Which is the Best Bionaire Air Purifier?

Bionaire Air Purifier Reviews for 2022!

Bionaire air purifier is produced by Bionaire, a company which was originated in Canada around 20 years ago. Today, you will find Bionaire air purifiers in over 30 countries around the globe. They are closely linked with the Holmes Group of Companies and is considered as the sister company that manufactures and markets the Holmes air purifiers.

Currently there are four lines of Bionaire air cleaners.

  • Bionaire Permatech tower air purifier which comes with permanent HEPA-type filters and ionizer. There are 3 Bionaire air cleaners for this group: Bionaire BAP1412 (replacing BAP1400), Bionaire BAP1525 (replacing BAP1500) and Bionaire BAP1700.
  • Bionaire Galileo HEPA air purifier which comes with true HEPA filter, carbon filter and ionizer, and has Galileo or air quality control. There are 2 Bionaire air purifiers in this group: Bionaire BAP1225 and Bionaire BAP1250.
  • Bionaire with non-permanent HEPA-type filters, which are Bionaire BAP825, Bionaire BAP815 and Bionaire BAP260.

Many of those models are currently on sale, so the cost of owning them starts from $50 up to $159 with the area coverage of 81-418 sq. feet depending on the model.

How Bionaire Air Purifiers Work and Who Need Them ?

Regardless of the type of Bionaire air purifier you buy, basically Bionaire air cleaners use either using

  • a combo of true HEPA filter and carbon filter, or
  • a HEPA-type filter only.

Therefore, Bionaire uses mechanical way of filtering air particles. True HEPA filters are considered the best way to trap particles sized up to 0.3 microns which covers allergens (pollens, mold, dust, dustmites), airborne viruses and bacteria.

Carbon filters which accompany true HEPA filters enhance the capability of the Bionaire air purifier machine to trap some gases, including smoke, odor and fumes. Unfortunately, the content of carbon in Bionaire machine is not good enough to give a good control on gases, but they do help to alleviate minor odor, such as from cooking or from household cleaning agents. Just don’t expect Bionaire air purifier to deal with continuous smoking or lingering pet odor.

Hence, Bionaire HEPA air purifiers with carbon filters are best for those who have mild allergies.

Now, how about Bionaire air cleaners which have HEPA-type filters ?

It is important to note that true HEPA is different from HEPA type filters. The main difference between these two filters is that true HEPA filters can capture particles up to 0.3 micron with theoretical efficiency of 99.97%. Those particles are potentially dangerous to us since they are in the range of lung-penetrating particles which can trigger allergy and can provoke reaction from our respiration system.

HEPA-type filters, on the other hand, can only trap particles up to 2 micron in size. Notice the size difference of particles captured between HEPA-type filters vs true HEPA filters here. This means, HEPA-type filters miss a lot of those lung-penetrating particles since they range in size from 0.3-2 micron. It also means, they only capture the biggest of allergen, which is pollen. Most dust and mold are not within HEPA-type filter’s range.

Therefore, Bionaire air cleaners with permanent HEPA-type filters (Bionaire Permatech) and Bionaire with replaceable HEPA-type filter are best for all around cleaning or if you are only allergic to pollen. Otherwise, you’re better off buying a Bionaire HEPA air purifier which has a true HEPA filter and carbon filter.

Apart from the filter discussed above, an Bionaire air purifier also has a built-in ionizer which you can switch on or off as you please. Some users prefer not to use the ionizer because of the ozone smells.

Considering, ozone, a potential lung irritant, is released as a byproduct of ionization process, it is important to understand the use of the ionizer if you want to use it. More information about how an ionizer works will allow you to make a decision on whether to use this feature or not.

An ionizer works by charging negatively the particles it can trap. It usually targets the smaller sized particles. As a result of the negative charge, it is then easier for the HEPA or HEPA-type filters to captures these particles. So, an ionizer does help capturing those small particles,which won’t be captured easily by the filter, had it not been charged.

The issue with using an ionizer is the ozone that is released as a byproduct. It can emit an odor that you may find unpleasant. Many people are also careful about being exposed to ozone because it is harmful to the lungs and even low amounts can cause coughing, chest pain, and throat irritation.

Since ozone is similar to oxygen, you cannot see it. According to the World Health Organization, the acceptable level for ozone is .1 part for every million. This makes it vitally important to check the ionizer’s specifics in the air purifier you plan to buy. Bionaire air purifier, though, is within the limit of acceptable ozone level as set up by EPA. But, if you have a lung disease, any level of ozone is not acceptable.

