Blueair classic 680i air purifier reviewed and tested

Blueair Classic 680i Air Purifier Review

Blueair Classic 680i Tested and Reviewed in India

Disclosure: To write this Blueair Classic 680i Air Purifier Review a unit was loaned to us for 15 days by the company. 

Delhi air pollution situation is critical

The terrible air quality in Delhi and NCR is in the news every year during winters. Because of extensive stubble burning by farmers in North India and atmospheric conditions the air quality degrades during the month of October and November.

This time Diwali was better because of the the ban on firecrackers in Delhi and NCR but things started getting really bad in the first week of November. I use the AirVisual Android Application to monitor the air quality and was SHOCKED to see the levels of PM2.5 on 7th of November 2017.

This is what it looked like that day.

screen shot of Airvisual android application showing air quality on 7th November 2017 which is 30 times the permissible limit
That is nearly 30 times the WHO permissible limit

That looks really bad and what made it worse was when I found out that according to the WHO the permissible level of PM 2.5 particles (Super small particles smaller in size than 2.5 micrometers, three percent the diameter of human hair) is just 25 μg/m³!

That day the air quality was nearly 30 times above the permissible limit!

Growing up in Delhi I never realized how bad the situation is. Until recently bad air quality never made it to the news, we were oblivious to the fact that we were living in a gas chamber all along.

November was an exception but the quality of air is always bad in Delhi.

Today (1st December) the AQI (Air quality Index which is measured as PM 2.5 concentration) was 175 μg/m³ at 4 PM.

I have an expat friend, Anouar who after braving the bad air conditions in Delhi went to his hometown on the outskirts of Paris, France shared a screenshot of the air quality on 14th of November.

air quality near paris france in November 2017 when all of north india was choking
The grass is always greener on the other side 🙂

I cannot even imagine what the air would feel like at that time.

Blueair Classic 680i Air Purifier Review – First impression

If you are reading this post you are probably thinking of buying an air purifier and are particularly interested in Blueair products.

I’m not going to waste time writing about how amazing the company is and how the product is different. We at Broomberg Services believe that a product review should NOT read like a press release.

This blog needs to be useful to you, the reader and not sound like the company wrote it or paid us to write this.

Unboxing & setup

I was surprised at the size of the 680i classic. The box was huge! Of course this is a mean machine and one of their top models available in India.

unboxing the device while reviewing the blueair classic 680i air purifier
It’s a big mean machine!

This unit is suitable for an area of 680 sq ft which is pretty large. The cleaning capacity is also good. The specifications claim that the unit cleans the air in a room 5 times in one hour.  This model comes with smoke filters and as the name suggests it can filter out cigarette smoke, something that we will put to the test later in the review.

The air purifier itself looks really good I may say with a control panel hidden in a flap. It can be operated using an application on a phone so the flap can stay closed all the time.

blueair 680i control panel
Too many buttons confuse the user. I like the minimalist control panel.

The controls are pretty straightforward. I’m not going to waste time on explaining how to operate it because you just need to know two buttons really.

manual-speed-control-of-blueair-680i-air-purifier

There are three speeds that can be set by pressing the button again and again.

automode-button-in-blueair-680i-air-purifier

Automode can be selected via the automode button. The device will automatically regulate speed to adjust the air quality based on readings from the inbuilt air quality monitor.

You can access an online PDF of the Blueair 680i classic user manual here.

There is absolutely no set up required. All you need to do is to place the unit in an area where there is good air circulation and at least 10 cm away from any object so that the air intake path is not blocked.

Really cool features & easy to use

The unit can be controlled using the Blueair Friend application using a phone so you can turn it on before you reach home.

First you have to pair the device with your Wi-Fi connection which is again pretty straightforward as you can follow the on screen instructions on the application.

pairing-the-blueair-air-purifier-with-the-blueair-friend-application

Just make sure that your mobile is connected to the same Wi-Fi network and you have your Wi-Fi password ready.

The best part about the application is that you can see the air quality level (PM 2.5 levels) that are detected by the device dynamically. You can also control the air purifier via the app which is quite cool because you can turn on the device remotely before you enter your home.

