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3207 of 3256 found the following review helpful:
Best Value PurifierMar 05, 2007
By Richard Wong
In this review, I will first summarize the major points and focus the details afterward. This way you can stop reading when you get the level of details you need. The definitions of "HEPA" and "CADR" are placed at the end of this review. Please vote for this review if you like it :) I appreciate it.
**Kimmer (another reviewer) has kindly uploaded a wonderful youtube video to demonstrate the noise level, title: "Honeywell Enviracare 50250 air purifier". Since your computer speaker will affect the demonstrated noise level, make sure you gauge the noise to Kimmer's voice.**
Pros: Powerful, inexpensive, permanent HEPA filter, easy to maintain, 360 degree air intake and output, portable, accessible replacement parts, good support from Kaz, a 5 year limited warranty.
Cons: Noisy, high power consumption, not stylish.
Previously I owned the Honeywell HFD-130 Germicidal Tower HEPA Air Purifier with Permanent IFD Filter, but due to its ozone emission and my respiratory problem, I returned it back to HomeDepot. I got fully refunded and bought this Honeywell 50250N on the same day and loved it. I have a mild allergy. I sneeze and experience itchy eyes when I am outdoor, but stop when I am at home (where my purifier is). I recommend two important points when shopping for a purifier: (1) always examines the CADR number. It is a decent performance indicator, (2) always buys an air purifier adequate for your need. A 100 sq ft purifier will not work for a 1000 sq ft living space.
Honeywell 50250N is a true HEPA filter purifier with a 250 CADR, which translates into a recommended 375 square feet usage space. Currently, this purifier is being sold at ~$160. It has been quoted as the only purifier <$200 that can clean air effectively by Consumer Reports, Consumer Search, Air-purifier America. For most HEPA purifiers, the filter replacement is the highest up-keeping cost and is ~$100 annually. 50250N has a permanent Lifetime HEPA filter which can save a lot of money. The purifier has an activated carbon prefilter which protects the HEPA filter and absorbs traces level of volatile molecules, sources for odors. The prefilter is recommended to be replaced every 3 months for optimal odor removal. If odor removal is not needed, then the prefilter does not need to be replaced regularly. This purifier has a 360 degree air intake and air exhaust, making it effective at circulating air. The unit weighs in 20.1 pounds and all parts are large and sturdy. Replacement parts are relatively easy to find. I have seen them at my local Target, Home Depot, Walmart and Sears from time to time.
The unit vibrates slightly at its lowest fan speed and air "pulses" out of the unit. Kaz consumer service was very helpful in explaining this. The small vibration is due to slow air buildup across HEPA filter. The vibration is considered as a normal feature and does not affect its performance. I did my own test to prove this, and you can too: take your HEPA filter out of the unit and run it, and the purifier should stop wobbling. This proves the vibration is due to air buildup, not an imbalance fan.
The unit has two major shortcomings. It is noisy at the highest fan speed, and noticeable at the lowest fan speed. For those who wonder if you can tolerate the noise, it is not a machine cranking noise. It is a high air flow sound. If you have any doubt, you can always buy this unit from a respected local store, so that you can return it easily. The purifier also has a high power consumption of 170/120/50 watts at the three fan speeds. This purifier is not stylish.
Is Honeywell 50250N the best purifier? Absolutely not! IQ Air purifiers are considered the very best, but their cheapest model is $700 and many are above $1000. Honeywell 50250N is one of the most effective purifiers in its prize range: <$200. In comparison, we will look at Whirlpool AP450 which is rated as number 1 by Consumer Reports, and Ionic Breeze Quadra which has a very large market. Whirlpool AP450 has a ~330 CADR rating and costs $250. This yields a nice ratio of 1.3 CADR/$, which means you get 1.3 CADR capability for every dollar spent. Honeywell 50250N has an even better ratio of 1.6 CADR/$. The two purifiers are also competitive in term of the operation cost. AP450 is energy star certified using only 105 W, whereas 50250N has a permanent HEPA filter. In the case both purifiers run at full speed continuously (24/7) and the electricity cost is $0.1 per kWh (average in USA), the annual electricity costs will be $92 and $150 for AP450 and 50250N, respectively. The AP450 saves an annual $60 in electricity, but costs an annual $90 for HEPA filter replacement. Of course, AP450 is more powerful, so when considering the cleaning power per annual cost, they are almost the same. On the other hand, Ionic Breeze is a disappointment. It has an estimated 10-20 CADR and it costs over $300 -- a ridiculous 0.03-0.07 CADR/$ ratio. It was the worst purifier tested independently by Consumer Reports and Air-Purifier-America. Moreover, ionic breeze produces a high level of ozone, which Consumer Reports has issued health warnings. You can easily find the related news on the web.
(Honeywell 50250N has the Lifetime HEPA filter, but Honeywell 50250 does not. I ordered my second Honeywell from BeachCamera through Amazon, but the one arrived is the 50250 version. I called and BeachCamera admitted it does not have 50250N. I finally got my refund, but it was a hassle.)
