Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifiers

Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier Reviews

Honeywell HEPA air purifier, produced by Kaz Company, is one of the popular air purifiers in the market today. The popularity may be due to the popularity of the brand, their low prices, and the fact that those air purifiers work well for all-around cleaning and allergy relief.

This article reviews Honeywell HEPA air purifiers with permanent (very long-lasting) true HEPA filters. Fall into this group are these three models:

  • Honeywell Enviracaire: 50100, 50150, 50200, 50250.
  • Honeywell Quiet Care: 17000, 17005
  • Honeywell Silent Comfort: 18155

All Honeywell air purifiers in this group have a true HEPA filters which last a long time and a carbon prefilter.

NOTE: Go here if you’re interested in knowing the full line of Honeywell air purifiers.

Honeywell HEPA Air Purifier – How They Work.

Air purification is achieved by having 2 stages of filtration:

  • Carbon Prefilter – for prefiltering gases and particulates in the air.
  • HEPA filter – for filtering air particles which are bigger than 0.3 micron. This includes: most household dust, dustmite, pet dander, mold, and pollen. (If you’re unsure, read What are HEPA air Filters here.)

It is worthy also to note here that the carbon included in the prefilter is not large enough to handle a large amount of gases and odor. Therefore, these Honeywell air purifiers are not suitable for people who want to control cigarette smoke/odor as well as pet odor. They are also not recommended for people who are sensitive to chemicals and gases, for instance, for people with multiple chemical sensitivities, bad asthma and COPD, since these machines are not equipped to deal with such gases.

Honeywell True HEPA Filter – What It Means.

You may notice the word True HEPA filter when you shop for air purifiers. But, what does it mean ?

True HEPA filter refers to a filter which is designed to have a 99% efficiency in curbing air particulates sized 0.3 micron or above. A true HEPA filter can handle air particulates well and will help to relieve people from their allergies. However, HEPA filters are not designed to handle large amount of gas. For that, you would need an air purifier with a significant amount of carbon filter.

You may now ask, if there is a true HEPA filter, is there such a thing called a non-true HEPA filter ?

The answer to that question is yes. There are filters who are like HEPA, but not true HEPA. They are usually called HEPA-like or HEPA-type filters. The HEPA-like filters do not have HEPA capability and are only able to capture bigger contaminant size, which is around 2 micron or higher. This means, they are only good for all around cleaning, but won’t provide a relief from allergy significantly.

Honeywell Enviracaire, Quietcare and Silent Comfort Comparison

These three Honeywell HEPA air purifiers have a lot of things in common:

  • They have decent efficiencies in removing airborne particles and high air exchange rate (6 air change per hour). Enviracaire, for instance, have a 77% of air particle removal (according to Because of these two features, some customers with mild allergy symptoms reported symptom alleviation upon using these machine. Enviracaire, in particular, 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 HEPA filter is almost permanent and 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.
  • Five-year warranty.
  • The carbon prefilter needs changing every 1-3 months, depending on the usage. Each prefilter only cost $16 and a lot of vendors carry them for even less than that.
  • All machines have the Intelli-check filter sensor system. However, unlike that from premium class, the filter sensor of Honeywell HEPA air purifier 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.
  • All of them are no frill air purifiers. They have no timer, no remote and no additional sensor whatsoever.
  • Although big, they all have handles. So they are pretty portable.
  • They are safe and do not emit any ozone.

Below are the differences between these three air purifiers:

1. Noise.

Honeywell Enviracaire, the oldest and most popular of all Honeywell HEPA air purifiers, is notorious for its noise. It’s not surprising that the subsequent generation of Honeywell HEPA air purifier is designed to be less noisy. Honeywell QuietCare actually claims that it has an improved motor to make the machine quieter.

However, feedback from Honeywell QuietCare customers show that Honeywell has not succeeded in its endeavor to produce a less noisy air purifier. A customer has measured the noise level and reported in that at the lowest setting, Honeywell QuietCare has a decibel level of over 54 dBA, which is not quiet at all.

