In a way, the COVID-19 pandemic helped solve some of the biggest challenges for consumer-targeting indoor air product brands: Educating audiences and highlighting the need for indoor air treatment products.  

For sure, the demand for healthy indoor air quality in the home is at an all-time high. We believe the brands best positioned to take advantage of this increased awareness and product demand will be those best able to differentiate their offerings and engage end-users through innovation and personalized, connected digital experiences in the coming months and years.

What You'll Find in this eBook

In this eBook, we explore the state of play for the residential indoor air market in 2022 and underline how air cleaning companies can ensure their strategy and innovation roadmap aligns with trends in the wider marketplace.  These insights have been put together by BreezoMeter’s own industry experts - with inputs from our strategic partners in the IAQ industry.

As COVID-19, increasingly common wildfires, personal health awareness, and growing air pollution awareness converge, consumer demand for healthy homes and better air quality has exploded: According to research from Parks Associates, indoor air quality now concerns 34% of US broadband households, 50% of which have a health condition, making them sensitive to poor indoor air quality. This research also highlighted that 1 in 5 consumers worry about their home’s indoor air quality.

 

In an additional healthy home study by The Farnsworth Group, 29% of homeowners and 35% of renters are concerned about the health risks their homes might pose. Indoor air quality ranked as the top concern, mentioned by 75% of households, who worry about airborne particles like dust, cooking-related pollution, as well as moisture and mold.

Stemming from the fear of virus transmission, a new demand for ‘contactless living’ i.e. limiting daily human contact in different aspects of our lives, has emerged.

 

In a Europe-focused survey, 8 out of 10 people said they believed contactless living solutions would become more common in the next ten years, and 44% believed the transition would benefit health and safety.

50% see smart air treatment products as necessary

This trend coincides with an evolving smart home industry: Smart home device ownership increased by 29% from 2019 to mid-2021, and while 1 in 4 broadband US households worry about viruses and bacteria, 50% see smart air treatment products as necessary to combat poor air quality and virus spread.

 

Clearly, these consumer trends present indoor air product and solutions providers with opportunities for growth: The market for indoor air quality monitors alone is expected to reach $4.63 billion this year, while the global air purifier market, having reached $11.2 billion in 2020, is now expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 10% from 2022-2027. 

Personalization has become a basic expectation for many. In fact, consumers today expect businesses to begin customizing their experience as early as possible, including at the pre-purchase research stage and point of sale. All companies offering products and services should take note of this, as 91% of consumers say they will more likely do business with brands whose offers and recommendations they deem relevant to their needs

 

How to Personalize the Air Cleaning Product Experience

 

Air cleaning product makers can now recommend specific products based on a buyer’s address, personal health requirements, and their actual environmental exposure.

 

This is powerful: By leveraging highly granular historical environmental information, solution providers can visualize a person’s personal exposure history to help them understand the reality of invisible airborne threats and highlight the need for air cleaning products.

 

Of course, personalization extends past the point of sale. By leveraging this kind of environmental insights and analytics throughout the product experience and journey, indoor air providers can truly begin to deliver an entirely new level of ongoing personalized service, even beyond the home:

  • Informing people when to engage their air treatment systems to maintain home health. 

  • Helping individuals understand when it’s safe to exercise outdoors, or when it's best to stay at home with the windows shut.

  • Alerting users to the environmental reality at their location e.g. ‘high pollen’ or ‘nearby wildfire’ notifications.

Air pollution awareness and a lingering pandemic means there is renewed focus on guidelines and standards for residential indoor air management.

 

To reduce airborne infectious aerosol exposure, the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends upgrading residential HVAC systems to MERV 13 filters or better and also recommends combining HVAC filters with in-room air cleaners if upgrades are not possible, or if use of outdoor air isn’t an option (e.g. during winter or in highly polluted areas).


For in-room air cleaners (purifiers), ASHRAE recommends HEPA filters or high MERV values (13 and over) as well and recommends homeowners account for a room’s dimensions and the capabilities of their HVAC system (if it has one), when calculating the required clean air delivery rate (CADR) for a new in-room cleaner unit.

HEPA filter technology and portable in-room air purifiers accounted for the largest shares of the residential air purifiers market in 2020. They are projected to remain dominant through 2026 due to growing concerns regarding environmental sustainability and air pollution, and the rising popularity of smart home and assisted living technologies.

 

This isn’t surprising, as HEPA filters, capable of trapping at least 99.97% of 0.3 microns sized particles, show significant efficacy in protecting indoor air quality from pollen, mold, pet dander, and even air pollution. In fact, researchers have found HEPA filters could reduce PM2.5 pollution by 55%

 

Despite the strength of the HEPA filter, new technologies and air treatment product design trends are nevertheless emerging in the area of residential indoor air product design:

  • UV Air Purifiers - UV technology is gaining popularity as a method to ensure indoor air purifiers provide better protection against viruses, bacteria, and mold. Experts predict the UV air purifier market to reach $2.5 billion by the end of 2031.

