Breath Deeper: A Purchasing Guide for Air Purifiers and Dehumidifiers

Dongguan is known to be warm and humid. It’ average temperatures between May and September rarely fall below 30 °C and yearly relative humidity averages 71 percent. This year is likely to be more of the same with air quality that, though recently improved, isn’t favorable. While the outdoors belongs solely to nature (and a few factories), interior air quality is human domain when empowered by air purifiers and dehumidifiers to process problems into comfort.

Dehumidifiers (Chúshījī 除湿机)

Sunpentown YS-321DHB Price range: RMB 4,400 to 4,800.

Sunpentown YS-321DHB
Price range: RMB 4,400 to 4,800.

Humidity provides breeding grounds for mold and mildew. The dark stuff spawns in clothing, leather or paper causing peeled wallpaper and warped or rotting wood. These molds in quantity present health hazards, potentially causing allergic reactions and respiratory problems. Meanwhile, the raised heat index affects perception of actual temperature, an influence magnified during a Dongguan summer.

Proper humidity levels discourage mold, maintains the household and regulates comfort. Recommended relative humidity levels rest between 35 and 45 percent.

A portable dehumidifier, useful year round, can be carried or rolled anywhere moisture is a problem. Look for wheels and handles. The water tank should be emptied and cleaned regularly, so a bigger, easier-cleaned device is advisable. Consider silent functions if needed overnight.

To Spend or Not to Spend?

When life is partitioned between homeland and country of operation it’s difficult to validate an expenditure on creature comforts when the A/C unit inherently dehumidifies. Depth of disposable income matter not.

Every situation corresponds to its variables. A/C units use electricity in the thousands of watts category while dehumidifiers consume only hundreds. Money can be saved by using a dehumidifier on those not overly sunny days; a lower humidity room does feel cooler.

Humidity can be lowered, first, by changing some habits. Make sure the exhaust fan is on during every shower and let it run a bit afterward. For bottom floor apartments or houses be sure to keep excess water away from the outer walls. And try not to dry clothes outdoors as well

Thkom TH-25CSHW Price range: RMB 2,800 to 3,000.

Thkom TH-25CSHW
Price range: RMB 2,800 to 3,000.

Shopping Advice:

Sunpentown (Taiwan) has a higher output capacity (26L/24h).

There are more than a dozen brand choices  priced from RMB 2,000 to 5,000 with different coverage areas and output capacities.

Home appliances and electronics stores such as SUNING, Fashion, and GOME carry the best selection. Both SUNING and Fashion feature Sunpentown.

GOME in Global Plaza has the fewest choices and many of the models are pretty old.

Air Purifier (Kōngqì Jìnghuàqì 空气净化器)

Philips AC4072 Price range: RMB 4,600 to 4,800.

Philips AC4072
Price range: RMB 4,600 to 4,800.

Unventilated interior air pollution is often worse than assumed. Since not breathing isn’t an option for those who have outgrown tantrums, an air purifier maybe a good option to assist the lung’s capillaries.

Beyond outdoor contaminants, toxins emitted from household cleaners, pesticides, cooking, pet dander and smoking degrade air quality. Even organic gases from bath and beauty products can cause problems. Slight or severe, air quality issues don’t have to be accepted. Better interior air clears the mind and lifts the spirit, benefiting asthmatics and allergy sufferers as well as the less sensitive.

More filters equals cleaner air. Activated carbon filters absorb volatile chemicals on a molecular level and HEPA filters remove up to 99.97 percent of particles smaller than dust. Hint: big brand’s filters are easier to change.

Purifier traits incorporate differing stages of filtration and Clean Air Delivery Rates (CADR). In coordinating the machine to the room manufacturers recommend they match in size, while Consumer Reports says testing found that a large unit run on a low setting is quieter and more effective than a less capable model working on highest speed.

Filter changing auto-reminders and color-coded air quality indicators are noteworthy functions and those equipped with formaldehyde filters suit newly constructed homes.

To Spend or Not to Spend?

Panasonic F-PDF35C-G Price range: RMB 1,200 to 1,400.

Panasonic F-PDF35C-G
Price range: RMB 1,200 to 1,400.

Whether the expenditure for an air purifier has real value is a tougher call because the effects of air quality is less perceptible in real time. However if paranoia remains, consider the home’s air exchange rate.

This measure of how many times the volume of air is completely replaced with outside air (usually a good thing in fresher environments) may be a deciding factor. In normal homes, the rate is 0.7 exchanges per hour, but the rate can range from 0.2 exchanges to 2 full exchanges per hour in lower quality homes.

Shopping Advice:

Simple and sleek Philips and Panasonic units are featured in all stores.

Again, SUNING, Fashion and GOME have the most choices. Fashion in Kingdom Plaza has the widest selection of Philips purifiers.

The prices range from RMB 1,000 to 6,000. SUNING behind the Kingdom Plaza has better prices but fewer choices, comparably.

Again, GOME in Global Plaza is weaker in both price and selection.