GermGuardian AC4825 Air Purifier Review – Hands-On Test & Details

GermGuardian AC4825 review featured image

After having to deal with dust and other air quality issues, I picked up a GermGuardian AC4825 of my own. It wasn’t hard to find – after all, it’s one of the most popular purifiers sold today.

In my GermGuardian AC4825 review I’ll help you decide if it’s a good buy or not. I own it and I’ve put it through its paces personally.

I’d love to help you make the best buying decision for your money and experience better air at home just like I have. Believe me when I say a good air purifier is a great buy – but you’ve got to shop wisely.

Contents

My AC4825 video review

GermGuardian AC4825 Air Purifier Review - Honest Review

Unpacking & first impressions

Packaging

GermGuardian AC4825 packaging and unboxing image

My AC4825 arrived quickly and after removing it from the shipping box, inside was a purifier I’d come to love soon enough. It’s well-packaged and the owner’s manual is placed right on top to be sure you find it easily. Eco-friendly recycled corrugated cardboard is used for the packaging and it’s easy to unbox. We’re off to a great start!

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?

It arrived well-packaged and features recycled cardboard inserts that hold it in place. The owner’s manual is right on top so you can’t miss it when opening it up the first time.

Build quality and fit & finish

GermGuardian AC4825 closeup quality image
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 shiny finishes on products like this, so it’s a relief that it doesn’t stand out in a flashy way in the rooms I’ve used it in.

I have to say it’s well put together and well-made. Parts line up well, are tightly assembled, and there aren’t noticeable gaps or quality control issues to speak of.

Overall, it looks like it cost more than I spent.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that gaps and misaligned parts are a sign of build issues. There’s none of that here.

Checking out the controls

GermGuardian AC4825 top down view of controls
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 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 radiates 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.

To do so, the purifier must be at least in position #1 (low speed) before the control will work. You can tell it’s on by the glowing blue trim around the body as pictured here.

GermGuardian AC4825 side view UV-C feature glowing

When activated, you’ll see the small, thin light strip on the base of the silver decorative top glow blue from inside. Don’t worry though – you’re not in any danger from exposure to ultraviolet light. It’s safely contained inside.

I like how this feature is used as a decorative accent when active. That’s a nice touch!

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 (unlike some competitors) to restore the setting the next time you switch it on.

While not a “deal-breaker”, that’s a small detail to be aware of.

Specifications & CADR ratings

GermGuardian AC4825 Specifications
  • Room size rating: 167 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 (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings: Dust (118), pollen (125), smoke (108)
  • AHAM Verified & Energy Star Certified
  • 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)
  • Power use: 55W (max. fan speed)
  • Carrying handle
  • Weight: 8.65 lbs
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Control location: top
  • Size: 6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″

If you’re not already familiar with it, it’s helpful to understand more about the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) standard used by the industry. This is a voluntary lab-tested rating of an air purifier’s cleaning ability.

GermGuardian AC4825 air purifier CADR ratings AHAM label

The AC4825’s CADR ratings are shown here.

The AHAM is an organization that verifies the testing results of home appliances & performs lab testing for appliance manufacturers although it’s not required by law.

In simple terms, it’s a rating used to help you know before buying an air purifier’s effectiveness. The rating numbers mean “higher is better” as they’re lab tested using a series of tests to measure their air cleaning effectiveness.

In the case of this model, the specs are good and you’re assured you’re getting proven performance.

Size and thoughts on using a “tower” purifier

AC4825 purifier measuring height

At nearly 22″ in height, it’s 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’re taller due to having more fans to provide more airflow.

It’s important to make sure you have enough room before buying. A great place is near a door and not backed into a corner in the room.

Be sure to give it lots of room (about 2 feet in front and back) as it needs space to circulate air efficiently.

Carrying the purifier

GermGuardian AC4825 being carried by handle

One thing I 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 ideal place in my home, I found it handy.

AC4825 power use measurements

Image of GermGuardian AC4825 power use being measured

Pictured: I measured power use (in Watts) for all 4 recordings (3 speeds plus off).  I recorded power meter readings both with and without the UV-C feature switched on. Overall, it uses a relatively small amount and it’s not an energy hog at all.

How many watts does the AC4825 use?

Unfortunately, the owner’s manual doesn’t go into detail about energy for the various modes you can use.

Rather than guess, I measured power use in Watts for all speed settings with and without the UV-C feature switched on. Note that the UV-C option uses about 4W of power (larger models use 8W).

ModePower Use, UV-C OffPower Use, UV-C On
Off00
High46.4W50.6W
Medium42.2W46.4W
Low38.6W42.7W

Overall, it doesn’t use much power at any setting although it’s a bit more efficient on high or medium. For those speeds, the fan is running faster and you’ll get faster air cleaning. The drawback is a bit more noise.

As the UV-C feature uses only about 4W, there’s no need to worry if leaving it on all the time will affect your energy bill.

Air cleaning ability & performance

GermGuardian FLT4825 dirty filter vacuum example image

My purifier’s filter (the FLT4825 filter that’s installed at the factory) trapped a HUGE amount of dust! You can prolong the pre-filter life by vacuuming off excessive dust or hair as needed, which I did. Dust is a really big air quality problem in my home and the AC4825 made a big difference when in use.

I’ve let it run all day while at work so I could come home to fresh, clean air, and it works well. Where I live I have to suffer every day from heavy dust which I absolutely hate!

The purifier’s filter picked up a HUGE amount of dust and did well to relieve my problems, in addition to capturing light odors well, too.

As far as odor absorption performance goes, it’s not on par with more expensive models like the Winix 5500-2, but it’s pretty good for everyday needs in my opinion.

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.

GermGuardian AC4825 square feet coverage and room size

This model is recommended for room sizes that are medium in size. That being said, there’s absolutely no reason it can’t be used in a small room!

You’ll find that it cleans the air even faster in that case.

