Poiema has evolved around the technology that makes the air purifier. No longer is there a need for filters nor noisy fan blades to get used to. We are embracing the latest kid on the block with the Poiema Premium P500 Air Purifier that uses ELECTRODES to remove the ultra fine particles that got into our home. An electrode is an electrical conductor used to make contact with a non-metallic part of a circuit (e.g. a semiconductor, an electrolyte, a vacuum or air). – Source
My family has been using our Sharp air purifier for about a decade. It has been our reliable source of clean air within our bedroom. In recent years, it also doubled up as a mobile unit following us to the living room when the PM2.5 level was really high. Following our happy experience and a little study on air purifiers, my hubby and I have chipped in our two cents’ worth to help close friends and families scrutinize their potential purchases over the years.
Filters ~ Efficiency
Conventional air filtering technology makes use of filters to remove particles from the air. While TRUE HEPA filter has passed efficiency tests to remove 99.97% of particles (from the air that passes through it) that have a size of 0.3 micron in diameter, it is not all the time consistent as some microbials are actually smaller than the 0.3 micron a HEPA air filter is capable of removing.
Table 1 : Common Particles & Particle Size
|Particle||Particle Size (microns)||Category|
|Dust Mites||100 – 300||–|
|Human Hair||40 – 300||–|
|Mold Spores||10 – 30||PM10|
|Pollens||10 – 1000||PM10|
|Hair||5 – 200||PM10|
|Mold||3 – 12||PM10|
|Yeast Cells||1 – 50||PM2.5|
|Anthrax||1 – 5||PM2.5|
|Talcum Dust||0.5 – 50||PM2.5|
|Copier Toner||0.5 – 15||PM2.5|
|Bacteria||0.3 – 60||PM2.5|
|Face Powder||0.1 – 30||PM2.5|
|Corn Starch||0.1 – 0.8||PM2.5|
|Oil Smoke||0.03 – 1||PM2.5|
|Viruses||0.005 – 0.3||PM2.5|
|Typical Atmospheric Dust||0.001 – 30||PM2.5|
Data extracted from The Engineering Toolbox.
TRUE HEPA filter has always been the standards to look out for in air filtering capacity. However if it is lagging behind in terms of efficiency when compared to that using the electrodes, don’t even consider brands/models claiming to have “HEPA-like”, “HEPA-type”, “HEPA-style” or “99% HEPA” filters which have been attempting to convince buyers with ~97% to 99% filtering efficiency. Note again that the figure to look at for any filter efficiency should be 99.97% for particle sizes of 0.3 microns and above. These HEPA-wannabes are in fact unable to conform to the standards set by NIOSH for respiratory filters. For the unknowing who doesn’t do proper research before purchase, there is a chance of going home with a falsified sense of peace of mind.
On the Poiema Premium P500 Air Purifier, it filters air by generating an unique electrical field which traps pollutants and common allergens (from the air that passes through it) and that it has the capability to remove particles as small as 0.02 micron in diameter (100x smaller than PM2.5).
Filters ~ Replacement Costs
Our Sharp air purifier costed us $580 when we first bought it. It is equipped with a TRUE HEPA filter that in recent years costed us another $180 per piece to replace. Not only about the high replacement cost (for a piece of filter?!), we also could not find any OEM replacement filter that is made to the size for this brand and model. Not even from Sharp’s current line of models. It ultimately took us more than 2 months to get directly from Sharp (because they do not keep stock). C’mon! The machine is only about 9 years old and still running without breakdown but there’s no more filter for replacement?! Each filter is expected to last for about 5 years (assuming usage of 12hrs/day). We changed it on Year 4 when the filter replacement indicator lighted up. We ended up ordering 2 pieces for fear of premature obsoletion.
Gone are the days when we will turn on the aircon or use electrical appliances at home without thinking second about saving energy (and money). When we were young, we want comfort, convenience and speed. Household electricity bills were our parents’ worry and we mostly did not understand the larger impact of energy usage on our environment then. Nowadays, we buy energy-saving refrigerator & washing machines and make do without the electric airpot.
The air purifier looks like a small electrical item but the running cost of keeping it powered 24hrs a day (like hell, now) can amount to a substantial sum. To determine annual electricity cost, look for the manufacturer-listed wattage of the air purifier you are considering and use the following equation to determine the annual cost in electricity needed to run the air purifier.
Annual Electricity Cost ($) = (Watts/1000) X (24hrs/day) x (365 days/year) x ($0.2035 cents per kWh)
*WEF 1st Oct 2015, the electrical tariffs for the current quarter is 20.35 cents per kWh. For purposes of calculation, I used flat rate for entire periods of 4 years and 8 years.
