The WHO claims that the Indian capital is the most polluted city in the world. Well, then, what better place to test the new Eureka Forbes car air purifier?
The WHO goes on to state that New Delhi averages 153 micrograms of small particulates per cubic metre of air. The US Environmental Protection Agency, meanwhile, states that a safe average is in fact closer to 15 micrograms.
You don’t need to be a mathematician to figure out that those two figures are poles apart. And so I have an air purifier in my office and my home. Now, I don’t know if they do anything at all to reduce the level of particulate matter in the air – but they do make me feel better anyway. One thing that I can state with some level of certainty is that they do reduce odours in the area in which they’re operating. And this is something that’s also claimed by Eureka Forbes for their automotive air purifier. And while it’s not as effective as I would like, it does work to an extent – and it’s a darn side better than an air freshener that hits you in the face with its overly perfumed scent masquerading as a fresh autumn breeze!
Whether or not the Eureka Forbes Aerogaurd Car Air Purifier does anything at all to improve the air quality I don’t know. But it certainly does make me feel better. They claim that it has 6 layers of filtration that reduce germs, bacteria, pollen, dust, fumes and odours. You can actually see various filters and you can also hear the fan buzzing, so presumably it is actually doing something. The life of the filters is 6 months to a year, following which the entire set can be replaced for a pretty reasonable Rs. 170.
The one aspect that we tend to ignore is that the quality of indoor air is typically far worse that the air outside. Closed offices and cars that recirculate the same air are actually like gas chambers – needless to say, they’re not very good for you. So, the best solution is to actually let in some fresh air from outside. No matter what the quality of air on the outside, chances are that it’ll still be a darn side better than what you’re breathing in as is. The trouble is that opening the window when you’re stuck in traffic at 42-degrees C doesn’t seem like the most opportune time – and so you hope that the car air purifier does actually clean up the air in the cabin.
It fits very nicely indeed inside the cup holder of the Toyota Fortuner that I was testing it in. Since the Fortuner has two 12-volt power outlets in the front, it was no trouble at all to plug in my phone charger in one and the air purifier in the other (you could always get a 12V splitter if you have just one socket and need to run two devices). The trouble with the air purifier, though, is its build quality. In the beginning it wasn’t too loud, and was easily overshadowed by the drone from the massive 3.0 litre diesel engine or even the in-car audio system. But, after a couple of weeks of being on the go (admittedly not on the best roads in the world) the device began to get distinctly louder – to the point of actually being a little irritating. The lid, especially, seems overly flimsy.
That being said, I would get one for myself purely from the point of view of the limited peace of mind that it provides. But for almost Rs. 4,000 (Rs.3,990 to be exact, available at www.eurekaforbes.com), it’s going to have to be built better than it is currently to ensure that it provides lasting service without adding to the cacophony on our roads. At present, I would wait for Eureka Forbes to improve the build quality before shelling out that much for this device…