It’s sized for rooms about 167 square feet in size which is roughly a 10 x 16.5 ft room. Bear in mind that this is an approximate size used – it doesn’t have to be used in a room exactly that size.

When used in larger rooms the amount of time required to fully cycle and clean the air increases depending on the amount of space inside the room.

Filter ability

GermGuardian AC4900CA filter close up

The AC4825’s HEPA filter (seen here) section is made up of a folded, dense fiber material. A second section, the pre-filter/activated carbon filter is responsible for trapping larger particles as well as odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air. It’s capable of excellent filtering ability and works well. The filter can capture nearly 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
  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Home construction particles
  • Smoke residue
  • Smoke odors
  • Chemical and organic odors
  • Chemical vapors

Essentially, this is a 2-stage filter assembly made up of 2 parts: the pre-filter/activated carbon filter and an extra 2nd section, the HEPA filter, for a total of 3 filters.

The pre-filter section is a less dense & thin section covering the active carbon filter. Its job it to capture larger items in the air like pet hair, dust, and so on before they reach the HEPA filter.

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 than 1/1,000,000 of a meter!

That means it’s capable of capturing elements that are much smaller than you can see with your eye (microscopic).

It’s a great filter and works well. I noticed fresher air soon after using it for the first time, and I’m pleased with it.

The UV-C germ killing feature

GermGuardian UV-C and Ti02 germ killing badgesBy touching the UV button on top, you switch on the germ killing feature. It’s a great addition not found in many competing products.

It’s also perfectly silent and doesn’t cause any noise or produce any side effects.

When on, the blue trim on the base of the silver top section glows blue to show the bulb is working. The technology works using the science of ultraviolet light (UV) to affect microbes in the air, coupled with titanium dioxide to remove airborne contaminants.

As stated in the owner’s manual:

UV-C LIGHT
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 the remaining odor molecules
caused by smoking, cooking, and pets.Author

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.

Does the AC4825 produce ozone?

Some people wonder if air purifiers can cause headaches. As I explain more in this post, an air purifier that uses a filter to clean the air doesn’t produce emissions to cause unwanted effects.

The UV-C option is completely enclosed and you’re in no danger of skin UV exposure. The AC4825 is perfectly safe and healthy as it does not produce unsafe ozone levels.

In fact, it produces 1/20th of the level considered acceptable by the Health Canada Guideline 2010 based on exposure levels & time considered acceptable.

You’re perfectly safe and won’t have to worry about ozone while using it.

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 TypeMeaning
Blinking blue light(UV-C glow trim blinking) UV bulb needs replacement
Red blinking lightThe filter needs check/replacement

Filter life and costs

GermGuardian FLT4825 replacement filter
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 expect to replace the filter when reminded.

For situations where the air quality demands are lower you’ll get even more life out of it.

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?

GermGuardian AC4825 filter removal image
Filter replacement is easy and only takes a few seconds. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it is.

It’s just a few simple steps:

  1. Press down on the release tab on the rear cover
  2. Pull the cover down and out (there are 2 tabs on the bottom which rest in tab slots)
  3. Using your fingers, pull the filter out and down to remove it
  4. Replace filter using the opposite motion
  5. Insert the cover’s tabs in the base
  6. 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

GermGuardian AC4825 UV bulb cover diagram

UV bulb replacement is pretty straightforward. The owner’s manual clarifies what you’ll need to do for bulb replacement (which is typically after 10-12 months). You’ll need a Phillips screwdriver (not included) to remove 2 screws, unplug the old bulb, and insert then a new one. Overall, it’s pretty simple to do, so don’t worry about it. Additionally, if you rarely use the feature you’ll never have to do it, anyway.

LB4000 UV replacement bulb
The GermGuardian replacement UV bulb #LB4000. Expect to pay around $25 or so for one when replacing it. The company’s life rating is 10-12 months, although a few owners have reported shorter life (which unfortunately is a problem with many bulbs in general).

Replacement bulbs cost about $25. 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 of life expectancy, although a few owners have reported that their bulbs died after only a few months.

The owner’s manual

germguardian ac4825 owners manual image
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 servicing, and user operation is clearly explained.

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 contains 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 though, honestly!

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 manufacturer claims that the unit has low noise during use and in my testing I found it to be mostly true.

  • Low speed (#1) is indeed fairly quiet, and suitable for sleeping if you’re a light sleeper like me
  • Medium (#2) is not very loud. It’s hardly noticeable at all if I’m watching YouTube or listening to music
  • High (#3) has a moderate level of noise and can be masked by the sound of your TV or radio. However, it’s fairly noticeable but not loud.

The high setting is especially helpful for fast and maximum cleaning of contaminated air. Smoke, dust, and more come to mind.

It’s honestly very quiet and I’ve found it pleasant-sounding when in use. While not as quiet during low-speed like a few competitors such as the Levoit LV-H132, I’m happy with it.

The main reason that the AC4825 is a few decibels louder is that it has not one but 2 fan sections and produces a bit more sound. Two fans move much more air than 1 and therefore, of course, add a little bit more noise than one alone.

That’s a trade-off when using a more powerful purifier like this.

Volume measurements

dB noise level meter measurement image

I measured volume levels using a nice digital decibel sound level meter at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier.

Measurement/SpeedVolume (dB)
Off (room noise)39.3
Low42.5
Medium50.5
High58

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.

Night brightness

Image of GermGuardian AC4825 in dark

The top-facing power-on LED is a green soft-glow type of indicator. It’s not too bright, but still slightly noticeable in the dark. The blue glow is produced when the UV-C feature is switched on 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 moving it out of the way where you can’t notice it.

Not to worry though: the light brightness isn’t enough to “light up a room” or something unacceptable like that. Instead, it has a soft glow that’s not a problem in my opinion.

