There are many opportunities when you live in Delhi – which is why 30 million people call it their home today.
However, as the large and congested city, air pollution is a major concern.
Delhi regularly ranks as one of the most polluted cities on earth, so residents need to take extra steps to keep themselves healthy from the heavily polluted air.
When I moved to Delhi a few years ago, I noticed a huge difference in air quality.
The impact of poor air quality on my ability to breathe and my body was almost immediate.
I personally knew I couldn’t do anything to stop the pollution at scale so I had to find a solution for myself – at least when I am indoors.
And when I looked for ways to reduce the effect of Delhi’s pollution, I stumbled upon air purifiers.
While I’ve heard of them before, I always thought they were gimmicks and a waste of money.
But since the pollution was starting to get to me, I had no other choice, so I decided to give them a try.
In this article, I will be sharing with you my personal experience of using an air purifier to clean Delhi’s polluted air as well as plenty of other helpful information that you need to know to combat the poor quality of air in India’s capital.
What Is Delhi’s Air Quality Like?
Delhi currently ranks as the 4th worst polluted city on the planet and for many years, Delhi has regularly ranked as one of the, if not the most polluted city on the planet.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the lack of industrial regulation, and traffic and waste control, which all contribute to the problem.
As a result, there are many pollutants in Delhi’s air.
These include ozone, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide, to name a few.
There are way more pollutants floating in the air that are going to negatively impact the health of those breathing the air.
Shortly after moving to Delhi, a local told me that breathing the air in Delhi alone was like smoking 15 cigarettes per day, which was something that I never even heard of before.
In recent years, Delhi has actually seen an improvement in its air quality, but even then, the city still has pollution levels 18 times higher than the WHO limit, which is a definite cause for concern.
A Look at PM2.5
Out of all the pollutants you may find in Delhi’s air, the group that you should be most concerned about is PM2.5, or particulate matter 2.5.
The name refers to a group of particles around 2.5 microns thick and regularly float around the air.
Examples of PM2.5 include tobacco smoke, dust, pollen, and more.
These particles are hard to see with the human eye, and if you inhale a larger amount of these particles, your lungs and body may react and cause you health issues.
For example, if you struggle with allergies like me, there’s a chance that dust and pollen in the air could have a profound effect on you.
If you come from an area where the air is typically clean, even if you are perfectly healthy, it will still impact your health if you stay long enough.
That’s why these particles should be at the forefront of your focus when looking to improve the air quality using an air purifier.
Fortunately, most modern-day air purifiers are equipped to tackle these harmful particles and keep them at bay while you breathe in healthy and clean air.
The Dangers of Delhi’s Air Pollution
In a recent study conducted by Greenpeace International, the researchers found that 54,000 people in Delhi died in 2020 due to air pollution.
The reason the number is so high is that poor quality of air is so bad for one’s health that prolonged exposure can be the main cause of a wide range of conditions. Some examples include cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Depending on your exposure and current health, more conditions may arise due to air pollution.
Data shows that children are usually the most at-risk when it comes to conditions arising from air pollution.
Children have a chance of developing a wider range of issues due to air pollution when compared to adults.
With all these statistics in mind, I was extremely happy to have gotten an air purifier, and hopefully, those stats from above were enough to convince you that breathing in clean air isn’t a nice thing to have but absolutely essential for preventing disease and long term health.
What Causes Air Pollution in Delhi?
Delhi is home to almost 32 million people.
As you could imagine, all of these people need to travel around for work, shopping, and daily errands. And while most people have their own mode of transportation to get around, those that aren’t quite as fortunate make use of taxis, trains, busses, and other forms of transportation.
Collectively, they all benefit tremendously towards the constant air pollution within the city. But that’s not the worst thing. When I first took a walk through the streets of Delhi, I was shocked at how busy it was.
I had never seen anything like it and I’ve been around the world in some of the largest cities during the busiest of times.
According to reports, Delhi’s population density is 29,259.12 per square mile, which is amongst the largest in the world. And since people walk on the street, traffic cannot go past as quickly, which means that congestion is often extremely likely.
