Friday, October 03, 2008

The Fall of Sharper Image’s Ionic Breeze Ushers in a New Age of Air Purifiers

When Air Purifiers burst onto the scene, Sharper Image’s Ionic Breeze quickly became a household name and alerted people with the importance of air purifiers. After a couple of rough years and a flurry of controversy about the its actual effectiveness, the Ionic Breeze began to fade from the public's mind. However, the importance of air purifiers began to grow. New technology, smaller and more energy efficient machines began to permeate the market. While the Sharper Image might have made air purifiers “cool”, other companies made them work and have been taking the time to educate the public about these important tools.

2007 has showed that Air Purifiers are no longer just a “niche” market. They have had over 511.2 million dollars in sale alone. The internet is the leading source of sales and information about air purifiers. Consumers go online to discover vital information about new technology, trends and consumer reports. Vendors have also learned from Sharper Image by making information readily available to potential buyers, to help educate them about the importance and difference between the various types of air purifiers.

Air purifiers offer plenty of options to get desired effects. A fallout from Sharper Image’s Ionic Breeze, is the effectiveness of HEPA technology. HEPA filters can remove 99.97% of airborne materials down to the 0.3-micrometer. These filters are often used in hospitals for their effectiveness. It is important to make sure to purchase a true HEPA product and not on labeled “HEPA-type”, “HEPA-like” or “99% HEPA” as they do not perform effectively when compared to HEPA.

Other market trends include the rise of portable air cleaners. These are great for rooms outside the home whether in offices or dorm rooms. Perhaps one of the reason of the gain in popularity is that people are not content to have clean air merely at home. They realize it is important to keep air clean where germs have the largest area to spread. Companies have taken this opportunity to add different styles, shapes and colors to their models letting consumers pick portable air purifiers for that suit them best. Air Sanitizers are adding to the variety of air purifiers.

Of, course companies have decided to offer “green” air purifiers designed specifically to be eco-friendly and energy efficient. An Energy Star Label goes a surprisingly long way to reassure customers that they are purchasing an energy efficient product that will save them money on their electric bill.

Outside of creating more effective air purifiers, companies have been including additional features on air purifiers like change-filter indicators and sensors or automatic fan control to detect air quality. Vornado Air Circulation Systems marketing director Mark Zarich has this to say. “Most of us are trying to establish a path for consumers to believe in after the Ionic Breeze fell…Consumers want to have a healthier home environment.”

By no means is the air purifier dead, after the Ionic Breeze. Studies have shown that customers still crave them, they only wish a more information and more variety. You can expect that as time goes on air purifiers will offer more options, be even more effective and have new designs that you will never have to hide in the room.

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