The story of how I bought three air purifiers (plus a blower that worked great) because I was scared of hay fever after all this time and wanted to at least make my house a safe zone.

The pollen for spring 2023 is the worst in the last 10 years.

The increase in the amount of cedar pollen in the air has been in the news year after year, and for those of you who suffer from hay fever, I can only say, “I am very sorry. This is a terrible man-made disaster.

Bridges, buildings, and civil engineering structures built during the period of rapid economic growth have deteriorated over the past half century, and the question is, who is going to maintain them and at what cost? Who is going to pay for the maintenance of the bridges, buildings, and civil engineering structures that were built during the high-altitude economic growth period? On the other hand, cedar trees planted after the high economic growth period are spreading pollen and causing problems.

The state is getting a slap in the face from both man-made structures and plants back and forth.

While I’m on the subject, it seems that my wife and I have finally developed hay fever. When we come back from outings, our eyes itch.

Last year, I had been thinking that the beginning of spring was not good, and last year I even declared to myself, “If this situation continues next year, I’ll buy an air purifier next year! I even declared to myself, “If this situation continues next year, I’ll buy an air purifier next year! And sure enough, this year is no different.

I think it’s the hay fever of the Corona era. Perhaps it’s because I usually wear a mask when I go out, but neither I nor I have a runny nose and sneezing at all. Instead, my eyes itch. That makes sense.

In the past, people used to “wear masks in the spring because of hay fever. But like us, “I wore a mask regardless of hay fever, and then I got hay fever. As a result, only my eyes itched.” A pattern has emerged.

Either way, it’s offensive.

Not only do I hate the itch, but I also hate the fact that the place I thought was supposed to be safe, home, is not safe.

Hey, it seems that pollen is falling on the floor of our house.

Our house has a robot vacuum cleaner running every day, and since my eyes started itching, I have been more disciplined than ever in wiping the floor with the Braava. Still, when the bamboo runs, my eyes itch.

There is a joint mat in the living room so as not to disturb the floor below with noise. Because of this, it is doubtful that the robot vacuum cleaner is perfectly absorbing the fine dust and pollen in the room.

There was no end to the doubts. I thought, “If the robot vacuum cleaner is not enough, I will use an additional Makita stick cleaner to clean the robot thoroughly,” but at any rate, the enemy was invisible. I had no idea how far I had to go to feel secure.

To begin with, there may be pollen lurking in the corners of rooms, under couches, and other hard-to-clean places. The possibility of pollen floating around in the space where we live is worrisome.

I can’t stand the idea that my house might not be a safe place to live. We have already decided to install an air purifier. We are just waiting to find out if it will be a single unit or if it will be installed in each room.

The more you look into air purifiers, the simpler the idea is.

An air filter and a fan, these are the two basic components. The air in the room is poured into the air filter, and dirt is filtered out. That’s it.

Ultimately, the filter could be hung from the ceiling and a circulator could be used to blow air into the room.

However, this is not good for business, or rather, it does not allow for differentiation, so companies are adding value-added features such as “plasmacluster discharge,” “nanoe,” and “streamer. Also, the mainstream is not a stand-alone air purifier, but a type with a humidification function as well.

By adding this and that function, manufacturers are desperate to prevent the commoditization of “simply blowing air through a filter.

However, plasmaclusters and various other technologies are occult, and I take them as a maytag. The manufacturers say that they have conducted experiments with results, so labeling by amateurs is not allowed.

Sharp, for example, claims that models that can emit plasmaclusters at high concentrations can be expected to “reduce stress” and “improve concentration. Really? That’s amazing.

Eventually, I think that even more high-end models will bring about a brighter and brighter future, with “money up” and “family safety” and so on.

So, I looked at the product strategies of these Japanese manufacturers (Sharp is a Taiwanese manufacturer) with a half smile, but when it came time to buy an air purifier myself, I was not a stranger to the situation. I thought to myself, “If the difference is only a few thousand yen, the model that produces more plasmaclusters would be better. I am too complicated.

