Certainly, you can survive in Hong Kong without a dehumidifier and air purifier. But as air pollution and humidity are often named the biggest drawbacks of living in Hong Kong, you might see why smart people end up buying these equipment to battle their worst enemies in this town!
The air quality in Hong Kong is often discussed, can change overnight and is measured in numerous ways. It depends what you compare and how, but to go short: look outside your window on some of the worst days and you’ll know it can not be healthy. So air purifiers have filters to block dust, bacteria, pollen and other harmful substances in order to make the air in your house cleaner and help to overcome asthma, allergies, headaches etc. There are so many different purifiers on the market, that it is hard to keep up and almost a never ending debate on what is best. Prices range from 1.000 HKD to over 5.000 HKD per unit. Get some good advice, read reviews and also ask friends for their recommendations. A few things are good to remember: check the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) to get an indicator of the volume of a particular pollutant that the air purifier can purify per minute and note the application area it can cover to know how many you need or which rooms you would like to get cleaned. Pay also attention to the filter. Not only there can be different filters for different types of substances, but also some need to be replaced very soon, while others only need replacement after 10 years, driving up the cost. Popular brands include: Panasonic, Alen Air, IQAir, BlueAir and Philips.
And then about the dehumidifier. Due to its geographical location, it gets very humid in Hong Kong. People have a hard time to get their cloths dry and mold in the houses is common practice. It depends a bit on your location (e.g. in the hills or seaside would increase the humidity) and the age of your building (e.g. the walls of older buildings tend to be soaked) how humid it gets inside your house. Of course a first step is to use those simple moisture beads boxes. Although effective in your wardrobes, not good to keep the general level of humidity in your apartment low. The air conditioners can also help, since it does dry the air. But as they are high in electricity use, you might not want to put the aircon on in winter time only for drying. The dehumidifier can help a lot and I know many people who only use it for drying cloths and steamy bathrooms. When you buy one, check the water reservoir capacity as you need to change it when its full, to prevent leakages. Likewise air purifiers there are also many different dehumidifiers on the market and best is to read reviews online. Price range is from 2.000 – 5.000 HKD and well known brands are Mitsubishi and Rowenta.
It might be wise to go for second hand dehumidifiers and air purifiers. Especially when you are here only for a short period it doesn’t make sense to buy the quite pricey equipment new. Many expats leaving would like to sell it to you! They will sell it via different facebook pages. And since it won’t be the first thing you need, you’ll have some time to find one on the web.