I’m a proud owner of a GermGuardian AC4825. It’s one of the most popular models sold today. I wanted to share with you both the pros and cons you need to be aware of. Far too many “reviews” are junk posts with copied and pasted text you can find anywhere. In my GermGuardian AC4825 22 inch air purifier review I’ll help you decide if it’s a good buy or not.
It also has a great-looking sibling with identical performance you may not be aware of.
I wrote this post to give you all of my honest opinions and help you really know what’s important before you spend your hard-earned money. Most importantly, I want you to be happy and feel like you’ve made a good buying decision. After all, we buy air purifiers to improve our quality of life, right?
You can also click here to jump to the review summary.
- 1 Video review
- 2 The GermGuardian AC4825 22 inch purifier- Unpacking & first impressions
- 3 The controls – how good are they?
- 4 Specifications
- 5 Size and thoughts on using a “tower” purifier
- 6 Carrying the purifier
- 7 Air cleaning ability & performance
- 8 Understanding the UV-C germ killing feature
- 9 Is it safe? Will the AC4825 cause headaches?
- 10 Filter & UV bulb replacement indicators & cost
- 11 Features and a comparison to other similar products
- 12 The owner’s manual
- 13 Noise levels during use
- 14 The AC4825 vs AC4900CA – A stylish twin you might not know about!
- 15 Brightness levels in a dark room
- 16 One feature that’s missing and a work-around
- 17 Final thoughts
Note: you may need to turn the volume up a bit during the fan settings portion.
The GermGuardian AC4825 22 inch purifier- Unpacking & first impressions
I’m no stranger to air purifiers and home air quality products, so I didn’t think I would get excited about another air purifier. It turned out I was wrong.
For some reason, it was still fun to pick up my AC4825 from the UPS Store for the first time and unbox it. What is it really like, I wondered? How well does it work?
My AC4825 arrived quickly and after removing it from the FedEx box, inside was a great-looking package. The box is well-designed and highlights the many great features and health benefits of the product. Overall, it’s a great looking package. Not at all cheap-looking or “skimpy” like some of the competitors! Also, it clearly states the replacement filter required. That’s a nice touch. We’re off to a great start!
Build quality: My honest opinion
After opening and unpacking it (which consisted of removing the corrugated cardboard inserts – styrofoam isn’t used with this one) I finally to check it out and turn it on!
The AC4825 is built with a solid, good-feeling ABS plastic body and has a nice low-gloss black finish. The top features a matte silver finish with a satin black top section surrounding the controls.
I didn’t get any kind of impressions of it having any poor-quality construction or any similar flaws. It looks good, and honestly I’m happy with it. Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of extremely glossy finishes on anything, so it doesn’t stand out in any rooms I’ve used it in. While being modern and contemporary in style, it still remains somewhat subdued and respectable in appearance.
The purifier is put together well. Parts are aligned well, are tightly assembled, and there aren’t noticeable gaps or quality control issues to speak of. Overall, it looks well made. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that gaps and misaligned parts are a sign of build issues.
I’m happy to report that isn’t the case here.
The controls – how good are they?
Operating the AC4825 is extremely easy. In the picture above, you can see 1) the 3-speed fan control, and 2) the ultraviolet-light (UV-C) germ killing feature button switch.
The fan control feels great, and the switching is somewhere between a “soft” feel and a firm feel. It’s not too light, and yet not too hard to turn. I’m pretty happy with it, because it doesn’t feel like you’re going to miss position #2 and skip over to #3, for example. The fan switch is actually fairly quiet in operation and smooth to use.
The ultraviolet light (UV-C) germ killing feature
The AC4825, like several other GermGuardian air purifier models, features a bulb and titanium-oxide germ killing feature which irradiates germs passing through it and renders them inactive by affecting their molecular and protein structures. However, you’ll have to manually turn on this option.
In order to do so, the purifier must be at least in position #1 (low speed) before touching the pushbutton. The function is indicated as being turned on by the glowing blue trim around the body, seen here.
When activated, you’ll see the small, thin trim on the base of the silver decorative top glow blue from the UV bulb inside. Don’t worry – you’re not in any danger from exposure to ultraviolet light. It’s safely contained inside.
I like how this feature was turned into a decorative accent when active.
One complaint I have, however, is that once it’s in use, switching the purifier off then on again won’t re-activate the feature. You’ll have to do so manually, as there’s no memory feature to turn it on automatically.
This means that if you use an automatic outlet timer as I do to turn the purifier on and off every day you won’t be able to use this option as well.
While not a “deal breaker”, it’s something I want you to be aware of.
