Breathe easy with BlueAir, citizens of the city

It's come to this now. We have to pay for air, basically!

Sweden claims to have the purest air quality on our planet. Now, they want you to breathe some Swedish air in your Indian home too…

It won’t surprise anyone if I said that during the course of writing this story, I might have coughed at least 37 times. It’s “normal” for us and almost a way of life, nonchalantly blaming it on weather change or that mutton rogan josh you had earlier for lunch. But the truth is, most respiratory disorders are caused by the air we’re breathing in our polluted Indian metros.

A blue planet come true

Mumbai and Delhi lead the way for bad air and thus now more than ever, air purifiers that mean business mean a lot. BlueAir has been a specialist brand for two decades but it wasn’t until my 37th cough did I think of calling them up and requesting for a unit to “see” if it improves my seemingly benign condition.

The Classic 480i is sort of like the poster boy for air purifiers and certainly BlueAir’s mainstay product. It’s an elegant looking unit that is a mix of industrial and residential, but given its resume, I wasn’t concerned with how it looked but with what it could do. At 15kgs, it’s not unduly cumbersome to move from room to room, depending on where you’re spending the most amount of time.


Jargon in the air

‘HEPA’ or ‘High Efficiency Particulate Air’ refers to a filtration standard used by different brands of purifiers but its ratings and efficiency can range markedly from one country to the other, depending on the regulatory boards. BlueAir’s assurance is that it exceeds all these standards while adding its own whisper quiet mechanism to the mix.

What this means is that the BlueAir traps particles less than 0.3 microns in size partnered with a high ‘Clean Air Delivery Rate’ (CADR), another important criteria when making a selection. The Classic 480i is now improved over the earlier model with better CADR and now boasts app-based control too. The app shows all-important information about the quality of air in your living space based on values like ‘PM2.5’, ‘Volatile Organic Compound’ (VOC) and CO2 levels. The X and Y axis graph for each allows you to track hourly changes to air quality and ideally, you should observe a sharp decline in all the key values after you switch the Classic 480i on.

The controls are also duplicated on the unit itself, neatly concealed beneath a flap on the top panel that also has an indicator to tell you it’s time to change the filter. Three fan speeds are on offer and while the first two work super silently, the fastest fan speed could rob you of your sleep but will also clean out the air in your room within 20 minutes. So, it’s best to leave it on at full blast before retiring for the day and then progressively reduce fan speed. The app also allows you to adjust the brightness levels of the blue LED indicator light, if that gets in the way of your dreams.


Back to breathing

Within a few nights of using the BlueAir during my sleep, I was able to get rid of my cough. And while some might attribute this to the body’s natural course of healing, as a techie, I’m predisposed to believe it was the Classic 480i air purifier at work. Not only the cough, but I could also sense more alertness and higher energy levels and this also was a function of lowered CO2 levels in my room after I plugged in the Classic 480i.

If you regularly monitor the levels of toxins on the partnering app, it serves as a stark reminder of how impure the air in Mumbai (and certainly other Indian metros) is. Sure, it’s not a small device but then again, it promises to filter out and clean air from a 400 sq.ft room and if you have 80,000 to spend, I would recommend spending on this over a Bangkok holiday since it would prove to be a lot longer lasting happy sensation.

It’s easy to use, gives out clear yet detailed info on your air quality and in these times of compromised basic necessities, I can’t think of why anyone with the means wouldn’t feel inclined to invest in their and the family’s health.