A spotlight review here claims Sharp Plasmacluster FP-N60CX is a better purifier. I disagree. FP-N60CX has a 210 CADR and is sold at ~$350 - less powerful and more expansive. The review justifies this expense by stating that the FP-N60CX needs one carbon filter replacement in 5 years and consequently saves $200 in 5 years. This is a math error. The carbon filter replacement for Honeywell 50250N costs $200 in 5 year, but FP-N60CX also needs replacement at the end of 5 years at $80. This is a $120 difference in 5 years. The 5 years replacement is also the best case scenario, as it may need to be replaced as early as in 2 years which results in no cost advantage. According to its operation manual (available online), the FP-N60CX carbon filter needs to be cleaned every 2 months using a 6-steps cleaning process: (1) vacuum clean (2) soak in detergent mixture for 30 minute (3) scrub with a toothbrush (4) rinse with clean water (5) remove excess water with a big towel for 1-2 days (6) hang up and air dry for another 1-2 days. In one year, this may result up to a month-worth downtime. Let's summarize this: $120 saving for cleaning the carbon filter 30 times in 5 years. You save $4 for each cleaning. Since each cleaning can take an hour, this equates $4 per hour of labor. You cannot even pay an illegal immigrant to do this! I also want to reiterate that Honeywell 50250N has a permanent HEPA filter, which can be regenerated by vacuum cleaning. It takes 3 minutes to do and need to be done twice a year. Considering the typical HEPA replacement costs $100 annually, each filter cleaning saves $50. That is $50 for 3 minutes of your time, or $1000 for an hour. This is a real saving. The "plasmacluster" feature is somewhat of a gimmick. Major hospitals, national, pharmaceutical and computer research labs use HEPA for air purification.
One last point about vacuum cleaning the Lifetime HEPA filter: a HEPA grade cleaner is recommended to regenerate the HEPA filter. Otherwise, the particles on the Lifetime HEPA will be dispersed back into the air during vacuuming. If you are suffering from a serious allergy or asthma, then you should consider owning a HEPA vacuum cleaner to begin with. Alternatively, you can vacuum the filter outside of your home so the fine particles are dispersed outside, such as your patio. Yes, and if you are really funny, you can secretly do this at your ex-girlfriend's room. I am kidding!
HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) is a filter grade strictly defined by US Department of Energy, in which the filter can remove >99.97% of airborne particles that is 0.3 micrometer. The removal success rate is usually equal or higher for larger particles and for slightly smaller particles (down to ~0.01 micro), but performance drops drastically for much smaller particles. HEPA can effectively trap pollens, fine dust and smoke particles -- the major causes of allergy. "HEPA-type" and "HEPA-like" purifiers fall short of this requirement, and there is no strict guideline for their exact definitions. Historically, HEPA was a top-secret technology developed to filter radioactive aerosol, part of the Manhattan Project. HEPA is not designed to remove odors and VOC (volatile organic chemicals), since they are much smaller than the effective range of a HEPA filter.
CADR (clean air delivery rate) is certified by the AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers). CADR is expressed in units of cubic feet volume per minute. The suggested floor space is usually calculated based on a 8 foot ceiling and a 5 air change setting. For example, Honeywell 50250N produces 250 cubic feet of clean air per minute or 15000 cu ft per hour. Divides 15000 cu ft by a 8 ft ceiling and by a 5 air change equates to a recommended floor space of 375 sq ft. A shortcut is to multiple the CADR number by 1.5: e.g. 250 CADR X 1.5 = 375 sq ft. Although the recommended floor space value is easier to relate to, there is no legal guideline for the calculation. Neoair's most powerful purifier, Neoair Plus, has a suggested 600 sq ft floor space, much larger than that of Honeywell 50250N. In reality, Neoair Plus has a CADR <200, meaning it is a less powerful purifier. It turns out Neoair uses a 2.5 air change per hour for the floor space calculation. Another company, Alen, uses a 2 air change per hour for their calculations. Consequently, it is more reliable to compare air purifiers based on their CADR values because it is a standardized definition.
196 of 201 found the following review helpful:
Great for cigarette smoke,pollen,pet hair,pollen you name it.Oct 10, 2006
Let me start off by saying that I suffer from being allergic to cigarette smoke and my husband and I live in an enclosed apartment complex. This is made worse by the fact that the front door doesn't seal up against the frame and smoke from the hallway leaks into our apartment with other odors and smells. Now let me add that that my husband suffers from severe allergy's and takes medicine daily for his condition. Did I mention that we have two cats and a pug. Life was miserable in our 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment, till this little puppy showed up. It's just like the picture describes it, like a barrel, the nice feature on it is the Intellicheck, this little feature tells you when to change the filters and it's quite easy the pre filters just lay on the hepa filter and are held in place by two pieces of Velcro. They do need to be changed about ever two months though, this may be more then normal because of our pets. But since we got the first one for the living room we added one more to the bedroom. Now you walk down our hallway gagging on the scent and odors but as soon as you open our door you are greeted by the clean smelling air and the sound of the filter cleaning it. Okay it is a little loud but don't let that discourage you. Wait till you get it home and turn it on full blast. It is a little noisy but when you go up to it, you can feel it sucking in the air from all around the unit. Then the freshly cleaned air gets pushed up through the top of the unit in a circle around the unit. It really does clean the square footage it claims to. Now I no longer complain about the smoke in our apartment and my husband also enjoys less sinus and nasal pressure. We did our homework on this one and read all about the Honeywell 50250. Before we decided to buy ours and were glad that we did.
