Residents make a beeline for air purifiers as pollution chokes Delhi

- November 16, 2023
| By : Mohd Shehwaaz Khan |

As air pollution in Delhi worsened after a brief respite before Diwali, sales of air purifiers have shot up. Salespersons say that they have seen a significant increase in the demand for the product this year

In response to the escalating pollution levels in the national capital, Delhiites are relying on air purifiers to protect themselves from choking on the rapidly deteriorating air quality.

On November 13, a day after the incessant burning of firecrackers on Diwali in the national capital despite Supreme Court orders, air pollution in parts of Delhi was 30 times the safe limit, according to the World Health Organization. 

The pollution in Delhi has continued to remain in the “very poor” category since the onset of winter. Recognising the gravity of the situation, the final stage of the Centre’s anti-pollution plan has been implemented in Delhi and the National Capital Region with immediate effect.

In this suffocating atmosphere, many residents in Delhi are turning to air purifiers as they confine themselves indoors as much time as possible. Bharat Aggarwal, a resident of Nehru Nagar in south Delhi, is planning to buy an air purifier for his mother.

“The quality of air is worsening every day. In such a situation, I have to keep the health of my mother in mind. She works as a nurse and has to be in the hospital most of the time. When my eyes start to itch and my health deteriorates in this weather, I wonder what toll this could be taking on the health of my mother, who already suffers from several medical conditions,” he said.

Those working at various electronics stores and showrooms selling appliances say there has been a hike in the sales of air purifiers, with customers coming in with queries regarding the purifiers since the first week of October. 

Saurav Kumar, a customer sales specialist at Croma store in Lajpat Nagar, said that they have observed almost 10 customers visit the store every day to buy air purifiers. “We sell brands like Philips, Daikin, Bluestar, and Voltas. Among them, the most in-demand are air purifiers from Philips. However, premium customers associated with our stores are also buying Daikin products, which is one of the costliest in the market,” he said.

Of the queries the stores receive about the machines, almost 20% convert into sales. “The trend started in the first week of October and has only risen since then,” Kumar said.

The price range of air purifiers starts from Rs 7,000 and can go as much as Rs 70,000 to Rs 80,000. Although in areas like Lajpat Nagar, people are willing to buy costlier appliances, the trend among the customers is usually on the price margins of Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,0000.

Prince, a salesperson and co-owner of Mahajan Electronics in Punjabi Bagh, said that he has seen an increase of 15% in sales from last year. “I have been running this showroom for the past five years and the demand for air purifiers has never been so high. At least in this area, people are willing to buy them from across the brand spectrum, and there is no preference as such,” he said.

Companies such as Kent RO Systems recorded an increase of 15-20% in the sales of air purifiers, while Xiaomi, whose air purifiers come in the range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000, has seen a sales increase of 40-50%. 

No discounts are being provided on the purifiers, even during the festive season, many salespersons say.

A salesman from a Croma store in East of Kailash said the showroom in the area saw an increase of almost 30% in the sale of purifiers compared to last year. “We receive almost 20 queries every day about air purifiers. While many people decide not to buy it after finding the price. We sell almost 4-5 air purifiers every day,” he said.

Overall, the demand has been increasing and has seen a significant spike since last year. “This is just the beginning and many showrooms and stores do not have these appliances in stock. Even we faced difficulties in stocking and have been able to manage it,” the salesman said.

Following directions by the Supreme Court, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) last week restarted the smog tower at full capacity. The 24-metre-high tower, which has 40 large fans, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in 2021 at a cost of Rs 20 crore. The development comes in the backdrop of the air quality index (AQI) crossing the 500-mark in several parts of Delhi. IQAir, a Swiss air purifier company, ranked Delhi as the most polluted city in the world on November 13, a day after Diwali.

These appliances are designed to eliminate fine particles, odours, harmful gases and allergens from indoor air. Air purifiers of superior quality, featuring high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and activated carbon, prove exceptionally effective in reducing particulate matter and harmful pollutants. This advanced filtration technology ensures a safer breathing environment for residents, offering crucial relief amid the prevailing pollution crisis.

Many company executives say they are receiving queries not only from Delhi-NCR but also from Mumbai and eastern parts of the country, where air quality levels have also gone down substantially.