As we move from the Monsoon to the Winter, the air we breathe begins to get polluted.
This happens due to various factors - since cold air is more dense particles remain suspended in it for a long period and remain on the surface. This is also aggravated by low winds, farm stubble burning, construction activity, and cracker bursting around Diwali time.
Indoor air is as polluted, sometimes more so than outside air - this is because toxic particles can remain trapped inside in closed spaces.
In order to clean up your indoor air, there are plenty of air purifiers available in the market.
What is an Air Purifier?
Simply put, an air purifier is a number of filters put together along with a fan that pulls indoor air onto the filters and takes out cleaner air at the other end.
What kind of filters are in common use?
1. A dust filter - the simplest filter which is also present in most Air Conditioners.
2. An Activated Carbon filter - more of an adsorbent, it is specially treated to traps odors, dust, smoke from cooking, chemicals, etc in its framework
3. An Ionising Filter - This is a filterless device that sheds negatively charged particles into the room - these combine with pollutants in the air to neutralize them. It effectively removes dust, spores, pollen etc.
4. A HEPA filter - one of the most efficient filters, it has a mesh of 0.3 microns which helps to clean up the air including dust, allergens, mold, smoke, and some microbes.
5. UV Radiation - This device helps to kill viruses and bacteria - in effect the room purifier, apart from cleaning the room will also sterilize it - a very useful advantage during the time of Covid-19. Remember to ensure that the UV Bulb is enclosed inside a casing and that the rays are not visible to the naked eye.
In addition to air purifiers, it is important to clean up your room in various other ways
- Wet mop dusty surfaces
- Replace carpets with solid flooring - vinyl or hardwood
- Wash and clean curtains, bedding, etc frequently in hot water and put up in the sun to dry
- Get rid of Mould- this grows on wet surfaces - so aggressively remove seepage from your walls
- For cross ventilation - avoid opening doors and windows early in the morning since the outside air is most polluted at this time- midday would be a better time
Points to consider when getting your Air Purifier
- After having considered your requirement and budget - go for air purifiers which offer a minimum of a HEPA filter
- If there are elderly or immune-compromised persons in the house, consider buying one with a UV filtration device
- Go for an air purifier that is a larger capacity than your room size so that it works more efficiently - for instance for a room size of 200 sq feet buy an air purifier in the 300-400 sq feet range.
- Buy one that has an inbuilt air quality meter - so that you can evaluate the efficiency of the purifier.
- Go preferably for an air purifier that works with an App - you can add more functions to the device
- Understand the functioning as well as requirement and method of filter cleaning and replacement from the expert in the shop
- Buy one whose filters are readily available once a replacement is required - so buy local brands that are current and popular.
Once the season is over and the air purifier is no longer required, remember to clean up its filters and pack it up carefully so as to use it safely the next year.