When looking at word-of-mouth on 5channel and, one often finds the opinion that “if you want humidification, you should leave it to a dedicated humidifier, and an air purifier with just an air purification function is sufficient. However, when we searched around for products, we found that there are very few stand-alone air purifiers, and that they are expensive for not having a humidification function.

Why is the price so high for a single function? It’s ridiculous.

Do humidified air purifiers sell better and can they be made cheaper due to larger production batches?

As a manufacturer of single-function air purifiers, Blueair, made in Sweden, was often recommended on the Internet.

This is a simple air purifier. The model numbers 411 and 3210 are nothing more than a cylindrical HEPA filter topped with a circulator-like fan. It is too simple to be true. Since the filter is bare, the unit is operated by putting on a “pre-filter,” which looks like a stocking.

I rather like this kind of cleanliness. It gives a more powerful impression than a product that has a lot of functions and looks like it has high performance. I thought about buying Blue Air, but I was intimidated by the fact that the filter is usually changed every six months, and in the end I couldn’t bring myself to buy it.

Manufacturers such as Sharp, Panasonic, and Daikin claim that they do not need to be replaced for 10 years. Compared to these, having to buy a filter for a few thousand yen once or twice a year is a bit of a disadvantage.

No, I can’t believe that the filters don’t need to be changed for 10 years. Where have all the dust and smells gone? I feel it would be more sincere to tell people to change the filter regularly, even though it costs money.

It really depends on how the consumer feels, and it is difficult to judge.

To begin with, if you have a seriously dusty/pollen-contaminated house, what you need to do is clean it thoroughly. Vacuum. Relying on an air purifier is inherently wrong. If the air purifier has a function to suck pollen out of the house, it means that the air in the house will be blown out with the wind as strong as a fan, and the air in the house will be stirred up intensely.

Anyway, the pollen on the floor has to fly up and drift further through the air to get to the filter of the air purifier.

Such wind power, impossible.

Technically, of course, it is easy to create gusts of wind. However, it would be difficult to implement such a system because it would be too noisy and would interfere with daily life. At best, it would stir the air at a harmless level and, if possible, catch pollen.

Therefore, an air purifier should be considered “better to have than not to have” or “a comfort”. If you expect too much, you will be disappointed.

About 10 years ago, I bought an air purifier, a big one, because I had lived in a 1K apartment (8 tatami mats, 1 room) and had spent my entire life sneezing and sniffling because I had neglected to clean my previous house so much that it was full of dust.

The one I bought at the time was made by Panasonic, and it had various gimmicks to suck dust from the house. The louvers on the air inlet and outlet were electrically operated to stir the air in the house while controlling the direction of the wind as needed. Another function was to operate at the strongest wind power for a certain period of time when the house was unoccupied, stirring the air throughout the house intensely while no one was home.

It makes sense, but on the other hand, it seems to have the disadvantage of being prone to breakdowns due to its many moving parts. In the five years I used it, it was sent to a repair shop twice, and some of its functions were disabled before I discarded it.

In terms of functionality, I was already satisfied with the 10-year-old model. I was very disappointed to find that there were no exciting gimmicks. At best, I was disappointed to find no exciting gimmicks, and at best, a smartphone linkage.

Smartphone integration is a novelty, but I don’t feel the need to remotely control the system with my smartphone, and I can’t help but look at the air quality in my home when I’m away from home.

So, the features that excited me 10 years ago are now standard equipment in even low-priced models, but that is not the case at all.

In fact, if I tried to buy a model with the same features as the one I had bought in the past, it would cost tens of thousands of yen more. I was disappointed, probably due to the high prices of commodities and resources.

There is a manufacturer in China called Xiaomi. Starting with the manufacture of smartphones, the company is now evolving into a comprehensive consumer electronics manufacturer at breakneck speed. Xiaomi is selling a simple air purifier at a very low price. I was really torn between buying it or not until the very last minute.

