We inhale approximately one litre of air with every breath we take, and along with it a lot of respiratory suspended particulates (RSPs), the level of which can have grave consequences on our wellbeing. Unfortunately in densely populated Hong Kong, air quality is steadily deteriorating. While factories in southern China may be moving farther away due to rising operational costs in Guangdong province, we are still faced with substantial pollution generated internally, most notably from roadside pollution.
Bad air is trapped in the city due to the density of our tall, wall-like buildings, and there is no relief in the foreseeable future. What is more, indoor air quality is very often not any better. Bad ventilation and over-reliance on air conditioning are contributing factors. Filters of air-con units are often not properly maintained while split type air-con, for example, does not bring in fresh air from outside, resulting in poor ventilation.
Since we spend most of our time indoors, we can minimise health risks from pollutants by controlling indoor air quality. For children, the elderly and sufferers of allergies, asthma or other respiratory diseases, the issue is especially pressing. A quality portable air purifier is a worthwhile investment to improve your family’s health in the long run.
Air purifiers typically use a combination several filtration methods, such as a pre-filter to trap large particles, activated carbon to absorb toxic gas, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters or nano coil technology to remove small airborne particulates, ultra-violet light to kill microorganisms, as well as electrostatic mechanisms.
According to a recent report released by the Consumer Council, several factors need to be taken into account when choosing the right air purifier. Most brands will state clearly the amount of square footage the units can effectively clean but be careful with the comparison as they may not be calculated in the same way. Study their CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) for a more informed decision. Consider their abilities to filter different contaminants, including particulate pollutants such as fine dust, pollen, mould spores, tobacco smoke, bacteria and dust mites, as well as gaseous ones like formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. Find one that addresses your allergies or your living environment best. Also avoid those that produce an excessive amount of ozone in the process, and check their security features from hazards such as fire and short circuit.
Among brands with the highest CADR ratings, Blueair air purifiers uses a combined technology of advanced filter media and an encapsulated ion particle charging chamber for electrostatic filtration. When running the units on its lowest setting, Blueair’s HEPASilent filtration technology can capture 99.97 percent of all particulates down to 0.1 micron in size. This award-winning Swedish design has a near silent operation and zero ozone emission.
The people of Hong Kong learned a hard lesson with the outbreak of SARS in 2003, but it has also made us much more health and hygiene-conscious. During the epidemic, Swiss made IQAir was chosen by many Hong Kong hospitals as the mobile air cleaner to help fight the virus. It is now used in a majority of Hong Kong hospitals and numerous clinics but also increasingly in homes that demand the highest quality in air purification. IQAir systems with its HyperHEPA technology guarantees minimum particle removal efficiency of 99.97 percent for all particles sized 0.3 microns or larger. With this technology, trapped particles are never released back into the environment — even without proper filter maintenance, making it ideal for airborne infection control.
IQAir systems have a modular design that allows for customisation and targeted air cleaning. Pollutants such as formaldehyde may still exist in the air for a long time after your flat’s renovation, even if the odour has dissipated. A free assessment of indoor air quality provided by IQAir is a useful starting point to determine the most suitable type of filtration you need.
Make an informed decision when choosing the right air purifier so you can breathe a sigh of relief any time you are in your home sweet home.