The Positive Features of Bionaire Air Cleaners

  • Bionaire air purifier comes with bells and whistle, for instance, it have automatic detection that will let you know when the filters need to be cleaned or replaced. There are also additional features like an alarm clock, a remote control and timer. Some even have envirocheck system which detect air quality and adjust the air cleaner setting accordingly to save energy.
  • They are also very stylish and blends in easily without taking up too much floor space. The Bionaire tower air purifiers are especially popular because they are very stylish.
  • The 5 year warranty is sufficient enough to allow you to enjoy the Bionaire air purifier properly.
  • The Bionaire air purifiers with permanent filters are convenient and cheap.

The Drawbacks of Bionaire Air Purifiers

  • Although customers are happy with Bionaire air cleaner when it *works*, many complaints are directed to durability of the air purifier. For instance, the on/off switch on some Bionaire BAP models have a tendency to wear down quickly, and it is almost impossible to find replacements for this control. Also, the door used for changing filters break down in less than a year. Some also complain the air purifier are dead in a few months. If you are going to buy these air purifiers, make sure you don’t misplace the warranty slip, because it’s almost certain you’ll need it.
  • The delicate and fragile HEPA filters will have to cleaned or replaced every 6 months, and you need to be extra careful in handling these filters to avoid buying new ones.
  • The ozone released by ionizer smells. SOme customers have also complaint about continuous clicking sound as the ionizer osscillates.
  • Most customers are okay with the the low setting which gives humming noise , thanks to the Quietech technology. However, at medium and high setting, it becomes noisy.

  • The temperature of the room can affect the performance of the air purifier

Bionaire Galileo HEPA Air Purifier Review

Bionaire Galileo is the top of the line products from Bionaire, a well-established company specializing in indoor air quality products. Bionaire prides itself in producing air purifier with a Galileo or air quality center control, which can do a couple of smart things: monitor air quality and adjust the machine accordingly, monitor filter usage, capability to be remotely controlled and capability to be programmed.

In addition, Bionaire Galileo series is the only Bionaire air purifier product which has a true HEPA filter which is a filter with theoretical efficiency of 99.97% in cleaning air from particulates sized up to 0.3 micron.

1. How Bionaire HEPA Air Cleaner Works.

The way an air purifier work is quite simple. The air purifier will suck in the dirty air, trap the contaminants in the air, and then release cleaner air back into the room. However, things get a little more complicated when you start to delve into the details of an air purifier.

For instance, it will make a difference how many filters there are in an air purifier, the kinds of filters used, and the size of the area where you will put the air purifier in.

Bionaire Galileo HEPA air purifiers consist of two filters:

  • Prefilter with carbon layer. The function of the prefilter is to trap bigger particles and the carbon layer can arrest odor and smoke particles.
  • HEPA filters which is supposed to trap particles up to 0.3 micron.

To give you an idea about how small a micron is, the diameter of human hair is about 100 microns. Dead skin cells and those tiny dust particles that you can see is around 5 to 10 microns. When you talk about 0.3 microns, these are particles that you cannot see. 0.3 micron is an important size because particles between 0.3 to 2 micron is the lung penetrating particles and is the most dangerous for your health. These particles are too big to be coughed out by the lung, and too small to be sneezed out of the nose. These are also the same particles which irritate your lung and trigger your allergy. With a HEPA filter, those lung penetrating particles are filtered out of the air which means, your surrounding air will be free of those particles.

2. Positive Features of Bionaire HEPA Air Purifiers

  • There is a convenient auto reminder to let you know when you need to clean your filter
  • The Bionaire BAP model is very versatile, easy to blend into a room and is the best for your kitchen, and very stylish.
  • Bionaire Galileo comes with air quality monitor which adjusts the machine’s setting automatically depending on the air quality.
  • It comes with a built in timer, alarm clock, and 4 settings.
  • It comes with a good 5 year warranty which you will most definitely ‘need’. (see below for the drawback of Bionaire Galileo list).
  • At around 26 lb, Bionaire HEPA air purifiers are lightweight.
  • Bionaire Galileo works well enough for users to recognize a difference in the air quality and reduction of mild allergy symptoms.