The AC4825 vs AC4900CA – A cool looking twin worth checking out

germguardian ac4825 vs ac4900ca image

The AC4825 (left) has a cool-looking twin, the AC4900CA (right). It’s identical in features and performance. Interestingly enough, sometimes one model is priced lower than the other and you can save a few dollars!

You might not know this, but the AC4825 has a sibling called the AC4900CA, which is identical in performance, features, and specifications.

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 think the styling is nice.

It’s well worth considering, as while not as popular as its counterpart it has the same great quality and is otherwise identical.

AC4825 vs AC5000 comparison

GermGuardian AC4825 vs ac5000 comparison photo

The “big brother” to the AC4825, the AC5000E is nearly identical except for room size coverage and the UV-C bulb. It’s a great addition to your home as well. Be sure to check out my detailed comparison if you’re interested in the AC4825 but have a large room!

In case you’re not familiar with it, the AC5000 is almost identical except for its size (near 28″ tall) and better room coverage. It too is an excellent large-room air purifier and is recommended for rooms up to 193 square feet in size (med.-large).

Just like the AC4825, it features a UV-C germ killing feature although the bulb design is different. I’ve enjoyed owning one so much that I wrote a detailed comparison of the AC4825 vs AC5000 here.

GermGuardian AC4825 vs the Honeywell HPA100

Honeywell HPA100 air purifier image

The closest rival to the AC4825, in my opinion, is the Honeywell HPA100. It offers some features the GermGuardian doesn’t, although it’s lacking in a few areas. It’s also available in a white version. Room size coverage is 155 sq. ft.

In my opinion, the AC4825 is a solid, well-built, and easy to use purifier. However, there’s no shortage of competition. Although it can’t come close to the popularity of the AC4825, the Honeywell HPA100 is a solid contender with about the same room size coverage.

As I’ve reviewed several other Honeywell models like the HPA160 you see here, I can’t verify their quality and they’re pleasant to use.

Some of the features the HPA100 offers that the AC4825 doesn’t are:

  • Electronic touch controls
  • A Turbo high-speed setting
  • Auto-off timer

However, there’s no germ killing feature offered. That’s absent in the Honeywell HPA series of purifiers, and it’s a shame. You’ll also pay a few dollars less for the GermGuardian model as well.

Additionally, the pre-filter in the HPA series is a little bit more thin than the GermGuardian family uses. The touch controls of the HPA100 are nice to have but to be honest, I’ve haven’t missed them at all.

I still use my AC4825 regularly and find it so simple and easy to use…it’s still one of my favorites! However, if having an auto-off timer is an important feature for you, it’s worth your while to check out the impressive reviews for the HPA100 at Amazon today.

Review summary

Honestly, I’ve got very little to complain about with the AC4825. It cleans the air well, it’s extremely simple to use, and it’s quiet. I love it!

The AC4825 makes enjoying clean, fresh air easy and affordable.

Image of AC4825 with Editor's Choice award badgeWatch out for high prices, however! Head over to find the current sale price (and get free shipping!) at Amazon.

Overall
8.9/10
8.9/10
  • Quality - 9.2/10
    9.2/10
  • Value - 8.9/10
    8.9/10
  • Ease of use - 10/10
    10/10
  • Air cleaning ability - 9/10
    9/10
  • Features - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Noise levels - 8.8/10
    8.8/10

A well-performing air purifier that you'll be glad to own. No wonder it's one of the best-selling models today.

The GermGuardian AC4825 is a no-frills tower air purifier with simple operation and good air cleaning ability. It lacks a few fancier features when compared to more expensive models, but it’s a better value. Room coverage (med. rooms, 155 sq ft) is better than many similarly priced competitors.

Quality and build are very good; maintenance is easy to perform. It’s a quiet and pleasant-sounding purifier in my testing. The prefilter/HEPA filters work well to remove airborne particulates and odors. The UV-C feature is a bonus germ-killing option. One of the best-selling air purifiers available today, it’s a solid, sensible choice for fresher air.

Pros

  • Great air coverage for its price range
  • AHAM Verified & Energy Star Certified
  • True HEPA filter + prefilter/carbon filter
  • Easy to operate
  • UV-C feature kills germs
  • Carry handle built-in
  • Filter & UV replacement reminders
  • 3-year warranty
  • Maintenance is easy to perform
  • Low operational noise
  • White version available
  • Prefilter/carbon filter separately replaceable

Cons

  • UV-C feature has no memory feature
  • 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
  • You’ll need to buy 3rd party filters to save money as originals are more expensive

Choosing The Best Air Purifier For Odor Elimination – 5 Of The Best

Featured image for best air purifier for odor elimination

Whether it’s odors from pets, bathrooms, cooking, or one of many other common sources, odors are a big nuisance. Personally I can’t focus on work or relax if odors are distracting me.

A high-quality air purifier can help. But how do you choose the best air purifier for odor elimination? In order to help you get the best for your money, I’ve put together 5 great air purifier reviews and recommendations you’ll find below.

There’s also a helpful buyer’s guide that explains air purifiers in detail, too. Read on to learn more!

Contents

Infographic – Air purifiers and odors

Infographic guide for the best air purifier for odor elimination

What are odors? Where do bad smells come from?

Boy pinching nose bad smells
Indoor odors originate from source materials, both organic and man-made, that are volatilized (released as a vapor) and disperse molecules into the air. Some occur naturally during evaporation. Other sources like food and dead animals occur during decomposition or chemical changes.

In areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and basement which we all know often have strong or bad smells, air fresheners are sometimes used. These do help, but it’s important to understand that most don’t actually eliminate odor sources.

Most simply mask it and you don’t notice the odor after it has been temporarily cleared for a while.

Dealing with bothersome smells

There’s a huge list of common odor sources:

  • Dogs and cats (natural odors)
  • Kitty litter boxes
  • Garbage
  • Cooking strong foods
  • People with digestive problems
  • Damp & moldy surface or trapped moisture
  • Older homes and construction materials
  • Drafts rising from a smelly basement
  • Downstairs neighbors cooking

Having downstairs neighbors cooking in the past was one of the worst for me! I learned the hard way how odors can rise through the floor and walls. It was very bothersome.

