Abigail BanerjiFeb 05, 2021 12:37:39 IST
I never thought I would need an air purifier for as long as I live in Mumbai. And while we definitely do not have the cleanest air around, I always thought only our friends up north had to battle severe air pollution. While I was excited to try out a new gadget, I wasn’t too sure how much use I would have for Philips’ New Urban Living Series Air Purifier 3000i. (Spoiler alert: I used it a lot).
Setting up the air purifier is easy – just take it out of the box, make sure the filter is properly attached and its protective covering is taken off, plug it into a power source and switch it on. Setting up the app for the purifier is easy once you skim through the user manual.
The Philips Air Purifier 3000i has a digital display (with five buttons) that indicates the different levels it operates in – Automation, Turbo and Sleep mode. It also shows real-time levels of particulate matter (PM2.5), indoor allergen index (IAI) and gas levels in the room, along with the strength of the WiFi signal and the power button. It even has a ‘Smart Filter’ button that tells you how much of the filter has been used, and notifies the user when the filter needs replacing. But the thing I’m obsessed with is the funky light ring that serves a purpose other than making this purifier look futuristic – it is an indicator of how good (or bad) the air quality index (AQI) is inside your house.
The app for the air purifier is Clean Home+, which makes it easy to control the purifier from any part of the house. While it does let you mess with the head of your favourite (and unsuspecting) family member, it is also useful for switching the purifier off and on and switching between modes. The app also gives you recommendations on which is the ideal mode to run your air purifier on, depending on how polluted the air in and around your residence is, and also lets you choose the speed of the fan. When your filter is running out, the app will notify the user to replace it, and will also share a direct link to the official website.
Another feature the app includes is a timer, which came in handy and was something I particularly liked. Using the app, I set a daily timer for the air purifier to automatically switch off at a particular time after I have fallen asleep.
The Clean Home+ app also conveys weather updates and bite-sized articles that educate you about all matters related to air. For instance, did you know curtains are a major source of pollutants in a room, which is why it is very important to change them regularly? Air pollution has several side effects on unborn babies and pregnant mothers, and can also cause irreversible loss of sight.
Pollution levels aren’t that severe where I live, and after using the air purifier daily for over a month, the filter health is still at 100 percent. The life of the filter, of course, depends on a number of factors such as the number of hours the purifier has been used for, indoor air pollution levels and the size of the room in which the purifier is deployed.
Replacing the filter is also a breeze – just remove the back panel and swap out the used filter with the new one. Additionally, during the warranty period, Philips also provides free assistance for replacing filters if you aren’t confident about doing it yourself.
Philips also mentions that the air purifier absorbs smoke, dust and allergy-causing pollen; it can also filter out bacteria and 99.9 percent viruses from the air. This does not mean it will protect you from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) or any of the other viruses in the air – think of it as an added layer of safety to go along with other protective measures.
The purifier also absorbs strong odours and food smells in the house, even if it is not kept inside or close to the kitchen. Equipped with an activated carbon filter that removes bad odour, gases and total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), the purifier took around 5 to 7 minutes to get rid of the smell of tadka. That said, the time taken by the purifier to snuff out the smell varies depending on how strong the odour is.
On to a few negatives about the Philips Air Purifier 3000i that aren’t deal-breakers, but can be frustrating over a period of time.
The purifier is huge – it is 66cm (26 inches) tall and 96 metres (38 inches) wide. It also takes up a lot of floor space in my Mumbai flat, where space is already tight. I am lucky to have the right amount of free space next to my dresser that was conveniently also close to a switchboard, but not everyone is this fortunate.
The purifier is heavy and can be a real pain to move around the house. If you live in an area with heavy air pollution, you may want to invest in more than one filter.
The noise of the fan in the purifier is also pretty loud and takes some getting used to. However, it does have the option of a sleep mode that turns it into a soft hum in the background.
So, does the Philips Air Purifier 3000i get the job done? In a word, yes. I used the purifier all through Diwali week and when my house was undergoing renovation. Every day, after the reconstruction work was complete, I would switch it on and within 10 to 15 minutes, the smoky, slightly dusty air in my room was replaced with air that was perceptibly cleaner.
Starting at Rs 17,500, the Philips Air Purifier New Urban Living Series comes in three variants – 3000i, 2000i and 1000. I tested out the 3000i series, which costs Rs 27,900. It is a good purifier for those just dipping your toes in, and it does a solid job while also looking super-stylish. Replacing the filter will cost you Rs 6,595, which might seem expensive, but it should last you a full year, depending on how severe the quality is where you live.
I’ve come to realise that an air purifier is something you don’t know you’re missing out on until you actually use one. While you may not feel the need for it, Mumbai, too, has high levels of air pollution, and a purifier – especially one as capable as the Philips Air Purifier 3000i – is always welcome inside the house.