Review: HA500 Air Purifier by Healthy Air Technology

It is not always an easy task to keep indoor air free from pollutants, especially, when Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) is present in indoor environments. In most cases, there is little you can do to eliminate NO2 and other gases like Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Formaldehyde (TVOC), or even pathogens like H1N1 Influenza A virus (Coronavirus), and Staphylococcus aureus (or similar bacteria).

Here comes the HA500 Air Purifier by Healthy Air Technology which is able to eliminate all of these pollutants/pathogens from indoor environments. It does that thanks to the triple-layered system with a primary filter, HEPA 13 filter, and Pollution Eraser DNO filter. DNO means D-Orbital Nano Oxide which is made of two parts. 

1st part: The Carrier – Activated charcoal. The material that is used in military gas masks, and captures pollutants within the pores of the charcoal.
2nd part: The Transition metal oxides – Transition metal oxides are coated in the activated charcoal to form catalysts, and these catalysts break down pollutants and toxic gases into harmless chemicals and then release these harmless materials back into the atmosphere like water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, etc. The DNO was developed at Oxford University.

HA500 Control Panel and Display

Specifications

  • CADR: 500 m3/hr or 300CFM.
  • Applied Space: Max 80 m2 or 861 ft2
  • Sensors:
    • PM2.5 (Laser Light Scattering)
    • Light Sensor
  • Display: LED Digital Display
  • Motor: DC motor
  • Power Consumption: 4~45 watt (max)
  • Noise: 34 ~ 64dB
  • WiFi: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
  • Size: 29 x 29 x 56 cm
  • Weight: 8.48 kg
  • IR Remote Control

Power Consumption

Appliances that have a low energy footprint are important if we want to keep our electrical bill low. The power consumption ranges from 4W to 43.5W. My estimated annual electricity cost for running the purifier 365/24/7 in auto mode is about 7.88€. I think it’s worth it!

  • Sleep Mode: 4W
  • Speed 1: 5.5W
  • Speed 2: 11W
  • Speed 3: 18W
  • Speed 4: 24W
  • Speed 5: 43.5W
HA500 in Standby Mode

Noise

These are the five levels of noise for the five-speed manual gears. The Sound-level Meter was at a one-meter distance from the purifier. Keep in mind, different rooms can give different results. Also, I included the characterization of the sound levels.

  • Speed 1: 31.1dB (soft whisper)
  • Speed 2: 39.7dB (quiet office)
  • Speed 3: 44.7dB (quiet office)
  • Speed 4: 47.3dB (quiet office)
  • Speed 5: 51dB (normal conversation)

Filtration Performance

Particulate Matter PM2.5 reduction happens almost instantly which means after a few minutes the purifier can capture all PMx pollutants thanks to the HEPA H13 filter. Another reason for its effectiveness is the dual HEPA filtration system. One on the left and another one on the right of the purifier. More air passes through the purifier, as a result, more air is treated quicker.

HA500 Filters

The DNO catalyst integrated into the HA500 was tested for various indoor air pollutants in an independent certified lab. It takes more time to remove NO2 and other gases like pollutants but this is normal due to the physical properties of the gases.


Anti- virus (H1N1) properties tested in 2020 by third party in 30 M3 lab, initial concentration is 3.59*10^6 cfu/m^3 cfu/m3 * SO2 and NO2 are tested in 2020 by third party in 30 M3 lab in 0.5 – 3 hours.

Healthy Air Technology has included negative ions (NIAPs) in the system: Firstly, to achieve better removal of particles. However, although negative ion generators also generate ozone as a by-product, the core technology DNO catalyst can convert ozone to oxygen, so there is no secondary pollution for including it. Finally, for health benefits, read more here. You can always turn the negative ion generator off.

My Experience

I live next to a dead-end road, which means not many cars pass by, but this is not the case because many drivers use the dead-end as a turnaround, and I hate it! They create a lot of noise and pollution especially when they keep the engines idling. NO2 is present in high concentration in rush hours, and I always keep my house closed during peak hours. However, pollutants are sneaky, and they enter my apartment.

