At one point in my health journey, I became very sensitive to polluted air. I’d walk in the woods outside of the city and feel very clear headed, then as soon as I got out of the forest and near cars I’d feel bad again. At the time I was living in an apartment (Kyiv, Ukraine), and it was great to get fresh air from outside, but the reality was that the air wasn’t all that fresh.
I decided to check out air purifiers and see if they might be able to help me out. Indoor air is supposedly more polluted than outdoor anyway, so even if I wasn’t going to open the windows the air was still not ideal. There was also a sort of chemical smell in the apartment I was in, probably from the off-gassing of the furniture there (even though it had been finished for a few years, something still smelled).
I did some research and came to the conclusion that IQAir makes the highest quality/best residential air purifiers around. Awesome, in the US the retail price at the time (end of 2014 if I recall correctly) was $1200. Looking in September for 2016 it seems like it’s still the same price. Great! Let’s call them up and make sure it’ll work in Europe with 220v-240v outlets. Nope. “Get the European version, contact IQAir in Switzerland”. Of course Switzerland is the land of the cheap (not), but I still contacted them to see what it would cost. 1600 CHF. Pfft. Plus shipping, probably a couple hundred. I’ll just buy the US version and use a transformer. That should be no problem right?
All the sellers warned against it. Nobody wanted to continue the warranty outside of North America. Plus, I had to transport it. Whatever, I’ll give it a shot, I thought. A good 220->110v transformer should be the exact same as 110v power in the US, assuming no power surges or anything. I ordered one, with a Black Friday discount for another 10% off (from freshairpro.com, wait until a holiday and they’ll email you a discount code if you’re on their list. Most recent code is from labor day 2016: LABORDAY).
It came, and my plan was to take it with me on the plane as a checked bag. It fit within the weight limits, but there was a problem: the size. The airlines limit by length+width+height in addition to weight, and the purifier was just a couple inches over. No worries: my Dad is a master packer (and pilot himself) so we tore it open and started looking for a way to reduce the size. It wasn’t too hard actually, if you take off the bottom stand that the wheels connect to, you save a few inches. I put that bottom square thing on the outside of my backpack and carried it through Frankfurt on to Kyiv no problem. I was obviously worried about how it would make it through, seeing that the lugging handling regularly throws bags around and this was a seemingly delicate device. Thankfully there were no issue.
I unpacked it, plugged it into my voltage transformer/converter (not sure what the proper term is), and it worked! Beautifully smelling fresh air flooded the room. I still use it to this day. Now I live outside the city and like to leave the windows open, but sometimes the annoying neighbors burn things and it gets in the house. This purifier takes care of it no problem within a few minutes. I generally leave it on level 3, which is high enough to make quite a noticeable difference but not too loud. Anyway: if you’re looking to use an IQAir purifier on a 220v european outlet or somewhere else in the world, using a transformer has worked perfectly for me so far and saved a few hundred bucks.