Deciding which air purifier to buy could be a very hectic task. It requires you to consider a lot of parameters, decode a whole bunch of technical terms, and find your way through many marketing gimmicks. Well, we know the struggle and that’s why we are here to help you.
In this article, we have explained how to figure out if you need an air purifier, how an air purifier works, and most importantly, all the things you need to consider before buying an air purifier in India. So, let’s dive deep and take a look.
Everything You Need To Consider Before Buying An Air Purifier In India
- Do You Need An Air Purifier
- How Does An Air Purifier Work?
- Things You Need To Consider While Buying An Air Purifier In India
Do You Need An Air Purifier?
The first thing that you need to consider before buying an air purifier is evaluating if you actually need one. To figure that out, you need to check the quality of air in your area.
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The easiest way to do that is to look at the air quality index (AQI) of your neighbourhood. For those of you who are unaware of it, the AQI is a number that is derived by calculating the amount of eight pollutants in the air: PM10, PM2.5, NO2, O3, CO, SO2, NH3, and Pb. The higher the AQI number, the higher the level of pollutants in the air. You can check the AQI of a particular region with the help of Google or any weather app on your smartphone.
According to the Government of India, if the AQI is below 50, the quality of air is good, and if that’s the reading that you are getting at your place, you don’t need an air purifier. If the AQI is between 51-100, the quality of air, although a little worse, is satisfactory enough, and it is safe for you to breathe the air without an air purifier. However, if the AQI level goes above 100, the air is considered to be moderately polluted, and this is when you need to buy an air purifier.
If the air has a high number of pollutants, it can lead to serious health issues in the long term. Most metropolitan cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Chennai, have dangerously high levels of air pollution. So, if you live in any one of these cities, you should consider getting an air purifier. Below is a chart that is published by the Indian government that shows how good or bad is the quality of air based on the AQI range.
How Does An Air Purifier Work?
Most air purifiers have a very simple mechanism, and they come with four major components: a set of air filters, a fan, air intake vents, and air exhaust vents.
Typically, the air filters are placed behind the air intake vents and the fan is placed behind the air filters. So, when you turn on the air purifier, the fan spins and sucks the air from the air intake vents and through the air filters. During this process, the pollutants in the air get trapped in the air filter. The clean air is then pushed out through the air exhaust vents.
Things You Need To Consider When Buying An Air Purifier
- Calculate The Required Capacity Of The Air Purifier
- Air Purifier Must Have HEPA H13 Or HEPA H14 Filter
- Buy An Air Purifier That Has A Washable Pre-Filter
- Good To Have Features
- Fast Service And Long Warranty Are Appreciated
1. Calculate The Required Capacity Of The Air Purifier
Like most other electronic appliances, an air purifier also comes in different capacities. However, instead of litres or kilograms, the capacity of an air purifier is typically defined by a unit of measurement called clean air delivery rate or CADR. The higher the CADR, the higher the volume of air an air purifier can clean within a certain period of time.
According to many experts, you should buy an air purifier that has the capacity to clean the entire volume of air in your room equal to or more than five times every hour. There’s a scientific term for this, and it is called air changes per hour or ACH. But how do you determine if the air purifier can clean the entire volume of air in your room equal to more than five times every hour?
Well, we can evaluate that using your room’s measurements and the air purifier’s CADR value, and here’s a step-by-step process to do exactly that.
Step 01: Calculate The Room Volume
To calculate the volume of your room, you need to multiply the length, width, and height of the room by each other (Room Volume = Length x Width x Height). For example, if your room is 10 feet long, 12 feet wide, and 12 feet high, the volume of your room will be 1,440 cubic feet (10 x 12 x 12 = 1,440).
Step 02: Identify The Air Purifier’s CADR
Every air purifier comes with a CADR rating, and typically, it is defined as cubic meters per hour (m3/h). The CADR value is usually mentioned in the marketing material of the air purifier or on the product’s official webpage. Take the Mi Air Purifier 3 for example, it has a CADR rating of 380m3/h.
Step 03: Convert CADR from m3/h to ft3/h
Since we are calculating the volume of the room in feet, rather than meters, we need the CADR value also in cubic feet per hour (ft3/h) rather than cubic meters per hour (m3/h). That means you need to convert the CADR value of the air purifier from m3/h to ft3/h. To do that, search “m3/h to ft3/h” on Google and you’ll get a calculator to convert the value. Alternatively, you can convert the value manually. One m3/h is equal to 35.315 ft3/h. So, multiply the m3/h value of the air purifier by 35.315 to get the ft3/h value. So, if your air purifier’s CADR value in cubic meters per hour is 380, in cubic feet per hour, it will be 13,419 (380 x 35.315 = 13,419).
