If you’re a resident of one of the highly polluted cities in the world, like Delhi for example, its best advised you do whatever possible to filter the air in your room. Many of us have purchased air purifiers for the rooms in our homes, ensured our windows seal properly when they need to and some of us even get the house dusted multiple times a day to keep this nasty allergen out. However, for many of us, there is still one big source of dust and particulate matter injection, our air conditioners. It is only recently that some manufacturers have starting putting PM2.5 filters, but most air conditioners don’t. IF you have a split A/C in your home, 3M has a solution to making your AC a whole lot more “breathing friendly.” They sent over a sample of their Electrostatic Air Conditioner Filters.
The installation of the filters according to the packaging is rather straightforward. You pop open the front panel of your split A/C, remove the mesh and just wrap the 3M filters over them vertically. The 3M filters come with an adhesive tape installed on one side so you know which side is up. You’ll also find extra adhesive strips so that you can neatly tape the bottom of the filter onto the mesh. It’s a clean installation, with the toughest part being popping open the front cover of the A/C, depending on the make and model you have. Sometimes, the front covers are stiff and difficult to open, but in all honesty, there couldn’t be a simpler solution.
So I have had the filters installed in my room for a little over 10 days. My room also has a Sharp FP-J60M(₹ 24998 at amazon) air purifier (Review), the winner of our Zero1 award for 2018. The air purifier is pretty adept at cleaning the air, but over the course of the summer, as dust storms become rampant, its effectiveness has been lowered. This is due to the fact that the air conditioner is also pushing air into the room. The amount of air being brought into the room by the AC is ofcourse higher in volume in comparison to the rate at which the air purifier can clean the room. Eventually, it does work though.
After installing the filters, the cleaning rate of the air purifier was much better. According to the PM 2.5 meter on the air purifier, the air purifier was dealing with lower PM 2.5 particles to begin with. Even after an evening of a raging dust storm, the AC was generally putting out cleaner air.
While it could be argued that the pollutant levels vary day by day, but what cannot be argued is the image of the filters below.
3M Electrostatic Air Conditioner Filters after 10 days of use
The filter traps sub-micron particles, that is PM2.5 and smaller
In just ten days, a filter that was pure white has become muddy brown. While this isn’t a testament of how effective the filters are, it is a sign that they are definitely doing their job. In case you’re wondering about any reduction in air-flow, I didn’t notice any.
3M rates the filter life between 1 to 3 months. While this is only an indicative life span, the best way to know if the filters need replacement is by simply opening up the front of your AC and checking the colour. If there is severe discolouration, where the filters have turned grey or brown, that means its time to replace them. The great part is that they only cost Rs 450 for a set and hence, a replacement won’t be breaking any banks.
The 3M Electrostatic Air Conditioner Filters are a clever attachment for split ACs and for such as meagre price, something we would definitely recommend everyone to get. However, they are by no means an effective enough contraption to replace an air purifier. A typical air-purifier usually has a HEPA filter which is far more effective due ot its size and weave than this thin sheet of fibers. If you use this in a room which also has an air purifier, that’s when you get the best results.
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