Woke up this morning to slightly hazy weather, and i was just thinking we might be spared the haze this year. Most people would remember that the haze experienced last year was particularly bad.
Air purifiers fly off the shelves every time the haze comes, as people panic that their health would be affected by PM2.5 particles. Though i was tempted, i have resisted the urge to buy an air purifier, until now. And no, it is not in response to the haze. It is because we (my family) have been hit by flu which lasted an extended period, and i felt using an air purifier in our air-conditioned bedroom would help.
In its simplest form, an air purifier is nothing but a fan blowing through an air filter. Yes, you can actually DIY and make an air purifier yourself by strapping an air filter over a fan, no kidding (search “box fan air filter diy” on Google). The air filter traps the harmful particles, and how well an air purifier functions is ultimately determined by the quality of the air filter.
Anyway, the air purifier i got was the Germguardian AC4825, the best seller on Amazon. I got it from eBay for US$20 cheaper than what it cost on Amazon, and i got help from a friend to bring it back from the US. This is one of the cheapest air purifiers you can find if you don’t factor in the shipping cost from the US.
The thing about using an air purifier is, you’ll need to get replacement air filters, which can cost a lot. This is akin to buying replacement inkjet printer cartridges – the manufacturer will sell you “genuine” replacement parts at a huge premium. Thankfully, there is Taobao. Yes, skip the third party products too, which are aplenty on Amazon/eBay.
You probably won’t be able to find model/make specific air filters, but on Taobao, they come in all kinds of sizes, and one of them might just fit your air purifier. In my case, i managed to buy an air filter from this seller. The Germguardian air filter is an odd longish shape, so i ended up getting an air filter that requires some DIY effort to saw the air filter into two halves and seal up the exposed side with cardboard before applying to my air purifier. At 45 Yuan a piece (i.e. 22.5 Yuan or S$4.60 per filter since i can make two filters out of each), it is dirt cheap.
If you use an air purifier, try looking around Taobao (the keyword is 净化器滤网), you might be rewarded with a cheap supply of replacement air filters.
Don’t forget to get cashback for Taobao purchases through Shopback!