Coway is one of the renowned brands in the US that sells air purifiers. They are represented in India by Frootle, which also sells brands like Kuvings, Blend-tech, Instant Pot etc. Out of the several air purifier models from Coway, Airmega 150 is the most budget-friendly and among the top sellers. Let us take a look at its features, performance, portability and other aspects through this hands-on review.
|Fairly good air cleaning performance|
|Auto function works optimally.|
|Activated carbon filter mesh is thin.|
|Not very portable.|
Coway Airmega 150 Air Purifier
The air purifier comes with 3 layers of filters. First is a prefilter, which is a fine mesh to capture larger particles like dust, pet hair and dander. One of the advantages of the Coway Airmega 150 is that you can pull out the prefilter without opening the front cover. This makes it more accessible.
Next, there is a layer of activated carbon filter. In Philips, the activated carbon filter is within a frame. However, in Coway, it is like a thin mesh which has to be attached to the HEPA filter. The mesh looks like a thin layer of Scotchbrite scrub.
According to the manufacturer, the HEPA filter is of Grade 13, which appears to be superior to that of Philips AC1215/20. The HEPA filter has a green colour on one side and white on the other. However, whether the colour offers any benefit is debatable.
Just like Philips AC1215, the Coway Airmega 150 takes in impure water from the front and releases cleaner air from the outlet at the top. The air purifier doesn’t create any air bubble and effectively purifies air in rooms as large as 350 sq. ft.
The air purifier features are pretty much basic. At the top, you have touch buttons for power, mode and filter reset. It also has an air quality indicator. Unfortunately, the touch is not very responsive. While Philips AC1215 had a child lock, Coway Airmega 150, despite the higher price doesn’t have it.
The air purifier can be set in auto and silent modes or you can set the fan speed at level 1 or 2. When the filters are due for replacement, the HEPA/carbon filter light blinks. Similarly, the prefilter light blinks when it is due for cleaning.
The air quality indicator is red when the air quality is very unhealthy, yellow when it is unhealthy, green when it is moderate and blue when it is good. From our observation, we found that the light becomes red when PM 2.5 reaches over 500 and yellow when it is over 250. It becomes blue when PM 2.5 is less than around 75. However, according to Dyson, PM 2.5 above 150 is considered extremely poor and less than 35 is considered good.
Auto mode, as the name suggests adjusts the airflow speed into 3 levels depending on the air quality. Silent mode is best for nighttime use when you do not want much noise from the air purifier disturbing your sleep. If the air is clean for a long time in auto mode, then it switches to silent mode for optimal performance. Similarly, if any air quality change is observed when the air purifier is in silent mode, it changes the speed to reduce the pollution level.
In addition to these, you can adjust the sensitivity of the particle sensor of the air purifier. The air purifier by default has standard sensitivity to dust. But if you notice the air quality to be poor even after 2 hours of operation, then you can adjust the sensitivity by pressing the power and mode buttons simultaneously. Then, by pressing mode, you can adjust the sensitivity at low, standard or high.
The air purifier comes with a CADR ( Clean Air Delivery Rate) of 376 m3/hr which makes it apt for rooms as large as 400 Sq. Ft. We however tried it in a room of 250 Sq.ft size. We increased the PM levels to 350 by burning camphor and incense.
Then, we put the air purifier in auto mode. Within just a few seconds, the air purifier identified an increase in PM levels and increased the fan speed. Once the PM levels reduced to the high 200s, the air purifier alternated at high and low speeds. But what disappointed us was that the air purifier speed reduced to a lower level when the PM levels were as high as 200.
Finally, the air purifier was able to bring down the PM level to 160 in 15 minutes. It reached around 83 in 30 minutes and 32 in an hour.
If the air purifier had run at level 2 speed, it would have been able to clean the air much faster. This is a common problem we find in air purifiers which do not have precise air quality indicators. Their sensitivity is poor. As a result, the fan speed reduces even when the air quality is at unacceptable levels.
So, when using this air purifier, we highly recommend putting it at a high speed for the first 15-20 minutes and then putting it in auto mode so that the air gets cleaned quickly.
The air purifier weighs around 5.5 Kg. However, unlike Philips AC1215/20, it doesn’t have a recessed handle to carry it. Also, the cord length is less than 150cm. Overall, it isn’t really convenient to move it around.
According to the manufacturers, the air purifier’s HEPA and carbon filters last for 8500 hours. The prefilter on the other hand needs to be cleaned every 2-4 weeks or as and when the Pre-filter light blinks. You can clean it under running water using a soft brush and dry it thoroughly before re-inserting it into the air purifier. At the same time, you can clean the front cover by either using a vacuum cleaner or a soft brush with long bristles.
The pollution sensor at the side too needs to be cleaned every two months using a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner.
The replacement filters together cost about Rs. 4400.
Flaws, But Not Deal Breakers
The main drawback of the air purifier is the lack of sensitivity of the air quality sensor. As a result, the fan speed reduces even when the PM is at an unacceptable level. This is something we observed in Philips AC1215/20 also. But that being said, unlike Philips, here, the fan speed does increase initially when the PM level increases.
Coway Airmega 150 is their most budget-friendly offering in India. In addition to white, it is also available in navy blue and sage green colours. The Airmega 250 is another model which is far more expensive and comes with three distinct modes, 3 fan speed levels, a child lock and a timer for up to 8 hours.
The air purifier has a higher CADR of 376 m3/hr which makes it an apt choice for large living rooms. Its responsiveness to increase in PM levels is good. However, in auto mode, it reduces the airflow even when the PM level is as high as 200. This is something we found in Philips AC1215/20 too. Overall, we would recommend it only if you need an air purifier for a large space.
Coway Airmega 150 Air Purifier