As of March 2023, it costs just under 13,000 yen. The design is not too fancy, but rather to my liking. However, I couldn’t choose one because I was afraid that it would require me to change the filter every three months or so.

It seems that instead of “detecting the dirtiness of the filter and telling you it’s time to replace it,” it is simply managed by a timer that runs for a certain amount of time, and when a certain amount of time is reached, a message appears telling you to replace the filter. It seems that the system can be used even if the message is left unattended, but it is not very pleasant.

I tried to find the filter on AliExpress, a well-known Chinese mail-order site, because it would naturally be expensive if I bought it from a Japanese retailer. I found that even AliExpress is not very cheap, and it costs about 3,000 yen. Hmmm, 3,000 yen every three months. Even if we persisted and changed it once every six months, it would still cost 6,000 yen per year. Even though the unit is inexpensive, I am a little worried.

Moreover, this “3,000 yen filter” is not an official product, but a mysterious interchangeable product made by a mysterious manufacturer. Even if it claims to be a HEPA filter and to be compatible with PM2.5, it is doubtful how much we can trust it.

If I use a fake filter that doesn’t absorb pollen or dirt, I probably won’t even notice. Because it’s the air I’m dealing with. I can’t see the filter effect. So I think it is better to buy a genuine product than to buy a dubious interchangeable one.

I have also seen several reviews saying that the Xiaomi sensor is made to Chinese specifications, and that the sensor does not respond to dust and air pollution at the level of an average Japanese household. The sensor adjusts the wind power according to air pollution, but it only reacts when the air is very polluted.

For my part, I want the system to detect in real time situations where “there is pollen in the house! and inhale it instantly. I really hope so. That’s why I was not happy that the sensor was so sluggish. That is one of the reasons why I did not choose this product.

Speaking of sensors, as I looked at many reviews of air purifiers, I frequently saw the sentence, “I think it works properly because it responded immediately when I farted. I was getting tired of seeing “fart” mentioned so often after reading over a few hundred reviews. Okay, okay, enough with the farting. Let’s hear about something other than farts.

Everyone loves farting, don’t they?

The most obvious, “odor source” is farting. I understand that, but it is a word that appears so many times in the word of mouth that I thought, “Enough is enough.

At least there does not seem to be any air purifiers that “farted but did not respond,” so there is no need to evaluate their performance based on farting criteria now.

Looking at the market share of air purifiers by manufacturer, Sharp was the overwhelming leader in Japan. Next were Panasonic and Daikin, with these three companies accounting for about three-fourths of the domestic market.

Come to think of it, you often see Sharp air purifiers in public facilities and hospital waiting rooms.

Since I am not sure which manufacturer’s air purifier is better, I researched this and that about Sharp from the perspective that a product from a manufacturer with a high market share may be a good one.

For me, there are several models of Sharp air purifiers that I don’t like because of their odd shape. However, the price is cheap. It is much cheaper than other manufacturers. As someone who buys air purifiers thinking that “air purifiers are a comfort,” this low price is justified. Ummm, what does this mean?

When I looked at the model number, I finally came to an agreement. Sharp’s out-of-date products were being distributed as a matter of course. Moreover, there were not only one year old model-defaulted products, but also two or three years old ones. Such products were sold at low prices.

Air purifiers are no longer in a world where it is difficult to make any noticeable progress. Therefore, even if you buy a model that is a few years old, there is not much difference in performance. On the other hand, a model-default product is naturally cheaper.

Panasonic and Daikin only distribute products that are at most one generation out of model, and that too will be discontinued as soon as they are sold out. By eliminating out-of-model products from their retail stores, they are promoting sales of their latest products and preventing price erosion. Sharp, on the other hand, is probably still producing out-of-model products. I was surprised to see that Sharp, on the other hand, is selling old models in such abundance that it seems they are still producing out-of-date models.

In the end, that’s why I chose a Sharp product, too. Because they are cheap. It’s kind of frustrating, but I can’t help it.

(To be continued)

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