollution is a year around scenario as pollutants like particulate matter, VOCs, allergens, bacteria and viruses etc are present 365 days. We breathe roughly 12000 litres of air every day which is 7 times (Source: US EPA - Environmental Protection Agency) more than the food we eat or water we drink. Hence, we always need to take control of the quality of air we breathe.
- Using air purifier will reduce my immunity to outdoor pollution
This is one of the biggest myths of people who use air purifiers that they will get accustomed to it and will be less resistant to polluted air. Well this is not true. It is the average exposure during the day that is most important to health. By breathing clean, healthy air inside you can reduce your daily average exposure level to the polluted air and do your best to protect health.
- Efficiency of an air purifier can be measured by its coverage area.
Coverage area only establishes the capacity of the air volume an air purifier can clean while choosing an air purifier, a consumer must consider these parameters to make a perfect choice:
Clean air delivery rate (CADR) is a measure of purified air being delivered by an air purifier operating at its highest speed setting (m3/hr). The CADR is a measurement that combines both the amount of air flow and particle removal efficiency. The higher the CADR number, the faster is the rate at which an air purifier removes indoor air pollutants in the stated coverage area. Many air purifiers have a CADR number but may not be verified by Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). For best results, look for the AHAM verifide.
- Type of filters: Filters are the heart of an air purifier as they demonstrate the actual cleaning efficiency of an air purifier. Always go for an air purifier which removes the minutest of the air pollutants like particulate matter, VOCs, Smoke, Bacteria, and Viruses. For best filtration, HEPASilent Technology removes 99.97% of air pollutants down to 0.1 micron. For example, air purifiers such as Bluair uses this technology.
- Air changes per hour: All air purifiers have their own ACH (Air Change per Hour). Always go for an air purifier which has a high ACH as it ensures a consistent flow of clean air in your room. AHAM recommends minimum 5ACH per hour, meaning the air purifier filters the room every 12 mins.
- Warranty: Warranty is a promise of the durability of a product. Always choose product with longer warranty for better peace of mind. For example, air purifiers from Blueair, again, come with five years of warranty.
Using an air purifier is an additional household expense; hence I can do without it.
Buying an air purifier is a life affirming choice to breathe healthier air. By doing so we add minutes, weeks, months, may be even years to our lives. Always go for an air purifier that is energy efficient. If used 24X7, efficient air purifiers consume less energy than a light bulb....