Krrish Chawla from Delhi suffers from respiratory ailments and allergies to dust, mites and smoke. As pollution levels in the capital began soarding every winter and Diwali season, he found himself spending most of his days wearing an N95 mask and relying on air purifiers in the house.
One day in 2016, when Krrish was 14, he decided to dismantle an air purifier at home out of sheer curiosity. “Since childhood, I’ve had this habit of dismantling toys and gadgets to check what lies underneath and understand the mechanism,” he tells The Better India.
However, much to his dismay, Krrish found that the air purifier contained only a filter and a fan. “The big plastic box sucked the air using a fan from the rear, passed it through the filter where the dust particles were absorbed and returned the air to the atmosphere. It was a simple function. But when I asked my father about the cost, it turned out to be around Rs 35,000,” he says.
Krrish found the device costly, especially considering the need for multiple air purifiers for persons like him, who suffered from respiratory issues.
He decided to build a cheaper and effective device himself. After 318 prototypes and multiple trials, in 2018, Krrish conceived Breathify, an air-purifying device with an innovative ‘Reverse Air’ technology. The device, made from a wooden frame, is 98% plastic-free and costs just Rs 3,550.
‘Cuts the cost and does its job’
Explaining the technology behind his innovation, the 19-year-old says, “The main ingredient or the heart and lung of any air purifier is a fan and a HEPA Filter. In both standard machines and Breathify, the air passes through a HEPA filter, which captures all the pollutants.”
He adds that the difference is that ‘Reverse Air’ reverses the direction of airflow. Instead of the filter being the first stage like in standard machines, in Breathify, it fits in the last step of airflow, thus eliminating any scope of air-mixing with surrounding pollutants. The modification achieves the purest output air quality level.
Krrish says he developed it after testing multiple methods. The patented device lowers the Air Quality Index (AQI) of the machine down to four. The other air purifiers in the market lower the AQI to 100 or around it. The innovation ensures it works efficiently.”
Speaking about the cost-effectiveness, he says that many companies sell the product based on the features. “The mechanism for most of these devices is the same. However, features like LED panels, attractive displays and unique designs make them expensive. I have used a simple square design with no panels or displays, which cuts the cost but does an effective job,” he adds.
The entrepreneur says, “One can buy multiple devices at the cost of one air purifier in the market. “An additional laser monitor could be bought for Rs 15,000, which measures the AQI of the room. But the performance is demonstrated during installation and is not mandatory,” he says.
Make people breathe better
So far, Krrish has sold 4,000 instruments and donated 2,500 to hospitals, old-age institutions and other needy institutions.
Payal Kapoor, director at Arushi Arts Gallery, says, “I have been using the air purifier and humidifier since 2019 for the art gallery and it has proven to be excellent in performance.”
Payal says that she also has a larger device from another company, but Breathify is superior. “Apart from being eco-friendly, it is also low on maintenance, convenient and consumes less space,” she adds.
Krrish says that he received the initial financial assistance from his father and later invested the profits from new orders. “I learned on Google through research and experimented. The challenge was to understand the airflow and correct it as required,” he adds.
He aims to become a mechanical engineer and continue the business. “I aim to make clean air affordable, and I will continue to make the product better for the better health of people,” Krrish adds.
To order Breathify air purifier, click here.
Edited by Divya Sethu