Monday, 25 November 2019 11:01

Bushfire Anti-Smoke Air Purifier: Sharp KC-A50 review Featured

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Sharp KC-A50 Air Purifier for Bushfires review Sharp KC-A50 Air Purifier for Bushfires review

With asthma attacks spiking, some people will need to take air purification more seriously.

When you’re a reviews journalist, you get inundated with products and some get reviewed way later than they should. We’re setting a new record here with the Sharp KC-A50 Air Purifier which came out in 2015 but is still available. Much as I’d like to say that we’ve held off in order to put it through a full-on, multi-year, testing regimen, it simply missed its slot having fallen down a long reviews list thanks to a bunch of lesser air purifiers making us think the whole industry was a scam. However, it’s still available and it’s been operating in our home for… well… years now and it’s never been more necessary.

While many Australian cities have been shrouded in smoke for weeks, the KC-A50 proved its worth with spot bushfires many times in the past. If we left our window open at night and woke up to a strong bushfire smell, running this around thirty minutes somehow completely eradicated it. It’s so sensitive that, and I apologise for this, it can detect a fart from across the room with an amazing response time and clear it up before anyone is the wiser… presuming they don’t twig why it the machine's fans suddenly ramped up for no obvious reason.

In Winter it acts as a humidifier and has a sizeable water tank down one side that will need filling every few days in the dry months (it lasts weeks in a humid summer) and is great if you and yours are susceptible to dry coughs at such times.

Does the Sharp KC-A50 air purifier really work?

I struggled to believe Sharp’s spiel when it first came out as it’s difficult to test without serious scientific apparatus. However, four years on, it seems legit and is worth a read…

“Humidity levels can make the difference with the air quality you breathe. Sharp's triple-action Air Purifier with Humidifier monitors the levels of humidity, dust and odour with a sensor function in a room size of up to 38m². Maintaining 60% relative humidity is ideal for your home and ensures low probability of microorganism growth. The KCA-50JW will automatically deliver the right humidity level based on your rooms temperature. While the humidifier ensures the room humidity level is at a comfortable environment, the Air Purification system cleans the air of any airborne substances. This is carried out in two ways, through the HEPA and deodorising filtration system capturing 99.97% of dust particles and using Sharp's patented Plasmacluster Ion technology which helps to deactivate airborne viruses, mould spores, adhering odours and static electricity. Providing clean and breathable air in your home.”

Perhaps more telling than the official blurb is the official video…

Sharp kc a50
Click to see the KC-150 devour smoke and dust.

In the past week, like so many Australians, my seven year old daughter developed a nasty cough. The Sharp KC-A50 went into her room a little too late. Indeed, after running around on Sunday she started coughing and didn’t stop. An ambulance ride, ECG, Ventolin nebuliser and and X-Ray later we discovered that she’d had her first ever serious asthma attack and had developed a mild pneumonia. She was lucky. The Paediatrics ward was mostly full of other kids in a worse position. The staff said that such cases had spiked massively in recent days.

Consequently, if your home is prone to filling up with smoke or fumes and if you, or your kids, are susceptible to them, we fully recommend one of these Sharp purifiers.

They make a mild hum when in general operation mode but this ramps up to a noisy whoosh if something pungent is detected or your turn the Ion Shower on. Its bright status lights are informative yet annoying (at night) but a button turns them off. The filter at the rear is simple to clean but it rarely needs doing so.

A product remaining on the market unchanged all this time is unusual, but that's what happens when something works as advertised. It’s not cheap at $799 but you should never ever skimp on health and this can look cheap in comparison to ambulance rides and asthma attacks. 5/5 Recommended.

RELATED: Sharp IG-BC2J-B in-car air purifier review

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Nick Ross

Nick Ross is a veteran technology journalist who has contributed to many of Australia's top technology titles and edited several of them. He was the launch editor of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation online Technology section.

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