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Which Is A Good Air Purifier Between Rs 20,000 - 30,000 Range?

Are you trying to buy an air purifier? here are few things to look before spending in an air purifier

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Indoor Air Quality - Shocking Facts
We have heard about the Air Quality Index and the readings of ambient air outside.  What not many know is the quality of indoor air is almost 4 to 5 times more polluted than outside air.  I was pretty surprised by the quality of air I measured over the last few weeks.

Startling Facts
In Gurgaon, which is supposed to be less polluted than Delhi here are some of the readings I took over this winter. Worth mentioning
* not a single day Indoor Air Quality 2.5 ppm went under 200.  That's the best it got!  Thats 4 times the normal!
* most days indoor air quality reading was between 350 to 600!  That's almost 12 times more than normal  air quality.
* indoor pollution was far higher than outside pollution. Suppose outside air quality was 300 the indoor air quality anywhere between 550 to 650.   That means indoor air reached beyond hazardous category on many days.

Presenting to you random readings in Gurgaon

Inhaling Gas and Ash
A few months back I had met PKSV Sagar, Managing Director, Camfil India, a company in the air pollution solutions space.  He has shown me an air purification machine and the ash content in it. Imagine all that going in your lungs.  According to him "While we are all witnessing the rising air pollution levels in Delhi-NCR, there is an urgent need to take note of deteriorating indoor air quality. We spend 90% of our time indoors and studies suggest that indoor environment is five times more polluted than the outdoor environment."

Air Purifiers and indoor pollution
Air Purifiers work rather well.  We no longer question a water purifier however in terms of air purifier it is still far from mass adoption. Maybe it's the price or simple unawareness but an air purifier does work well.   The average adult at rest inhales and exhales something like 7 or 8 liters of air per minute, totalling around 11,000 liters of air in a day. Suppose  during sleep time  if you use your air purifier that means something like 5000 to 6000 litres of clean air. To make you understand better it means you get the same benefits as you would get if you cut down on half of your smoking!

Take these readings for instance to understand more.

Air Purifier Decision - Don't make Fear Based Decisions.
The market for air purifiers has seen a surge in sales. According to Dr. Mahesh Gupta, Chairman Kent RO Systems Ltd "There has been a five fold surge in Air purifier Sales in Delhi NCR. Majority of business growth has been in metros. Delhi NCR has seen a spurt with deteriorating weather and so is the demand for air purifiers."  

It's a good idea to make the purchase a planned decision, it's a device you will use for years to come,  rather than a fear based one based on seasonal pollution levels.   It's good idea to evaluate the dust and weather conditions in your local area and buy a device that best suits those conditions.

Here are a few things to look in an air purifier

* CADR - Clean air Delivery Rate
* Type of Filter - The most effective is HEPA filter
* Change frequency - Look at the costs involved
* Ionizer - It  helps bring the 2.5 down
* Power consumption

Looking at a few brands in the Rs 20000 to Rs 30000 range

Sharp FP-FM40E - Purifying Air and Catching Mosquitoes
This Sharp device is sleek and comes with mosquito catcher.  Power consumption is at 33 watts. Coverage area is 300 feet and Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) of 240 cubic metres per hour (m3/hour). It is priced at Rs.28,000 and available exclusively on Amazon.  Filter replacement costs around Rs.5,500 to Rs.6000, which makes it around Rs.3000 a year. Mosquito replacement pads will cost around Rs.1,000.

What's Great

It has a good  HEPA filter besides having the Plasmacluster feature which uses positive and negative ions to pick off particles from static air.   Besides the mosquito catcher is great idea.

The company claims the filter can last upto 24 months

It is designed aesthetically and installation and change of filter is easy

What's not great
Nighttime Distractions

The noise and LEDs are distracting at night. Sharp really needs to take note of this.  Even in the night mode the LED lights are pretty distracting especially for someone who prefers stark darkness at sleep time.

There is no wifi connectivity and no remote besides  no display.

The Verdict
Sharp is feature rich. The mosquito catcher works well. Coming with a Japanese pedigree there is a certain reliability one associates with the brand. However, Sharp should do something about its night mode.

Panasonic F-PXM55A
This device is equipped with Nanoe technology which enhances the quality of indoor air by filtering out harmful particles in addition to normal purification. Added to this is  the Econavi technology minimizes unnecessary operations by monitoring the daily life pattern of the user which means it figures out if someone is in the room or not.

What's great
Excellent light sensors

The light sensors work really well especially in the night mode.

Filter Replacement
Believe it or not but its HEPA filter supposedly lasts 10-12 years. There is a catch however you need to vacuum clean the filter every few weeks

The automation in this Panasonic device is great. The opening of air vent is automated according to the chosen option syncs wells with the light and motion sensors in the device.

Power Consumption
Econavi technology works really well to preserve energy putting off the operations when not required.

What's not Great

At a MRP of Rs.34,000 it's a bit high for this device. Having said that it's available at around Rs.25,000 on Flipkart.

There is no wifi connectivity and no remote and no display.

The Verdict - Panasonic F-PXM55A
Awesome Night Mode

If you are someone who likes to sleep without any lights especially light from  LEDs indicators etc, this Panasonic device is definitely  the right one. It's noise levels are low at 18 dB in night mode. It's light sensors are par excellence.  Econavi technology really works especially for someone who wants to save on energy.  

Kent Alps Plus
Kent Alps Plus comes with a really useful Air Quality display and separate button  for an ionizer.   In terms of bringing down the 2.5 level Kent Alps Plus works really well especially with the ionizer.  In less than 30 minutes Air Quality index fell from 400 to 50.  In terms of capacity it's good enough for 437 square feet. In terms of filtration it has a HEPA filter of grade 17 which is one of the highest available in this segment.

What's Great

It has HEPA filter of grade 17 and combined with the ionizer it performs well.

Low Noise
In terms of noise Kent Alps is low at 20 decibels and  Kent Alps minus the indicator light performs really well at night.

The ionizer works really well bringing down the 2.5 levels

There is an air quality display.

What's not good
No Night mode

There is no night mode. At best you can put the speed control on auto or low. Plus no way to control the LED indicator light at night.

There is no wi-fi connectivity and no remote and no display.

The Verdict  
Kent Alps Plus is a performer

Kent Alps Plus performs really well.  I tried with and without the ionizer and the results were surprising.  The ionizer does work really well bringing down the 2.5 levels really fast.  Kent is a homegrown brand and somewhere they understand the home market. In terms of bringing down the pollution levels the best it got was to bring down the 2.5 content in the air from 600 to 80 in around 15 minutes. That's quite a performance truly.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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air purifier Panasonic F-PXM55A Kent Alps Plus

Puneet Mehrotra

Puneet Mehrotra is an author and columnist who loves inspiring people and writes on business and technolog

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