  • Activated Carbon Filters - Also set to gain significant popularity, activated carbon indoor air purifiers are expected to witness a constant annual growth rate of 9.1% from 2020 to 2028 in the US air purifier market, credited to the technology’s effectiveness in trapping gases, fumes, and odors.

  • Increased Portability - Cordless indoor air purifiers will become more popular, with the global portable air purifier market projected to reach $13.7 billion by 2027. Efficacy results seem to validate the growing demand: Researchers found portable HEPA air cleaners could reduce PM2.5 in living areas by 60% and in sleeping areas by 42%. 

  • More Eco-friendly Products: In-line with green building trends, the sustainable air filter market continues to grow, with projections to reach $28.25 billion by 2028. Notable examples of energy-efficient eco-friendly in-room air cleaners include Blueair’s moisture-resistant polypropylene filters and OneLife’s waste-free bamboo and recycled plastics purifier, both of which debuted at CES 2022.

  • No longer just Hardware: Smart Features & IoT - Indoor air quality makers recognize the value of adding services and platforms to their existing hardware (we explore this more below).

As hardware in the residential indoor air market becomes more and more standardized, the digital experience has become crucial. In 2022 and beyond, indoor air brands will compete based on how well they can make sense of new forms of ‘intelligence’ and ‘environmental data’ - both in terms of engaging and educating their end-users and improving upon existing products.

  • Bringing the Outdoor In: Increasingly aware of the impact of the outdoor environment on the indoor, more product brands are turning to outdoor air quality data and insights to enhance their existing indoor air analytics solutions.

  • Expanded Understanding of ‘Traditional’ Air Quality Monitoring: New environmental forecasting technologies mean solution providers move beyond pollution-only tracking to other climate factors like pollen, extreme weather and local wildfires.

  • Moving Beyond the Home: Indoor air product innovators are placing more focus on complementing existing dashboards and apps by engaging users with alerts, tips, and insights beyond the home, while they’re on the go. 

  • Connected Device Insights & Analytics: Connectivity with wireless home networks has become very popular as this enables the tracking and controlling of IAQ remotely, and leverages analytics to engage users and automate air purifier behavior. Residential in-room air cleaning products remain the dominant segment in the market for smart air purifiers, projected to reach $10.4 billion by 2027.

  • Advanced Predictive Warning Systems: Notifying users of environmental events and providing potentially life-saving warnings has become a key engagement method. In addition to spikes in air pollution and pollen, alerting users to extreme climate and weather events such as local wildfires, hurricanes, lightning storms, heatwaves, and other disasters provides major value to users and establishes brand reputation as health and safety leaders.

Experts project the global connected device analytics market will grow from $14.3 billion in 2020 to $40.3 billion by 2025, driven by the rising popularity of remote monitoring initiatives and the need to expand digital infrastructure in order to upscale businesses.  

Product innovations and new approaches to air treatment in the home have already powered new technologies and digital experiences that are moving the residential indoor air quality market into its next phase of development:

  • Aeris Health, a Swiss air purifier company acquired by iRobot, plans to enhance the home’s ability to clean itself by optimizing synchronized device performance of purifiers and automatic floor cleaners along with historical data and live outdoor air quality. 



    (Image originally featured on aeris.irobot.com)

  • Molekule has created innovative & FDA-cleared PECO air purifier filter nanotechnology to protect against microscopic pollutants such as viruses, mold, chemicals, allergens, and bacteria by destroying them at the molecular level via oxidation. The Molekule Air Mini portable in-room air cleaner purports to remove 99.98% of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (which causes COVID-19) within 1 hour. 


    (Image originally featured on Molekule.com)

  • OneLife is already staking a big claim in the realm of sustainable in-room air cleaners with their eco-friendly bamboo casing and waste-free reusable filter. OneLife X’s unique plasma filter technology doesn’t require filter replacement and operates while also utilizing a smart sensor for detecting VOCs, PM1-10 as well as humidity and temperature.


    (Image originally featured on OneLife.com)

  • Blueair's HEPASilent™ technology captures at least 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.1 microns, combining the use of electrostatic and mechanical filtration technologies to trap and eliminate harmful particles from indoor air. Blueair’s AirView pollution map visualizes outdoor air quality conditions at the consumer’s location, doubling as a sales aid by demonstrating the need for in-room air cleaners.



    (Image originally featured on Blueair.com)

  • AirThings connects its View and Wave series air quality monitors with an online dashboard that enables tracking and analyzing indoor environment conditions. Capable of monitoring radon, VOCs, mold, PM pollution, temperature, and humidity, the customizable dashboard also reports outdoor air quality for a more complete image of the health of home environments. 

     


    (Image originally featured on AirThings.com)

  • Delos is revolutionizing connectivity in the home through their DARWIN Home Wellness Intelligence system: combining air purifiers and sensors to automate indoor air quality management throughout the day, optimizing sleep and wellness while empowering users to view and control the health of their home environment via a connected platform and app.

(Image originally featured on Techhomeawards.com)

 


Found this eBook interesting? Explore innovation in the indoor air quality market further with our Case Studies.

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