With the showers earlier this week, the need for an an air purifier constantly whirring away in a corner of your dusty room might have come down a bit. But with what has been happening in Delhi over the past couple of years, the chances of anyone with the purchasing power taking a chance with air purifiers has also come down. But with competition in the air purifier space going up, manufacturers are resorting to new ideas to offer a bit more with their devices that just pure air.
The Sharp FP-FM40E is one such air purifier, the only one in the world with a mosquito catcher built in. The air purifier itself comes with Sharp’s “Patented Plasmacluster ion technology” which the company claims can clean up not just PM2.5 but also everything else from soot and dust to pollen and bacteria. In effect this is like an immobile vacuum cleaner for indoor air, and yes mosquitoes too.
The Sharp FP-FM40E is certainly one of the more stylish air purifiers I have seen with a panel of buttons on top and a colour LED indicator up front to show is the air is good or bad. There is no PM2.5 indicator. There is a button to activate the mosquito catcher as well as one to change modes. There is also a unique haze mode that you switch on in smog-like conditions. Sharp says this lets the air purifier break down the smog or haze and suck it in. I suggest that with this as well as other air purifiers, it is better to select the auto mode where the device decides when to increase the fan speeds based on pollution in the room. Even at full speed, this is among the quieter air purifiers around.
Now to the mosquito catcher. Sharp uses a combination of UV lights, a non-toxic glue sheet and some strong suction to accomplish this task. The mosquitoes are attracted by the UV light and sucked on to the glue stick as they come close to the air purifier and try to make themselves comfy in its orifices. Have to say this works quite well, though my house does not seem to have a lot of mosquitoes these days.
If there is one thing missing on the device, that would be a PM2.5 counter which gives users an idea of how bad the air is and how good the air purifier they have invested in is. With a price tag of Rs 28,000, the Sharp FP-FM40E might seem a bit steep. But for those living in polluted, mosquito-infested areas this might actually come as a breath of fresh air.