*If running for night time only, simply estimate by halving the costs.
I have plucked some figures off some TRUE HEPA models simply for comparison purposes with the Poiema P500 and tabled the annual electricity cost ($) as shown below :-
Table 2 : Running Costs
|Brand||Floor Area (m2)||Noise Level (db)||Energy Use (Watts)||Annual Electricity Cost ($)|
|Novita NAP 001H||68||30||62||11||72||128|
Continuing from above table,
|Brand||Unit Price ($)||Yr 4 Filter Change(s)||Yr 8 Filter Change(s)||4-yr Cost ($)||8-yr Cost ($)||Filter Replacement Recommendation|
|Blueair 503*||922||896||1792||2674||4425||6 Mths (base on 24h/day)|
|Winix WAC-5500||399||716||1432||1614||2829||Though washable, recommended to change every 12 Mths|
|Novita NAP 001H||699||505||1009||1717||2735||18 Mths (base on 24h/day)|
|“Sharp FU60SE”||580||288||576||1246||1912||30 Mths (base on 24h/day)|
*I can’t find the cost of Blueair 503 in Singapore but found it at USD659 (USD80 for filter) on Amazon and used 1.4 as est. current exchange rate. Unit price excludes shipping costs, if any.
*I have also used brand/model that serves similar floor area but found the Airfree WM600 Air Sanitiser (111m2) interesting at similar range of Unit Price. The running cost shocked me though! >.<
*All calculations used are base on above tariff formula and also with the use of max. energy consumption (Watts) for equal comparison.
*”Sharp FU60SE” is my existing set before I have Poiema P500. The 4-yr cost is no longer valid. The set is now 9yo.
*Winix WAC-5500 is actually the model we have been looking this year. For washable filter and with a unit cost that is so low, it is very attractive indeed but we had no luck in getting a set since it’s always out of stock. Taking this opportunity, I included this model into my calculations even though it serves only half of the coverage compared to Poiema P500. What appeared to have a low initial costs actually turned out to be one of the units with higher long term costs. Considering that it serves half the floor area of Poiema P500, getting 2 sets to serve equal area means double the costs?!?!! Thank goodness my hubby had not brought home a current juicer 🙂
From above table, conclusion is made on the estimated final costs for 4-year and 8-year usage, taking into consideration running costs and replacement costs as well. Poiema P500 although appears to have seemingly high initial costs, it actually works out to be the cheapest in the long run for a unit that covers 60m2 (half the size of a typical new 5-room flat).
Costs per Square Metre
I extracted the figures from Table 2 above and re-tabled them to present the cost per square metre.
Table 3 : Cost per Square Metre
|Brand||Unit Price ($)||Floor Area (m2)||4-yr Cost ($)||8-yr Cost ($)||4-yr Cost per m2 ($)||8-yr Cost per m2 ($)|
|Novita NAP 001H||699||68||1717||2735||25||40|
As it is seen, Poiema P500 also end up with the lowest cost per square metre of air purification (base on 8-yr usage).
Many air purifiers make use of a motor + reverse fan blade to draw air through the air filter because the only air that is treated is that which passes through the air filter. Some models have a larger fan and louder noise in order to do the same work. Unfortunately, they become white noise after some time. My old Sharp air purifier is so loud at highest speed that we are made to maintain it at low speed during sleep time all these years.
Looking back at Table 2 again, Poiema P500 has one of the lowest noise levels whether it is in lowest or highest speed. There may be other models with similar performance, for example the Airfree WM600 or even more out there. My tabulation is base on a few selections of air purifiers serving the same range of floor area in terms of metre squre.
As a stand alone observation, my family has been sleeping without the low humming noise throughout the night after we got the Poiema P500. In fact, the “noise” from the Poiema P500 is so low that when everything is absolutely still (the few minutes before falling asleep), we can hear a very faint ‘tick-tick’ sound if we listened really, really hard. The ‘tick-tick’ sound is actually the sound of the air particles getting stuck onto the collecting electrodes. It did not occur very frequently as logically so, the real-time PM2.5 reading was only in the region of under 10-30. The collecting electrodes act as magnet and are positive to pull all the charged particles to them.
For years and years to come, we will be getting used to soundless nights again. Base on specifications, it is 20dB at full speed. It is even quieter than my Mitsubishi StarMex airconditioners <3! The reason why the Poiema P500 has such low noise level is because it does not depend on motor fans to circulate air. Instead, it makes use of the generated magnetic field to “push” air around.
Quiet Means Not Working?
After 2.5 days of continuous usage, I could not contain my curiosity anymore and went to “play” with the unit.
What I found was fine powdery dusts stuck onto the Collecting Electrodes which at first look, still very clean.
