With Diwali less than a week away, excitement throughout India is at an all-time high. As is the case every year, revelry for one of the country’s biggest festivals is in full swing, having begun almost a month back during Navratras. Diwali is (and always has been) synonymous with happiness and positivity, but over the past few years, it’s come to be associated with health problems and multiple types of pollution. The reason – firecrackers!
It’s true that bursting firecrackers on Diwali has been a tradition in India since forever, but recently, it’s become a serious issue. The situation is particularly dire in Delhi and surrounding areas coming in the National Capital Region (NCR), where the already-high levels of air and noise pollution become downright unbearable during this time of the year, since the usage of fireworks starts days before Diwali and continues well after the festival is over. On their part, authorities do try to contain the problem by enforcing restrictions on the time till which fireworks can be burst (or even banning their sale altogether), but in a lawless country like India where people take pride in flouting rules, these restrictions have little to no effect. This has led to Diwali becoming a night that helpless animals and people with hearing/respiratory problems dread, and this year is unlikely to be any different.
So, if this problem can’t be solved (at least, for now), what then? Well, you can (try to) fight it, with technology. The rising air pollution has also led to a rise in the popularity of Air Purifiers in India. The market is full of numerous air purifiers from dozens of manufacturers, with each promising to make the air you breathe cleaner and healthier. And with the laundry list of features that these devices come with, deciding on one can sure be a daunting task.
To help you out, we’ve put together a detailed guide covering the things you should take into consideration when buying an air purifier. Read on.
Pointers to keep in mind when getting an air purifier
Size of room: All air purifiers aren’t equally powerful and are designed to clean air in rooms/areas of different sizes. Therefore, the first thing to note when choosing an air purifier is the place you intend to use it in. It’s recommended that you choose an air purifier that’s capable of cleansing the air of a room that’s a room size bigger than the one you plan to install it in. Also, the height of the room needs to be taken into account.
Type of filter used: Generally, all air purifiers use one of two major types of filters – Composite and HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) Composite. You should go for the purifier that uses the latter, since HEPA Composite are much better at mechanically separating pollutants from air. Composite filters, on the other hand, are efficient at inhibiting airborne micro-organisms, but need frequent (every 3-6 months) replacement. Most air purifiers come with some type of indicator (e.g. LED light) that lets you know when a filter replacement is needed.
Performance metrics: Lofty claims aside, how do you know the exact performance of an air purifier. For this, two metrics – CADR and ACH – should be considered. Here’s a little bit about both:
CADR: Short for Clean Air Delivery Rate, this metric depicts the level of purifier air emitted by the purifier. Go for a purifier with a higher CADR since that means higher filtration capacity.
ACH: An acronym for Air Changes per Hour, this refers to the number of times the filter cleans the air in the room it’s being used in. Given the level of pollution in metropolitan cities like Delhi and Mumbai, you should choose an air purifier with a minimum ACH of 4, which means a full clean every 15 minutes.
Number of filters: The above-mentioned HEPA Composite is just one of the many filters that modern air purifiers come with. Apart from that, they may have activated carbon filters, charged media filters, and more. Depending upon how bad the air quality in your room/area is, you should go for a purifier that has all the necessary filters.
Other factors: Air purifiers aren’t exactly compact gadgets, but still, you should go for one that’s portable enough to be easily carried between rooms. Then there’s price, which is always a big deciding factor when it comes to buying anything in India.
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Once you do get an air purifier though, don’t think of using it only during Diwali season. Most manufacturers recommend running air purifiers all day for the best results. Morck Electrical Appliance’s Eric Shao recommends using air purifer’s medium setting for all day usage, in order to ensure maximum power efficiency. The highest setting can be used for quick cleaning or when air quality is too bad.
Some of the popular brands that sell air purifiers inlcude Xiaomi, Samsung, LG, Dyson, Philips, Kent and Honeywell to name a few. You can buy an air purifier starting at Rs 10,000 and the prices goes as much as Rs 90,000.