In fact, the level of noise in Honeywell QuietCare is still approximately the same as Honeywell that of Enviracaire, which is also around 50 dbA at the lowest setting. If you want to know how a 50 dBA noise sounds, switch on the hair dryer at the lowest setting.

If you can tolerate it in your bedroom at night, then it means you will be able to put either Honeywell Enviracaire and QuietCare in your bedroom.

One customer, though, observes the noise of Honeywell QuietCare is caused by its vibration and has proven that the machine is quieter when put on a cushion. Therefore, if you own this, and want to reduce its noise, you can try putting it on a cushion.

Honeywell Silent Comfort is different though. With this air purifier, the motor is indeed quieter as proven by countless customer’s testimonial. At just below 40 dBA at the lowest setting, this air purifier is still not silent.

But it is indeed pretty quiet. In fact, it produces quiet white noise which sometimes even helps some people to sleep. In addition to being quieter at the lowest setting, Honeywell Silent Comfort’s highest setting is also noticeably less noisy than that of other Honeywell HEPA air purifier.

Customers reported that it’s impossible to hold a conversation or watch a TV when either the Enviracaire or QuietCare is on, even at medium level. In contrast, even with Silent Comfort highest setting, customers can still conveniently watch TV, although some admit that they need to turn up the volume a little bit.

2. The Room Size and Price.

The power and price of these Honeywell HEPA air purifiers vary. Honeywell Silent Comfort and QuietCare are most suitable for rooms just under 200 sq. feet. At $199 (MSRP), Silent Comfort is more expensive than the $150 (MSRP) QuietCare. However, many vendors often knock the price of them down to just $100, making them more or less similar in price.

The most powerful one is of course the Honeywell Enviracaire, which is capable of cleaning a room up to 375 sq. feet. At over $200 (MSRP), it is also the most expensive of the three. However, you can find it at $150 at several online vendors.

3. Filter Changing.

Changing and vacuuming filters in Enviracaire can be a nightmare since to put them back, you have to be able to stack them and then wrap them around the purifier carefully.

Fortunately, with Honeywell Silent Comfort and QuietCare, this is no longer the case. Now you can access the prefilter separately from the HEPA filter, and that makes it easier to change (no stacking, and no wrapping around).

Potential Drawbacks of Honeywell HEPA Air Purifier.

  • Cannot handle smoke and gases. These true HEPA air purifiers do not have enough carbon to handle smoke and gases properly. But it curbs other air particulates pretty well.
  • Offgasing. These permanent HEPA air purifiers are pretty cheap, and therefore you may find the plastic offgasing smell at the beginning.
  • Quality. Some customers complain of the quality control of Honeywell HEPA air purifier, which can range from not working properly upon arrival, and not working after a year. Problems vary, from worn out motor, to annoying smell which is not filter-related, to simply stopping to work when switched on. On top of that, some also complain to the fact that Kaz is not very responsive in responding to the complaint.
  • Flow of air. Some customers have a concern with the flow of air in Honeywell Silent Comfort as the outlet is at the top (going outward to the side), and the inlet is at the bottom. They concern that instead of drawing dirty air into the machine, the machine constantly draws the clean air from the outlet to the inlet. However, since most customers find satisfaction in air quality after installing the machine, the machine must have cleaned the air, and therefore the machine must have drawn the dirty air in.
  • Prefilter cost. Some customers find that they need to change the prefilter monthly instead of every 3 month they first envisioned. At $16 a pop, you would need $192 a year for prefilter. If you hunt around the internet, you can get that at 2/3 of that.
  • Big. Many customers complain on the size of the air purifiers. In fact, you would need around 1.5 feet x 1.5 feet to place the air purifier, and an additional 3 feet emptied to ensure optimal operation. This complaint shows that often, when buying only, we cannot tell exactly how big the thing we are going to purchase solely from the photos from the internet. We need to look at the dimension of the goods, and if the information is not there, you may want to look elsewhere for the data. This will reduce the dissatisfaction from internet buying.