This review took a lot of time to complete because I did a lot of experiments to make sure that the advertising claims are true. Gas wise the purifier can reduce the NO2 concentrations by 50% in about 1 hour. Keep in mind, real-life pollution reduction is different from lab pollution reduction because in a lab they stop supplying the chamber with the pollutant but in real-life vehicles are constantly producing NO2.

Particulate matter disappears from my bedroom where I have the air cleaner running. It is a bit noisy even with the night mode activated but in my defense, I need absolute silence to sleep.

Even with the negative ions enabled, the ozone monitors don’t detect an increase of the O3 gas during extended hours.

At the moment, the company hasn’t finished with the development of the smartphone app, so I can’t present it. The air cleaner is equipped with the technology to connect to the cloud and your phone, so stay tuned!

Conclusion

Although when I first heard about the DNO filter I was skeptical, I decided that it worths my time and my readers time to learn more details about the technology inside the HA500 purifier as NO2 pollution due to Dieselgate vehicles has great impact in our health. The claims are true, it is able to remove NO2 and other gas chemicals from the air. Removing particulate matter from the air is an effortless task for the HA500 purifier.

Poll: Results Discussion – Air Pollution

Last week I started a brief poll on Twitter because I wanted to obtain feedback from the community. The subject was simple “Which source of #AirPollution affects you the most?”

263 people responded and unfortunately, I can’t say that the results surprise me. Vehicle traffic was voted as number #1 source of air pollution with a massive 53% and it was followed by 32% wood burning for heating like wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, etc. 7% of the users voted that agriculture is the source of air pollution in their communities and an 8% voted other.

I would like to comment about each category individually, but first of all, I would like to make something clear. All sources are equally important, I don’t rank them from most to least important but I classify them based on what people think is the source in their community, and it varies a lot.

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Clarity Node-S Remote Calibration Process

When you use low-cost monitors for professional reasons, you need to calibrate them in order to obtain the best possible measurements. This process makes data less vulnerable to environmental conditions and more valuable to scientists and policymakers.

Clarity takes this process really seriously, and they dedicate a lot of resources to making sure their devices will measure accurate data (for more on how to assess air quality sensor accuracy, see this blog). I ask Clarity to perform a remote calibration on my Node-S and guide me through the entire the process.

I have discovered something interesting during that process about the local air quality station.

As you may already know from my previous articles, my local air quality station ES1393A is placed inside a park and it is almost surrounded by trees. Trees act as a barrier, and they block pollutants from reaching the monitors. The Clarity team told me that this was an especially complicated calibration. I suspect it has to do with the location of the station and how trees may interact with low-cost sensors.

The type of trees in my city is a variation of a ficus called ficus retusa l. var nitida. These trees release a resin from their leaves which can create interference to the low-cost sensors that do not have a filter to keep them out as the scientific-grade monitors do. Most outdoor scientific-grade monitors come with a debris screen inlet or an Inlet Heater which may capture the resin from the trees.

The problem is not the trees but the location of the air quality station that shouldn’t have been there.

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Shopping Guide: Air Quality Monitors

As you already know, I receive messages from readers of my blog almost every day. Their most common question is which air quality monitor should they choose. Most of the time in their message, they tell me that they go through Amazon to find a product, but they are confused from their reviews.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Monitors are a big hit nowadays due to the pandemic and because they are great tools at helping us understand indoor ventilation in order to mitigate the spread of the virus. Many new CO2 monitors pop up every day like mushrooms. Are they good, well …. you have to be careful!

No offense to Amazon or AliExpress or Facebook but most of their products are garbage for two reasons. Firstly, they are cheap products that come from China but without any quality control. Apple products come from China too, but Apple controls the quality of the shipping products. I have reviewed some cheap air quality monitors here on the blog just to justify their low price tag. Secondly, companies that sell these products don’t offer any kind of support nor updates. If the product has a small bug, you will stick with it forever. Many times the language they come with is badly translated or they come in Chinese if you are not careful enough during the purchase process.

