Call us sticklers for accuracy, but we think a product called an air purifier should be able to, well, purify the air – at least a little.
Not so with the GreenTech PureAir 500, which scored a measly 19% in a CHOICE lab test.
It was the poorest performer by a very wide margin. The 500 model not only failed miserably at dust removal, smoke removal and volatile organic compounds removal (VOCs are chemicals from things such as paints and cleaning products), but it also underwhelmed in its energy efficiency.
The timing is particularly bad in light of the recent calamities that have hit us: the catastrophic bushfires of late 2019 and early 2020, then the devastating COVID-19 crisis. Understandably, air purifiers have been hot consumer items lately, and while having one doesn't guarantee you won't catch the virus, they can be a useful item in your protection toolkit. (We haven't tested purifiers for virus removal, but research shows they can filter out virus particles in the air.)
Imagine a customer's disappointment, then, when they discover that their air purifier really doesn't do anything but suck air in and blow it back out, unchanged. Our testers have rarely put a more shonky household product through its paces.
CHOICE household goods expert Chris Barnes suggests this GreenTech product really shouldn't be on the market, for the logical reason that it doesn't work.
"This and the other GreenTech model we tested performed so poorly that we basically couldn't detect them doing anything at all," says Barnes.
"They were abysmal at removing dust from the air, terrible at removing smoke from the air, couldn't remove VOCs 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 cheaply made."