185 of 196 found the following review helpful:
I recommend this air cleanerOct 14, 2005
I have suffered from allergies all of my life, but especially the last few years, they have gotten progressively worse. Last year, I lived in an apartment over two chain smokers and was constantly congested. I started researching air purifiers because my medications weren't helping enough on their own. I ended up deciding on this unit for my living room/dining area, a Hamilton Beach 04163 for my bedroom, and another Hamilton Beach 04163 to go on the other side of my living room as well since the living room/dining area/kitchen was all together and not separated by doors and was too large an area for only one cleaner to handle efficiently. I have been very satisfied with this unit. I got it in December 2004 and it has not given me any problems. I have had to change the pre-filters a few times (you usually have to change them every three months or so) but have not yet had to change the HEPA filter. I like the way this system has what it calls Intellicheck which lets you know when it is time for the filters to be changed, as well as the way that it has the 360 degree technology. The unit looks kind of like a barrel so that the clean air flows out of the top all around it. I don't notice a cleaner air smell like I have heard people talk about, but I can definitely tell a difference in my allergy symptoms when I am running my air cleaners or not. And when I put my Hamilton Beach air cleaner in the living room which has an auto setting that detects the air quality, it had the air rated as being good from the beginning, which I believe is due to the Honeywell 50250 which had been running 24/7 a few days prior to that since the Hamilton Beach air cleaner in my room had the air quality as poor when I turned it on the auto setting. I still have to take my allergy medications that I was prescribed, but there is a definite difference between when I just take the medication and when I take the medication and use the air cleaners.
I hope this review helps. I also like the fact that it has a carrying handle at the top, and I don't find it very noisy. It has a white noise to it, but I have not experienced any problems not hearing the television or not being able to nap in the living room while it is on.
The replacement pre-filters are easy to find for this unit. The HEPA filter seems a little harder to find in retail stores, but it does not have to be replaced as often so it is not too bad.
76 of 79 found the following review helpful:
Loud on high, but works wellJan 23, 2008
By W. Rujiraviriyapinyo
One of the best units in its class. Does well with cigarette smoke.
Something to note - there are three versions floating out there - the 50250, 50250N, and 50251. All the units themselves are the same, but the only (and big) difference is that the 50250N and the 50251 have permanent filters. My box had a sticker with 50251 placed over the 50250 that was printed on the box. This concerned me, so I called the toll-free support line on the box and asked about the different model numbers.
The 50251 means that it comes with a free gift (which mine did - a digital thermometer). To be extra sure, I asked the tech how to distinguish between the permanent and non permanent filters. The permanent filters are white, with a clear mesh on the outside. The non-permanent filters have a black mesh.
Hope that helps.
86 of 92 found the following review helpful:
Reviews are MISLEADING ******this is NOT a LIFETIME Hepa filter****Jan 19, 2012
NOTE TO CONSUMER: *****You are NOT receiving a product with a lifetime HEPA filter*****
After reading the multitude of reviews and endless (also irrelevant) discussions pertaining to model numbers 50250 vs. 50250N, I mistakingly THOUGHT, or should I say, mislead into believing that I was purchasing the lifetime HEPA filter. I received model number 50250S.
Model 50250 (or in the product description is better described as model 50250S), which is what YOU ARE PURCHASING HERE, is NOT, I repeat ***NOT a lifetime HEPA filter***.
The box reads, "Long Life HEPA filter".
I ordered my particular air purifier from 'MyOfficeInnovations', but regardless of where you order from, Amazons description specifically indicates this is not the N model that is being discussed rampantly in the reviews. That itself is very misleading to the general public.
The Amazon item description clearly indicates you will be receiving model 50250S - which is a LONG LIFE filter, not a lifetime hepa filter, nor the model 50250N or otherwise.
I question whether some of the reviews, as they are written in such great length and as such can be overwhelming to the end consumer doing their due diligence, are purposefully intended to mislead the public into believing that although they are ordering 50250 they will still be getting the lifetime HEPA filter. THIS IS NOT SO.
***This is NOT a lifetime HEPA filter*** Read the product description, as posted by Amazon, very closely.
Like this if you find the multitude of reviews posted here, especially those as touted the "most helpful/critical" reviews where they mislead you into believing that the generic 50250 is also 50250N (a reviewer says that this is the same, though that couldn't be further from the truth) and if you believe they are written to purposefully mislead the general public and skew their opinion of the actual product they will be receiving. That's what I call creative writing, and nothing more.
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