- Room size rating: 155 sq. ft (medium room)
- UV-C germ killing light
- Titanium Oxide odor molecule remover
- 3-speed fan control
- True HEPA filter w/ activated carbon filter
- CADR Rated 101+ (Clean Air Delivery Rate)
- Low-noise fan setting
- Replaceable UV bulb
- Dual-section blower fans
- Simple rotary control
- Pushbutton on/off UV switch
- Filter replacement reminder
- UV bulb replacement indicator
- 3-year limited warranty
- Replacement filter: FILTER B (FLT4825)
- Carrying handle
- Weight: 8.65 lbs
- Cord length: 6 ft.
- Control location: top
- Size: 6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″
Size and thoughts on using a “tower” purifier
At nearly 22″ in height, it’s definitely not a small device. “Tower” air purifiers are simply those that are taller and don’t have a low-profile design and stand tall on the floor. They normally are taller due to having additional fans in order to provide more air flow.
It’s important to make sure you have sufficient room before buying. A great location is near the door and not placing it backed into a corner in the room. Be sure to give it lots of room as it needs space both the front and the rear to move air.
Carrying the purifier
One thing I really like is being able to carry it easily from place to place at home using the built-in carrying handle area. At the rear of the top, there’s a recessed area where your fingers have plenty of room to pick it up securely.
It’s a nice touch I didn’t notice at first bout after moving it around to find the optimal place in my home, I found it handy.
Air cleaning ability & performance
As it’s rated for up to 155 square feet by the manufacturer, it’s well suited for medium sized rooms, although there’s absolutely no reason you can’t use it in small bedrooms. You can also use it in rooms somewhat above the specified 155 sq. feet – that’s an estimate.
I’ve let it run all day while at work so I could come home to fresh, clean air, and it works well. The thing to remember is that air purifiers work by cycling air in a room and it takes time to cycle & filter the entire room’s air.
The AC4825’s HEPA filter (seen here) section is made up of a folded, dense fiber material. It’s capable of excellent filtering ability and works well. The filter can capture almost 100% of all particulates in its airflow down to 0.3 microns in size!
The high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is fantastic for removing the most common air quality issues (especially those that cause allergies!).
Here’s the basic list of air contaminants the AC4825 can remove:
- Pet dander
- Pet hair (thanks to the pre-filter)
- Dust mite allergens
- Home construction particles
- Smoke residue
- Smoke odors
- Chemical and organic odors
- Chemical vapors
Essentially, the filter is called a “3-in-1” as the filter assembly is made of 2 main parts: the pre-filter/activated carbon filter and then 2nd section, the HEPA filter.
The pre-filter section is a less dense & thin section covering the active carbon filter. It’s job it so first capture larger items in the air like pet hair, dust, and so on. The active carbon filter traps odors and other chemical substances in the air.
Finally, the HEPA filter captures an amazing 99.97% of particles passing through it down to 0.3 microns in size. That’s less that 1/1,000,000 of a meter! That means it’s capable of capturing elements that are microscopic in size.
It’s a great filter and works well. I noticed fresher air soon after using it for the first time, and a I’m pleased with it.
Understanding the UV-C germ killing feature
By touching the UV button on top, you switch on the germ killing which is a great addition not found in many competing products. It’s perfectly silent and doesn’t cause any noise or produce any side effects.
The blue trim on the base of the silver top section glows blue to indicate when it is in use.
The technology is based on the ability of ultraviolet light (UV) to affect microbes in the air. As stated in the owner’s manual:
UV-C LIGHT- AC4825 owner's manual
UV-C light technology works with filters to enhance the elimination of airborne germs. Titanium Dioxide is activated by the UV-C light to decompose remaining odor molecules
caused by smoking, cooking and pets.
Essentially, air passing through has the UV light irradiating into it and microbes in the air are destroyed. It can help prevent sickness and other respiratory problems caused by germs.
Is it safe? Will the AC4825 cause headaches?
This is question that apparently many people have. As I explain more in this post, an air purifier based on filtering the air doesn’t produce any emissions. Therefore the GermGuardian AC4825 cannot cause headaches.
The UV-C option is completely enclosed and you’re in no danger of skin UV exposure. The purifier itself is 100% safe and there’s nothing to be concerned about.
Filter & UV bulb replacement indicators & cost
Replacement indicator lights
The purifier features a helpful way of indicating when it’s time to check and possibly replace the filters. After about 6 months of use, the green LED near the fan switch will blink red to indicate this (see the chart below).
If your filter has had very light use and isn’t heavily used, you can reset the indicator by holding the UV-C button for 5 seconds.
