With the pandemic keeping us cooped up inside for the foreseeable future — and the cold weather meaning no more open windows — I’ve started to wonder about indoor air quality.
I stumbled across a New Yorker article from 2019 that pointed out the danger of hidden pollution indoors and decided it was time to invest in an air purifier. But, as I’ve found in the past, the recommendations I found online focused on raw functionality over aesthetics or ease of use: They didn’t necessarily consider how a device would fit into my living space.
If you live on America’s West Coast, you’ve probably bookmarked the air quality monitoring website PurpleAir by now. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where drifting smoke from historic wildfires has turned the sky orange, shuttered national parks and other outdoor spaces, and intermittently made our air quality the worst in the world.
Wildfire smoke isn’t just a nuisance, either — it’s a killer. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, smoke from 2020’s wildfires has likely already killed 1,200 to 3,000 people. That’s orders of magnitude more than have died in the fires themselves. The World Health Organization…