Step 04: Divide CADR ft3/h Value With The Volume Of Your Room
Now, divide the CADR ft3/h value of your air purifier by the volume of your room to know how many times that air purifier can clean the entire volume of air in your room every hour. For example, if your air purifier’s CADR ft3/h value is 13,419 and the volume of your room is 1,440 cubic feet, the air purifier can clean the entire volume of air in your room approximately 9.3 times (13,419 / 1,440). That means this air purifier will offer an ACH of 9.3 in a room that is 10 long, 12 feet wide, and 12 feet high. As mentioned in this article earlier, the ACH should be equal to or more than 5. In our case, it is 9.3, which means it is perfectly suitable for the room.
Air Purifier Must Have An HEPA H13 Or HEPA H14 Filter
Typically, air purifiers come with three filters: a pre-filter, an active carbon filter, and a high-efficiency particulate air filter (or HEPA filter).
The pre-filter captures large dust particles, whereas, the active carbon filter removes the odour from the air. The third filter, which is the HEPA filter, is the most important one among the three. This filter traps the smaller particles in the air that can’t be captured by the pre-filter. A HEPA filter can remove particles as small as 0.1μm. That means this filter is the one that removes the harmful elements and performs the majority of the purification of the air.
There are two variants of HEPA filters: HEPA H13 and HEPA H14. While the HEPA H13 filter can filter out 99.95% of 0.1μm particles in the air, the HEPA H14 has a cleaning efficiency of 99.995%. Although the HEPA H13 filter has a slightly lower cleaning performance than the HEPA H14, it is still more than enough to remove the tiniest particles from the air. So, doesn’t matter if you are getting an air purifier with HEPA H13 or HEPA 14 filter, either of them will work great.
Now, here’s the twist. There are many air purifiers in the market at the moment that claim to have HEPA-Type, HEPA-Style, HEPA-Like or 99% HEPA filters. Well, these names are just marketing gimmicks to fool the customers. These filters do not satisfy the HEPA standard and they might not have been tested in independent laboratories. That means they might not be able to remove harmful pollutants from the air, which defeats the whole purpose of buying an air purifier.
There are also many air purifiers in the market that come with efficient particulate air filters (or EPA filters). These filters are comparatively cheaper than HEPA filters and they come in three variants: EPA E10, EPA E11, and EPA E12. While EPA filters do remove a lot of particles from the air, they are nowhere as efficient at cleaning the air as HEPA filters. That means these filters may not remove all the harmful pollutants from the air like you were hoping.
So, if you want an air purifier that removes the maximum number of pollutants from the air, make sure to get one that has a HEPA H13 or HEPA H14 filter. It might be a little costlier compared to the ones that come with fake HEPA filters or EPA filters, but it would be worth it.
Buy An Air Purifier That Has A Washable Pre-Filter
As mentioned in this article earlier, most air purifiers come with a pre-filter. This filter traps large particles of dust in the air. But why? Can’t a HEPA filter do that? Of course, the HEPA filter can trap those particles, after all, it can trap particles as small as 0.1μm. So, why do you have a pre-filter? Well, the aim of the pre-filter is to trap large particles of dust so that they don’t clog the HEPA filter and reduce its life. In other words, a pre-filter is there to increase the life of a HEPA filter.
Now, a few air purifiers have a pre-filter that’s fused to the HEPA filter and a few air purifiers have a separate pre-filter. Typically, if an air purifier has a separate pre-filter, it will also be removable and washable. That means, if the pre-filter gets clogged, you can remove it, clean it or wash it, and then put it back.
However, if the pre-filter is fused to the HEPA filter, you can’t remove the pre-filter if it gets clogged. Now, it is very much possible for the HEPA filter to have life remaining in it even when the pre-filter gets clogged. But can you remove the pre-filter and clean it? No. So, what do you have to do? You have to replace the HEPA filter as well just because the pre-filter is clogged.
