You need an air purifier. You really, really do.
Given how bad the air quality is in most Indian cities (your favourite, ‘undiscovered’ beach or camping site does not count as a city), air purifiers have become de rigeur pieces of kit (right after satellite TV and broadband is what we say, but your priorities might be more down to earth).
It’s a market lots of device makers are chasing, and amongst the heavyweights is Honeywell. We spent a couple of weeks living with their app-controlled Air Touch S and here’s what we came away with.
It’s well-constructed, all right. The Air Touch S seems to exude quality, which makes sense if you’ve got kids (or are forever walking into furniture). It’s pretty big and heavy, and yet seems very stable – Honeywell says they’ve used an anti-fall base (again, it’s something you’ll really appreciate if you’ve got young kids or a frisky labrador).
The vents and a soft-touch control panel sit right at the top, with enough blue LEDs to make small pets think an alien ship has landed. On the whole, it’s a good-looking piece of kit that won’t look out of place in your living room.
We mentioned the Air Touch S is app-controlled? Of course we did. The H-Plus app is very fiddly and it took us nearly 20 mins to get the unit hooked up to our Wi-Fi. But it’s a painless experience once you’re past that. Of course, you don’t have to connect the Air Touch S to your home network – the controls at the top of the unit get the job done, but it’s a nice touch, we have to admit (The app lets you tweak the speed, check the filter status and get real-time info on indoor air quality).
The Air Touch S has a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) of 300 cubic metres per hour, and Honeywell says it’s well-suited to rooms of up to 450 sq. ft. The Air Touch S draws air in from around the sides and expels it at through the top using a ‘3D Air Flow Design’. As for the filters, the cabinet is hinged, and easily falls away to allow a swap.
The Air Touch S uses filters in sets of 3 – there’s a washable pre filter for removing dust and larger particles, a HEPA filter for removing PM2.5 particles (say, from vehicular exhaust), and Honeywell’s pride and joy – the HiSiv filter, which contains activated carbon for removing organic compounds and odour.
What you’ll also appreciate is how quiet the Air Touch S is – switch it over to auto mode and it revs up hard initially (especially if the indoor air’s not all that clean), but once the air is clean enough, it settles down to the point of being inaudible.
Honeywell Air Touch S initial verdict
The Air Touch S is a good-looking and well-performing air purifier. While we didn’t use any controlled, lab-grade tests, it definitely seemed more effective than our Eureka Forbes Euroair Detox (it’s also a darn sight better looking) and even the ever-popular Mi Air Purifier 2. The filters are also easily available online, which matters more than you think – check out reviews and you’ll find lots of competing brands getting flak for their hard-to-acquire air filters. It also gets bonus points for its 7-speed air adjustment and the quiet operation. But it’s not all good news. At ₹39,990, the Air Touch S is rather pricey – you could pick up four of Xiaomi’s air purifiers for that much (and some change).