Rinita writes about healthy living in India and has personally been using an air purifier since 2018
Air Pollution: The Silent Killer
It is no mystery to anyone living in the 21st century that air pollution is one of mankind’s greatest enemies. The irony is that the air we breathe in this decade has worsened beyond repair, owing to our destructive actions against nature. The consequence? With each passing day, our lungs are inhaling more toxins from the air than ever before.
A study by The Lancet published in 2018 indicated that in some parts of Northern India, about 12.5% of deaths were caused due to air pollution. While this is just data on deaths, there seems to be no measure of the vast majority of lifestyle illnesses caused by air pollution.
What Steps Can You Take?
While there are some options to protect yourself from the monstrosity of air pollution when you are outdoors—for example, covering your face with a cloth or a mask and your eyes with shades—an effective way to deal with indoor air pollution is to invest in a good quality air purifier.
You might be wondering if there is any effect of indoor air pollution on our body. The answer may surprise you. According to a 2017 study, indoor air pollution is a worse enemy than outdoor air pollution, as harmful particulate matters not only barge in through your doors and windows from outside, but are joined by the already existing indoor toxins, such as cooking smoke, chemicals in paints and varnishes, and dust mites stuck to your rugs and carpets.
The Air Touch series by Honeywell is a suitable product if you plan to take some meaningful action against indoor air pollution and its ill effects. Here I present my personal experience of using this air purifier in Bangalore, one of the major cities in India.
Specifications of Honeywell Air Touch HAC35M1101G
Although you could download the brochure from Honeywell’s product section to understand the features of this product, I will outline the ones that matter.
|Feature||Why is it important?||How does Honeywell fare?|
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR)
The CADR measures the cubic meters per minute of air that has been purified. Typically, the higher the CADR, the more efficient is your air purifier.
The CADR of 300 was one of my main motivations behind the purchase of this product. I am happy to say that true to its word, my purifier breathes out fresh air in less than 5 minutes in my 12 ft by 12 ft bedroom. The larger your room, the longer it takes to purify the air in it.
Toxic particles are everywhere, the ones you can see and the ones you cannot. It is crucial to have an air purification system that not only filters the visible dust, but also the hidden chemicals and smaller particles that are not visible to the human eye but are usually more dangerous.
The air passes through a pre-filter that sucks the dust out of it, into the HEPA filter. This is a crucial element that filters the PM 2.5 from the pre-filtered air, leading it to the final HiSiv filter. This last filter guarantees the removal of indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and ultimately releases clean, fresh air with a neutral smell.
DIY Filter Replacement
Every air purifier needs the filters replaced from time to time. It could be cumbersome to call a service technician for every single replacement. Hence, you should choose a purifier whose air filters are easy to replace.
All three filters are easy to replace. The pre-filter is washable, which means, eventually you need to purchase only the remaining two filters.
Although the fan of the air purifier might not be noisy enough to disrupt your sleep, the speed could be a concern in colder climes. Hence, sleep mode is a beneficial feature to have in your air purifier.
Honeywell’s product has a sleep mode, which, when switched on, turns of the indicator lights and reduces the speed of the fan for a good night’s rest. This does not have any effects on the filtration procedure.
Does It Work in Indian Cities?
The short answer is yes. Having personally used this product in a large city like Bangalore, in an apartment facing a busy arterial road, I can safely pronounce it to be effective. I had difficulty sleeping in the night because of exhaust fumes from vehicles, cigarette smoke (thanks to neighbors), and the usual dust mites. After using this product for more than a year, I have forgotten the nightmarish experiences of before, when staying asleep through the pollution was a major concern.
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If you are worried about the lingering smell in your house after cooking or using a mosquito repellent, simply switch the air purifier on, and in a few minutes, the smell will disappear. It not only works but is one of the most feasible solutions for our toxic city problems.
Is There Anything Negative You Should Know?
You might be wondering by now, if there are so many good features of this product, there has to be a catch. Yes, no product is perfect, and Honeywell’s air purifier comes with certain drawbacks, too.
Firstly, it does not have an option to automatically switch back on when power is restored after a load-shedding. While not much of a problem during the daytime, if you live in an area where you have frequent power cuts during the night, this might not be the right product for you. After all, no one would want to get up in the middle of the night to switch on an air purifier.
Another concern is that even though it is a bulky product, it does not come with wheels for easy movement. Not much of an issue if you use it in one room all the time, but if you do not want to spend a fortune by purchasing one purifier for each room, and still want the benefit of a purification system throughout your house, you might have to think of a transportation method. My suggestion is to mount it on a CPU-stand with wheels, which roughly has the same dimensions.
What Is the Average Running Cost Per Year?
Apart from the cost of the machine that you either pay upfront or in equated monthly installments (EMIs), you need to shell out an additional Rs. 5000 for replacement filters every 9–10 months. I changed the filters after using the product for 10 months, approximately 11 hours every day. Depending on usage, you might have to replace sooner or later than this.
While the purifier is available for purchase at retail electronic stores (I bought mine from Croma for Rs, 22000) as well as on Amazon, Honeywell recommends the filters to be purchased only from Amazon. Honeywell sells the filters directly on Amazon, and I had a smooth experience with the order and delivery of filters. Again, please note that you need to purchase only the HEPA and the HiSiv filters, as the pre-filter is washable.
The electricity consumed by the air purifier is equivalent to that of a ceiling fan, so your monthly bill is not burdened.
I would give Honeywell Air Touch Air Purifier a rating of 8 out of 10 for being a lifesaver in this world of increasingly growing air pollution. With a few design tweaks and an automatic switch-over option for power cuts, this product could potentially garner a rating of a perfect 10 in the future.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Rinita Sen