All in all Honeywell HEPA air purifiers, especially the Honeywell Enviracaire , is a good buy in terms of power, price and cleaning ability. If you want to have a more refined HEPA air purifier with a capability like Enviracaire, but quieter and has more conveniences, you should look at Hunter QuietFlo 401. It is a bit more expensive to buy and so isthe filter. But it is still a good value for what you get.

Honeywell HHT – A Comparison Between HHT-090, HHT-081, and HHT-080

These Honeywell HHT air cleaners have a lot of things in common:

  • They have HEPA-like filter and 95% efficiencies in curbing air particles 2 micron or above and are only good for all around cleaning.
  • The HEPA filter and prefilter are almost permanent. They are also easy to remove and clean.
  • Optional ionizer is included.
  • Filter sensor system to remind you when to clean the filters. It is important to note that the filter sensor system 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.
  • All of Honeywell HEPA air cleaners have tower design which are attractive and save space.
  • All are no-frill air purifiers. Do not expect remote control, air quality sensor and other bells and whistles to be included in these air purifiers.
  • All Honeywell HHT air cleaners produce humming/white noise at the lowest setting. So, they certainly are pretty quiet and are probably at around 40 dBA. Medium level is also still bearable if you set it in your living room. You can certainly still watch TV or listen to your radio with the normal volume. At the highest level, however, it gets to be loud and you would need to turn up your TV volume a bit. A minority of the customers complained about the rattling noise. If you get a Honeywell tower air cleaner of these models (HHT-080, HHT 0-81 and HHT-090) with rattling noise, it is likely that the one you got is defective and you should exchange it.

Below are the differences between these three Honeywell HEPA air cleaners:

1. Features.

HHT-090 is the newer version of HHT-080 and therefore has exactly the same features. HHT-081 are a bit different than the former two.

  • HHT-090 and HHT-080 are equipped with electronic filter sensor, whereas HHT-081 uses manual filter sensor.
  • HHT-090 and HHT-080 have antimicrobial-treated filters, whereas HHT-81 does not.

2. The Room Size and Price.

HHT-080, HHT-081 and HHT-090 are all suitable for up to 170 sq feet room. HHT-080 and HHT-081 are priced around $120 (MSRP) but many online vendors discount it to $99. HHT-090 is actually the newer version of HHT-080 with exactly the same features as HHT-080. At $149 (MSRP), HHT-090 is rather more expensive than HHT-080 and 081’s MSRP ($120). However, we do not know the reason for a hike in price for the HHT-090 over the HHT-080 model.

Potential Drawbacks of the Honeywell HEPA air cleaners.

  • They cannot handle smoke, gases and small particulates. These Honeywell air cleaners do not have enough the technology to handle smoke and gases properly. They are also lack in ability to curb small particulates. Therefore, they are only advisable for all around cleaning, and are not suitable if you want to tackle serious issues related to the air, such as health problems, persistent pet odors and continuous smoking or exposure to volatile chemicals.
  • Safety. Honeywell HEPA air cleaners contain optional ionizer which releases ozone into your air. Ozone, even at small amount, can irritate the lung and soft tissues, and therefore a threshold of indoor ozone level is set by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Although never measured, Kaz assures customers that the ozone level is not exceeding the level set by the EPA. However, it is certainly not negligible. Individuals with sensitive lungs are best to avoid any air cleaners which release ozone.
  • Quality. Some customers complain of the quality control of Honeywell HEPA air cleaners, which can range from not working properly upon arrival, or not working months after. Problems vary, from worn out motor,rattling noise, to simply quit to work when switched on. On top of that, some also complain to the fact that Kaz is not very responsive in responding to the complaint.
  • These tower air cleaners have to be placed at least 3 feet from the wall. Some people feel that this can make the air purifier ‘stand out’ and does not blend enough with the decor. Additionally, they cannot be connected to extension cord, so they can only be used in areas where they are close enough to the power source.

All in all Honeywell HEPA air cleaners are attractive piece of appliances and a good buy if you are looking to reduce visible dust and to make your indoor air cleaner and fresher. But if you are looking to seriously purify your indoor air, then you should look elsewhere.

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