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Review: Envirosuite – Air Quality Management Platform

In today’s marketplace, there are many ambient air quality monitors capable of measuring multiple environmental parameters and pollutants in real-time. However, air quality monitors aren’t useful unless they are paired with an intelligent software platform in order to extrapolate the information and make it serviceable to operators and communities.

 Envirosuite has succeeded in embedded 30+ years or experience working with complex air quality and meteorology challenges directly into an advanced software platform. Users can make operational decisions based on insights from real-time air quality data and emissions modeling. Furthermore, they can identify the likely sources of air quality pollution from past incidents. 

The platform is currently used by over 500 industrial operations such as mines, oil refineries, maritime ports, construction sites but also for municipal authorities in cities. Noise management capabilities are also used at 200 of the world’s major airports.

Key modules and their functionalities

Envirosuite does just that and it is a global leader in Environmental Intelligence, using proprietary technology and real-time localized data to help industries grow sustainably and communities to thrive. The platform integrates with pre-existing monitoring devices that are capturing data on multiple air quality parameters. It is offered as SaaS (software-as-a-service) subscription supported by AWS cloud technology and is segmented into modular solutions for to assist with specific air quality challenges.

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AQ Monitors meet Apple HomeKit

I really like to have all AQ Monitors and other devices connected to one place in order to make my life easier when I try to figure out what is going on in my house. I am an iOS user which means this post doesn’t concern Android users, however, I will advise you to stick around and read the benefits of having Apple HomeKit.

Not all AQ Monitor manufacturers support HomeKit and here comes HomeBridge which is a platform to bring non-supported devices to Apple’s ecosystem. There are only a few AQM manufacturers that officially support HomeKit, like Kaiterra, Eve and QingPing.

The community of the HomeBridge has allowed others to take advantage of the platform and make the user experience even better by porting many more AQMs into HomeKit.

Which AQMs support HomeBridge?

  • Airthings
  • PurpleAir
  • Awair
  • Sensor Community (aka Luftdaten)

How to set up HomeBridge?

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PurpleAir II (PA-II) Hack

During and after the wildfires on the west coast of the United States the PurpleAir II (PA-II) network of low-cost monitors grew exponentially and has reached a number of about 11000 units. The reason was simple, people wanted to see when it was safe to go outside and/or open the windows.

Although the PA-II is a small cute particulate matter monitor, it has a flaw. The temperature and humidity sensor (Bosch BME280) is placed too close to the rest of the electronic components. As a result, neither the temperature nor the humidity reflects the real values of these environmental parameters. All electronics produce heat, and they may interfere with other sensors, and this is the case with the PA-II.

By the time someone invests money on a device with an array of sensors they want to be able to take valuable measurements for all the parameters. For this reason, I figured out how to improve the temperature and humidity measurements in order to reflect the real conditions outdoors or indoors as some people place the monitors indoors too.

It is easy to take apart the device, as there is only one screw. Once it is unscrewed, you need to pull the sensors out of the white case. Don’t worry because they are holding each other with some stickers.

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Review: Kaiterra Sensedge Mini for Business and Green Buildings

There is a demand for Green Buildings lately, which focus on the comfort and health of the building’s occupants. Energy efficiency was the original target for most of the green buildings certifications programs, but they have evolved, and they now focus on many more aspects of the indoor environments. Indoor Air Quality has become the number one priority for many green building certifications, and in order to be certified, there are strict rules for ventilation and AQ monitoring.

Here comes Kaiterra Sensedge Mini, which is a RESET certified indoor air quality monitor. The Sensedge Mini is a calibrated real-time monitor that has to be placed in buildings that wish to obtain a Green Buildings certification.

The Sensedge Mini uses two removable sensor modules to replace the traditional, costly calibration processes for long-term accuracy with minimal maintenance.

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