I wasn’t expecting my indoor air to be so dusty since my entire house was kept sealed whenever the PSI level is up. Take a look at the video below and be shocked.
Controlling the Poiema P500 is as easy as just pressing one button on the display panel. The dog icon switches between normal or sleep mode with a touch. During sleep mode, the unit will continue to automatically clean the air while dimming the lighted display for night sleep. However I found it too bright for sleeping and got my hubby to use something to block up the light. Yes, I’m those type that will get disturbed sleep at the slightest noise and light 😦
Poiema P500 displays a real-time digital reading of PM2.5 level within it’s coverage area of 60 sqm. I have noticed that when I left the windows open for air-exchange, the PM2.5 reading displayed on the air purifier quickly shot up to the range of 30+. However it just takes minutes for it to come back down to 10-12 after I closed the windows. The lowest reading I have noted in my house is a momentary PM2.5 level of 8 and it is comforting to have a reading and knowing exactly what level of cleanliness the air I’m breathing in is, ❤
Aside from detecting PM2.5 dust particles, the next concern to note is the level of indoor TVOC level. The Poiema P500 detects the TVOC (Total Volatile Organic Compounds) level and gets rid of the toxic air via decomposition. The possible 3 levels of TVOC presence is reflected by one, two or three bars, indicating excellent, good and bad levels respectively. TVOC is a grouping of a wide range of organic chemical compounds to simplify reporting when these are present in ambient air or emissions. Many substances, such as natural gas, could be classified as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are reserved for characterisation of such substances in polluted air, that is, VOCs generally refer to vapours of gases given off by compounds rather than the liquid phase. Source – Australian Government National Pollutant Inventory
There is a long bar light indicator (below dog icon) which uses coloured light to reflect the combined levels of TVOC and PM2.5. Colours like green, yellow-green, yellow and red indicates air quality level of excellent, good, light pollution and serious pollution respectively.
Below the PM2.5 indicator, H (MAN) stands for manual override. The indicator will appear once the speed is changed using the remote control or Smart Phone.
WIFI indicator works with Smart Phone as a remote control. Speed setting is available in low, medium and high. I have observed that when manual override is not set, the unit is always at low setting by default.
Electro-Magnetic Field (EMF)
Initially, I have worry about excessive generation of magnetic field within the house as the Poiema P500 works by generating magnetic field between the Collecting and Emitting Electrodes. Doesn’t it seem questionable that a standalone unit with almost non-detectable airflow is able to clean up to 60m2 of floor area?? Will there be a huge magnetic field frying my family’s brain in the house?? Thankfully I found an app on my Android – Ultimate EMF Detector and happily went around the house watching the meter for unusual activity.
|Typical magnetic field strength of household appliances at various distances (Source : WHO)|
|Electric appliance||3 cm distance (µT)||30 cm distance (µT)||1 m distance (µT)|
|Hair dryer||6 – 2000||0.01 – 7||0.01 – 0.03|
|Electric shaver||15 – 1500||0.08 – 9||0.01 – 0.03|
|Vacuum cleaner||200 – 800||2 – 20||0.13 – 2|
|Fluorescent light||40 – 400||0.5 – 2||0.02 – 0.25|
|Microwave oven||73 – 200||4 – 8||0.25 – 0.6|
|Portable radio||16 – 56||1||< 0.01|
|Electric oven||1 – 50||0.15 – 0.5||0.01 – 0.04|
|Washing machine||0.8 – 50||0.15 – 3||0.01 – 0.15|
|Iron||8 – 30||0.12 – 0.3||0.01 – 0.03|
|Dishwasher||3.5 – 20||0.6 – 3||0.07 – 0.3|
|Computer||0.5 – 30||< 0.01|
|Refrigerator||0.5 – 1.7||0.01 – 0.25||<0.01|
|Colour TV||2.5 – 50||0.04 – 2||0.01 – 0.15|
According to the list of magnetic field strength of typical household appliances and a comparison of my own testing at home, I can conclude that the EMF level generated from the Poiema P500 is nothing much to worry about. For distances more than 1m away, it’s fine. Now, I feel like I should be shifting my CPU instead as it gave me the highest reading of 80µT and it’s directly next to me. 😦
Maintenance & Care
My old set of Sharp air purifier makes use of Pre-filter, Activated Carbon and Ioniser on top of True HEPA filter to clean the air. The Pre-filter traps larger airborne particles and the net is washable using water. I didn’t realize that it’s been so long since I last washed the Pre-filter. I won’t be surprised if it’s been 2yrs already. >.< That is the problem when there is no indicator to remind me to wash the Pre-filter. We have gotten so used to our Sharp purifier that we neglected to care for it (or rather turned complacent). Look at the dusts!! I wonder how much of them has dislodged when I shift the unit around in the house. And I’ve been doing that alot these 2 months. 😦
The Poiema P500 on the other hand, will signal an alert on the display panel to wash the Collecting Electrodes (Emitting Electrodes do not require washing at all) after every 200hrs of usage. Despite so, I can choose to ignore or reset it anytime.