Here are some Blueair Classic 680i air purifier features that you might be interested in

Type of filter: HEPA with option of activated charcoal filter for removing smoke and cooking odors

Filter life: 4380 hours. 180 days (6 months) for 24X4 operation and 438 days (1 year 3 months)

Area coverage: 680 sq ft

Energy consumption: Speed 1 – 15 W. Speed 2 –  65 W. Speed 3 – 100 W

Indoor air quality monitor: Inbuilt accessible via mobile application

Testing the Blueair 680i air purifier

General test in a 150 sq foot room

Today I tested the product in the marketing room at our office in Chirag Delhi, South Delhi.

Reached office and this is what the air quality was at the closest monitoring station according to the Blueair Friend application.

Air quality measures in Delhi outdoors on the Blueair Friend android application
Bad air quality as usual outdoors!

Turned on the air purifier in manual mode on speed 2 (3 is the highest speed).

The user manual recommends using speed 2 for regular use, speed 1 for night time (low pollution) and speed 3 for high pollution conditions or to clean the air fast in a room at the beginning of the day.

The marketing room where I tested this is quite small. The area is around 150 sq ft So I decided to run the air purifier at speed 2.

I monitored the air quality represented by the PM 2.5 levels in the room using the Blueair Friend app and the results were quite impressive.

The AQI dropped quickly and it was down to a ‘safe’ level of 31 μg/m³

air quality of the marketing room before turning on the air purifier
11:18 AM – Room air quality almost as bad as it was outside.
air quality in the room improves 9 min after blue air 680i air purifier is turned on
11:27 AM – 9 min after turning on air purifier quality is half as bad
air quality much better when air purifer has been running
11:43 AM – Quality much better even though the room door was opened several times
11:48 AM: Quality stabilizes and remains in the 30 to 35 range all day air purifier is running
11:48 AM: Quality stabilizes and remains in the 30 to 35 range all day air purifier is running

I am quite impressed by how quickly the Blueair Classsic 680i air purifier filters PM 2.5 particles from the air.

During this time the door was opened several times by my colleagues and my boss. Every time the door opened I would notice a fall in the air quality which would improve as soon as the door was closed.

Everyone who entered the room commented that the room felt much refreshing and the air seemed pure.

It is 5:30 PM as I’m writing this and I have to admit that I feel fresh and good.

We will test this in a bigger room at our office next and see how it performs.

Testing Air Purifier in a smoke filled room

Because the air purifier was working so well we decided to up the ante by testing it in a challenging situation to say the least.

Statutory Health Warning

Smoking is injurious to health. We do not encourage smoking in any way and rather recommend that if you smoke you should quit. 

Some of my colleagues smoke so we decided to test the Smokestop™ filters that are fitted in our test model. According to the user manual these filters are capable of removing VOC (Volatile organic compunds), smoke, chemicals and cooking odors from the air in addition to particulate. They are especially suited to tobacco smoke as claimed by Blueair.

The smokers assembled in a 250 sq foot room with the windows and doors closed and proceeded to smoke to their heart’s content (and lung’s dismay). Soon we had what people commonly refer to as a ‘hotbox’.

We measured the air quality using the app, found it to be a shocking 1709 μg/m³!

That’s almost 68 times the limit!

We turned on the air purifier and were quite impressed by how it performed.

testing blueair air purifier in a smoke filled room where air quality was 1709 PM2.5 before the air purifier was turned on
9:46 PM – As you can tell smoking is quite injurious to your lungs. Our room showed alarming PM 2.5 concentrations
operating a air purifier in a smoke filled room the PM2.5 levels half in a few minuites
9:50 PM – We turn on the air purifier in auto mode and surprisingly the smoke starts to disappear very fast. In only 4 minutes the PM 2.5 level though still hazardous drops to half.
air quality drops further to 127 PM 2.5 level after 6 min of operating a air purifier in a smoke filled room
10:02 PM – It has been just 6 minutes since the air purifier was turned on and it is doing its job quite well.
air quality 11 min after an air purifier is turned on in a smoke filled room
10:07 – 11 minutes after turning on the air purifier the air quality has improved quite a bit

11 minutes is all it took for the Blueair Classic 680i air purifier to remove tobacco smoke from a room.