People with pets also have to deal with odors as well. One of the strongest I’ve had to deal with was a cat’s litter box – I was amazed at how strong the odor was! Dog odors are another bothersome problem, too.

In every case, I learned how helpful an air purifier is for eliminating odors.

Choosing the right air purifier for odor relief

GermGuardian AC4825E filter diagramFor good odor elimination, you’ll need to choose a quality air purifier that features an activated carbon (also called charcoal) filter. The best models sold today normally are sold as “3-in-1” purifiers. A HEPA filter eliminates finer microscopic particles. The pre-filter captures dust and larger elements. It’s normally attached to a carbon filter. Carbon is porous and processed to have absorption properties. Shown: GermGuardian AC4825, one of the most popular purifiers today.

You’ll want to avoid ozone generators and ionizers. While they do have some properties that can affect odors in the air, they don’t work the same as filter-based purifiers.

Filter based purifiers normally have 3 filter sections, although 2 are often built together:

  1. Pre-filter section
  2. Activated carbon (charcoal) section
  3. High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter

HEPA and pre-filter sections

HEPA filters are very effective for trapping airborne contaminants and especially the smallest air particles, dust mite matter, pet dander, and so on down to 0.3 microns in size (A micron is 1/1,000,000 of a meter).

They’re fantastic for allergy relief and other air quality issues but don’t really affect odors.

A pre-filter is normally attached to the activated carbon filter section. It’s usually a thin, somewhat course material that traps larger matter like hair, dust, lint, and other larger particles.

The activated carbon filter is the section an air purifier’s filter assembly that eliminates odors and traps them, leaving fresh air behind.

GermGuardian FLT11CB4 carbon filter diagramA carbon filter has carbon (charcoal) pieces that are processed to create porous surface and have properties for trapping odors and chemical vapors. I recommend purchasing a model that allows replacing only the carbon filter and/or pre-filter section like this example as they often need changing at a rate different from the HEPA filter.

After some use a purifier’s filter will become used-up and clogged with foreign matter. The carbon filter, after being in use for some time, will lose effectiveness as well. Most purifiers have about a 6 to 8 month filter lifespan for the HEPA filter.

Some have a filter replacement feature to remind you when to check it. Some filters are replaceable as one complete unit – but at additional cost.

For best effectiveness and to reduce maintenance costs, I recommend models with separate carbon filter sections you can replace independently.

You can save a bit of money that way and extend the life of the main HEPA filter as quite often they don’t need replacing right away.

After all, if you’re eliminating odors you’re not likely to completely saturate the HEPA section during the first use.

For pet owners and allergy sufferers, however, that’s sometimes a different story.

★ 5 of the best air purifiers to eliminate odors ★

Our top picks at a glance

IMAGEPRODUCT
GermGuardian AC4825
  • Best-selling and overall an excellent value! Easy to use and quiet.
  • 155 sq ft coverage, 100+ CADR lab tested rating
  • True HEPA, carbon filter for odors, UV-C germ killer
Check On Amazon →See Customer Reviews →
Levoit LV-H132
  • Electronic controls and super quiet operation!
  • 129 sq ft, true HEPA + carbon filter
  • Touch controls, night light, and memory feature
Check On Amazon →See Customer Reviews →
GermGuardian AC4100
  • Great for dorms and small rooms
  • Same HEPA filter + carbon filter quality as larger models
  • Includes germ-killing feature
Check On Amazon →See Customer Reviews →
Levoit LV-PUR131
  • Excellent for med-large rooms (322 sq ft coverage)
  • Advanced controls and air quality sensing operation
  • Low noise and auto-off timer feature
Check On Amazon →See Customer Reviews →
Honeywell HPA300
  • Excellent large room value (465 sq ft coverage) under $250
  • Touch controls and high-speed Turbo mode
  • HEPA + carbon filter. Timer feature included
Check On Amazon →See Customer Reviews →

Product reviews and details

1. GermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1: A super-popular model that offers great value, too!

The AC4825 doesn’t try something it’s not – it’s simply a good basic air purifier that gets the job done and works well. It’s a winner because of hassle-free ease of use, great performance, and many happy buyers. 

I’m one of the happy owners myself!

With a higher room size coverage rating than models like the Levoit LV-H132 it’s a good value as well.

An ultraviolet (UV) germ killing feature provides safe and ozone-free elimination of germs and microbes where you live. It’s a nice extra feature to have – very few products offer this!

The true HEPA filter design works very well to remove smoke and contaminants from your air. Filter replacement is easy and you can buy the carbon filter/pre-filter separately, allowing you to extend the HEPA filter life and get more odor relief while saving money.

It’s in such demand that I even bought one to see what the fuss was about! I’m very happy with mine. You can read more about it in my detailed review here.

GermGuardian AC4825 top view of controls

The AC4825 features one of the easiest-to-use control setups you’ll find. It’s incredibly easy to use! Set the rotary control to one of the 3 fan speed settings. Use the UV push button to switch the germ killing feature on or off. A power-on indicator LED lights when the purifier is working.

A 3-speed fan control makes using it simple and hassle-free. When the push-button control is used to switch one the UV-C feature, the trim glows blue.

Time to check or replace the filter? Just open the rear door and pull it out. The replacement reminder will turn red when it’s time to check the filter.

GermGuardian AC4825 side view UV-C feature glowing

The lovely blue trim ring lights up when the UV-C feature’s in use. Don’t worry though – it’s perfectly safe, as the ultraviolet light is trapped inside. It’s a great-looking way to see when the feature is on. I like it!

At 22″ height, it’s not smaller and compact like several others. But the tower design helps it to fit well in corners. Replacement filters cost about $30 and last about 6 months.