Ioniser vs Electrodes
In air purifiers with built-in ioniser, the ioniser pushes out charged ions into the air to attract air particles, make them clump together, form a larger diameter and eventually gets heavy enough to drop onto the floor or whichever grounded surfaces like wall or furnitures. From all these years of usage, I have hated the powdery layer of dust that appears almost after a day of vacuuming and mopping the floor and wiping all table top surfaces. I can feel it while walking around and I know it’s on my bed as well.
You must have thought that I leave my windows open all the time. In actual fact, I never open my windows at all because of the dusty venetian blinds over it. On good days, I need to standby my vacuum cleaner and my air purifier around me before I could start with a quick and wet wipe over the blinds and window frames. I will only open the windows after everything has all been wiped clean. I would have loved to do it every morning as I love to have an airy house. The installation of venetian blinds was a mistake and we did not make any effort to rectify it with curtains instead. 😦
With the Poiema P500, air is sucked into the unit through the magnetic field generated between the Emitting Electrodes and the Collecting Electrodes. When air passes through the Emitting Electrodes, air flow is generated and at the same time killing germs, bacteria and viruses. The VOC (volatile organic compounds) are also decomposed into H2O and CO2. All the particles will be electrically charged while passing through the emitting electrodes. Airborne particles are trapped and stuck to the Collecting Electrodes when the air passes through it, very much like the battery-charged fly-swapper we see at Mustaffa. This is when we hear that very faint ‘tick-tick’ sound. What comes out of the Collecting Electrodes will then be clean air. Everything else is either decomposed or collected on the Collecting Electrodes 🙂
Smart App Remote Control
With technology, it is now possible to remotely control the air quality at home from wherever I am. My Dashboard by POIEMA (on Android) serves as a remote control that connects via WIFI. It’s pretty fun to play with my WIFI remote or to check on the air quality from the next room. I read that some people used the function to monitor their domestic helper at home. If they see that the air quality index of PM2.5 having very good reading of 0 – 35, they would know that their helper has secretly turned on the air-conditioner. ^.^ However, I had problem using the app on my Samsung A8. It crashes my phone and restart each and everytime if I am not within the reach of my house WIFI.
Size of Unit
Poiema P500 measures 315 (L) x 315 (W ) x 590 (H) mm. Occupying a floor space of about 1.5 pieces of A4 paper, the unit is space saving with the added on benefit that the air intake and discharge are located on the left and right sides of the unit. There is no need to keep a minimum distance of typically 60cm from the wall too.
I realize that the unit does not emit significant amount of heat even after prolonged operation. As recommended by Poiema Singapore, it can be operated continuously for 24hrs a day to monitor and control the indoor air quality. With an electricity bill of only $5 per month, why not?!
Poiema P500 comes with 1-year on-site warranty against manufacturer’s defects.
For more information, pls see Poiema Singapore.
Poiema P500 retails at $1399 at Poiema’s eStore or $1299 at Mega Discount Store (Authorized Reseller), both with free delivery within Singapore. Alternatively, buy at Rakuten (also Mega Discount Store) for points.
Although the initial cost of a Poiema P500 seems to be double/triple that of other brands/models, it is ultimately determined as the winner in terms of engineering calculation taking into consideration replacement and total running costs. It just takes 4 years to see the difference. Maybe less! I used 4 yrs because of convenience of calculation since my old filter was replaced after 4 years. With so many other modern feature and benefits in ease of maintenance and care, the Poiema P500 is indeed a good investment against future-proofing, not only because it is a sponsored unit. Just look at the facts to decide. 🙂
At the end of the day, whether you would choose a higher upfront payment or a lower initial cost, it’s your call to assess and decision to make. Whatever it is, having an air purifier to control indoor air quality has become more of a need than a good to have nowadays. As usual, always remember to fully ventilate your house whenever the occasion allows! Half an hour also good!
We have been sponsored a set of Poiema P500 for purposes of this review. Thank you for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums. If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates. We hope to see you back again soon.
~ SAys! Shirley 🙂
[Updated 27 Oct ’15]
Good news!! Poiema is giving a discount code and voucher.
Coupon Code : sayshappymums
Description : $100 Discount + Additional $25 NTUC vouchers will be given
Code Expiry Date : 31/12/15
P/S : We are not getting any commission.