And when there is a lot of congestion, there is a lot of pollution as more vehicles end up piling up in the same place.
Other major forms of pollution in Delhi include road dust, construction, power plants, industrial factories, and residential homes.
So, if we were to change and improve Delhi’s overall air quality, it’s going to take a whole lot of complex and calculated steps.
In my personal opinion, it is extremely unlikely that anything is going to change in Delhi when it comes to air pollution so the best thing you can do is get yourself a good and high-quality air purifier.
Can Air Purifiers Clean Delhi’s Air?
If you are as skeptical of air purifiers as I once was, I don’t blame you.
I was exactly the same until I researched to find out if air purifiers actually clean the air.
When it comes to the air in Delhi, it’s important to remember that there are many different causes behind Delhi’s air pollution, meaning you’ll need quite a comprehensive air purifier that can successfully tackle all of the pollutants in the air.
And no, that doesn’t mean you need to go for an industrial-grade air purifier.
All you need to do is find an air purifier equipped to combat heavily polluted air like that in Delhi.
To help you find the right air purifier for your needs in Delhi, continue reading.
How to Find an Air Purifier for Delhi Air
I had a tough time finding an air purifier that could deal with the heavily polluted air in Delhi.
It must have taken me at least a few weeks of research to come by the unit that met my needs.
And since I don’t want you to have to go through the same trouble, below, I will highlight the different aspects of an air purifier that you need to look out for.
Find the Right Filtration System
The filtration system of your air purifier is arguably the most important part of the unit as it is responsible for capturing all of the different particles before they end up in your lungs.
During my time of research, I found that air purifiers with a HEPA filtration system work the best when it comes to capturing all of the tiny particles floating in the Delhi air.
HEPA filters are adept at capturing PM2.5 and smaller particles, making them a great fit for a Delhi home.
On top of that, you may also want to use an activated carbon filter, as this is ideal for capturing foul odors that enter your home from the outside.
I lived centrally in Delhi, so the odors were always quite strong.
Fortunately, back in the day, I found an air purifier with a HEPA filtration system and one with an active carbon filter.
Measure Your Room’s Dimensions
When shopping for an air purifier, you need to make sure that the unit has the capacity to purify all of the air in your room.
That being said, you don’t want an air purifier that is too small or too big for your room.
You should measure out your room and see how many square meters it is.
After that, look for an air purifier that matches the square footage of your room.
Ideally, you should go for an air purifier with a slightly larger air purification capacity just in case.
Look for Smart or Automatic Features
When shopping for an air purifier, you want to make sure you get one with smart or automatic features.
This is because you want to keep the air purifier on at all times to clean the air in your home constantly.
However, you also have to make sure that it’s operating at the right capacity and speed for the number of particles in the room so that it doesn’t use any more electricity than it needs to.
And with an automatic air purifier, you won’t ever have to adjust the settings as these models are equipped with a sensor that detects the number of particles in the air. From there, it adjusts the fan speed of the cleaner to handle the particles in the air.
Additionally, some intelligent air purifiers can also be controlled from your mobile phone, which is great because you don’t have to get up and go to the air purifier itself to make adjustments.
How to Protect Yourself Against Delhi Pollution
While I found air purifiers to help improve the air quality at home, I still had to go out almost every day where I didn’t have the protection of my air purifier.
This is why it’s very important to practice other measures to protect yourself from pollution when you live in Delhi, especially when away from home.
Some of the measures I take to reduce the amount of pollution I inhale include:
- Wearing a face mask when I go out
- Getting updates on pollution levels and not going outside when levels are high
- Exercising when air pollution is at the lowest level
If you find yourself going out most days for prolonged periods, you should look at getting a necklace air purifier.
When you live in a heavily polluted city like Delhi, there’s very little you can do to protect yourself from the harmful air.
After weeks of research, while living in Delhi, I found that air purifiers are arguably the best investment you can make to protect your lungs and long-term health from the harmful particles in the Delhi air.
The great thing about air purifiers today is that they are not only intelligent and automatic but in most cases, they also feature dual filtration systems, which are great not only for trapping harmful particles but also for eliminating odors.