by Daniel Debelius
February 7, 2018
Picture this: You’re standing in your kitchen trying to decide what to eat when suddenly you hear the whirr of a fan. No, it’s not a ghost or your mortal enemy. It’s your…air purifier?
It’s true. Air purifiers are smarter than ever. They can now self-adjust and modify the flow of air through its filtration. Depending on the level of dust, pollen, or other air contaminants, they can speed up, slow down, or turn off altogether – all sans human intervention. Gone are the days of having to remember to turn on and off the air-cleaning unit. Now that the machines can do that for you, consumer air treatment systems overall stand to benefit, with 4.5% annual growth expected through 2021.
Air purifiers augmented with smart technology can detect the current air quality and self-adjust via two methods. First, systems like the GermGuardian Smart Air Purifier measure particles in the air and can be set to auto adjust its airflow speed if the air quality is poor. Second, the smartphone-integrated Honeywell Bluetooth Smart True HEPA Allergen Remover allows you to enter your zip code and have the system adjust to local pollen or mold levels; in addition, this unit has a volatile organic compound (VOC) sensor, which gauges VOC levels in the ambient air and self-adjusts based on those readings.
As with many consumer products nowadays, smartphone compatibility is increasingly key to market expansion, helping to forge new opportunities for otherwise mature products.
Many units also have visual indicators displayed on their exteriors that inform the consumer of what type of air is in the environment. Lights on these air systems change colors based on air quality. In addition to adjusting air speed to the current level of particles in the air, units from Winix and LG incorporate light indicators to notify users when the air quality is poor and ensure them the system is doing its job and properly treating the air. Not only do such indicators support demand among the tech-savvy and consumers who doubt the efficacy of such systems, their clear messaging and user friendliness help to ensure the system’s functionality and longevity.
Many systems also incorporate electronics that monitor usage and inform the user when to replace their filter, which not only supports demand for replacement products – it also helps to improve the system’s performance overall. Remembering to replace a filter is difficult, especially when the time comes only once a year. An old and overused filter can decrease air quality substantially. In order to combat this, many new systems alert the consumer when it is time to order that filter. Whether via notifications on a smart phone app or indicator on the unit itself, consumers now have the reminder they need to have continuously clean air.
Powered by advanced electronics, demand for all consumer air treatment systems is expected to continue to grow. For more information on the units mentioned in this blog and other products, check out The Freedonia Group’s industry study Consumer Air Treatment Systems in the US, which offers:
Dan Debelius is an industry analyst at The Freedonia Group, where he writes industry studies on the US consumer & commercial goods market and the US chemical market.
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