* Prices may differ from that shown
Air purifiers have grown in popularity over the past few years - many people find them useful in improving symptoms of allergies, asthma in particular. I bought my Bionaire purifier a couple of years ago, for under £80 and have used it daily. I've been asthmatic since childhood, but I'm afraid I bought the purifier to reduce the harmful effects on my home and family caused by my secret shame.
Bionaire are a Canadian company, started up in 1977, who now trade worldwide. Their products are widely available in Argos, Comet and other electrical retailers. The machine resembles a chunky fan heater, housed in cream coloured plastic. It has rubber feet on two sides so that it can be sat lengthways or upright, dependant on your available space. Around 3 metres of flex allows more choice when positioning in the room.
The model I have is powerful enough to cleanse the air in a room up to 16 square metres ( I use it in the office). This is important and if buying, check your room sizes and make sure you buy the respective model - there's no point in pushing dirty air around. It has three speeds, the lowest of which is recommended if you need to use it throughout the night. Energy wise, I haven't noticed an increase in my electric bills since buying the Bionaire, but I don't use the overnight function so it might be worth checking.
There is an LED light, which lets you know if the filter is blocked and an indicator referring to the need to change the filter.
How does it work? When switched on the Bionaire draws the air from the room into a wide grill. The largest particles of pollutant are trapped in the pre-filter. The air then passes through a carbon filter to reduce any odours and eliminate more large particles. Our, now much improved, air next travels through the HEPA filter, which does the majority of the filtering work. Finally, a fan expels the now super shiny air into the room through a second grill found on the top of the unit.
You'll have probably come across a HEPA filter before, perhaps in your vacuum cleaner, but for anyone who is unsure HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. These filters are designed to remove 99.97% of all airborne pollutants 0.3 microns or larger from the air that passes through the filter. These include tobacco smoke, household dust, and pollen. By the way, one micron is approximately 1/300th the diameter of a human hair.
The HEPA filter should be changed every 18 months.
The carbon filter will last for six months before changing.
The prefilter can be washed in soap and water and dripped dry whenever necessary.
And does it work?
Yes, it really does! When the hayfever season is upon us, I can shut myself in the office, switch the Bionaire on and within minutes my eyes and nose feel much more normal again. Whenever I've lifted a carpet or moved furniture, releasing the nasty dust I'm so allergic to, I pick up the Bionaire (lighter than 12 cans of beer, I can lift it with one hand) and put it on in the affected room with really quick results.
In fact, I often drop scented oils on the pre-filter and the results are heavenly.
It hums quite quietly to itself, and the noise doesn't bother me, but I am reliably informed that the newer models are "whisper quiet".
The Bionaire BPH1520 1.5kW Micathermic Digital Panel Heater is ultra quiet and safe Micathermic Panel Heaters provide steady long-term heating solutions for medium to large rooms through radiant and convectional heat. Wall Mounted or Free Standing the versatile design allows you to place it in different rooms and environments.The Bionaire heaters digital control panel displays the setting you select as well as the current room condition. The backlit display is easy to read. Digital temperature control 2 heat settings Frost Guard Safety Auto-shut off (Tip Over) Timer Free standing or wall mounted Convenient power on light Quiet room heater 1500W micathermic element ? medium to large size rooms Updated design and portable