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Can we talk about Molekule? Their team and some SF tech community folks have been plugging it all over Twitter during this tragic wildfire crisis. But it seems like snake oil to me. It’s $800. Certainly for smoke particles it can’t possibly offer any more protection than a standard HEPA filter. But even for its claimed ability to nuke VOCs, the claim seems ridiculous. While particles can deterioriate under prolonged exposure, the airflow must be too high and the exposure too short to make much of a difference.

What gets me is how these guys misuse “science marketing” to play on people’s fears about germs. Add the shameless exploitation of a real tragedy here.

I agree it seems sketchy. NYTimes writes, “Unlike virtually all other air purifiers—and all we’ve tested—Molekule is not HEPA-rated and does not claim to eliminate micron-scale particulates with a filter. Instead it claims to remove smaller, nanoscale pollutants, including VOCs and viruses, via a chemical rather than a physical process. Out of curiosity, we requested a model for testing for VOC reduction, but Molekule requested conditions around the testing that we could not agree to.”


> NYTimes writes, “Unlike...”

While the New York Times Co. did indeed purchase The Wirecutter/The Sweethome, there’s no reason to start attributing Wirecutter reviews to the parent company.

This is especially true in the settings of reviews, since the NYT performs its own reviews.

I had one. It has multiple issues:

1. CADR is really low to the point where the unit is near useless due to #2

2. In addition to a low CADR, it has the highest noise. It looks and sounds like a jet engine when you have this thing on high, which is needed due to the low CADR. This is the loudest air purifier that I’ve ever owned

3. If you get a defective main filter, the unit will emit an unpleasant metallic smell. I haven’t tested the particles yet but I doubt the air is clean.

4. Unlike other smart air cleaners in the same price range, it’s app and smart features don’t work. You can’t even create a schedule for it

It’s a very flawed device


5. The unit works using some LED light. A. it is bright B. It is not replaceable. Meaning after 2-4 years of operation, the unit becomes a throwaway. This is not a good thing for a unit that costs over $700

What other smart air cleaners do you recommend?

I have a hard time taking them seriously. Some of their "independent" lab results are from some USF lab. The same lab one of the co-founders was a director for... Go figure. Some please correct me if I'm wrong. Read the results in technology, and then read the bios of the people.

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