How to choose the right air purifier, especially if you have asthma – Technology News, Firstpost

According to a report by the World Health Organization, one in ten asthmatics live in India. Another report from Global Asthma Network suggests that of India’s 1.31 billion people, six percent of children and about two percent of adults have been officially diagnosed with asthma. The actual number of people suffering from the disease may be much higher.

Due to the rapid urbanization, living in a natural and clean environment in a metropolitan area, it has become almost impossible to get a breath of fresh air. In such a scenario, air purifiers have become a necessity for many people, especially if they have asthma. During the winter, this problem is exacerbated, but it is by no means limited to just one season. Air pollution and breathing toxic air have become a year-round problem.

Currently, air purifiers are the most viable option for getting a respite from breathing toxic air. But with so many brands and variants on the market and so many different technologies being implemented, choosing the right one can seem like a mammoth task. We look at the qualities one should look for in an ideal air purifier.

Strong pre-filters

First and foremost, an air purifier must be able to block or filter dust particles and dander from the air. This becomes all the more necessary if you live in an area where construction is underway or in an open field of dust. If you have pets and they tend to shed a lot, you need an air purifier with strong pre-filters.

HEPA filters

Now there are several filters that remove allergens and pollutants, but the best option is to go for a real HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. They are not ozone based and they are easy to maintain. In addition, they are highly effective at trapping 99.95 percent of particles as small as 0.1 microns, such as various allergens, bacteria, certain viruses, pollen and mold spores. Keep in mind that there are different types of HEPA filters; the higher the number, the better the filter. Also try to use air purifiers that use polypropylene HEPA filters or PTFE membranes as opposed to fiberglass.

Non Ozone Based Air Filters

Avoid ozone-based air filters that use ionizers. Ionizers work by sending out a stream of charged ions to attract dust and allergens. Although quite popular, it’s important to know that ground-level ionizers can produce ozone. This ozone can irritate your lungs. Moreover, they are also bad for the environment.

Activated Carbon Filters

Activated carbon filters remove the pollutants and elements that cause odor. Usually, such pollutants make people sick and can cause serious illness. People who live in or near industrial areas should ideally get an air purifier that uses both HEPA filters and activated carbon filters.

Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) Filter

PCO filters use a titanium oxide coated metal sheet that works in tandem with UV light to oxidize and break down chemicals during the filtration process. Again, this is a great feature, especially if you live in an area that is highly polluted, especially from car exhaust.

Air exchange rate of an air purifier

An air purifier’s ACH (or air change per hour) is the measure of how many times the purifier filters the air in the entire room in an hour. While there is no standard unit that says a particular ACH score is good for a particular situation, an ACH score of 6 or higher is usually better. An ACH score of 6 usually means that the air in a room is changed every 10 minutes, reducing the risk of spreading airborne diseases through the air.

CADR or POLAR ratings

CADR or Clean Air Delivery Rate is the measure of how much of the purified air is delivered by an air purifier at its maximum speed setting. It is used for both the amount of airflow and the efficiency of the particle removal. CADR testing is done in small rooms with a ceiling fan and one sensor, which some manufacturers say is not the ideal way to test because it doesn’t mimic a realistic scenario. For example, Dyson uses a much larger room, no fans, and multiple sensors scattered throughout their test room for more comprehensive results. They have called their methodology the POLAR or Point Loading Auto Response test. Ideally, you should be looking for a score above 100 CADR for fabric.

Finally, you should also consider how often one needs the different filters of the air purifier and whether some of these filters can be recycled or not. Ideally, you should replace your filters every 12-18 months of daily use. Also keep in mind the price of the filter kits as they can be a bit expensive depending on their refinement and efficiency.

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