3. The Drawbacks of The Bionaire HEPA Air Purifiers

  • The unit is not durable and it tends to break under a year. Sometimes, it’s the unit which stops working, sometimes it just falls apart. One customer mentioned that the access doors to the filters break easily. Getting a replacement may not always go as smoothly as you would want it to be, but Bionaire has honored their 5 year commitment, albeit it may take some patience to get a replacement unit.
  • Some Bionaire HEPA air purifiers cannot operate in certain temperatures such as too hot or too cold weather.
  • Package arrangement for replacement filters is strange. You generally will only need 3 HEPA filters if you plan on replacing them. But the packaging comes in packs of 2 which means you have to buy one extra pack for the 3rd filter. Some people are annoyed by this and think that Bionaire’s filters are too expensive.

What Kind of Particles Are Trapped With The Bionaire Galileo and Who Needs This Air Purifier The Most?

Currently there are 2 Bionaire Galileo HEPA air purifiers in the market:

  • Bionaire BAP1250 air purifier which cost $77.59 (sale price, it used to be $199) with the coverage of 418 sq.feet
  • Bionaire BAP1225 air purifier which cost $99 (sale price, it used to be $179) with the coverage of 256 sq. feet

Bionaire HEPA air purifiers, with its HEPA filters, are supposedly trap particles 0.3 micron or above. Its carbon layer traps odor and smoke, albeit at much smaller capacity since the amount of carbon used in these air purifiers are small.

However, it is important to remember that although theoretically, a true HEPA captures particles at the highest efficiency for particles 0.3 micron or above, in reality, the efficiency can become much less depending on the design of the machine. A good machine has a tight housing which prevents the air to bypass the filter. A not-so-good one does not have a tight housing so that a fraction of air coming in bypass the filters and therefore remain dirty.

How about Bionaire Galileo HEPA air purifier ?

As to now, there is no exact figure of efficiency from Bionaire Galileo HEPA air purifier. However, from the price offered, it’s very likely that this air purifier is on medium range, perhaps around 50-70% efficiency.

This is enough for people with mild allergy symptoms to get some relieve, and is good for all around cleaning. But people with more severe health issues should not rely on this air purifier to help with their problems. Also, since its carbon filter is thin, it’s likely that it only has a limited ability to curb odor and smoke, so don’t rely on it if you want an air purifier to get rid of smoke or pet odor.

All in all, Bionaire Galileo is actually a decent air purifier *WHEN* it works. However, as alluded above, there has been some customer complaints recently in that the air purifier is not durable at all. Therefore, if you decided to purchase these (it’s very cheap by the way and is routinely on sale at the moment), recognize that it might be a throw away air purifier.

Bionaire Permatech Tower Air Purifier Reviews

How These Bionaire Tower Air Purifiers Work.

Bionaire Permatech is a series of tower air purifiers equipped with a permanent HEPA-type filter, so that unlike the other brands where you need to change the filters every 6 months, it does not require replacement of the filters. However, to maintain the efficiency of the machine, you need to vacuum clean the permanent filter 4 times a year.

It is important also to note here, that although Bionaire Permatech uses a HEPA-type filter, the filter is NOT a true HEPA. This means, it has a much lower effectiveness than a HEPA filter.

A true HEPA has a theoretical value of 99.97% efficiency of getting rid of air particles sized 0.3 micron or more. A HEPA-type filter, in the other hand, is only good for trapping air particles sized around 2 micron or more. This means, that an air purifier with a HEPA-type filter will miss out particles sized 0.3-2 micron greatly.

Incidently, air particles of that size range (0.3-2 micron) is very important to be captured, since they are among the lung-penetrating particles. They are too small to be sneezed out of the nose, but too big to be coughed up from the lung.

Fortunately, this machine employs other air purification mechanism which can help a bit in capturing small particles. Thus, apart from employing mechanical filtration through the use of a filter, this machine also uses electronic means to clean the air, namely ionization.

An ionizer uses negative ions to charge suspended air particles. When charged, these particles will fall down or attach themselves to wall. Those fallen or sticking particles can then be sucked up by the machine and retained more easily by the filter. Therefore, the presence of ionizer in these Bionaire tower air purifiers helps clean up the air.

Types of Bionaire Permatech tower air purifier.

