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Australia is in the grip of a horrific bushfire season. Our hearts go to those who are living through hell. Add that to the drought and the lucky country is not so lucky. Thanks, Mr Dyson for making us all aware of a thing called Air Quality.

Because of the fires, dust clouds from the red centre, temperature inversion and spring pollen, air quality is at its all-time worst – Sydney beating Beijing – a record we don’t want or deserve. Few have done as much as Mr Dyson to let us know there is relief at hand.

Today (15 November) areas of Sydney are at PM227 which is hazardous to health. It is a long way to less than PM2.5. Fortunately Mr Dyson and others have products that can help.

Air Quality Index

The sufferers are those with asthma, hay fever, and respiratory tract diseases. I am a chronic hay fever sufferer living on antihistamines and using boxes of tissues, so I understand the need for clean air.

We have reviewed several air purifiers, and I am now a firm believer that they do work – just look at the Dyson generated graph at the end of the article.

We have reviewed many purifiers, but I wanted to single out a few that really make a difference – and by that I mean really extract smoke, dust, pollen and more from the air.

It is all about CADR (clean air delivery rate) – even more so than filter efficiency, although that is important too.

CADR is cubic meterage per hour (m3/hour).

How do you know a room cubic meterage? Well, it is a room’s length x depth x ceiling height. We will use the example of lounge 5 x 5 x 2.4m or 60m3. And there are 1000 litres of air per m3, so that is 60,000 litres to clean.

CADR

Of course, you need to consider whether that room can be enclosed (like a bedroom with a door and windows) so it is a closed ecosystem. Or if it is more open (like an open plan lounge/dining/kitchen with perhaps a hallway and stairwell to other levels), then it is an open ecosystem.

Now the great thing – Catch 22 – is that once the air is clean in a closed ecosystem, then the job is done until more dirty air is let in (opening a window or door). The rule is that you always over-order CADR capacity for open space and you can get away less with for closed spaces.

Mr Dyson

Mr Dyson and his impeccable British accent and smiling visage have done more to make us aware of the need for pure air than any other ‘brand’. He has invested millions in developing test labs, building prototypes and keeping half the British engineers employed – not to mention advertising agencies as well.

Mr Dyson

While as a journalist, I am paid to be sceptical, I now appreciate the engineering and science behind Dyson products and the pursuit of perfection.

While Dyson’s products are at the upper end of the budget, they are quality products and the Dyson Link app provides lots of great information on external and internal air quality.

Dyson app

Dyson has a range of Pure Hot and Cool devices that are at the top end of air purification, but they are best in smaller, enclosed spaces. All Dysons use a separate HEPA filter and activated charcoal filter that must be replaced after about 4,000 hours and provide the highest filtration rate of all – particles, noxious gasses, etc. They cost about $110 per pair.

Dyson filters

Dyson Pure Cool series  ($649-799)

These have a CADR of around 35-40 m3/hr. That means it cleans the air in the lounge example one time per 2 hours. These are perfect for enclosed spaces. For example, today in a 100m2 area, it took about four hours to bring the room down to the ‘green’, but after that initial clean it can keep it there.

Pro – low electricity cost, great for smaller enclosed spaces
Con – A fan does not heat so it may be more useful to buy a Pure Hot and Cool unit

Mr Dyson Pure Cool

Dyson Pure Hot+Cool purifier/fan/heater range ($899).

Pro – It is a fan and a heater, great app and can economically heat and keep a room to a set temperature
Con – not ideal for open ecosystems, same filter costs

Mr Dyson Pure Heat

Dyson Personal Pure Cool ($499)

This is for your desk or bedside table – perfect for offices or bedrooms.

Pro – small and discrete, it is personal
Con – for a microclimate area, same filter costs

Mr Dyson personal

Philips

The top CADR purifier tested so far is the Philips series and GadgetGuy has one servicing its large open office. Depending on the series it has a large CADR (333/393/657m3/hr) that means its better suited to more extensive open areas. That means it cleans the air in the lounge bedroom 5-6 times per hour.

Pro – plug and play, low-cost filter replacements
Con – not a directional fan – air in and air out upwards.

Philips

TruSens Z-2000

The TruSens Z-2000 received second top CADR marks with GadgetGuy stating ‘It is the solid contender for the perfect purifier at just $399.” The mid-range Z-2000 has a CADR of 168m3 – impressive as well as low running costs (replacement filters are low cost).”

Pro – great price and low annual running costs
Con – not a fan nor a heater – air in and air out upwards

Trusens

De’Longhi

GadgetGuy was impressed with the $549 De’Longhi HFX85W20C air purifier heater and fan as a terrific addition to any home. It is a fan, heater and air purifier all-in-one.

It does not have the same filtration capability (EPA filter only), but It traps up to 99.9% of particles down to 2.5µm (that is 0.0025mm – a human hair is 50-70µm).

It does have some nice ‘ECO’ smarts that can keep a room at a constant temperature winter. It is more about creating a micro-climate zone up to 5 x 5 x 3 metres (75m3).

Pro – reasonable price, good CADR, good ECO setting, low-cost washable filer
Con – does not remove noxious gasses like activated carbon filters

DelonghiHFX85W20C

GadgetGuy’s take – Mr Dyson says an air purifier is what you need, but it need not necessarily be his

I have been using purifiers now for a couple of years, and the difference in air quality is palpable. When particulate matter gets about 2.5um, I start to get itchy eyes and ears. So, a quiet purifier like the Dyson is mandatory in the bedroom (night-time mode). But in the office or large spaces, there are better alternatives.

So here is the proof

It is all about knowing what makes an air purifier best for your needs. I can breath easier – thanks, Mr Dyson.