There is one very minor complaint I have: when the UV-C feature is switched on and you turn the fan power off, upon the next start-up the UV-C light is off again. There’s no memory feature to keep it the way you last left it.

(Note: You can also find 3rd party brand filters which are cheaper)

PROS:
  • Simple, reliable, and easy controls
  • One of the best values for your dollar
  • Great buyer satisfaction ratings
  • Good overall value for performance & room size vs. the Levoit LV-H132
  • Great filtering performance
  • Low noise operation
  • Germ & microbe-killing UV-C feature not found in many others
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Soft LED when power is on
  • Vertical size/shape is great for corners
  • Good room size coverage (155 square feet)
  • 3-year limited warranty
CONS:
  • No electronic controls
  • No auto-off timer
  • No UV button memory feature
  • Can’t wash & reuse filter
  • Design is less stylish and attractive than other competitors in its price range (ex. Levoit LV-H132)
  • Warranty requires paying for return shipment for service

My AC4825 is definitely a good performer and I’ve been happy with it. Judging by how many others agree, you’re going to love it as well.

It’s one of the best buys for your money. Head over now and see the thousands of happy buyer reviews and current sale price Amazon.

NEW GermGuardian AC4825W white modelUPDATE: Wow, there’s now a great-looking white version as well out now.

2. Levoit LV-H132 – A best-selling purifier with night light and other nice features. Super-low noise levels, too!

Levoit LV-H132 purifier white front viewAnother super-popular purifier, the Levoit LV-H132 (smaller sibling to the Levoit LV-PUR131) is a great buy. Got odor problems? It’s a good choice for nearly anyone with small to medium-sized rooms.

Like its competitors, the true HEPA filter works well (along with the pre-filter and carbon filter) to eliminate air quality problems including bad smells.

Although it provides less coverage (129 square feet) than competitors like the GermGuardian AC4825, the Levoit makes up for this by providing features others don’t.

As well as being a great looking choice, it complements today’s interiors well.

It’s one of the best-selling purifiers on the market today.

Levoit LV-H132 features image

The Levoit LV-H132 is sophisticated yet still easy to use. Electronic touch controls are provided and beep when operated. After power is switched off the last settings are saved. Upon the next use, the purifier remembers your last settings and restores them automatically.

The fan offers pleasant and quiet operation on low-speed. A built-in night light with 2 brightness settings is a bonus feature.

Levoit LV-H132 filter replacement image example

Filter replacement is a bit different for the LV-H132, but very simple. Turn the unit upside-down, rotate the cover, and then you can pull out and replace the old 3-in-1 filter assembly. Note: unlike some competitors, in most cases you can’t replace the carbon prefilter separately. It’s something to keep in mind.

Replacement filters cost near $30. The top cover removes easily for replacement and a filter replacement reminder lets you know when it’s time to check it or replace it.

In my hands-on testing, I found it to be one of the lowest-noise air purifiers sold today!

When I say it’s low noise, I really mean it. It’s almost impossible to hear it run on the lowest settings – even high speed is very quiet, too.

PROS:
  • Shorter height than competing tower purifiers
  • 2-year warranty
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Night light with 2 brightness levels
  • Nice looking, modern design
  • Electronic soft button controls
  • Super quiet operation
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Great build quality & high reliability
  • Easy filter replacement
  • Now available in black
CONS:
  • Smaller room coverage than others
  • No auto-off timer feature
  • No air quality sensor
  • Electronic controls may not be suitable for some
  • High speed is not as fast as other products

Buyer reviews are great. Check out the fantastic ratings and see why it's a fantastic seller that received the Amazon's Choice award.

Levoit LV-H132 black model

UPDATE: A new black version No products found.

3.  GermGuardian AC4100 3-in-1: The same quality odor removing ability and germ killing in a smaller size.

GermGuardian AC4100 angle view

A great lower-priced model, the AC4100 is a little brother to the larger AC4900CA but it features the same excellence I’ve come to know from GermGuardian.

Like others in the company’s line of products, it’s a no-nonsense, easy-to-use model for nearly everyone.

Measuring only 7.5 x 6.5 x 11″ in size, the 3-in-1 design (HEPA, pre-filter, carbon filter) works to remove odors, dust, allergens, and much more. Great for a small room like your bedroom, office, or dorm room.

Image of a GermGuardian AC4100 showing HEPA and activated carbon filters

The AC4100 features the same 3-in-1 filtering design as its larger siblings. You’ll get a true HEPA filter, prefilter, and odor-absorbing section but for smaller rooms and on a budget.

A UV light (with on/off control) works with titanium dioxide to neutralize germs. The result is healthier air and sickness-causing microbes are gone.

Replacement filters cost about $18. There’s no automatic filter reminder. However, a filter installation date wheel on the rear to help you know when it’s time to replace it.

GermGuardian AC4100 filter replacement how to image

Filter replacement on the AC4100 is easy! Just open the rear cover, pull out the old filter, and insert the new one. You can also use a vacuum to remove larger particles like dust. As you can see my AC4100 caught more and more dust as I used it!

Carbon filter replacements can be bought separately so if you’re dealing with odors you can restore used-up carbon filters for less money than replacing the entire 3-in-1 filter set.

It’s really easy to use – just switch it on or off using the 3 speed rotary control.

On full speed, the noise level is moderate in my opinion. At low speed, it’s hardly noticeable and works well at bedtime. Unlike similar larger models such as the AC4825 and AC4900CA, the UV germ killing switch is an on/off type and not a push button.

One thing I don’t like is that there’s no indicator light for the UV feature like the larger models. That’s a pretty small gripe, however.

It’s a great small-room choice, although I wouldn’t recommend it for large rooms, as it’s not designed – or recommended – for those. It’s great for closets, dorm rooms, your office, or other similar areas.

It’s one of the best in its price range at around $50 or less, depending on where you shop.

