In this review we'll look at the pro's and con's of the Sharp Plasmacluster Air Purifier line. More important we'll look at the technology it includes, and it's value, relative to the other technologies available. In the accompanying video you'll see me take apart and go inside the Sharp Plasmacluster FPN60CX Air Purifier.
Sharp makes a lot of this "new technology". Invented by Sharp Corporation in 2000 the Plasmacluster tech (and name) is the Sharps "claim to fame". However it lives on a line between air purifier science and marketing. It's important to know that the plasmacluster technology is only one of the 4 technologies inside the Sharp Air Purifier we tested. I would also note that there are several similar air purifiers using nearly identical technology, so it's nothing that exclusive. Sharp claims that the Plasmacluster technology can disable germs and other pathogens and they have conducted 28 experiments through various scientific organizations around the world on it. However there is yet to be any recent scientific peer reviews on it.
The excitation over the Sharp Plasmacluster comes largely from Japan, where the aversion to germs and viruses has made the Sharp Air Purifiers popular. (Designed in Japan, made in China).
What Is A Plasmacluster?
A Plasmacluster ion generator splits the water molecules (already within the indoor air) into their natural components of hydrogen and oxygen (remember water is H2O). Thousand of these positive and negative ions are released in this process. These ions are highly unstable and do not last long.They can remove the smell of nicotine and other unpleasant odors from the air, and kill some mold spores and viruses. Many air purifiers use negtive ions the same way, but the positive ion part is more unique.
- Here's a more scientific explanation:
A plasmaluster is a group of partially ionized gas-like electrons (have I lost you to scientific terms yet?) That are free and not bound to an atom. These plasma groups contain water molecules which are disintegrated into both positive hydrogen ions and negative oxygen ions. Naturally occurring water molecules in the room air form clusters around the hydrogen ions and oxygen ions; this creates the stable Plasmacluster Ions. When they hit pathogens (germs, viruses) it leads to the instantaneous formation of the highly unstable / reactive hydroxyl radical. Such a mercurial make-up causes hydroxyl radicals to quickly interact with hydrogen atoms on the surface membranes of pathogens. And the result; inactivated pathogens and a harmless by-product, water.
HEPA and Plasmacluster
Of course the Plasmacluster is just one of the technologies in the Air Purifier. It also has HEPA (which is overpriced by the way) and carbon for gas removal. So does the Plasmacluster measure up as a "must have" and is it better than the use of negative ions and UV light for germ and virus killing? That debate is still ongoing and unproven. Below I list some of the technical information on the Sharp FPN60CX
1 – 4 stages: Pre-filter, Carbon, Hepa, Ion (PLasmacluster)
2 – Hepa for allergies
3 – Covers 330 Sq. Ft.
4 – Has great light functions – you can sleep without lights on
1 – Expensive Filters
2. Expensive Cost
3 – No germ, virus Tech (EX; UV)
4 – 1 year warranty
5 – On high the unit is loud
Sharp FPN60CX Air Purifier
Retail Price: $ 379
Purification Technologies: 4
Square Footage: 330 SQ. Ft.
Replacement Filter Costs: $ 180 (HEPA and Carbon)
Yearly Costs: $ 180- $ 200
Decibel Level: low / high 14/54
Warranty – 1 year
Number of Speeds – 3
Filters – 3
It's a good air purifier, and you should be able to get your money's worth out of the sharp plasmacluster. The replacement filters are overpriced (let's make that way overpriced), and I would do a hunt for better prices online for the replacements. However it will do a good job on pollen and dust.