Clearing Air to keep your indoors safe and healthy

A normal person, on a regular basis, breathes around 13-14 kgs of air in a day. The air we consume can be estimated 7 times more than the water we drink or the food we eat. Since we tend to take our own environment for granted, we often forget that it tends to be 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air. We take our surroundings for granted not realising that the air we breathe in our personal space may not be as pure as we think.

With 21st-century homes being built in an energy-efficient manner, the homes are somewhat constructed air-tight. This is to keep warm in winter and cool during summer. This results in the home not being able to take in good air as keeping windows open all the time is not good either. This is where air purifiers come into play. Air purifiers are the one thing that ensures that we breathe clean and pure air for a healthier lifestyle.

What causes indoor air pollution

  1. Viruses & bacteria: Viruses and bacteria are present everywhere. When one inhales them they tend to cause infections or allergies that bring the immune system down.

  2. Dust Mites: Dust mites are generally on beds and sheers which can lead to asthma. Dust mites are generally found in areas that are highly humid.

  3. Moulds: Moulds result in people getting allergic reactions and it causes irritation to those who are sensitive.

  4. Pollen: Many people are allergic to pollen as they tend to cause sneezes and create allergic symptoms. Pollen is basically released by trees, and plants which are then carried indoors by the winds.

  5. Cigarette fumes and smoke: Cigarette fumes can cause some serious damage to the respiratory system over a period of time. They also result in asthma.

  6. Paint: The fumes emitted from the paint can also cause indoor air pollution. Since is it contained in formaldehyde, a harmful chemical, it results in headaches, skin irritation, allergies, and asthma.

  7. Skin sheds of Pets: Tiny flecks of skin shed by pets can cause allergies leading to asthma or rhinitis.

Things to consider while buying an Air Purifier

  1. Technology: Filters play an extremely important role while buying the air purifier is extremely crucial. Air Purifiers consist of pre-filter and several other filters that need to be changed periodically. Every filter plays a different and crucial role. But what matters the most is the technology that has been used. A few also come with patented technologies where that can sense pollution, catch ultrafine pollutants, etc.

  2. CADR: CADR stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate. It is the measure of how much pure air is being delivered when the Air Purifier is at its highest speed. The measurement not only takes the airflow into consideration but also the particle removal efficiency. If the CADR rating is higher, then the performance of the Air Purifier is better as per the given size of the room.

  3. Size of the Room: It is important to first measure the room in which you will be placing the air purifier. Some Air Purifiers can be bulky and hence require good clearance space on all 4 sides. Many suggest that it is better to buy a purifier that has more square footage capacity than what you require. In this manner, your machine tends to work more effectively even when it is set to "low" speed. You end up consuming less energy and the noise is also reduced to a great extent.

    While choosing an Air Purifier for your bedroom, you must select a model that makes comparatively less noise so that you can get your sound sleep. But if you plan to buy one for your living room, then you might want to opt for a purifier that comes with adjustable speed.

    The reason behind opting for such a purifier is that if one is not present in the hall, then the setting can be turned up and you will not end up being disturbed by the noise.

  4. Air Quality Indicator: It is always better to opt for Air Purifiers that come with light indicators that change colors according to the air quality in the room. This helps you so that you can adjust the fan speed according to how you want it. High-end purifiers are installed with the Auto Mode function which can automatically adjust the speed setting in response to the quality of air that is indoors. The advanced models also come with PM numerical displays. This adds as an added advantage because then you can measure the air in your home and see how good or bad it is.

  5. Replacement and Customer Service: The filter in the Air Purifier must be changed every 12-18 months depending on the usage. Usually, they are easily available so one need not worry about it. Before buying an Air Purifier, always check their customer service response. It is also better to ask for pre and post-sale demonstration and installation. A manufacturer generally provides these but if not then you need to reconsider.

  6. Warranty Period: Air Purifiers are costly products having a long warranty period acts beneficial for you. A longer warranty will mean that the product does not face issues in the long run and assures you of smooth functioning.

  7. Individual Situation: Given the circumstances, you might need to reconsider buying an air purifier. Generally, having an air purifier at home ensures that the air you take in is not toxic or harmful in any manner. But if you have young children or a pregnant woman in the house, then it is always better to invest in one. Even the area where your home or office is, matters a lot. If there is construction taking place or a factory nearby, then the number of pollutants in the air that you breathe increases. Hence, it is better to go for an Air Purifier in such cases. Apart from that, people with pets, and those who are prone to allergies or have asthma must get themselves an Air Purifier as it helps you breathe in fresh air free from pollutants, harmful bacteria, and viruses.


 Even when the outdoor air is so polluted, does an indoor Air Purifier really make much of a difference?

Yes, it does! Since a person is mostly indoors and spends around 80% of their time there, it matters a lot. Even small children and babies are mostly at home, and they need good air for better health. We cannot be able to control the air outside, so it is better to control the air where we spend the most amount of time. This way, we can protect the ones close to us and give them a healthy environment to live in. According to research, it has been noted that indoor air generally tends to have more pollutants than the air outdoors.

 Is immunity reduced when one breathes fresh air at home but then suddenly steps out and is exposed to pollutants?

For health purposes, what matters the most is the average exposure one has during the entire day. According to the guidelines presented by WHO, air pollution levels are based on the average value of 24 hours. When you breathe pure and clean air at home, the average exposure level reduces, thus keeping you safe and healthy.

Does an air conditioner act as an Air Purifier?

Air purification solely depends on the filters that it passes through. Compared to ACs, Air Purifiers come with HEPA filters of premium quality. These filters catch the minutest of dust particles, bacteria, and viruses. Air conditioners that have a purification system do not generally have filters of such advanced levels. They usually rely on bacteria-killing chemicals which also tend to be harmful as it produces ozone. In addition to that, one cannot use ACs throughout the year, whereas an Air Purifier works for any and every season.

Can Air Purifiers be kept running throughout the day?

Indeed, one can! Since they take up low power consumption, it does not show heavily on your electricity bill. While an air conditioner takes up over 2000W power, an air purifier just ends up consuming 50W power. To make the comparison in simpler terms, one hour of AC usage equals 40 hours of using the Air Purifier. The filter inside the purifier needs to be changed depending on the usage as well as the quality of air.

How often do filters need to be changed?

The pollutant holding capacity of a filter and the pollution level determines how long a filter lasts. HEPA filters usually have longer durability and high capacity. If your surroundings are clean, then the filter tends to last a little longer. But ideally, they need to be changed every 12-18 months if the usage is of 6-8 hours a day.