PROS:
  • Simple 3-speed fan control and on/off UV-C switch
  • UV & titanium dioxide germ killing feature
  • Great filtering ability for its small size
  • High speed setting moves a lot of air for purifying quickly
  • Filter replacement reminder wheel (month installed)
  • Low filter replacement price (about $19)
  • Filter replacement date wheel (marks month installed)
  • Sleek, modern design
CONS:
  • 1 year warranty is shorter than other models
  • No indicator light for UV feature unlike larger models
  • Fan speed on high could be slightly better
  • No filter replacement light
  • No other colors offered

Speaking from personal experience I can see why GermGuardian is one of the biggest air purifier manufacturers today. I own an AC4100 and find it easy to use and well-made.

For small rooms with odor problems, it’s a great low-cost choice.

Have a look at the many satisfied owners that helped it become one of the highest small purifiers at Amazon.

4. Levoit LV-PUR131 – Great odor removal for medium-large rooms. Advanced features, too! Another best seller.

Levoit LV-PUR131 side front image

Got a medium or slightly larger sized room? The LV-PU131 is a top seller and one of the sleekest, best-designed purifiers you’re going to find under $250.

One of the best-selling points is the number of great features included for the price.

Check out the great reviews – it’s an excellent addition to your home, office, or even workplace and great at removing smoke along with the other problems that come with it.

The Levoit brand is well-known and they produce a number of home products. All are well-made and well-regarded. They’re also known for the great LV-H132 purifier I recommend as well.

The electronic controls are simple to use. The clear LCD display operational status and the timer information to make using it a snap.

The sleep mode feature means it works almost silently at night and doesn’t wake you up. The self-off timer lets you select from 1 to 12 hours of operation.

What makes this Levoit model such a wonderful choice is not just the same 3-speed push button fan control. But the automatic auto-sensing mode which adjusts fan speed as needed as air conditions change. Really cool!

Levoit LV-PUR131 control panel features

The electronic control panel looks a bit complicated at first glance but it’s easy to use. Touch controls easily rotate through their various on/off settings such as the fan speed or mode. A digital display shows the remaining operation time when the auto-off timer in use as well as the current air quality.

Filter replacement is about every 6 months. The replacement will let you know when it’s time to check the filter. (It’s around $35 or so to replace one)

At about 11.2 lbs in weight and 14.5 x 7.2 x 18.5 inches in size, the PUR131 provides more square feet coverage (322 square feet) than others but can fit in a few areas comparable products can’t.

A 2 year warranty is provided.

PROS:
  • More room coverage for the money (322 sq ft)
  • Auto-sensing mode adjusts fan speed automatically
  • Sleep mode for very quiet operation
  • Electronic, simple controls
  • LCD display
  • Auto-off feature: 1 to 12 hours for “set and forget” operation
  • Great cigarette smoke removal performance
  • Excellent overall reviews and customer satisfaction
  • Lower weight and smaller size than others – can be used more places
  • 2 year warranty
  • Sleek, attractive appearance
CONS:
  • No remote control
  • Auto-sensing mode doesn’t show air quality levels visually
  • No night light
  • Replacement filters aren’t the cheapest (near $35 or so)
  • Warranty is shorter than some competitors
  • White color only

It’s a great compromise between cost, room size coverage, features, and performance.

Head over now to see why it's one of the best selling and highest rated purifiers at Amazon.

5. Honeywell HPA300 – Powerful odor removal for large rooms. A popular and reliable workhorse with nice features.

Honeywell HPA300 HEPA air purifier product image

Have a large room with bad smells? No need to look any further!

The HPA300 provides some of the greatest room size coverage and odor elimination ability in its price range. It’s one of the best values as well.

The HPA300 is a solid workhorse – a large and heavy unit, weighing about 21 lbs. The filters (carbon/pre-filter section, and separate true HEPA filter sections) are more complex but still simple to replace.

Replacement filters are about $68 but you can replace carbon filters separately to keep costs down. It’s not necessary to replace the HEPA filters when only the prefilter needs maintenance.

Filter life averages about 3-5 months depending upon use. The HEPA filter can be extended if you’re swapping out carbon filters and the HEPA filter isn’t saturated.

Honeywell HPA300 electronic controls top view

The purifier features excellent touch panel electronic controls. Just touch one of the controls to rotate easily through the settings like fan speed, the light dimmer, and to set the auto-off timer feature.

The top-facing electronic controls are and indicators are:

  • Fan speed
  • Dimmer
  • Auto-timer selection (2, 4, 8 hrs)
  • Operational mode
  • Filter replacement

Indicators give separate reminders for both the HEPA filter and the pre-filter/carbon filters.

Turbo mode provides high-speed cleaning ability. On low, however, it’s quiet enough to not disturb your quiet time.

Automatic mode shuts off the unit after either 2, 4, or 8 hour operation. The HPA300 also has 3 operational modes: allergen, general, and germ modes. (General mode is fine for cigarette smoke removal)

Honeywell HPA300 filter replacement image

Filter replacement is very simple! The main cover uses 2 push-releases at the top to secure the cover. After removal the prefilter can be replaced or the 3 standard Honeywell HEPA filters as well. It’s easy to do, in my experience.

What I especially like is that the filter replacement reminders are separate – one for the HEPA filter and one for the pre-filter. That’s a feature unique to the Honeywell design. I don’t care however for the limited auto-off time control being limited to 3 choices.

PROS:
  • Electronic touch controls
  • Maximum room size ability for the money (below $300 range)
  • Turbo mode for heavy air cleaning operation on demand
  • Automatic operation with 2, 4, and 8 hour settings
  • Quiet low speed operation
  • Largest room/house coverage (465 sq. ft)
  • Separate filter replacement reminder for both HEPA and pre-filter sections
  • 5-year warranty
  • Dimmer control
CONS:
  • Auto-off timer adjustable only in increments of 2 hours – no 1hr settings
  • Not as sleek-looking as others
  • No auto-sensing mode for self-adjusting ability
  • Black color only

Want to get rid of odors in larger rooms? You can’t go wrong with the HPA300.

