Indoor air purifiers for homes are extremely relevant at this point in time when pollution is rampant. There really are no arguments about the miserable air quality outdoors, and that when trapped inside our homes, becomes worse. Irrespective of which price point you look at, there are various factors that determine how good or ineffective an air purifier may be in terms of what it is supposed to do—clean the air inside your home and keep it that way. Sharp, over the years, have made air purifiers that tend to tick off almost all the boxes in terms of features, performance and reliability. One of the reasons for that heady cocktail are the high-quality filters that do the hard work. The newest addition to the line-up is the Sharp KC-G40M, priced at around Rs 33,000 and is designed to not only clean the air inside your room and keep it that way, but also to humidify it. Why is humidification necessary? The winter air can be extremely dry, which leads to a lot of sore throat problems. The moisture content in the cool air is significantly lesser than the summer air, contrary to general belief. That is the reason you often wake up with a throat that feels choked or swollen on the inside. The Sharp KC-G40M can tick off both the requirements—clean air and humidification.
The Sharp KC-G40M is meant for medium to large room sizes, and the form factor itself indicates that. Laws of physics do apply to air purifiers as well, and the Sharp KC-G40M is ticking off all the boxes for starters—it is not exactly small, though the curvaceous design may give an illusion otherwise, and there are very high quality and large sized filters inside which the air has to pass through. Finally, the large and powerful fan inside has the luxury of sending clean air your way through two vents, one at the top and one at the front. The larger a purifier, the bigger and denser the filters inside it and potentially a bigger and more powerful fan as well. And all that can mean better air quality management and quicker air clean-up than what some of Sharp KC-G40M’s rivals can manage.
The air intake vents are at the back, with the filter layers protected by a pre-filter than can capture PM10 particles—in essence, the larger pollutants. The design is very neat and modern design for sure, and in many ways takes inspiration from the ultra-premium Sharp KC-G60M. The control panel is at the top, not only is it well laid out, but is also easy to read. Just below the clean air vents on the front is the display for the air quality in the room. Sharp purifiers have avoided numeric air quality monitors thus far and this colour coded lighting should go some way in reassuring new users that air purifiers do make a difference to the room’s air quality. All things combined, the Sharp KC-G40M is a very good-looking air purifier that will feel right at home in a living room, large spaces and even a bedroom.
The real magic lies in the high-quality filters that Sharp air purifiers use. What you get with the Sharp KC-G40M is also a multi-layer air filtration. The first is the pre-filter which is a standard mesh filter. This captures larger dust particles well—quite handy if your home does tend to have a lot of dust. The pre-filter capturing the dust here prevents this same dust from instead clogging the HEPA filter, which would in turn have reduced its efficiency and life. In fact, it is great to have a pre-filter for capturing larger particles instead of these clogging the main set of filters instead, thereby reducing their expected usable life considerably. A lot of purifiers do not have a pre-filter, such as Blueair’s Classic 280i. The primary filter layer in the KC-G40M is a thick combination filter for HEPA and activated carbon. It is also called the PANDAA filter. It uses an advanced electrostatic HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter which traps unseen impurities towards the edges so that air intake isn’t blocked. The Plasmacluster seeks out stagnant impurities. The PANDAA filter decomposes volatile organic compounds and gases as well. Sharp says this PANDAA filter has a life of 5 years, which is just extremely convenient because you won't have to worry about half-yearly or annual filter changes as is the case with most other purifiers.
The Sharp KC-G40M also takes advantage of Sharp’s Plasmacluster feature which uses positive and negative ions to pick off particles from static air, such as under the sofa or the bed—this technology generates positive and negative ions to pick off particles from static air, such as under the sofa, which other purifiers are not necessarily very good at doing. These ions float around the room and attach themselves to the surface of airborne mold spore, bacteria or virus, and draw out the hydrogen on the bacteria surface, breaking down its proteins.
The Sharp KC-G40M is a very powerful indoor air purifier. This is rated at 306 cubic meter per hour (m3/hour) Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) and can cover rooms as large as 350 square feet (sq. ft.) in size. Its direct competition, the Blueair Classic 270E Slim (around Rs 35,000) has a lower rating of 264 m3/hour CADR and will work in 236 square feet room sizes as well. Immediately, the Sharp KC-G40M is better poised them for rooms that are larger in size. In a large living room plus dining room space, the Sharp KC-G40M improved the terrible post-Diwali air from a polluted 302μg/m3 of particulate matter (PM) to a clean 19μg/m3 in 15 minutes, and then stabilized it at 15μg/m3.
The Sharp KC-G40M has an Intelligent Mode that detects impurities, haze, humidity and ambient lighting, and alters operation mode automatically. For instance, it doesn’t simply keep emitting moisture along with the clean air, but manages the room’s humidity accordingly. If the purifier detects a sudden spurt in unclean new air in the room, it switches to the Haze mode and speeds up the fans for quicker air filtration.
The integrated water tank is great for adding moisture to the air, and fantastic news for pretty much anyone (yours truly included) who suffers from dry throat issues particularly in the winter months. The tank is large enough to last a day and a half of continuous usage on the humidification mode.
The Sharp KC-G40M remains extremely silent in most operation modes, unless the fan speed has to be bumped up to max--and that little bit of noise is understandable. Set this in the auto mode and just leave it at that. You will not even notice this running, that is how silent the operation is. At the lowest fan speed, the Sharp KC-G40M is rated at 19 decibels. The helpful noise detection app on our Apple Watch clocked this at 17 decibels instead at the lowest fan speed in the auto mode. This is significantly lower and quieter than a lot of its rivals, including anything from Blueair and Honeywell.
All said and done, it is hard to ignore that the Sharp KC-G40M misses out on are the smart features. It has no Wi-Fi connectivity on board, which means you don’t have the ability to manage this or remotely control this from your phone. This sort of functionality is becoming quite common among even more affordable air purifiers now, and in a way, you might just miss it.
But for the lack of the smart features, the Sharp KC-G40M makes up for it with other little smart elements. For instance, the purifier's lights turn off the moment it detects the room has gone dark. This is great to have if you are using this purifier in the bedroom, and no lights from the purifier will disturb you at night.
There is no other way of saying this. I am extremely impressed by the new Sharp KC-G40M. It ticks off the air cleaning capabilities checklist and goes about its job without breaking into a sweat. That is what you need from an air purifier that can continue with its job without much fuss. This looks great too, and that is a bonus. The fantastic PANDAA filter, which I have already experienced in the experienced in the larger Sharp KC-G60M over an extended period of time, really does the job. Clean air is just the nectar of life.