There’s growing sentiment that air purifiers are a panacea for conditions as wide ranging as bronchitis and pet allergies to masking pipe tobacco smell in a “man cave.” On the internet, air purifiers are marketed as the new CBD oil, a proposed solution for all health ills. In Facebook mom groups and Amazon customer reviews, people share their favorite makes and models, and while some occasionally gripe about defects, the overall consensus appears to be that if you or a loved one struggle with asthma or pet allergies, air purifiers can be a game-changer.
The air purifier market is experiencing an unprecedented boom — especially abroad. In South Korea, air purifier sales have tripled since 2016, with the government recently announcing a plan to install the devices in all kindergarten and pre-K classes. In China, where severe air pollution has been linked to an estimated 1.6 million preventable deaths, as many as 7.5 million devices were sold last year, up from 3.1 million in 2013.
A report from TechSci Research projected that the industry would be worth $3.9 billion by 2023, up from $2.6 billion in 2017. Air purifiers won’t just be niche medical devices for families living in high-pollution areas, but appliances as ubiquitous as the air conditioner. Some scientists believe that air purifiers are little more than a Band-Aid concealing a much larger problem. Ultimately, they don’t address the source of air pollution.
The article does not actually give a definitive answer about whether they work or not. But what is clear is we need to be cautious about the cheaper products. The ones that do work are likely to be the much more expensive HEPA filter purifiers, and also when maintained properly. Much of what we see at bargain prices are actually gimmicks. The newer PECO technology may actually be better, but the pity is we are spending money on fixing the symptoms instead of the causes of air pollution...