Smoking and asthma: Would you buy an air purifier?

By | October 14, 2009

As if the air in Taipei wasn’t dirty enough from all the motorcycles, we have neighbors who smoke. The old gentleman who lived in #14-5 had serious heart problems and yet he still smoked, cigars, too. Our neighbors in #14-4 also seem to smoke during the day and part of the evening.

So a couple of years ago we had to buy an air purifier for our house, after I developed asthma during a bout of bronchitis. For about six months afterwards, I found that I would develop a mild asthma, coughing, nasal discomfort and tightness in my chest which was invariably caused by smoking or 2nd hand smoke.

At that point, I became much more aggressively anti-smoking, even to the point of walking out of a well-known pizza restaurant that wouldn’t ask their only smoking customer to quit or move. The restaurant boss, Mr. Paco’s, was such an idiot because there were four of us in the group, and they lost about NT$3,000~NT$4,000 because we walked out, all over a cigarette. Now, of course, we don’t go back on principle…

With Taipei’s new regulations on smoking coming into force in 2009, it’s much easier to get people to comply, and restaurants are all non-smoking inside anyway. Fines are pretty stiff, too, if they can be applied.

Still, for domestic air filters, we’ve been using the Honeywell 17xxx series with their Universal Replacement Pre-Filter which is easy to replace, and fairly affordable. We haven’t replaced the main filter yet, and I’m not sure when the Honeywell 20500 Replacement HEPA Filter needs replacing.

Would I buy this model again? Possibly. Though I might be tempted to look for quieter models, as well. At full throttle, this is a bit noisy and it seems quite expensive in Taiwan. I do personally feel that the air is much cleaner and I feel that I breathe easier esp. just after replacing the pre-filter.

Check to see first, if you have an air cleaning functioning built into your A/C. If you do, you’ll need to maintain the equipment, but you won’t need to buy anything else, unless the A/C is old or not effective!