The ionmax UV air purifier 2020 range adds a fourth stage of filtration/protection. UV-C light can help kill harmful microbes such as bacteria, viruses and fungi, and releases negative ions to refresh and revitalise the air.
Does UV work?
Upfront, I have to say that we are sceptical about any claims that an air purifier could kill airborne pathogens. After all, in the age of COVID wouldn’t this be the magic bullet.
I mean air whizzing past a UV light – surely it needs prolonged exposure. So, we did a little research and here is the summary.
UV-C will, with the correct exposure time, inactivate many viruses and bacteria on directly irradiated surfaces. Tests on SARS-CoV-2 virus (not COVID-19) took an exposure time of 6 seconds.
Not for use when people or animals can be exposed.
UV-C is in the spectrum from 200-280nm (see light spectrum chart below – 254nm used).
The EPA has found that UV-C can reduce most bacteria by between 90-99.9999% under the right conditions.
The Therapeutic Good’s Administration warns that it has not approved any air purifier as a medical device although it has approved room sterilisation systems with UV-C light.
Consumer-based UV-C lamps and devices are a far lower wattage than commercial/hospital.
In the ionmax UV air purifier, the UV-C light is over the fan blades directly under the air output grill. it has traditional HEPA and activated charcoal filters as well.
GadgetGuy has reviewed quite a lot of air purifiers, and we know what to look for.
Most true air purifiers use a mix of filters – pre-filter (for larger visible particles or <PM10), HEPA (High-efficiency particulate air for micron-sized <PM2.5) and activated carbon (for noxious gas absorption). Some add UV-C and some sterilising minerals.
Currently, no filter traps more than 99.X% of everything. As far as we can tell no consumer air purifier can trap and kill COVID or a similar virus.
Purifiers generally quote a CADR (clean air delivery rate in m3/minute or hour). For example, a typical bedroom 3x3x2.8m (about 25m3). Now, if you can close the windows and doors, CADR is not such an issue as once cleaned it remains that way until more ‘dirty air’ enters the room.
Purifiers either have a directional fan or just vent the air back to the room.
And then we look at ongoing energy and maintenance costs.
ionmax is an Andatech brand. In other words, it develops specifications and contracts to an OEM to make them. That is why you won’t find an ionmax company website as these are an Australia only product.
In true Andatech style, it is well made with a quality finish. The distinctive feature is the air quality circular readout on the front that cycles through PM levels, temperature and humidity. It is quite accurate as confirmed by our Kestrel air and humidity datalogger.
Size-wise its fairly compact at 590 (h) x 360 (w) x 210mm (d) x 7kg. on plastic feet. I would say it is more practical than a fashion statement – as most air purifiers are.
There is no app – it is plug and go.
Setup – PASS+
Insert the filters, plug it into a power point, touch power, select Auto (or a manual fan speed) and that is it. Optionally turn on the UV-C light.
CADR – (Clean air delivery rate) PASS+
This has 340m3/hour. To put that in perspective, a standard bedroom is about 25m3, so it cleans that 14 times per hour. Its claim is 40m2 (96m2) where it cleans the air about 3.6 times per hour.
Anything that can clean a rated area at over twice per hour is an excellent rating. But we make the point that once the air is clean, it stays that way until more dirty air enters from opening a door or window. CADR is more important for large open spaces.
Filter Efficiency – PASS+
It has a pre-filter (PM10) HEPA (PM 2.5) and Activated carbon deodorisation filter (noxious gas). It removes 99.97% of particles to .3um.
No filter system does much better, and that means allergy sufferers will benefit. Over the two week trial, there was noticeable dust on the pre-filter
Airflow – PASS
This has a top exhaust. It is not a fan.
Sound – PASS
Tests dB at one metre
Auto: varied from 30 upwards
Sleep – 30
1 – 40
2 – 50
3 – 70
Turbo – 75
For most of the time, it is around 30dB. When we were cooking and sprayed some canola oil on a pan (about 2 metres from the purifier), it ramped up to PM250 and turbo speed for about three minutes until cleared.
Indicators – EXCEED
Like digital readouts – it appeals to the precise OCD in me. It does not have a volatile gas sensor but still cleans that from the air.
Timer – PASS
Select from 1-8 hours and a sleep mode.
Maintenance – PASS
None of the filters are washable. However, you can vacuum the pre-filter and HEPA to extend life. Over the trial, we saw visible signs of dust on them.
The filters have a 2,000-hour rating. This is a little lower than some (Samsung at 4000), but in reality, it depends on just how bad your air quality is. I have no doubt that in normal environs these will last much longer.