In the case of replacement for the UV-C feature’s bulb, the blue light will blink.
|Blinking Light Type||Meaning|
|Blinking blue light||(UV-C glow trim blinking) UV bulb needs replacement|
|Red blinking light||Filter needs check/replacement|
Filter life and costs
The FLT4825 is the genuine replacement filter from GermGuardian. It includes both the HEPA filter and an active carbon filter section, too. While the genuine replacement filter is only around $30+, you can save money by buying 3rd party replacement filters.
Expect to replace a filter after about 6-8 months; however, this depends greatly on use. For example, if you’re a smoker or have indoor pets you can definitely expect to replace the filter when reminded. For lighter use the life will be extended even further.
Replacement filters cost around $30 (or a bit over that) for the genuine GermGuardian brand. However, 3rd party budget models are available which contain 1 less expensive filter or 2 filters in the box. If you’re concerned about maintenance costs that’s a great option.
How hard is it to replace the filter?
Filter replacement is easy and only takes a few seconds. I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it is.
Basically, it’s just a few simple steps:
- Press down on the release tab on the rear cover
- Pull the cover down and out (there a 2 tabs on the bottom which sit in tab slots)
- Using your fingers, pull the filter out and down to remove it
- Replace filter using the opposite motion
- Insert the cover’s tabs in the base
- Swing the cover up and snap the release tab back in place
…and you’re done! I’ve demonstrated this in my video review as well, so be sure to watch that if you’re interested.
UV-C bulb replacement & pricing
The GermGuardian replacement bulb #LB4000. Expect to pay around $25 or so for one when replacing it.
Replacement bulbs cost about $25. In order to replace the bulb, you’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the rear metal bulb cover. It’s accessible once you’ve removed the filter after opening the cover.
Once the metal cover is removed you simply slide out the old bulb and replace it with a new one. Overall, it’s easy to do.
The bulb is rated at 10-12 months life expectancy, although a few owners have reported that their bulbs died after only a few months.
Features and a comparison to other similar products
Some competing products like the Levoit LV-H132 offer similar quality with cool features the AC4825 doesn’t have. For example, touch controls, additional illumination, and more. Note that the AC4825’s room coverage, however, is better for about the same price.
Ok, so here’s where the details begin to really matter. The AC4825, as good and simple is it is to use, has some pros and cons when compared to others on the market. Especially in the same price bracket ($50-$100).
Consider for a moment the competition: other high-quality and best-selling models like the Levoit LV-H132 offer reliability and the same kind of 3-in-1 filtering. However, it offers, for example additional features the GermGuardian product doesn’t. It has electronic touch controls and even a 2-level night light.
However, products like that in the same price range have a smaller room coverage specification (in this case, 89 square feet vs. the 155 square feet offered by the AC4825).
Ultimately it comes down to what you’re really after.
In my opinion, the AC4825 is a better overall value because of the larger room coverage for the same price point as others. It’s a no-frills, simple to use air purifier.
Competing products also don’t offer the UV-C germ killing feature of the GermGuardian product line, so that’s an added bonus. A few competitors do but it’s not nearly as common as in you’ll find from Guardian Technologies products.
The owner’s manual
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the purifier included a solid, well-made owner’s manual with clear instructions and helpful information. Basic information like replacing the filter,UV bulb replacement, and user operation is clearly explained. Also, it the printing is great and I have no complaints! It’s provided with French and Spanish sections as well.
After unboxing my new purifier I reviewed the instructions and found the owner’s manual to be very clear and helpful. It is provided in English, French, and Spanish. At only 20 pages long, it’s fairly concise, but it’s good. The manual tells you the basics you need:
- How to operate your purifiers
- The indicator lights (power, air filter replacement reminder, and UV light bulb replacement)
- Replacement filter model specifications
- Power consumption
- Specifications: size, weight, and square feet coverage
The English section is very clear and helpful. It contain 12 pages of information you’ll want to review before operating it, but honestly? This model is so easy and hassle-free to use you won’t need instructions, ha ha.
Don’t worry, I won’t leave any of the specifications off – I’ll provide them below.
(If you like, you can download the GermGuardian AC4825 manual here for your convenience)
Noise levels during use
The company claims that the unit has low noise during use, and in my experience it’s true.
Setting #3 (high) is a moderate level of noise but can be masked by the sound of your TV or radio, for example, but it’s still noticeable. Ordinarily you won’t likely need to use the high setting except for immediate and the maximum possible cleaning of air for odors, smoke, etc.
Medium (setting #2) is actually not very loud. When in use while I’m listening to YouTube videos or playing music, it’s very easy to forget it’s even on. Low speed is indeed fairly quiet, and suitable for sleeping if you’re not a light sleeper like me (I have problems with any sounds during sleep as I’m a light sleeper).
