Rain has brought respite from the haze that clouded Singapore last month. But it makes sense to have an air purifier on hand for when the haze returns.
I tried out an air purifier from new entrant TruSens. Made by Acco Brands - an American firm known for office and academic products such as Artline markers and Kensington locks - TruSens is available at many local retailers, including Best Denki, Challenger and Popular.
The Z-3000 model I tested is the most powerful of its three air purifiers. It can cover an area of up to 70 sq m - twice the coverage of the lower-end Z-2000 model (35 sq m). The entry-level Z-1000 model has a coverage of 23 sq m.
Included in the Z-3000 and Z-2000 models is the SensorPod, a small air quality monitor that can be placed anywhere in the home in the vicinity of a power outlet. Out of the box, it connects wirelessly with the purifier and measures the quality of the air nearby.
The readings are shown as a numeric figure on the front panel. TruSens adopts the air quality reporting system used by the United States' Environmental Protection Agency, which differs from the PSI reading used by Singapore.
Regardless how air quality index is calculated, the lower the number, the better the air quality. The Z-3000's circular LED changes colour to indicate the air quality from blue (good) to red (poor).
• Relatively quiet
• Reacts quickly to poor air quality
• Colour-coded air quality indicator
• No support for app or voice controls
• Having three filters with varying lifespans may require fair amount of maintenance
COVERAGE: 70 sq m
DIMENSIONS: 263 x 263 x 726mm
POWER CONSUMPTION: 68W
VALUE FOR MONEY: 3.5/5
It has five fan modes, though I usually put it in Auto. The purifier runs quietest in Whisper mode, which I measured to be at 40 decibels using a smartphone app. The loudest was in Turbo mode, at around 79 decibels - as loud as an alarm.
The purifier reacted very quickly when I deliberately introduced pollutants - a smoky flame - near the SensorPod. The LED went red, the reading shot up and the fan became fast and noisy. It took about 10 minutes for the purifier to bring the air back to healthy levels.
Other settings for the Z-3000 include a night mode that turns off almost all LED indicators. All the controls are on the purifier's front panel. There are no app or voice controls for smart-home enthusiasts.
Like many air purifiers, the Z-3000 has a Hepa filter from DuPont that can capture pollutants as small as 0.3 microns in size. In addition, there is an ultraviolet bulb to kill germs and bacteria, and a carbon filter to get rid of odours.
Indicator lights glow red to remind you to change filters.
Depending on usage, TruSens says the Hepa drum ($52.60) should last 15 to 18 months while the carbon filter ($33.70) should be changed every three to four months. The ultraviolet bulb ($26) should be good for two to three years.
Overall, the purifier seemed to work quietly and quickly to tackle poor air quality in the home. And while it is quite tall, its actual footprint is not much larger than a stool.