Design / Technology
Blueair uses unique technology to create next-level air purifiers
Alexander Provins, responsible for the operations in Europe and the Middle East as the Director EMEA, on the secret behind the success going from a Swedish startup to a global leader within air purification in 20 years.
21 Jan 2021

Yes, you guessed it, Blueair is one of the companies which experienced a strong market during 2020.

— Our sales have grown strongly globally and we continue to gain market share, says Provins. We have a strong market position in the US and China but is currently growing particularly strongly in the Nordic countries, the UK, and other EU countries with strong 3-digit growth during 2020 compared to 2019. The rapid growth of 2020 is partly an effect of the ongoing pandemic as lots of people have spent more time at home than usual and therefore want clean air in their homes.

When founded in 1996, Provins shares, the company’s vision was to develop the world’s best air purifier to create a healthier indoor environment for both families and workplaces all over the world. In 2016, they’re acquired by Unilever.

— And today, we’re a world leader and extremely fast growing with sales in over 60 countries worldwide.

How have you managed to become so successful?

— The secret is mainly a unique and own developed purification technique, HEPASilent. It delivers more clean air faster, at less noise, and with lower energy consumption. The high performance was also why we, very early, were recognized in markets with significantly greater problems with bad air than the Swedish domestic market, like China and the US. With our strong commitment towards giving children clean air, as they are most at risk when being exposed to polluted air, we’ve also improved access to clean air for 500,000 children in five years. Through our CLEAN AIR FOR CHILDREN platform, we’ve teamed up with governments, schools, hospitals, and NGOs in, for example, China, India, Korea, the US, Sweden, and the UK.

You mentioned the HEPASilent technology. How does that work?

— It captures at least 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.1 microns in size, kills germs, and delivers high performance and efficiency by combining electrostatic and mechanical filtration technologies. This combination, that we’ve pioneered, delivers high Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR, the global leading standard for air purification performance, based on independent tests performed for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM)) with whisper-silent operation and high energy efficiency. In fact, a Blueair air purifier works so quietly that you can not only sleep next to it, you might even have to check to make sure it is switched on. And on its lowest setting, our air purifier uses less electricity than a lightbulb, says Provins, adding,

— With HEPASilent, airborne particles are charged before they reach the filter. This makes the particles sticky so that they stick on to the polypropylene fibers in the filter more easily due to electrostatic forces, which allows the use of a less dense filter, so more air can be pushed through with less noise and less energy.

Provins shares his best tips when buying an air purifier:

— The single most important factor, is, quite obviously, performance; how well the unit is able to clean your room. 

— So, when buying an air purifier always, ask or look into what the CADR is, he tells.

CADR shows how many cubic meters the air purifier will clean every hour. 

— The higher the CADR value, the more air it cleans in an hour. The AHAM recommended room size of an air purifier is based on five air changes per hour to ensure continuously clean air in a room, also meaning the unit will clean the air volume in the room every 12 minutes based on the recommendation. Most serious brands are testing all their products according to this standard and the CADR value should be visible on packaging or webpage or similar.

— Another important thing is to make sure that the air purifier is quiet and efficient. An air purifier is on 24/7 and often in the bedroom while you are sleeping, so a quiet operation is vital. Noise levels, measured in decibels, can vary widely depending on various factors, including the setting, energy efficiency, type of technology, filter, and sound insulation. It is particularly important to check the noise level on the lowest setting — the setting it will be most of the time and while you are sleeping. Check the energy efficiency as an energy-efficient air purifier can use as little as 1.5 watts of power running at its lowest setting. That is, as mentioned, equivalent to the energy consumption of an LED-light bulb.