Many happy buyers back up my recommendation because it's one of the best large room air purifiers sold today.

Additional recommendations

Moso charcoal carbon air purifying bag

For even more effective odor control I recommend using other products along with your new purifier. A great example is an odor-absorbing product like No products found.

Eliminating odors means not just masking it with an air freshener – but by treating your air. A quality air purifier like those I’ve recommend can remove and trap unpleasant airborne molecules and let you enjoy fresh air again.

For even better odor control I recommend using a well-proven product like odor absorption bags such as No products found.

Learn more

Unsure about how many air purifiers you’ll need? Click here to find out if you need a purifier in every room.

As I’ve been really enjoying my own GermGuardian AC4825, I wrote a thorough review here to help others decide if it’s right for them as well.

GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC4900CA Hands-On Comparison & Details

germguardian ac4825 vs ac4900ca image

In my comprehensive comparison of the GermGuardian AC4825 vs. AC4900CA I’ll cover the specific differences and help you decide which one fits your needs better. If you’re shopping it can be very confusing when comparing these two wonderful models.

Believe me, I understand how it feels!

I’m a proud GermGuardian owner myself so I’ve decided to share my first-hand knowledge with you after personally owning and testing both.

Both models have some good and bad points as they’re from the same basic design family. Let me tell you up front – don’t worry! They’re both great choices and well worth the investment.

Contents

GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC4900CA – Getting started

germguardian ac4825 vs ac4900ca confused guy and tablet

With a huge number of similarities shared between them, it can definitely feel a bit confusing and possibly even a little bit frustrating when trying to compare the two models.

Sadly, GermGuardian doesn’t make the differences clear and they certainly don’t make it easy to compare the two in terms of design and performance aspects.

To make matters worse, the owner’s manuals are slightly different and don’t clarify things.

For example, the AC4825 owner’s manual lists several specifications that aren’t listed in the manual for the AC4900CA. In order to make things more clear I’ve gathered all the specifications and arranged them in a way that’s easy to compare.

GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC4900CA: Comparing specifications

Let’s get the basics out of the way. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the features and specifications of each. I’ll go into more detail about the similarities and differences between the two afterward.

germguardian ac4825 vs ac4900ca side by side in living room

AC4825 Specifications
  • 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 replace indicator: Illum. trim
  • 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″
AC4900CA Specifications
  • 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 replace indicator: LED (front)
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Replacement filter: FILTER B (FLT4825)
  • Carrying handle
  • Weight: 7 lbs
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Control location: front
  • Size: 8.875 x 7.125 x 21.75″

As you can see, these are essentially the same unit. Both share the same great features and performance that make the AC4825 so popular.

It’s one of the best-selling air purifiers today – check out the amazing number of buyers over at Amazon, for example.

Both purifiers perform well and there’s no noticeable difference in air cleaning quality. And there certainly shouldn’t be; they both use the same exact filter.

It’s pretty cool to see (or should I say, smell?) how quickly they remove odors like those from burnt matches in the room where I tested them.

Build quality & styling similarities

Both the AC4825 and AC4900CA feature the same design platform. They’re made of similar internal components right down to the control board, motor, and the general design.

Both are well-constructed, housed in a strong ABS plastic body. The units are both operated with an easy-to-turn (but not flimsy) rotary fan speed control switch. The UV germ-killing feature, activated by an on-off button, feels solid as well.

Note that if the unit is turned off when the UV feature is on, you’ll have to turn the UV option on once again the next time you use it. There isn’t a memory feature for that.

For convenience, as both models are extremely similar in design, I’ll use some images and descriptions from the AC4825 to illustrate and explain more about both models.

The sibling purifiers use a single electric motor driven by a solid-state speed controller. The electric motor is connected to not one but two fan assemblies which resemble cylinders with fan blades.

AC4825 rear motor and fan illustration

The pink arrows indicate the top and bottom fan assemblies in the purifier. Two are used together to drive more airflow with more efficiency. The electric motor (pictured, silver object in the center) drives both. (AC4825 shown – AC4900CA is identical)

And before I forget, both also have a built-in handle at the top rear. It’s actually very handy as while the air purifiers weigh a bit under 10 lbs, they’re rather tall and cumbersome to carry. This makes it easier in my experience.

AC4900CA styling similarities

While the AC4900CA may seem unusual and you may be asking yourself, “Why did they make this one?” GermGuardian actually produces quite a few different products and the air purifier line also includes the smaller sibling called the AC4100.

It’s like the little brother to the AC4900CA and a great little small room air purifier. It covers about 89 square feet of room size vs. the 155 of the AC4900.

GermGuardian AC4100 angle view

The GermGuardian AC4900CA actually shares its same cosmetic design and features with its smaller sibling, the AC4100 shown here. I prefer the style. It’s a modern & contemporary design that really compliments what is already a great air purifier. It reminds me quite a bit of a home stereo loudspeaker.

It essentially boils down to your personal preference in styling. However, one thing to bear in mind is that there isn’t a similar smaller version of the AC4825 like there is of the AC4900CA. Why does that matter?

Because if you’re planning to add more purifiers in order to clean the air in your whole house, you won’t be able to have a matching set unless you use the AC4900CA and AC4100 instead of the AC4825.

Size, performance, and noise levels

Size

Size-wise, there’s very little difference. Both are just under 22″ in height. There is about an extra .25″ height with the AC4900CA. The AC4825 measures 6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″ while the AC4900CA comes it at 8.875 x 7.125 x 21.75.”

Therefore the AC4825 is actually a bit oblong as it is shaped with a bit more of an ellipse shape, depending on how you look at it.

