Pure Living offers home air assessments for PM2.5 (mass concentration readings, not particle count, see my previous blog here), but also TVOCs (“off gases”), radon, mold, CO2, etc.
A friendly American woman named Amanda responded to my email inquiry within 24 hrs. The preliminary RMB 4000 quote was quadruple my budget so I quickly declined. Later, Amanda called me back. They offered a free assessment in exchange for a blog post – too easy!
Louie Cheng, the owner, made a rare personal visit. He brought Amanda as well as Li Rui, their technician. Unfortunately for testing, it was a “good air” day; it’s more difficult to see if your home filtration systems are effectively keeping pollutants out when the outdoor air is clean. Nevertheless, we proceeded with the assessment.
At the dining table, Louie asked many questions and took notes. They explained their equipment. Then we walked around the house putting their gear to work.
Pure Living Pros:
- They know a lot about mold. Old leaks in ceilings cause mold that produces dangerous spores, especially for kids.
- Their comparative testing of my SmartAir DIY units against my BlueAir units showed the former only about 80% as effective. Helpful clarity.
- They explained the need for a HEPA vacuum. Even in a sparsely carpeted home, PM2.5 particulate matter gathers on all fabric surfaces. Without cleaning, indoor air quality could be worse than outdoor air quality as dangerous particles get kicked up as we walk, for example.
- Their follow-up reporting was prompt, professional and very comprehensive.
Pure Living Cons:
- Pure Living holds the US outdoor air PM2.5 emergency standard of 35 µg/m3 as their target level for healthy indoor air in Beijing. The World Health Organization standards state that anything over 10 µg/m3 is certain to have a dangerous effect on human health, so I was confused. Why not aim for the WHO “under 10” healthy target? They felt this was not a reasonable goal in a city like Beijing. I guess I’m just a perfectionist.
- Pure Living doesn’t offer leak testing to determine PM spikes beside a drain, doorframe, window, etc. Imagine an ink dropper slowly dripping ink into a fish tank full of water. No matter how much it’s being filtered, it never gets cleaned. (Water and air – both fluid dynamics in the world of physics.) What’s more, without sealing, filtration system must work overtime.
- Pure Living offers no free follow-up visits to see if you’ve improved indoor air quality with their recommendations. I think this courtesy should be embedded in the cost.
- Finally, at RMB 4000, it’s simply out of many expats’ range. Even with some reduced testing (ex. no radon or mold testing), it’s still RMB 3000+ .
Photos: Ember Swift