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issue: July 2003 APPLIANCE Magazine

Tokyo Report
Japan's Growing Air Purifier Market


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With the arrival of pollen season, air purifiers are selling well in Japan.

According to JARN, shipments in January 2003 showed 43.3-percent growth over January 2002, and cumulative total shipments in fiscal year 2002 were up by 46 percent.

The highest peak of air purifier sales season is in February and March, when the largest amount of pollution diffuses into the air. In FY 2001, the number of units sold in February to March accounted for 37 percent of the year's total. Those products having especially contributed to the market expansion are those that incorporate degerming ion technology, including those with features such as a healing effect by negative ions or ultrasound.

As for operational versatility, recommendable models include those easier to operate due to the adoption of an air monitor that displays the operational condition, and those equipped with a sensor-aided automatic operational function, informing the user of the filter replacement timing, off-timer function, and wireless remote controller.

The sensor-aided automatic operation is especially recommended as a selling point. Sensors mounted on the air purifier include an odor sensor (gas sensor), reacting mainly to odor; a dust sensor; a body sensor (IR rays); and a photo sensor that quickly reacts to fire from a cigarette lighter, for example.

Many commercially available products incorporate one or two sensors with higher precision. There are, of course, units with advanced functions using one, two, or three sensors. By sending information detected by the sensors to the control unit, fan speed control, automatic start/stop, or other control functions can be performed.

This report is filed by Wasaku Ishida, Japanese correspondent, APPLIANCE magazine, and vice president, JARN (Japan Air-Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News).

 

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