Best Air Purifier in India
An air purifier is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity if you live in any of the top polluted cities in India namely, Delhi, Patna, Gwalior, Raipur, Ahmedabad, Firozabad, Amritsar, Kanpur, Amritsar, Varanasi etc. It is babies, young children, pregnant women and those with allergies, asthma or compromised immune system that are affected the most.
No wonder air purifiers are sold like hot cakes in these cities.
Now, let us get on to the most important factors that you have to consider while buying an air purifier. They are-
CADR refers to clean air delivery rate. It is mostly expressed as m3/hr. This means how many cubic metre of air can an air purifier clean in an hour. Obviously higher the better. As a rule of thumb, the air purifier you buy should have the same CADR as the square footage of the room you intend to use it. If you would like to know the detailed reason behind this rule, check out this article on CADR and ACH.
ACH Rating refers to air change per hour rating. This rating denotes the relationship between CADR and the area of room where you use the air purifier. Simply put, it is the number of times the air in the room is changed by the air purifier. Experts recommend that homes and offices in heavily polluted cities as well as homes where allergy or asthma sufferers live has to use an air purifier that has an ACH rating of at least 4—meaning the air inside the room has to be changed (cleaned) by the air purifier at least 4 times an hour.
For the same reason, it is advised to use one air purifier for one room at a time. Do not open the doors between rooms and try to use an air purifier for 2 rooms simultaneously as the cleaning won’t be efficient. It is better to move the air purifier to the next room after use in the former room.
The next important aspect is the type of filters used. Most air purifiers have 3 stage purification starting with a pre-filter to clean danders, pet hair and such larger particles; activated carbon filter to clean volatile organic compounds ( VOCs), odour, smoke etc and finally HEPA filter that purifiers PM 2.5 ( particulate matter larger than 2.5 microns) with more than 99% efficiency.
The grade of the HEPA filter is an important factor that you have to consider. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers disclose it. The highest grade is H14 Hepa filter which cleans the air with 99.97% efficiency—this is used in Sharp air purifiers. On the other hand, Honeywell uses H11 grade HEPA filter that cleans air with 99% PM 2.5 matter.
The former three are the most important factors that you have to consider when you want to buy a high performing air purifier. Other factors you may want to consider are filter life and cost; air quality indicator; filter replacement indicator; noise; filter availability and ease of filter changing; child lock feature etc.
Now that you have a brief idea about how to choose an air purifier, let us get on to the best air purifiers in India.
Note- Some of the air purifiers available in the market has ionizers. There are various studies indicating that ionizers produce ozone gas as a by-product. Ozone is a lung irritant that can trigger allergy even in non-allergy sufferers. Hence, we have not included in this list any air purifiers that produce ozone.
Best Air Purifiers In India
The main differentiating aspect of Honeywell Air Touch is the presence of HiSiV absorbing agent instead of activated carbon filter. HiSiV stands for high-silica hydrophobic molecular sieve. The molecular sieve has empty space that can selectively absorb molecules of pre-determined sizes. This ensures proper absorption of VOCs even at low concentration level and high humidity. In addition, the CTOX catalyst decomposes the absorbed formaldehyde and VOCs to prevent secondary air pollution.
The other two stages of filtration includes a pre-filter that filters larger particulate matter larger than 10 microns like pet hair, dander etc; and H11 grade HEPA filter that absorbs dust, pollen, virus and bacteria larger than 2.5 microns. The HiSiV crystal is sandwiched between the pre-filter and HEPA filter.
Manufacturers claim Honeywell Air Touch i8 has a CADR of 300 m3/hr and that it can be used in rooms of size up to 387 sq. ft. However, to maintain an ACH rating of 4, it is recommended to use it in a room of size less than 287 sq. ft.
Other features of Honeywell Air Touch i8 includes anti-fall base, real time display of PM 2.5 level, child lock, night mode, filter replacement indicator and intelligent auto mode that cranks the fan speed to a higher level when a fall in air quality is detected by the sensor.
Talking about the maintenance, the air purifier’s pre-filter can be cleaned with vacuum cleaner or a dry brush. The HiSiv and HEPA filter together has a life of about 3000 hours. Thanks to the DIY technology, you can change the filters on your own by buying it online for about Rs 4500/-
The same model is also available in champagne colour. You can check it out here.
Philips AC 3256/20 is more expensive than Honeywell Air Touch i8. Even so, it has higher performance and larger coverage area that makes it totally worth it.
When you take a look at this air purifier, you will notice the concave design vent ( Aerodynamic vortex design) that maximizes air flow.
