Air Purifier Put To The Test: Take A Deep Breath
Air purifiers are designed to filter pollen, odors and even viruses out of the air. We tested three models in everyday life. One of them dried the laundry, another disguised itself as a table. Air Purifier Put To The Test: Take A Deep Breath
For a long time, air purifiers were primarily a topic for allergy sufferers who wanted to remove allergens from the room air with the devices. In the corona crisis, however, many people hope that they will also screen viruses from the air they breathe—reason enough for me to take a closer look at some of these devices.
“reduce the virus concentration to a less risky level” in its current test. In combination with regular ventilation, “the effect is even greater”.
Three To Four Filter Levels
The structure of the air purifier is always similar, regardless of visual differences: On the outside, a comparatively coarse pre-filter collects coarse particles, such as hair and lint. These filters can usually be cleaned by tapping or vacuuming. A particle filter follows this, the task of which is to filter out the pollen and fine dust that are important for allergy sufferers and aerosols to which viruses adhere.
A gas filter, usually made of activated carbon, removes gaseous substances. These include the volatile organic compounds, often referred to with the abbreviation VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds), which can outgas from paints, varnishes and cleaning agents, and formaldehyde, which furniture, among other things, can release into the room air. In addition, gas filters should fish tobacco smoke and cooking odors out of the air.
It is essential to know that all other filters have a limited service life except for the pre-filter and must be replaced regularly depending on use and air pollution. The costs for this vary significantly depending on the manufacturer and air purifier.
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Ikea’s air purifier has earned its name. When set to full power, it roars like a small jet plane. Too loud, in any case, to chat comfortably at the table. This is precisely what makes Ikea’s air purifier so unique: You can buy it in a more traditional form, then it looks like a fabric-covered fan. The version I tested, in which it disguises itself as a table with a belly attachment, is fancier. The tabletop can be easily removed so that the filters remain accessible.
You have three options for control: In automatic mode, the device regulates its fan output using a sensor that measures particles in the air.
The device cannot detect gaseous substances. Alternatively, you can manually select five different speed levels, which not only circulate different amounts of air but are also acoustically easy to distinguish from silent to reasonably loud. According to Ikea, the device is designed for rooms of 20 square meters.
Because Ikea has long discovered the topic of smart homes, the Starkvind filter table can also be controlled via the company’s home smart app. For example, you can automatically activate the filter function at certain times.
A particle filter is used to screen dust, pollen, and, for example, cigarette smoke from the air and an activated carbon filter to absorb gaseous pollutants such as formaldehyde and remove odors. For both filters, Ikea recommends replacing them every six months. When the change is necessary depends on the pollution of the ambient air.
The essential function of the app is, therefore, that it shows when the filters should be checked and, if necessary, replaced. An LED on the device draws attention to replacing the filter.
Rowenta Intense Pure Air XL Connect
The Rowenta air purifier looks like you would imagine a device like this: It’s about the size of a small garbage can; it’s just not that ugly. The designers have made an effort to give the Intense Pure Air XL Connect a living room-compatible look despite its barrel-shaped stature. You can have an LED ring around the air outlet glow in color if you like. Rowenta specifies an “effective area” of “up to 140 m 2” for the device.
It is controlled via the buttons on the control panel or the app. Their possibilities and functions are far more extensive than those of Ikeas Starkvind. The app is well done, but I forgot my air purifier a few times, so I had to link the device to it again. Otherwise, you can use the app to specify when and how the Intense Pure Air XL Connect should sift through the air. You can at least preselect whether it should start immediately or after two, four, six or eight hours on the device itself.
The app also provides information on air pollution with particles, pollen and gasses. Measured values downloaded from the Internet, such as pollen count outdoors, and the device’s measurements are displayed. The infrared sensor can detect both particles and gaseous impurities.
The data is used to adjust the cleaning performance. You can preselect four modes, from full steam mode »Boost« to a day and night mode to the »Silent« setting, in which the device sifts pollen from the room air at night in the bedroom, barely audible.
Speaking of seven: In the Rowenta, the room air has to pass four filters before it flows out again at an angle that can be selected between 45 ° and 90 °: pre-filter, particle filter, activated carbon filter and formaldehyde filter. Both the app and the control panel indicate when the filters need to be changed. As a guideline, Rowenta states that the activated carbon filter should be replaced once a year and the particle filter every two years. There is no such information for the formaldehyde filter.
Meacodry Arete One 20L
The Meacodry has an entirely different concept than its two competitors because it combines the air purifier with a dehumidifier. According to the manufacturer, it should process rooms up to 70 m 2 in size. This makes it “suitable for large, unheated cellars.” And no question about who has a damp basement will tackle mold growth and the like well with it – at the expense of a higher electricity bill. But you don’t need the particle filter for that.
I see the Arete One more as a kind of multifunctional device. On the one hand, allergy sufferers can partially keep pollen and fine dust at bay. On the other hand – this should be particularly interesting in rental apartments – let him dry the laundry. To do this, place it next to or near the clothes horse and activate the laundry mode.
The dehumidifier works at maximum power until its sensor only measures 35 percent humidity. It switches off after six hours at the latest.
There is no app here, and little else is exceptional. In automatic mode, the device always starts when a preset value for the humidity is measured; in night mode, it works continuously and quietly and switches off its lights. As a combination device – drying laundry during the day, hunting pollen at night – not a stupid idea.