What is an Air Purifier and Do You Need One?

Air purifiers are growing in popularity, particularly in areas where air quality is poor. So what is an air purifier, and do you really need one in clean, green New Zealand?

What is an air purifier?

An air purifier filters the air in your home to remove harmful particles from the air, such as fine dust, pollen and bacteria. How effective the machine is at achieving pure air in your home will depend on the model you choose and the size of the space you are purifying.

How does an air purifier work?

Air purifiers suck in air and pass it over a filter (or filters) to remove particles before pushing it back into the room. A standalone air purifier does not affect the temperature or humidity of the room.

Air purifier vs dehumidifier

A dehumidifier does not filter air, but rather removes moisture from your home environment. This can help prevent the build-up of mould, dust mites and other allergenic organisms, but it doesn’t eliminate them, or remove other harmful particles that are already in the air.

On the other hand, a standalone air purifier does not impact temperature or humidity. So it will not solve the issues that can cause the build-up of harmful particles. Rather, it eliminates airborne particles that are already present.

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air condtioner running cost

Can heat pumps work as air purifiers?

Yes, heat pumps have filters in them – mainly to stop household dust entering inside – however most heat pumps aren’t designed to purify air. More expensive models can come with air purification systems, however some only work when in either cooling or heating mode.

So it pays to check with the manufacturer and/or installer of your heat pump to check the level of air filtration it offers. But if you suffer from allergies or asthma, you may still need a standalone air purifier.

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→Related article: Daikin: New Zealand’s Favourite Heat Pumps

Do I really need to purify the air in my home?

In many cities around the world, air purifiers are essential for dealing with air pollution. Think LA’s famous smog, or the annual yellow dust that hits much of Asia every spring. That air makes its way indoors and, well, it’s not the kind of air you want to be breathing all day.

Here in New Zealand, for the most part, we don’t have to worry about such visible air pollution. After all, we are known for being clean and green. But while air purifiers have made a name for themselves by filtering out polluted air, there’s much more to them.

They can help filter out pollen, dust mites, mould, pet dander and more. These are all issues that many Kiwis don’t realise are of big concern here. For while a lot of us are used to our air quality, many visitors land on our sandy shores every year, only to be hit with endless allergies.

Several issues that plague New Zealand homes are:

  • Dust mites – New Zealand’s temperate climate is paradise for dust mites
  • Pollen – Our rolling grassy hills and endless acres of native bush are a sight for red, itchy, watery eyes to behold. Around one in five Kiwis suffer from hay fever
  • Mould – New Zealand homes are notorious for their poor ventilation and insulation. Despite recent legislation to improve the quality of rental properties, many Kiwis still live in damp, mouldy homes
  • Pet dander – 44% of Kiwi homes have a cat, and 28% have a dog. That’s a lot of pet dander!

Despite our fresh air, the atmosphere in many Kiwi homes is anything but pure. So if any of the above issues are of concern, or you suffer from allergies or asthma, an air purifier could be an excellent option.

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Best air purifiers in New Zealand

Below are a few of the best air purifiers you can buy in New Zealand.

Daikin MC55YPVM air purifier

Daikin MC40YPVM and MC55YPVM ($699-$799)

The latest models from Daikin capture, suppress and break down pollutants such as mould, pollen, allergens, odours, formaldehyde, traffic pollution and dust. Each of these air purifiers features multiple filters, a remote control, a digital display that monitors odour, dust, and PM2.5 particle levels, and Daikin’s new Streamer Technology. Streamer Technology produces a high-powered plasma discharge that decomposes harmful substances trapped in the air filter.

Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 3H air purifier

Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 3H ($279)

The Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 3H is a relatively cheap yet effective air purifier. It features a HEPA filter, quiet operation, touch screen display and smart capability.

Winix Zero+ Pro 5-Stage air purifier

Winix Zero+ Pro 5-Stage Air Purifier ($844)

Its five-stage filtration system includes a pet filter, HEPA filter, anti-bacterial filter, carbon filter, and plasma wave. It effectively removes airborne pollutants and allergens, including dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, mould, VOCs, odours, bacteria and viruses.

Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool HP07 air purifier

Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool HP07 ($999.99)

This is a three-in-one heater, air conditioning unit and air purifier. It features Dyson’s air multiplier technology to effectively rotate and disperse filtered air around the room. It comes with HEPA filters, a remote control (that magnetically sticks to the unit) and integration with the Dyson link app.


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author andrew broadley

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Andrew Broadley. Andrew is an experienced writer with a wide range of industry experience. Starting out, he cut his teeth working as a writer for print and online magazines, and he has worked in both journalism and editorial roles. His content has covered lifestyle and culture, marketing and, more recently, finance for Canstar.

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