The only downside was that next day when we turned it on, we could smell stale cigarettes from the unit for at least 20 minutes  probably because the filters captured some of the smoke.

Testing the air purifier in a bigger room than it’s capacity

We decided to challenge the unit by testing it in a room which is much bigger than the recommended room size according to Blueair.

We have a small gym at our office in Broomberg where we work out after work. The room is quite big, 745 sq mt as measured by a laser meter.

testing the air purifier in a room bigger than its capacity

We expected the device to not function as expected but we were surprised to see that it did pretty well considering the situation.

7:56 PM – The air quality in the 745 sq feet room was pretty unhealthy
8:38 PM – After 42 min the air purifier maintains quite a agreeable air quality level

Our take on the air purifier

We used the unit for two weeks in different rooms at our office and were pretty amazed by it.

It works like a charm!

I was wondering why people would spend so much money on an air purifier but now I am totally convinced.

The air was much fresher and purer. Reminds me of the fresh air in the mountains. Everyone who experienced it had a good thing to say.

I will miss this guy working in the background and might end up buying one for my home.

Air Purifier running cost and filter replacement

The classic 680i supports two kinds of filters. The simple particle filter and the special smoke stop filter with activated carbon that targets tobacco smoke and odors.

The simple HEPA particle replacement filter costs ₹12,500 and the carbon filters cost ₹17,000 all inclusive.

As I had mentioned the filter life is 4380 hours so you will have to make one filter change a year approximately.

The running cost or the electricity consumed by the air purifier is minimum, 15 W, 65 W and 100 W for speed 1, 2 and 3 respectively which is less than or equal to a light bulb.

we changed the filters of a blueair 680i classic air purifier and found out that it was super easy
Changing filters is is super easy and takes just a minute

Filter replacement looked really simple according to the user manual and was even simpler when I did it. Took me less than a min to take out the filter and put it back again. There are no screws or fasteners or parts that snap together so almost anyone can do this.

Remember to switch the unit off and unplug it before replacing the filters! 

Some issues with the Blueair Classic 680i

The product is quite amazing as I have already mentioned but there are some things that I noticed which could be an issue.

  • The air purifier operating on speed 3 (top speed) is a tad bit loud. The user manual says the sound levels are 62 bD(A) on speed 3 which I found to be slightly annoying may be because it is winter and the air condition is not on.
  • When we tested this in a smoke filled room, I could distinctly smell ionization (smells like a wire burning). On further research I found out that HEPA type air purifiers that precipitate particulate matter using an electrical charge emit this smell. I reached out to Blueair and they clarified that this smell is not because of the production of ozone (which is harmful) as they use only electrostatic precipitation. There was no smell when the purifier was operated normally (Not in a smoke filled room). I think the smell is not very overpowering and is not really an issue.
  • The mobile application can only be connected to one device at a time which is a limitation if you want your family to have access to to the unit as well.
  • Wear an anti pollution mask while replacing the filter. I did not do this the first time I opened the unit and I think I inhaled some particulate matter that literally left a bad taste in my mouth.

Now I have to say that this is the first time that I experienced an air purifier and it was great. I have not had the opportunity to compare this product with other models so I cannot say that this is better or worse than other air purifier available in the market.

You can buy this air purifier easily as Blueair has a good sales network and have also tied up with services provider Hicare to sell this product direct to customers.

You can always buy this online on amazon.in

Buy Blueair Classic 680i on Amazon.in

The link above is an affiliate link so if you make a purchase by clicking on the link I will get a small commission from Amazon which I think is fair considering the time and effort I spent on this review. 🙂

In case you have experiences this air purifier and have something to add please write a comment below and I will make sure to get back to you.

About Ashutosh Bharadwaj

When he was a kid; Ashutosh read that the most interesting people have little or no idea about what they are going to be when they grow up. Now, inspite of being an Adult, Ashutosh is still hung up on that thought.

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