Brush fires in Southern California earlier this month turned the sky orange in our area for three days. The air quality was a mess — smelled like a campfire. Ash perpetually fell all over the streets, trees and cars. And my sinuses were driving me nuts. But timing can be everything. And in this case, amid all of these events, an Airdog X5 FD air purifier test unit showed up at the door. I immediately took this ionic filtration machine out of the packing material, quickly installed the fast-drying collecting plates, and flipped on the switch. It may be the fastest I’ve ever opened a package.
Thanks to Airdog’s diagnostic feedback, it didn’t take long for it to start showing me just how unhealthy the air quality inside our house was. So much for keeping the windows open. But as I kept the $599 unit on for a while, the air quality improved immensely. And that’s just the point of the product: It not only cleans the air in your house but also shows you visible quantification of what it’s doing.
This company — Silicon Valley Air Expert — is using the continuing airborne spread of COVID-19 as an impetus for people to buy its product. Dr. Zhang Yan, its CEO, says in the marketing materials: “Airdog air purifiers have proven to be a strong fighter against the coronavirus (COVID-19) and any airborne bio-aerosols. Third party lab tests have shown that Airdog X5 kills 99.9 percent of H3N2 viruses in a 30 cubic meter sealed testing room over the course of an hour. The H3N2 virus has the same shape and bio-characteristics as the COVID-19. The high voltage inside the Airdog X5, much like bug zappers, kills and destroys viruses and bacteria.” The company claims the purifier is a waste-free solution to dirty air problems, eliminating particles down to 0.0146 micron. It’s designed to clean a 1,400 square foot area in one hour.
The collecting plates can simply be washed every six months — by hose, in a sink or even in the dishwasher. They weigh just 4.4 pounds and dry out in 20 minutes — compared to 24 hours for metal collecting plates. The entire machine weighs just over 22 pounds, by the way. So you can move it easily from one room to the next. Plus, it’s whisper quiet — until you put it at top speed. Then you can hear the whoosh of air but it really just becomes white noise in no time.
You can operate it either by the button that’s physically on the machine, by the included remote, or by using the company’s smartphone app. There’s a sleep mode on it, as well as a child lock. Whether it genuinely removes COVID-19 particles from the air (as the manufacturer claims) is something you have to trust the company on, I suppose. All I know is that the display says it did a good job of keeping our home air clean during the fires. After six days, I looked at the filter and the plates inside and they still looked pretty clean. So I’m not sure just what to make of it all. But I know nobody is sneezing in the room where it sits. We have other stand-up air purifiers in our home — everyone in our family has allergies — so anything that helps keep bad particles out of the air is a good thing.