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The air purifier that “doesn’t really do anything”: CHOICE Shonkys

Greentech’s Pure Air 500 a “complete dud”.

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CHOICE Testing Expert Chris Barnes inspects a Greentech air purifier – Images: https://shwca.se/Shonkys2020

Greentech air purifiers, sold at retailers like Officeworks and Kogan, have secured a 2020 CHOICE Shonky Award for "pathetic purification".

Following the bushfires of summer 2019/2020 and concerns about the spread of COVID-19, consumer advocate CHOICE commissioned testing of major air purifier brands and found most of the products do provide some benefit to the air quality of your home.

However, the Greentech Pure Air 500 performed so poorly that CHOICE’s independent lab tests couldn’t detect any difference in air quality. The model received a CHOICE score of only 19%, landing dead last in the rankings.

"The two Greentech models we tested performed so poorly that we basically couldn’t detect them doing anything at all," says Chris Barnes, Testing Expert at CHOICE.

"They were abysmal at removing dust from the air, terrible at removing smoke from the air, they couldn’t remove volatile organic compounds from the air...they really are complete duds. I can only assume the problem is in the design. Certainly the price tags don’t indicate that they’re cheap," says Barnes.

If the $179 Pure Air 500 paperweight wasn’t bad enough, the second worst model in the CHOICE test was Greentech’s Pure Air 3000, costing an eye-watering $889 and scoring a measly 22%.

Learn more: How we test air purifiers – choice.com.au

Aside from avoiding these shonky purifiers, Australians should consider a few things when buying a purifier.

"This year air purifiers have been heavily marketed to us as a solution for bushfire smoke and COVID-19," Barnes says.

"For smoke, an air purifier can help, provided your home is well sealed. Regarding COVID-19 and other germs, an air purifier might help, but it's not a solution on its own. Those who will get the most benefit out of an air purifier are people with asthma or allergies or those who live in areas with a high level of pollution."

Learn more: Air purifier buying guide – choice.com.au

"These two Greentech purifiers have truly earned this Shonky for their pathetic purification," says Barnes.

Chris Barnes is available for interview.

The other Shonkys for 2020 are:

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InvoCare Funerals – for failing to be upfront about prices

Harvey Norman – for a toxic partnership with Latitude Finance

Floor cleaners – for being flawed cleaners

Revitalife – for a sales scheme that needs to be put to bed

Main media release and more Shonkys information available at: https://shwca.se/Shonkys2020 

Media contact: 0430 172 669, media@choice.com.au 

Due to COVID-19 protocols, the Shonkys event is available as a pre-record. Extra filming can be arranged on release day in Sydney (Tuesday November 10), but capacity will be limited.

CHOICE CEO Alan Kirkland and CHOICE Editor Marg Rafferty are available for interview. Other media releases, photos, video and graphics available for media use here: https://shwca.se/Shonkys2020