Just like most other air purifiers, it contains 3 layer filtration namely a pre-filter that captures particulate matter larger than 10 microns namely pet dander, hair etc. The activated carbon filter has a honeycomb structure which maximizes the surface area. The AC filter used in Philips AC3256 can be expanded to area of 20 football fields. This ensures maximum absorption of VOCs, odours and smoke.
Though the grade of HEPA filter used by Philips is not declared, they claim it has 99.9% efficiency. The filter also contains anti-bacterial coating and is thicker too.
Talking about the air flow rate, Philips AC3256 has a smoke CADR of 367 m3/hr and pollen CADR of 430 m3/hr. Manufacturers suggest using it in a room of size less than 818 sq. ft. However, to maintain ACH rating below 4, we suggest using it in rooms less than 360 sq. ft in size.
Other useful features include allergen mode that detects fall in air quality and increases fan speed to quickly improve the surrounding air quality; 24 hour timer; child lock; touch pad control; filter replacement indicator; air quality indicator and real-time PM 2.5 display and low noise of 33 decibels.
Depending on the level of usage, the AC filter has a life of about 12 months and HEPA filter about 24 months and its replacement costs about Rs. 2100 and Rs 3400 respectively. Just like Honeywell, you can change the filters on your own thanks to the DIY technology.
The first thing you might want to know about Sharp Air Purifiers is its Active Plasmacluster technology. This technology emits positive and negative ions in to the surrounding air. These ions attach themselves to the surface of bacteria and viruses and extracts the protein to kill them before uniting back to form water vapour. Plasmacluster is quite helpful in killing dust mites which is said to be the biggest indoor pollutant. Sharp claims that plasma cluster doesn’t emit ozone as a by-product and produces certifications from reputed labs to back up their claim. If you want, you can switch off the plasmacluster technology at your will.
In addition to plasmacluster technology, Sharp FP-F40E-W has a pre-filter, activated carbon filter and H14 grade HEPA filter (considered the best in the segment).
The CADR of 240 m3/hr makes it perfect for a room of size less than 240 sq. ft for maintaining ACH rating of 4. Sharp however claims it to be apt for rooms less than 323 sq. ft in size.
Other features include haze mode to rapidly remove the impure air by increasing fan speed; auto-restart, timer, dust and odour sensor
Maintenance includes washing of pre-filter and vacuuming of HEPA and activated carbon filter. Changing the activated carbon and HEPA filter costs about Rs. 6000/-
In addition to white, this same model is available in dark brown colour too. You can check it out here.
Philips 2000 series AC2887/20 has almost all features as that of Philips AC3256 except for lower CADR and lack of anti-bacterial coating in HEPA filter. The honeycomb activated carbon filter used in it expands to the size of 43 football fields too.
The smoke CADR of Philips AC2887 is 334 m3/hr, while the formaldehyde CADR is 200 m3.hr as per Philips website. They recommend using it for areas between 258-441 sq. ft. To maintain ACH rating of 4, it is advised to use the same in a room with less than 330 sq. ft space.
Other features of Philips AC2887 includes real-time display of PM 2.5; memory function, filter change indicator, 3 stage turbo fan, vitashield IPS technology that improves air flow rate and low noise of about 20 decibels.
Maintenance costs about Rs. 1500 for changing the activated carbon filter and Rs. 2500 for changing the HEPA filter. They have life of 12-24 months depending on the extent of usage.
Pocket friendly price and user-friendly features of Mi 2 air purifier is pretty remarkable. The air purifier is designed to take in air from all directions, thanks to the 360 degree filters. It has a CADR of 310 m3/hr making it optimal for areas less than 300 sq. ft.
Talking about the filtration system, Mi 2 air purifier has a PET primary filter, a layer of activated carbon filter and an ultra-dense EPA filter. While brands like Sharp, Honeywell and Philips provide air purifiers with HEPA filter, the filter used in Mi2 is EPA—this could perhaps be the main area where Mi has cut down its price. The E 11 grade EPA filter works with 95% efficiency in removing particulate matter larger than 0.3 micron.
One of the main positives of Mi 2 air purifier is the ability to control it remotely using Mi home app on your android or iOS mobile. Not only can you switch on or off the air purifier using the app, but you can also monitor the air quality by detecting concentration of PM 2.5 in the air and also know about remaining filter life. That being said, the accurateness of PM 2.5 shown in the app remains debatable with a number of users suggesting so.
The 360-degree activated carbon and EPA filter has a life of about 5-6 months at a cost of about Rs 2500/- However, you may have to contact the store directly to purchase it.