Honeywell Enviracaire Air Purifier Reviews
If you are looking for an air purifier that provides good air cleaning efficiency at an affordable price, you should have a look at the Honeywell Enviracaire air purifier.
The Honeywell Enviracaire series represents the best value for money and has earned its reputation as the #1 Choice of Physicians (1998 Riter Research, 2005 AQS Research). It’s extremely popular and easy to get locally.
1. How Honeywell Enviracaire HEPA air purifier works.
Honeywell Enviracaire series has cylindrical shape with a fat ‘stomach’ and it draws air into its round side. In other words, this machine has a 360 degree intake. The air is then subjected into two-stage filtration process:
- First, the air passes the activated carbon prefilter sheet.
This prefilter gives some smoke control and prevents the HEPA filter to get clogged up prematurely.
- The air is then passed through to the inner layer which consists of the True HEPA filter which retains particles 0.3 micron or higher.
Finally, the clean air gets to the center of the machine and is released through the top center of the machine.
2. Honeywell Enviracaire Air Purifier Efficiency Reviews
The strength of this machine lies in the fact that it has a decent filtration system such that it cleans air well enough, as well as a superior air flow system which enables it to have a good air flow, as evidenced by its CADR ratings.
Its air filtration system efficiency owes to two factors:
- Its excellent two-stage filters (discussed above), and
- The SurroundSeal technology which minimizes internal leakage within the unit. This means that most of the dirty air do pass the filter. Not all air purifiers are like this. Many air cleaners which are at this purifier’s price range have housing which are not tight enough so that a lot of dirty air bypass the filters.
Air-purifiers-America.com, a specialty vendor, found out from its in-house testing that Honeywell Enviracaire 50250 (the most powerful unit of this series) reduces airborne particles by 77%. Although this efficiency is still way below that of the premium class, such as IQAir, Alen and BlueAir (all of which reduce airborne particles by 99%), the achievement of this air purifier is still no small feat for its price range.
It is also important to know that this air cleaner has earned a high CADR rating for all three categories: tobacco smoke, dust and pollen. Honeywell Enviracaire has a CADR ratings of 150, 200 and 250 for the 50150, 50200 and 50250 series, respectively. With CADR of 250 for Honeywell Enviracaire 50250, this air purifier has an air flow of 250 cubic feet per minute. Assuming the ceiling height of 8 feet, this air purifier provides 6 air room change every hour for a room with an area of 375 sq. feet (recommended area). This is an excellent number of air change, considering that the industry standard is 2 room change per hour.
This, coupled with the fact that this air purifier efficiently removes 77% of pollutant in every single pass, makes this air purifier a good choice for people with mild problems including mild allergy problems or the one who want an all-around cleaning.
3. To Sum Up – Good Features of HOneywell Enviracaire Air Purifier
- Good value for money. Although the MSRP for Honeywell Enviracaire 50250 runs to $249, many vendors sell them for less than $200.
- Decent efficiency in removing airborne particles (77% removal according to Air-purifiers-America.com) and high air exchange rate (6 change per hour). Because of these two features, some customers with mild allergy symptoms reported symptom alleviation upon using this machine. This machine has also received compliment from satisfied customers who stated that it eliminates some minor odors from the room, such as cooking odors, leaving the room odorless.
- The cost of filter is considerably cheap. The True HEPA filter for the new version of this series (sometimes also called: Honeywell Enviracaire 50250-N, 50150-N, and so forth) which costs $60-$70, can be vacuumed and last for years. In fact, since it lasts for a long time, Honeywell calls it ‘permanent’ filter, as reiterated by its trademark’s name: Lifetime True HEPA filter. Just make sure to remember to buy the new HEPA filter when the efficiency decreases since, even with regular vacuuming, the HEPA filter performance does decrease with time. Its carbon prefilter, although has to be changed every three month, only cost $16 and a lot of vendors carry them for even less than that.
- Five-year warranty.
- Intelli-check filter sensor system with LED for Honeywell Enviracaire 50250, 50150 and 50200 series (the 50100 series has a calendar wheel, instead). However, unlike that from premium class, Enviracaire’s filter sensor does not work based on the real usage. Instead, it works based on the less-accurate clocking system which basically measures the time the air purifier has been used. Nevertheless, it is a nice feature to have.
- Portable. Weighing 20 lb and equipped with top handle, Honeywell Enviracaire air purifier can be moved pretty easily from room to room.
- It’s safe. It does not emit the dangerous ozone.
4. Potential Drawbacks for Honeywell Enviracaire Air Purifier
The bulk of the complaint on Honeywell Enviracaire HEPA air purifiers is directed to its noisiness. Sure, the specification for Honeywell Enviracaire 50250 series, for instance, states that it produces noise of 35/45/57 decibel at its corresponding 3 settings. However, customer reviews seem to suggest otherwise. An air purifier with a 35 dbA at its lowest setting is expected to be almost silent, since 35 dBA is equivalent to rural quietness. If this air purifier is really at 35 dBA at the lowest setting, noisiness won’t be the issue.
