Design Q&A: An air purifier worth showing off
Given the drab history of air purifiers, it’s no wonder those who have them would prefer to shove the unsightly appliances into corners, keeping them out of sight as much as possible. But, what good is a purifier going to do crammed behind an end table or shoved under a desk?
Airmega Creative Design Director Ilsoo Yeom has worked for over a year to bring the humble purifier into the light. Here, he explains what it takes to deliver cleaner air from a beautiful package.
What most sets Airmega apart from other purifiers?
Many air purifiers are electronic- or clinical-looking products, and, because of that, they disrupt the living environment they are placed in. So we focused on creating a product that performs well but that also integrates into the home, allowing health-conscious users to place this device in their home without feeling they have to hide it.
What inspired Airmega’s design?
We were most inspired by architecture’s harmony with the environment. We looked at buildings that allow air, light, and people to circulate and co-exist—all while expressing dynamic aesthetic ideas and enhancing their location. We want the product to be a lifestyle product harmonious with its surroundings, not stand in stark contrast.
Part of that is making the purifier smaller. What allows Airmega to be as compact as it is?
To build the most-compact air purifier (at least, compared to the similar performing competitors) we used our dual-fan system, which pulls in the air from both sides. We worked through several soft mockups with various proportions and performed tests with our engineers to find the most efficient and pleasing package. Also, the size and pattern of the holes on the outer grills were tweaked and tested several times to have the most efficient air intake area.
Those holes create a kind of fade as you move upward on the purifier. Why is that?
One of the concepts of Airmega was having a permeable outer skin that communicates airflow by having a pattern that dissolves as it moves up vertically. We want the pattern to reflect that the air is pulled from the sides and cleaned as it ascends upwards. The spacing of this outer layer and the legs are key to maintaining the “lightness” of the design, as well as give the feeling that air can enter the device from any direction.
Despite all this movement and power, how does the Airmega remain so quiet?
Noise from an air purifier is mostly made by the fan and the air outlet. For example, if the air outlet is small, airflow can create noise as it escapes. And, of course, if the fan speed is high there will be a lot of noise from the fan itself. Therefore, the best way to reduce the noise is to have a large air outlet and low fan speed. Reducing the fan speed, however, typically drops the product’s performance. Airmega’s dual-fan system and the hole patterns help it intake air more efficiently at slower fan speeds and, as a result, reduce the overall noise from the air purifier.
Does the upward-facing air outlet play into that, as well?
There are air purifiers that push clean air from the front, sides, or from the top. For us we have adopted a system that pushes the clean air from the top because of it is more efficient in circulating the air in a room. For instance, if the clean air pushes out from the top it will hit the ceiling and then slide along the wall and that air will go back towards the air purifier, a constant looping effect from and to the purifier.
1Coway air purifiers has been proven to trap dust, pollen, dander, viruses and bacteria in the air based on KCL (Korea Conformity Laboratories) testing.They have been tested in a 30㎥ size chamber according to the Korea Air Cleaning Association standard (SPS-KACA 002-132:2022 Modified) to measure the 0.01㎛ size of particle removal rate. It was tested on maximum airflow speed in normal room temperature and humidity conditions. The performance may vary in the actual living environment of customers.
→ Tested with Airmega Aim, 150, 160, AP-1216L, AP-1512HH, AP-1512HHS, 200M, Icon, IconS, 230, 240, 250, 250 Art, 250S, 300, 300S, 400, 400S, ProX
299.97% of viruses, bacteria, fungi and pollen were verified to be removed from the air for Coway air purifiers which have Green True HEPA™ filter applied based on the Japan Food Research Laboratories(JFRL) testing according to JEM 1467 standard.
→ Tested with Coway Airmega AP-1512HH, AP-1512HHS, 250, 250 Art, 250S, 300, 300S, 400, 400S
→ All tested by JFRL and received above result within below time.
All tested by JFRL and received above result within below time.
- Virus: Tested with Escherichia coli phage ΦX174 NBRC 103405, 60 minutes
- Bacteria: Tested with Staphylococcus epidermidis NBRC 12993, 60 minutes
- Fungi/Mold: Tested with Penicillium citrinum NBRC 6352, 60 minutes
- Pollen: Tested with Cedar Pollen extract, 60 minutes
3Aerosol test conducted in a Biosafety level 3 laboratory with two Coway air purifier models, Coway Airmega 250 and 400 for removal of SARS-CoV-2 Aerosol by US based MRI Global, a not-for-profit laboratory and partner of US Department of Defense. The test was conducted in a 13.1ft3 chamber. Virus was aerosolized for 15 minutes and the product was turned on high for 2 minutes. Result showed each product effectively removed over 99.98% of the SARS-CoV-2 in 2 minutes. This is a result from a laboratory experiment condition and result may vary in different conditions. This result does not imply it kills SARS-CoV-2 or prevents the transmission of Covid-19. Coway Airmega 250S and 400S are identical to the tested models and has equal performance with an additional mobile connectivity function.
4The concentration of ammonia, acetaldehyde and acetic acid were proven to be removed within 30 minutes by FCG Research Institute, Inc. Human Life Science Lab. It is not a demonstration result in the actual use space. Not all odors and gases may be supported. → Tested with Coway Airmega 150, 160, AP-1512HH, AP-1512HHS, 400, 400S
5The coverage area of the air purifier is based on an area where the air cleaner can make two air changes per hour (ACPH). An air change per hour translates to how many times an air purifier can clean an area, assuming the height of a ceiling to be 8 ft, in one hour. Therefore ** means two air changes per hour means that the cleaner can clean the area once every 30 minutes and * means air changes per hour means that the air purifier can clean the area once every 60 minutes.
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