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Clean Air, Clean Life

Why should you get an air purifier?

We Malaysians are unfortunately all too familiar with the phenomenon known as “haze”. During the hazy season, the air is filled with microscopic particles that can put your health in real danger. While most of us are aware that haze is dangerous for people suffering from respiratory diseases, medical doctors actually believe that the hazy weather can actually have an effect on everyone who breathes it in.

This is because haze contains particles that are tiny enough to enter the bloodstream and potentially trigger several extremely dangerous and even fatal conditions such as strokes or heart attacks. If the particles reach the lungs, they can induce asthma-like symptoms, such as wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. In order to avoid this exposure as much as possible, doctors recommend using devices such as air purifiers that help clean the air from the micro-particles.

Dr Philip Eng, a consultant respiratory physician at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore said that for air purifiers “the best benefit is for those with chronic heart and lung problems”, but also added that these devices are highly useful for all types of individuals, especially when haze levels are very high. Different types of air purifiers work in different ways, so when buying an air purifier it’s important to choose carefully.

What kind of air purifiers can you buy?

There are several different types of air purifiers, and according to HN Feng, senior air treatment specialist at indoor air quality company Air & Odor Management, Singapore, these different filters functions range from purifying and deodorising the air to removing bio-contaminants.

First, there are the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters that can trap particles of 0.1 to 0.3 microns
within their fiberglass meshes. Due to the functionality of this filter, Dr Jason Phua, head and senior consultant in the division of respiratory and critical care medicine at the National University Hospital, Singapore recommended everyone to consider an indoor air purifier that is fitted with a HEPA filter.

Another type are the ultraviolet (UV) filters which also aim at killing bacteria, viruses and mold, thus sterilising the air, or the photocatalytic filters that are able to turn other dangerous gases, besides the micro-particles, into less harmful compounds. Besides these, there are also the activated carbon filters that work mainly by deodorising the air, or the ionisers, which create ions that attract the dust and the particles. These ions become heavier and heavier and they eventually fall onto the floor or stick to walls, from where they can be easily cleaned away.

What to look for when choosing an air purifier?

Dr Ang Keng Been, president of Indoor Air Quality Society Singapore, suggests that the best option for an indoor space would be a device that has two incorporated filters: HEPA and carbon based. She further explains that the other various characteristics of filters, such as UV light or ionisers, for example, can help and improve the process of purifying the air, but are not sufficient on their own.

Joe Eades, a member of Singapore’s Health, Safety and Environmental Technical Committee at The Institution of Engineers, also advises that consumers should avoid selecting ionisers alone as they are only good for removing bacteria and viruses but have no effect on removal of particulates.

However, apart from all of this, there are several more factors that you should take into account when choosing the right air purifier. One of the most important factors is the size. More specifically, the size of the area covered by the air purifier. You can choose smaller ones for smaller rooms, like a bedroom, or children’s room, but for a larger space like a living room or an office, you should look for a bigger air purifier or several smaller ones. Usually, you can find these indications within the product descriptions.

You should also choose a machine that enables a high level of air flow. This will allow it to clean most particles easily, but could also result in the device making more noise while it’s turned on. While this may not be a big problem somewhere like a living room, the noise might make it harder to sleep if you install the machine in your bedroom.

For best results, it is generally advisable to use the air purifier in a room with shut windows and doors and with air conditioning. The best thing to do is to prevent the air flow from the outside because it would be a continuous source of pollution, regardless of the purifier you are using. However, if you cannot use air conditioning continuously, the compromise is having the windows just slightly opened in order to create minimum ventilation in the room. Also, keep in mind that you need an air purifier for each room, as the devices do not work across walls. In addition, the effect of a purifier is basically instant and continuous only as long as the device is on, so keeping it plugged in while no one is in the room is a waste of resources.

Of course, no device can promise to cleanse the air 100% but by using the proper purifier you can significantly reduce the problems caused by air pollution – at least within your own home. Don’t forget that every air purifier comes with its own set of individual instructions depending on the brand. In order to ensure maximum effectiveness you should pay attention to these instructions as best you can.

Need more?

Philips AC4012/02 Air Purifier

Get a better night’s sleep with the Philips air purifier. Its dedicated sleep mode with dimmed indicators quietly cleans the air of bacteria and allergens. The Healthy air protect alert assures you of healthy air always.


Now you can refresh the air in your living space with this Panasonic Air Purifier. Also, get rid of bacteria, allergens and odour effectively with the 3D Circulation Airflow that circulates air through the whole room with 2 modes. This air purifier is ideal for a small room.

Dyson AM11 Pure Cool Purifier Fan

99.95% removal of particles as small as 0.1 microns. The Dyson Pure Cool™ purifier fan also removes pollen, bacteria and particles of 2.5 microns. A layer of activated carbon granules captures odours and harmful toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde. The Dyson Pure Cool™ purifier fan is wrapped with a 360° H-13 HEPA filter.

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