Rain has brought respite from the haze that clouded Singapore last month. But with forest fires still raging in Indonesia, it makes sense to have an air purifier on hand for when the haze returns.
I recently 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 from many local retailers, including Best Denki, Challenger, Popular and Lazada.
The Z-3000 model that I tested is the most powerful of TruSens' three air purifiers. It can cover an area of up to 70 sq m, which is twice the coverage of the next lower-end Z-2000 model (35 sq m). The entry-level Z-1000 model has a room 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 is connected wirelessly with the air purifier and measures the quality of the air nearby.
The readings are shown as a numeric figure on the air purifier's front panel. TruSens uses the air quality reporting system used by the United States' Environmental Protection Agency, which differs from the PSI reading used by Singapore.
But regardless of how the air quality index is calculated, the lower the number, the better the air quality. The Z-3000 also has a circular LED that changes colour to indicate the air quality from blue (good) to orange (moderate) to red (poor).
It has five different fan modes, though I usually put it in Auto mode. The purifier runs quietest in Whisper mode, which I measured at 40 decibels using a smartphone app. The loudest it went was in Turbo mode, at around 79 decibels, which is as loud as an alarm.
The air purifier reacted very quickly when I purposely introduced pollutants in the form of a smoky flame near the SensorPod. The LED went red, the reading shot up and the fan became fast and noisy. It took around 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 the LED indicators and a timer that turns off the air purifier after a set period of time. All the controls are on the air purifier's front panel. There is no app or voice controls for smart home enthusiasts to fiddle with.
Like many air purifiers, the Z-3000 comes with a HEPA filter from DuPont that can capture pollutants as small as 0.3 microns in size. This filter is circular so as to capture pollutants from all directions. 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 around 15 t0 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 TruSens air 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.
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