An Amazon.com customer reported that the lowest setting of this air purifier is louder than the highest setting of the Blue Air purifier, an almost silent air purifier. The Blue Air purifier has the highest setting at 49 decibel, which makes the lowest setting of Honeywell Enviracaire air purifier to be around 50 decibel, if that particular Amazon customer is to be believed. Something producing 50 decibel in noise level sounds like the old window A/C and is not quiet. In fact, some customers mentions that this air purifier produces white noise or humming noise reminiscent of window A/C.
Therefore, it is important to understand that if you are a light sleeper, this air purifier may not suitable for your bedroom. In addition, some customers also complain on the noise at the medium and high level, especially when having a conversation or while watching television.
Other potential drawbacks are as follows:
- Since all the clean air is expelled from one spot in the machine (i.e. at the top central of the air cleaner), it creates a draft.
- It certainly is not an energy-saving certified machine. It utilizes 170 watt at the highest setting, or the equivalent of 2 light bulb.
- Its filters are quite a hassle to change. To make the thing worse, you have to change the prefilter every 3 month or ‘unpack’ the whole things regularly to vacuum the HEPA filter. Basically, to unpack the whole thing, first, you have to unscrew the cover. If you change the prefilter, then you have to cut up the universal prefilter to match up the size of your Honeywell Enviracaire at this point. Then, you can install the filter/prefilter by wrapping the filter/prefilter around the air purifier’s body. If you happen to buy the HEPA filters which need to be stacked, instead of getting them in one piece, then this can become a juggling act. And finally, you put the cover back and screw it tightly.
- It lacks modern conveniences. It cannot be programmed, it has no remote control, and no on-off sensor.
- Honeywell Enviracaire air purifier is big. Plus, it is recommended not to place anything within 3 feet of this air purifier to avoid hindrance in the air intake process. This means, that this big air purifier has to be placed slightly away from the corner and the wall. This could be inconvenient as far as the decor is concerned, especially when the air purifier is used in small rooms.
- Some customers complain on the rattling or vibrating sound when the machine is set at the medium or lowest setting. The manufacturer states that this could be caused by either the fan’s imbalance, or just by the pressure building up around the HEPA filter. You can differentiate between the two by taking off the HEPA filter and then switch the machine on without it. If the vibration is caused by the fan’s imbalance, then the machine would still be vibrating, whereas if the vibration is caused by the HEPA filter pressure, then without the filter, the machine should be still. After this test, if the vibration turns out to be the result of the fan’s imbalance then you should ask for an exchange. However, if you find out that the vibration is caused by the HEPA filter pressure and you don’t like it acting this way, then it’s time for a refund, since the manufacturer states that it’s actually fine to have a slight vibration caused by such pressure.
- Some customers think that the blue power light of the Honeywell Enviracaire air purifier is too bright for the darkened bedroom.
One customer described the light is so bright it felt like sleeping in an aquarium. Nevertheless, if things come to shove, duct tape can do wonders in rectifying this situation.
- Be prepared for the plastic or carbon prefilter smell for one or two days after you open the package.
Who Needs the Honeywell Enviracaire Air Purifier ?
Honeywell Enviracaire air purifier eliminates most of allergens, including:
- pet dander.
- dust mites.
- some bacteria.
It also reduces tobacco smoke. However, the carbon content is not high enough to make it possible to also deal with volatile organic compound (organic gas) as well as inorganic gases, including: ammonia, formaldehyde, and so forth.
Therefore, this air purifier is most helpful for people with mild problems, such as mild allergy symptoms, mild cooking odors, some musty odors, and so forth. It is also good for all-around air cleaning. It is not good enough though, to deal with moderate to severe allergy problems, respiratory problems, large amounts of tobacco smoke, large amount of odor, various types of gases, and multiple chemical sensitivity problems.
Honeywell Enviracaire Air Purifier Series.
There are some models available in Honeywell Enviracaire air purifier 50000 series, which reflect its power.
- Honeywell Enviracaire 50101 : CADR ratings 150, suitable for rooms with area of 225 sq. feet. This model is exactly similar to the Honeywell Enviracaire 50150 with one exception. Instead of having an electronic Intelli-check filter sensor, this unit has a handy calendar wheel to help monitor the filter’s usage time.
- Honeywell Enviracaire 50150 : CADR ratings 150, suitable for rooms with area of 225 sq. feet, and contains an electronic filter sensor called Intelli-check.
- Honeywell Enviracaire 50200: CADR ratings 200, suitable for rooms with area of 300 sq.feet, and comes with electronically monitor filter usage time.
- Honeywell Enviracaire 50250: CADR ratings 250, suitable for rooms with area of 375 sq. feet. It features Intellicheck electronic filter sensor. This model is the most popular among the Honeywell Enviracaire air purifier series.
Since Honeywell is a popular household brand, the Honeywell Enviracaire air purifier can be bought at your local department store easily. In fact, we suggest you to do so, so that you are saved from a hassle should you need to return it. Because indeed, a good number of customers, do return this air purifier after being turned off mainly by its noise.
If you want to buy it online, then buy it from a good specialty vendor. Follow our advice on how to buy air purifier safely in this article. You should know that some online vendors ship previously-opened or returned products to the new customers. They also can mislead you by shipping the old/discontinued version of the Enviracaire; the one which does not have the ‘permanent’ HEPA filters (Lifetime True HEPA filter).
But all in all, if you can get pass the noise factor, Honeywell Enviracaire air purifier represents the best value for money for its price range.