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In Malaysia, there’s a ‘special’ time of the year called haze season—when the day is cloudy, skylines become blurry and breathing gets harder. Due to open burning in Indonesia and the direction of the wind, the smog inevitably affects the rest of Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand.
In fact, in 1997, 2013 and 2019, the burnings were so rampant that the Air Pollution Index hit up to 800. That’s 93% above a healthy level of 50 API!
With the haze season upon us again, investing in an air purifier is the smartest choice to ensure your homes are always filled healthy air. Not only does the machine help eliminate pollutants, it also has different functions.
However, before you put in large amount of money into a new air purifier, here are some things you need to know:
#1 Ask yourself: why do you need it?
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Though most air purifiers’ main aim is to remove pollutants, some brands and models offer different types of specific functions. When choosing one, you need to first understand what you need it for.
Allergies: You’ll require an allergy relief specific air purifier with multiple filters, especially HEPA filter, to remove allergens.
Asthma: You’ll want to consider an air purifier that can eliminate odour and chemical pollutants such as formaldehyde, perfume, chemicals from cleaning solutions, and other particles.
Smoke: If someone in your house smokes, enjoys lighting up candles or burns incense regularly, you’ll also need an air purifier that can remove both the soot and the odour.
Pets: Some models are designed specifically for handling pets, and can remove pet dander, odours, and hair.
#2 Make sure it’s using the right filter
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There are various types of filters and each filter provides specific functions to aid you in your needs. Here are the a few common types:
HEPA: High Efficiency Particulate Air, or more widely known as HEPA, is a type of filter, which can trap up to 99.97% particles that are 0.3 microns in size—mainly bacteria, chemicals, viruses, and mould. It’s made of foam, fiberglass, cotton, or another particle-trapping material.
Carbon: Activated carbon has special properties that allow it to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs), odours, and other gaseous pollutants from the air. Carbon air filters trap gas molecules on a bed of charcoal such as the smell of cigarettes, strong chemical smells and perfumes or other scents.
Negative Ion and Ozone: Though they produce slightly different molecules, ionizers and ozone generators work similarly. They produce either ions or ozone, both of which have a charge. Normal particles floating in the air have a neutral charge, so when they come in contact with the ions or the ozone, they end up with a charge, too. That causes them to stick to surfaces around the room instead of floating through the air. This option isn’t the best option for people with respiratory issues as the ozone may cause irritation in lungs.
UV: Ultraviolet lights prevent infection by inhibiting the growth or action of microorganisms, and it also helps to disinfect the air. They are effective in eliminating viruses and bacteria while reducing your chances of getting ill.
#3 Make sure it comes with certification
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Certification is important to ensure the product you’re using is effective and of quality. Certain bodies such as ENERGY STAR® and AHAM will inspect the models to ensure that they are up to industry standards, is safe to use, and can function accordingly.
AHAM: The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers maintains 25 active performance and sustainability standards covering a full range of home appliances. The AHAM seal will list three clean air delivery rate (CADR) numbers—one for tobacco smoke, one for pollen and one for dust. The CADR indicates volume of filtered air delivered by an air cleaner.
ENERGY STAR®: This certification is to measure how energy efficient the appliance is. More stars equal better efficiency. The appliances which use lesser electricity to achieve the same level of performance of similar models with the same size or capacity are considered more efficient.
ECARF: The ECARF Seal certifies products and services to ensure that they are fully adapted to the needs of allergy sufferers. A product receives the Seal when it can be proved through audits or studies that the criteria are fulfilled. These criteria have been developed by an independent advisory panel of leading international scientists and technicians.
#4 Consider the maintenance required
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The basic maintenance for air purifiers is to replace or clean the air filters. Here’s how often you need to change each of them and how to wash them:
- HEPA – change every one to five years depending on the usage
- Carbon – change every six months
- Pre-filters – change or clean every three months
- UV – no need to change
How to clean: use a vacuum cleaner and gently vacuum both sides of the filter. If there’s a lot of dust, you can run it under room temperature water and gently, using your hands or soft material, wipe the dust bunnies away.
#5 Your room size matters too
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Room size also plays an important role in the efficacy of an air purifier. If you have a lightweight air purifier operating for a large room, then it won’t be able to clean the air well at all.
Ensure that the power and capacity of your air purifier matches the size of your room. If you’re planning to have an air purifier in the living room, make sure that the unit can accommodate a space of at least 350 square feet.
You should also consider an air purifier’s air change per hour (ACH) rate. ACH refers to the number of times an air purifier can filter the entire volume of air in the treatment space each hour.
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Air purifiers that can clean the air in a space at least four times per hour are best for allergy- and asthma-sufferers. A rate of four air changes per hour also ensures that the air purifier thoroughly cleans the air and filters out as many microscopic symptom-triggering allergens as possible to keep you breathing easy.
Here’s a sizing chart for your reference:
Small air purifier
Room size: Up to 299 ft2
Room type: Personal space, smaller bedrooms, cars etc.
Medium air purifier
Room size: 300 to 699 ft2
Room type: Larger bedrooms, living rooms, hallways, etc.
Large air purifier
Room size: 700 to 1,900 ft2
Room type: Whole house, open spaces, event halls, etc.
#6 What special features do it have?
An air purifier should be able to do more than just provide you with cleaner and healthier air. Most models today come with unique features that make them more worthwhile.
If you want to easily control your air purifier, then you should get one with a remote-control system. There are even models with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity so that you can control everything from your phone!
Some units also come with smooth castor wheels, making it easy to drag them from one room to another. Make sure that you’re getting a portable one if your house has multiple rooms.
If you’re looking for an air purifier, the Amway Atmosphere SKY is a worthy option
Amway focused on delivering the cleanest possible air through their air purifier, the ATMOSPHERE SKY Air Treatment System.
Their particulate filter can effectively remove 99.99% of particles as small as 0.0024 microns as they pass through the unit. That’s about 30,000 times smaller than the width of a single human hair! This far exceeds even HEPA standards and protects you from the small particles that could go into your lungs.
The ATMOSPHERE SKY can also reduce over 300 contaminants from the air such as dust mites, fine dust, corona virus and more.
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AHAM certified that it has a CADR of more than 300cfm, which means it can clean up to 8,500l of air in one minute. It’s also the only air treatment system to be certified with the UK Allergy seal for its ability to reduce exposure to specific allergens.
On top of that, it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity available, allowing you to control the appliance through your smartphones. Of course, the ATMOSPHERE SKY is ENERGY STAR® certified for energy efficiency too.
To purchase the ATMOSPHERE SKY, contact an Amway Business Owner (ABO) today or visit Amway's website for more info.