There are 3 types of Bionaire tower air purifier currently on market today:

  • Bionaire BAP1412 mini tower air purifier (replacing the Bionaire BAP1400) with permanent HEPA-type filter and optional ionizer. It’s suitable for room 81 sq.feet and it cost around $ 50. It’s very ideal for cubicle.
  • Bionaire BAP1700 tower air purifier. It comes with HEPA-type filter, ionizer (optional), timer, air quality sensor and filter sensor. It’s suitable for room 170 sq. feet and cost $159.
  • Bionaire BAP1525 tower air purifier (replacing BAP1500). This tower air purifier has HEPA-type filter, optional ionizer, and filter sensor. It’s suitable for room 170 sq. feet and it cost $139.

The Positive Features of The Bionaire HEPA-type Air Cleaner

  • The permanent HEPA filters mean that you have less expenses since you do not need to buy filters every 6 months.
  • The Bionaire Permatech are very versatile, easy to blend into a room, and very stylish. Also, because they are tower air purifiers, you get slim designs that are both compact, modern, and sophisticated.
  • Some models come with bells and whistles: a built in timer, air quality sensor and convenient auto reminder to let you know when you need to clean your filter.
  • It comes with a good 5 year warranty.
  • At less than 16 lb, the air purifier is lightweight and easy to move around.

The Drawbacks of The Bionaire HEPA-like Air Cleaner

  • You need to clean your HEPA filters every 3 months, or even sooner if you live in a highly polluted area. This can be inconvenient and something that may be hard to schedule if you are a busy person. Additionally, the HEPA-type filter is a delicate part of the Bionaire HEPA air cleaners, and so you need to be extra cautious about cleaning it. If it breaks, you will need to buy a replacement HEPA filter which retails for about $63.95. The problem though can be availability of this filter.
  • Air purifiers with ionizers tend to produce static charge which can cause the unit to become grounded, and if you touch it, you could get jolted by an electric charge.
  • Some Bionaire Permatech air cleaners cannot operate in certain temperatures such as too hot or too cold weather.
  • After sales service is at best inconsistent, and this means that you take your chances that your concerns, if any, will be given the proper attention by the company.
  • The access doors to the filters tend to break down, and have been known to break down even during the 5 year warranty period. Getting a replacement may not always go as smoothly as you would want it to be, but Bionaire has honored their 5 year commitment, albeit it may take some patience to get a replacement unit.
  • The Bionaire Permatech is currently being challenged by studies that show that it can only clean the air by 65%, and not 99% as advertised. The reason for this is the inability to process particles smaller than 2 microns since it uses HEPA-type filter as opposed to true HEPA filter (NOTE:if you want to get an air purifier with true HEPA filter from Bionaire, try Bionaire Galileo instead.) This means that lung-penetrating particles which most often causes allergy and respiratory problems (sized 0.3-2 micron) are missed by Bionaire tower air purifiers.
  • There have been quite a bit of complaints regarding the noise of the Bionaire tower. But generally, the low setting is bearable since it sounds more like fan. The medium and high setting are not suitable if you want a quiet room.
  • As with all air purifiers with ionizers, there is a distinct smell of ozone that is released into the air when the ionizer is being used. But this feature can be turned off. However, because this air purifier releases ozone (albeit within the safety limit as prescribed by EPA), it’s not suitable for people with lung problems.
  • Some customers complain about the oscillating sound of the ionizer. These customers are mostly annoyed because the clicking sound of the ionizer when it oscillates.
  • There has been some complaints about the durability of Bionaire air purifier products across the board. If you decided to buy these air purifiers (and they are cheap, by the way), recognize that they might not be durable and therefore, it’s very important to not misplace the guarantee slip . You *will* need it.

What Kind of Particles Are Trapped With The Bionaire Tower Air Purifiers and Who Needs This Air Purifier The Most?

Since the Bionaire Permatech use HEPA-like filters and ionizer to capture air particles, its efficiency is not high. However, these air purifiers are good for all around cleaning and are priced right, especially with the fact that these air purifiers employ permanent filters. Some customers have also reported a relief of their allergy symptoms and as long as you’re allergic to bigger particles like pollen or some types of molds your symptoms will be alleviated when using these air purifiers.

These air purifiers release ozone, so they are not suitable for people with respiratory problems. Also, these air purifiers lack ability to get rid of smaller particles (smaller than 2 micron), so don’t expect it for getting rid of odor, smoke, fumes, and smaller allergen such as suspended dust, some types of molds as well as bacteria and viruses.

As such the Bionaire Permatech is best for people who just want cleaner air or allergic to pollen, and are not suffering from any respiratory problems.

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