When on low, most people will be fine to sleep as it’s very quiet. While not quite as quiet during low-speed as products like the Levoit LV-H132, for example, I’m happy with it. The main reason that the AC4825 is a few decibels louder is because it contains not one but 2 fan sections and naturally produces a bit more sound.
That’s a trade-off when using a more powerful purifier like this.
I measured volume levels using a nice digital decibel sound level meter at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier.
|Off (room noise)||39.3|
A note about the sound while running
I do have one minor gripe: while in operation, and although it’s fairly quiet, there’s a characteristic sound these devices produce.
Because of the dual-fan section design as well as both the motor and its electrical drive, the combination of these factors causes it to produces a “whirring” noise while in use. The noise isn’t annoying or bothersome in my opinion, but it’s something to be aware of beforehand.
The AC4825 vs AC4900CA – A stylish twin you might not know about!
The AC4825’s counterpart is the AC4900CA. It’s identical in features and performance. Interestingly enough, sometimes it can be found for a few dollars less!
You might not know this, but the AC4825 actually has a sibling called the AC4900CA, which is identical in performance, features, and specifications. It’s simply styled differently and doesn’t have the blue glowing ring for the UV-C like its counterpart.
I’ve thoroughly compared the two here: GermGuardian AC4825 vs AC4900CA.
I’ve seen it sold for a few dollars less (for example here at Amazon) and I personally think the styling is nice. It’s definitely worth considering, as while not as popular as its counterpart it has the same great quality and is otherwise identical.
Brightness levels in a dark room
The top-facing power-on LED is a green soft-glow type of indicator. It’s not too bright in nature, but still slightly noticeable in the dark. The blue glow being produced when the UV-C feature is in used isn’t very bright, but the human eye is more sensitive to blue light.
For that reason, my opinion is that for many people it will be fine, but if you’re especially sensitive to light when concentrating on a task on sleeping it could be an issue. In that case I recommend leaving the UV turned off during those times or alternately relocate it or place it out of the way.
Not to worry though: the light brightness isn’t enough to “light up a room” or something unacceptable like that. They have more like a soft glow.
One feature that’s missing and a work-around
The AC4825 doesn’t include an auto-timer feature, sadly. My work-around is to use an inexpensive outlet timer to automatically turn the purifier on and off during the day and to clean the air unattended.
Unfortunately, unlike some air purifiers available in the next price range ($150+ and up) there’s no auto-off or automatic mode feature.
I really wanted this feature, and the lack of it is one complaint I have. However, there’s a simple and cheap work-around. Using an electrical outlet timer I bought for below $10 online, I can power my air purifier and have it run all day while I’m not home and arrive home to lovely, fresh air!
One complaint I have is that the UV-C feature doesn’t turn back on if it was in use before you switched off the purifiers using the fan control. There’s no memory feature, so you’ll have to turn it back on manually every time you’d like to use it.
If you’re considering this GermGuardian model I can tell you don’t waste any time waiting. I’ve enjoyed every minute I’ve owned it.
Like the review but not this model’s styling? Check out the AC4900CA, its twin with a different style but identical performance. You can also read my comparison of the two similar models here.
Don’t forget that the AC4825 is one of the best-selling purifiers today. Head over and find out why's it one of the best sellers at Amazon.
The GermGuardian AC4825 is a no-frills tower air purifier with simple operation and good air cleaning ability. It lacks in features compared some other products, but it's a better value for its price range. Room coverage (med. rooms) is better than many similarly priced competitors. The quality and fit & finsish are nice. Maintenance is easy to perform. Operation on low speed is quiet enough for most. One of the best-selling air purifiers available today, it's a great choice and works well for dealing with allergies, smoke, pet dander, and many more air quality issues. You won't go wrong with this one!
- Great air coverage for its price range
- Very easy to operate
- UV-C feature kills germs - not found in many comptetitors
- Carry handle built-in
- Dual-fan design
- Filter replacement reminder
- UV bulb replacement reminder
- 3-year warranty
- 3-in-1 filter
- Maintenance is easy to perform
- Low operational noise
- Highly effective & true HEPA level filtering
- Available in functionally identical AC4900CA model
- Prefilter/carbon filter section can be replaced separately from HEPA section
- Nice design & weight won't tip over easily
- UV-C feature must be turned on manually after power off then on
- No auto mode or auto-off timer feature
- Blue glowing trim could be noticeable to some with high sensitivity
- Tall height may not be suitable for all users
- Rotary manual control fan speed switch
- No other color options available (aside from AC4900CA)
- You'll need to buy 3rd party filters to save money as originals are more expensive