Airmega 300S air purifier review: Clean air comes at a high cost

Seemingly every appliance can benefit from being smarter and connectable to Wi-Fi, and that includes the humble air purifier. These household fixtures, which bring relief to allergy sufferers, asthmatics, and other air-obsessed folks by removing airborne contaminants, are being reimagined to monitor for pollutants, adapt to environmental conditions, and notify their owners of dangerous changes in air quality. One of the latest of these home-monitoring marvels is the Airmega 300S ($749, street-priced on Amazon for $551.65 as of this writing).

The 300S breaks from the tall space-saving design of conventional air purifiers. The 21.2 x 13.6 x 13.6-inch box demands a fair amount of space and is about as inconspicuous as a swamp cooler. Perhaps that’s why it’s designed to look more like a piece of furniture than an appliance, with four black feet and a shiny white plastic body, whose studding of clefts seems as much for visual appeal as for sucking air.

In the corner of the 300S’ top panel are the unit’s power button and a series of LED indicators for Sleep mode, Smart mode, and fan speed. You cycle through these using a touch button beneath them.

Airmega

The holes that stud the sides of the 300S suck in air as well as provide some visual appeal.

The 300S uses four filters—two micromesh “Pre-filters,” which trap large particles like fur, hair, and dust; and two “Max2” filters that combine “Green True HEPA” filter technology with an activated carbon filter. This combination, according to Airmega, removes from the air 99.97 percent of particles 0.3 microns or larger. These include common allergens such as pollen and fungi, as well as cigarette odor, food smells, harmful gasses, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by common household products such as paints and cleansers.

Two filter buttons opposite the main control panel light up to let you know when their respective filters need attention. The Pre-filters can be cleaned and reinstalled,…

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