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With the majority of us cooped up in our homes, indoor air quality is even more important than usual. EPA studies have found indoor air pollutants are generally 2 to 5 times greater than outdoor pollutants, so more time inside means greater exposure to health risks. Fortunately a good air purifier like the Elechomes A3B can improve your indoor environment relatively quickly. It uses a medical grade HEPA 13 filter with a 4-stage filtration system to capture 99.97 percent of common airborne pollutants. It also provides convenient Wi-Fi control and plenty of data to optimize your air quality around the clock.
The purifier’s 20 X 12.7 by 6.7-inch (HWD) measurements are moderate compared to other air purifiers I’ve had to make space for in my living room. Handles are inset on either side to assist with lifting and moving the 11-pound unit from room to room as needed. On top is a touch-sensitive operation panel where you turn the purifier on and off and set the speed and modes. There’s also a child lock you can enable to ensure your preferred settings don’t get changed.
The A3B uses a 4-in-1 filter construction. It consists of a pre-filter that captures the largest particles, like pet hair; an anti-bacterial cloth that neutralizes bacteria and viruses; an activated carbon filter that eliminates VOCs (volatile organic compounds) such as formaldehyde and benzene; and then the HEPA filter.
Installing this filter is the only assembly the A3B requires. It’s already placed inside the purifier but sealed in a plastic bag. You must remove the air inlet from the front of the purifier—easily done by pressing down on two tabs and gently tugging—then pull out the filter, take it out of the bag, reinstall, it and put the inlet back on.
Though the A3B is meant to paired with the Smart Life companion app, you can control it completely from the operations panel. The power button doubles as an air-quality indicator using green-yellow-red color coding. The color corresponds to a PM2.5 reading (PM2.5 refers to atmospheric particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers). A reading of 1 to 100 indicates excellent air quality and will correspond the air quality light glowing green. A reading of 101 to 200 indicates good air quality and is represented by a yellow light. A red light means the air quality is poor, with a PM2.5 reading in the 201 to 500 range.
With the speed set to auto mode, the A3B will adjust the fan level to 1, 2, or 3 in accordance with the PM2.5 ranges. For that reason, it makes sense to leave it in auto mode most of the time, though you can set and change speeds manually if you prefer. There’s also a sleep mode that deactivates the fan without turning the purifier off.
The main issue with controlling the purifier solely from the panel is you must walk over to the unit to see the top-facing display when you want to check the air quality. The Smart Life app adds a level of convenience and a lot more insight into your environment.
The app puts all the A3B’s controls and your air-quality data on a single screen. Starting at the top, it displays the current mode, weather data for your location, your PM2.5 reading, fan speed (called the wind speed), a pair of line graphs charting both indoor and outdoor PM2.5 levels over several days, and the total time the purifier has been running. Along the bottom of the screen is a control bar with a power button, mode, and speed selectors; and a settings button that takes you to the timer and child lock controls.
The A3B covers up to 325 square feet, which made it ideal for the downstairs level of my condo. My air quality was consistently in the “excellent” range, and when it downgraded—usually when I was cooking—the A3B ratcheted up the speed until the PM2.5 levels returned to normal. The purifier is also extremely quiet; I couldn’t hear it unless I was in the same room, and even then, it was a gentle hum.
The A3B offers third-party control and automation through Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Tmall Genie (a smart speaker from Alibaba), and Rokid (AR glasses). These are configurable through the Smart Life app settings menu. All you need to do is select the service you want to use and link your account.
At $170, the Elechomes A3B is modestly priced compared to competitors like the Airmega 300S and the Honeywell Bluetooth Smart Air Purifier. That seems appropriate given its no-nonsense feature set. Whether or not you suffer from allergies, we could all use more fresh air right now, and the Elechomes A3B provides an easy way to get it.