So, whenever you are buying an air purifier, please make sure that you get one which has a removable and washable pre-filter. This kind of air purifier will require less frequent filter changes, and that, in turn, will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Good To Have Features
- AQI Sensor & Automatic Speed Adjustment
- Filter Replacement Indicator
- Smart Connectivity Features
AQI Sensor & Automatic Fan Speed Adjustment
The quality of air in a room could fluctuate massively depending upon a number of factors. Now, if an air purifier has a sensor to measure the level of pollution in the air, it can not only show you those readings so that you are aware of it at all times, but also adjust the speed of the air purifier’s fan based on those air quality measurements.
If the number of pollutants in the air is low, the sensor could slow down the purifier, which will not only save electricity but also reduce the fan noise in the room. Similarly, it could also speed up the air purifier in case the quality of the air drops below a certain point so that the air purifier can quickly clean the air and keep you safe from pollutants.
Most air purifiers come with a sensor that measures the level of PM2.5 in the air. While a few air purifiers show the quality of air using indicators of different colours, other models may have a display that shows the exact number of PM2.5 in the air. We suggest you get one that shows the exact PM2.5 reading as it gives you a better idea of the air quality. That being said, getting one that shows the air quality using indicators of different colours is also fine.
Filter Replacement Indicator
Over time, the HEPA filter in your air purifier will get clogged, and when that happens, the air purifier will either stop working or it might not clean the air properly. If you know in advance that the filter is at the edge of its lifespan, you will have enough time to order a new one before the older one becomes ineffective. So, getting an air purifier that has a HEPA filter replacement indicator will prevent your air purifier from breaking down suddenly.
Smart Connectivity Features
You can change different settings of an air purifier using the physical controls placed on it. Similarly, you can also check the quality of air using the indicator or the display placed on the air purifier. But what if you don’t want to get up from your comfy bed and go all the way to the air purifier to do that?
Well, in that case, you should consider getting an air purifier that has smart connectivity features. These kinds of air purifiers not only allow you to change their settings from your smartphone and show you the quality of air remotely but also send a push notification on your smartphone when it is time for filter replacement.
But mind you, air purifiers that have connected features are usually costly. We suggest you spend money on getting an air purifier that has a good set of air filters rather than getting one with fancy features. But if you have to spare, a connected air purifier will definitely offer you more convenience.
How Frequently Do I Have To Change Air Filters & How Much Do Air Purifier Filters Cost?
Well, the frequency at which you need to change the air filters in your air purifier depends mainly on three factors: the quality of air in your area, the size/capacity of air filters, and the duration for which you run your air purifier. For example, if the air in your neighbourhood is too polluted, the air purifier has small filters, and you keep the air purifier running for the whole day, the air filters could get clogged very fast. If the quality of air isn’t that bad, the air purifier has large filters, and you run the air purifier only during the night, the air filters might last a very long time.
Typically, a HEPA filter can cost between ₹2,000 and ₹4,000, whereas, an activated carbon filter could set you back between ₹1,250 to ₹2,000. The prices could be significantly lower or higher depending on the model. If you don’t want to regret the high prices of air filters after buying an air purifier, you should enquire about the air filter prices before buying an air purifier.
Fast Service And Long Warranty Are Appreciated
Most air purifiers come with an easy-to-follow guide for replacing filters so that you can change them at home as per your convenience. However, some people don’t like to change the filters by themselves. Instead, they prefer to get the filters replaced by an authorised technician. If you are one of them, you need to buy an air purifier from a brand that offers quick service so that you don’t have to wait for too long to get your air purifier up and running again.
An air purifier has a very less number of parts and the chances of it malfunctioning are extremely low. However, there are still chances that something could go wrong. So, it is always a good idea to get an air purifier that offers a long warranty period.
Get Extended Warranty For Your Air Purifier And Breathe A Sigh Of Relief Along With Pure Air
If you don’t want to worry about the air purifier breaking down, you should consider extending its warranty period. Onsitego’s Extended Warranty Plan for air purifiers extends the manufacturer’s warranty by up to two years. It covers breakdowns and malfunctions. With our ‘No Questions Asked’ policy, you don’t have to answer anyone when anything goes wrong. It even comes with a free pick-up and drop service and a completely paperless process.
- Extends Manufacturer Warranty By Up To 2 Years
- Covers Breakdowns & Malfunctions
- ‘No Questions Asked’ Repair Policy
- Free Pick-up & Drop Facility
- Completely Paperless Process
Once you look out for all these factors while buying an air purifier, you can easily shortlist and finalise a good quality air purifier for your needs and budget. If all of this is too much for you, and if you want to quickly know which air purifiers are the best in your budget, you can read our list of best air purifiers in India.