Lots of my family members have allergies. But we’re feeling a little better now that we’ve got an air purifier to clean the air in a big part of our home.
Coway’s Airmega is a Wi-Fi-connected filtration system that you can control via a mobile app. It is one of the latest gadgets in the Internet of Things, or everyday objects that are becoming smart and connected. I tried it out, and while it didn’t completely erase my familiy’s allergies, it certainly seemed to make us feel better. And I felt reassured that the air in our home was finally measurable, and it was clean.
Air quality is important, as a human consumes about 3,000 gallons of air per day, and chemicals and toxins are easily absorbed through the lungs. Respiratory illness is on the rise in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 25 million Americans (or 1 in 12 people) suffer from asthma. And that’s up 28 percent from 2001. We spend about 80 percent of our time indoors, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Indoor pollution comes from a variety of sources: cooking, cigarette smoke, candles and incense, off-gassing from manufactured materials like carpet, vapors from cleanings products, pet dander, and HVAC systems. Then there are outdoor contaminants that make their way through doors and windows. Those include exhaust, mold, emissions from factory vents, and pollen.
The filtration system was pretty easy to assemble. I unpacked it and removed the wrapping from the filters. I downloaded the app and then paired the air filter with my smartphone via Bluetooth.
In its automated smart mode, Airmega quietly goes about filtering your air. It has a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) with gingko and Japanese sumac. It has two Max2 activated carbon filters (with coconut extracts) to capture and reduce more than 99 percent of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and odors.
It has a dual suction fan, which means the purifier can remain smaller without sacrificing a lot of power. It traps particulates as small as 0.3 microns, or less than 1/100th the width of a human hair. Cleaned air re-circulates through a vent at the top of the purifier. It’s sort of big, like a mini fridge. South Korea’s Coway says the 400S model can cover more than 1,560 square feet of space.
Over time, the app helps you become a lot more knowledgeable about the state of air quality in your home. It can track the level of pollution over time. It can provide a cross-section of the pollutants in your home over a 24-hour period or show you a year’s worth of data.
The app’s dashboard is like a fuel gauge in your car. You can use it to purchase replacement air filters with a few taps. You can set timers, check on air quality, and receive notifications when the air quality dips. It uses readings from its air-quality sensors to monitor the cleanliness of the air, and it accelerates the fan speed as necessary. In Eco mode, if the air quality registers clean for 10 minutes, the Airmega will stop the fan. It re-activates if the air quality dips.
The Wi-Fi-connected models start at $749. It’s available for purchase on www.airmega.com and Amazon. The 400s model covers 1,560 square feet, and the 300s covers about 1,256 square feet. You have to avoid putting it in a place where the filter panels are blocked. You don’t want to put objects immediately above it, or place it too near windows. And you should avoid placing it in direct sunlight.