Why we started Smart Air


I saw a problem that needed to be fixed.

Thomas Talhelm Founder

In January 2013, PhD student Thomas Talhelm was shocked by how much air purifiers cost. He bought a HEPA filter, strapped it to a fan, and ran some tests using a particle counter he bought. He published the results on his blog Particle Counting.

A few magazines wrote about Thomas’s “re­discovery,” and then the Beijing Energy Network suggested he lead DIY workshops to help concerned Beijingers build their own.

When people said they had trouble finding the right type of fan and a trustworthy HEPA, Thomas and his friends Gus and Anna launched Smart Air to ship fans and filters at an affordable price, to people all over China.

We believe that the purifier business can be honest and transparent. If everyone had access to open­source data and testing, we’d all know effective purifiers don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.