With the smog across Malaysia, Singapore, everyone is anxiously checking the PSI (Pollution Standards Index) regularly. No one is more worried about this than parents or would-be parents. After all, children are more susceptible to air pollution than adults. The growing child’s organs and immune systems are still developing and thus the exposure to pollutants is also more harmful to their bodies. Especially the fetus still in the womb could be most vulnerable since the fetus undergoes the most rapid growth and organ development in the mother’s womb.

Everyone is advised to stay indoors as much as possible. If possible, one should definitely consider purchasing an air purifier to combat this air pollution. What should one consider when looking for an air purifier? Here is a guide:

 

1. Which air purifier do you need?

The type of air purifier depends in general on what you want to filter. First and foremost, the air-purifier should have a good HEPA Filter. A HEPA Filter can filter:

 - Dust

 - Pollen

 - Spores

 - Micro-organism, bacteria, viruses

 - Cigarette smoke

 - Smog

A good HEPA filter can filter up to 99% of the smallest, invisible particles from the air.

If other than pollution particles, you are also looking at removing smells for the room, then look for one that also has an activated carbon filter. Active carbon is a natural filter with a very good absorption of gas and smoke particles in the air. 

 

2 . What performance should the air purifier have?

The performance of the air purifier is measured in  m³/hr. It translates to how many m³ per hour can the air purifier clean. The bigger the room, the higher the performance of the air purifier is needed. 

Volume of the room (cubic metre, m³)  = Length x Breath x Height

For pollutants like fine-dust, pollen, dust, spores, bacteria, viruses, etc. the  CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) should be 3 to 5 times higher than that of the room volume. For very strong air pollutants like cigarette smoke and smog, the performance of the air purifier should be 6 to 10 times higher than the volume of the room.

For example:

A correct air purifier for a room that is 25 m² with a ceiling height of 2m (=50 m³ room volume) should have a CADR of approximately 220-300 m³/hr, with smog or cigarette smoke, one should have a CADR approximately 500 m³/hr to have an optimal air-filtering. 

 

3. Particle Sensor

Take note to buy an air-filter with a Particle Sensor. A Particle Sensor in the air purifier measures the particle content in the air and adjusts itself to the necessary air filtration level dependent on the air quality. The reason for a Particle Sensor is that one is not able to determine the air-quality in the room through breathing or seeing.  

 

4. What else to look out for when buying an air purifier?

The presence of the Ionisation function in the air purifier can help in the removal of particles and smell in the air. Please however take note that this function should be Ozone-Safe. 

Another specification to take note of is to choose one which could operate silently. You would not want sound pollution instead of air pollution at home! Please take note also of the power consumption and ease of maintenance of the air purifier.

 

For a quick overview of the air purifiers available in Malaysia, take a look at here:

For a quick overview of the air purifiers available in Singapore, take a look at here:

 

Read also about Natural Remedies for symptoms from the haze here. 

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