| New Delhi |
December 8, 2019 4:46:26 pm
All over North India, winter season is now officially smog season, though Delhi being the capital city gets all the focus. Winter season is now by consequence ‘air purifier’ season for many of us, and there’s no doubt that many brands want to cash in on this trend. Xiaomi is one brand which has offered smart air purifiers for nearly two years in India, and its latest is the Mi Air Purifier 3 which costs Rs 9,999.
The difference compared to the Mi Air Purifier 2S is that this one has a touchscreen interface on the front with an OLED screen. But it is not all cosmetic changes; the Mi Air Purifier 3 has a slightly bigger square fan at the top. This one comes with a true HEPA filter compared to the EPA filter on the earlier one, though you can put the HEPA filter on your older Mi Air Purifier 2S as well.
Xiaomi also says this new Air Purifier is more powerful thanks to the bigger fan on top, has a higher Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR), and is quieter. Still, if I were to place the Mi Air Purifier 2S and the new variant next to each other, from the front, they both look the same and you might not be able to tell the difference.
Setting up the Mi Air Purifier 3 was easy as well, and it connected to the Mi Home app smoothly. The touchscreen on the front will show you the temperature, the mode at which it is running, the temperature and the PM2.5 particle count.
When I got the Mi Air Purifier 3 for review towards the end of November, the Air Quality Index (AQI) had almost started clearing up in Delhi or what can be considered mildly acceptable levels of under 200 for PM2.5. Of course, this is woefully short of WHO’s standards of PM2.5 at levels of 25 μg/m3 for a 24-hour mean period.
Still, the first day the Mi Air Purifier 3 arrived the air quality was still in the hazardous zone. We had two air purifiers turned on in our large drawing and dining room and you could see both were struggling to keep the levels under 150 PM2.5, which was expected given the room is not entirely sealed off.
One thing though, both were not showing quite the same number, at least the exact same number, which really makes you wonder how this is being calculated. When I moved it to a sealed room, which is also smaller in size, the air purifier did manage to bring the PM2.5 under 80 and the screen showing a green light.
In the last few days, we have again seen that AQI has gone for a toss, easily crossing 300 PM2.5 levels, which is far above the acceptable levels, though 120 AQI is no reason to celebrate either. The Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 3 has done a decent job in my main bedroom managing to keep the levels to under 70, when the room is sealed shut. But it takes a good hour or so to bring the level down, especially on days where the AQI has deteriorated.
Once you open the door, the levels spike up for Mi Air Purifier 3, it will struggle to keep the AQI 200 at times, though after some time the levels are down closer to 100 and then 80.
The Mi Air Purifier 3 is quieter than its previous version, but if all both are running at the automatic mode, which is what I rely on given the AQI these days, you can’t drown out the sound of either.
As with all air purifiers, you will have to take these numbers with a pinch of salt. I don’t have an independent air quality monitor to double-check the accuracy, and I saw one in the market which cost more than the air purifier itself.
But the Mi Air Purifier 3 does come with a HEPA filter, which is the standard technology for removing PM2.5 and PM10 particles. It also has a carbon filter to remove other particles such as formaldehyde, toxic substances, and foul odor. Yes, there are plenty of other pollutants in Delhi homes, not just PM2.5.
The advantage with the Mi Air Purifier 3 is that it continues to be reasonably priced, and at least does the job well, when the conditions are not apocalyptic. One thing though you will have to keep replacing filters, within three-four months, perhaps at an even shorter period if you live in Delhi or any other North Indian city.
That is an additional cost with all Air purifiers, which means over the year you are spending at least to Rs 2199 (cost of the HEPA filter) or more on these products. So yes, keep that in mind when hitting buy on this or any other air purifier, and make sure you stock up on the replacement filters before smog season hits each year.
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