CASE's test results on 10 air purifiers

Air purifiers on sale in Singapore.
PHOTO: CASE's test results on 10 air purifiers

SINGAPORE - A test on ten air purifiers by the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) has found that all of them performed efficiently in cleaning the air under hazy conditions.

Last year, CASE conducted a test on air purifiers to ascertain that the performance of the air purifiers matched the representation in their advertisements with regards to bacteria, mould and yeast elimination.

This year, CASE commissioned another series of testing on a different set of air purifiers, this time round to determine the effectiveness of these air purifiers in cleaning contaminated particles from the air during the haze period.

Ten different brands of air purifiers were randomly purchased off the shelves from electrical retailers such as Courts Singapore, NTUC FairPrice, Harvey Norman and Parisilk Electronics & Computers Pte Ltd.

Two tests were conducted on the air purifiers in April 2014 to determine their efficiency in cleaning Respirable Suspended Particles (RSP) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) during times of haze.

RSP are atmospheric particles with diameter of 10 micrometres or less. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are organic chemicals that have a high vapour pressure at ordinary room temperature.

Both VOC and RSP are evident in hazy conditions and may cause chronic and acute effects to human health at high levels, CASE said. This is as they can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause respiratory problems. The ability to remove these particles and compounds is therefore an essential function for air purifiers during hazy days.

The test results showed that all ten air purifiers are able to efficiently clean the air during hazy conditions, with an average elimination rate of 98.37 per cent and 99.78 per cent for RSP and VOC respectively.

For the RSP removal test, Whirlpool AP628W performed the best with an elimination rate of 99.21 per cent and the model with the lowest elimination rate of 96.42 per cent was EuropAce EPU 166C.

For the VOC removal test, Whirlpool AP628W, EuropAce EPU 166C and Philips AC4025/01 were ranked first in performance with a 100 per cent elimination rate.

The lowest performer for the VOC test was LG PS-S209WC with an elimination rate of 99.55 per cent.

According to the haze microsite (www.haze.gov.sg), several models of air cleaners have been found to be able to reduce the level of fine particles in a typical bedroom to an acceptable level during a smoke haze.

The list of portable air cleaners can be found at http://www.haze.gov.sg/haze-update/Portable-Air-Cleaners.aspx

CASE added that it would like to advise consumers to compare prices and performance of air purifiers between brands before deciding on which brand and model to purchase.

Consumers are also encouraged to read instruction manuals or user guides on the correct way to use the air purifiers to ensure that they are able to function at their optimal level.

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