Personally, while I love both models, I lean towards the style of the AC4900 because it’s slightly closer to being square in shape.. That’s completely a matter of personal preference.

The flat front grill looks very nice to me. In either case, you’ll need to make sure you have sufficient room wherever you plan to use it due to the tall height.

Ideally you’ll place either in an area where airflow isn’t restricted. The front and back, where air exit and enter respectively, should have 1-2 feet or so of free space to ensure air can flow freely.

Image comparing AC4825 vs AC4900 side by side

Performance and noise levels

After digging in and evaluating both, I was able to see just how similar the two models are. Not only do both share the same design, good performance, and features, but they also share the same “whirring” noise I’ve known about for a long time that the AC4825 has when it’s in use.

While not a bad thing exactly, it’s a characteristic of these “tower” style air purifiers. It’s due to both the electric motor system as well as the 2-rotor fan design. The electric motor in both purifiers produces a slight “whirring” sound with a little bit of an undertone, so to speak.

It’s largely due to the motor being driven by an electronic solid-state motor controller which rapidly switches the electrical power to the fan on and off to maintain a fixed speed.

I say that to make you aware that neither model is perfectly silent on the lowest setting, although they are both very quiet indeed. Unless you’re the lightest sleeper like me, the low setting is very quiet and both operate with low noise. 

Volume measurements

I carefully measured volume levels using a great little digital sound level meter at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier.

Measurement/SpeedAC4825 Volume (dB)AC4900CA Volume (dB)
Off (room noise)39.339.3
Low42.542
Medium50.551
High5858.3

They’re basically identical in fan volume, as you can see (it tends to be a bit higher when they’re new and haven’t fully broken in yet). Both are very quiet on the lowest setting! That’s similar to another competitor in their price range, the Levoit LV-H132.

Maintenance parts & cost

Image of GermGuardian AC4825 and AC4900 replacement bulb and HEPA filterThe germ-killing ultraviolet light (UV) bulb (left) and the replacement HEPA filter with activated carbon filter section (right) are the same for both models. Expect to spend around $25 for the bulb and somewhere between $30-35 for the filter.

The GermGuardian Filter B (FTL4825) serves as the replacement for both models. Additionally, the UV bulb (the LB4000) is the same as well. You don’t have to be concerned that buying one model means paying more when it comes time to replace the filter or bulb.

In this case, there’s no difference.

You can expect roughly 6-9 months of use from the filter before replacement, although that varies with use & needs. Heavier conditions and heavy odors or substances in the air will shorten the life.

Likewise, for low-demand conditions like in my home, you can expect the filter to last longer.

Checking the filter

You’ll still need to check the filter manually and reset the filter replacement reminder yourself, as there’s no way for the purifier to know how soiled the filter is.

That’s not a feature available in products at this price point.

Filters can be replaced as a set (HEPA filter + the carbon filter section) or you can also replace just the carbon filter if needed. That’s especially helpful if you have pets, cigarette smoke, or other odor-causing contaminant sources which will eventually be absorbed by the carbon filter and will require a replacement to restore the effectiveness of it.

The good news is that you can help extend the life of the prefilter by brushing off debris buildup or vacuuming (which I do and recommend).

Room size coverage

Both models are technically specified as providing 155 square feet room size coverage which is just above the space provided by a 10 x 15 foot room. Note, however, that GermGuardian lists both models as covering a “medium sized” room.

Additionally, plenty of other owners report using it in larger rooms and even their living rooms with great success.

Don’t let room size specifications discourage you in case your room is a bit larger. For a good quality air purifier with great airflow and adequate ventilation, it’s possible to clean the air in a somewhat larger room well. You’ll need to give it additional time to do so but it will.

The main thing is to understand that air purifiers work by cycling air and filtering it. After some period of time all of the air in a room will have been filtered and cleansed.

Filter and bulb indicators

Filter replacement reminder

For both models, the power light (a soft-glow LED) is normally green during standard operation. It will turn red and flash as an indicator when the filter needs to be checked and possibly replaced. You’ll need to reset the reminder which is very easy to do by simply pushing and holding the UV control button for 5 seconds.

UV bulb replacement

One area where the two differ is the UV light bulb replacement indicator. The manufacturer estimates replacement life at 10-12 months, although a few owners have reported earlier bulb failures. Generally speaking, however, you can expect good bulb life as it’s a low-power bulb at only 5W.

Therefore it’s not excessively hot like incandescent bulbs.

GermGuardian AC4825 top side view

On the AC4825 the blue glowing trim (which is the light glowing when the UV-C option is in use) will blink continuously when it’s time for bulb replacement. On the AC4900CA, which doesn’t have a similar glowing trim, the UV-C indicator LED will turn red. In both cases, you’ll need to reset the reminder using the UV button after bulb replacement.

The AC4825 indicates it’s time to replace the bulb by continuously blinking the blue light/trim on the front, while the AC4900CA does so by the UV-C indicator light turning red when it is time.

I was surprised there was this minor difference, but given how the AC4825 allows the UV-C bulb to glow through the trim for a stylish effect and the AC4900CA does not, it does make quite a bit of sense.

GermGuardian AC4825 and AC4900CA blinking light summary

Here’s a simplified chart to help you see the differences in the GermGuardian blinking light patterns & meanings.

Blinking Light TypeAC4825AC4900CA
Blinking blue light(UV-C glow trim blinking) UV bulb needs replacement(UV light blinking) UV bulb needs replacement
Red blinking lightFilter needs check/replacementFilter needs check/replacement

Filter replacement how-to

Filter replacement is identical for both and is one of the easiest to replace that I’ve ever seen! It’s just a simple matter of pulling down the release tab, removing the cover, leaning the old filter out, and leaning the new back into place. Then you simply hook the cover back into place (with the tabs at the bottom) and snap the cover back in.

You’re done! It takes all of about 10 seconds to do.

GermGuardian AC4825 filter removal image
Filter replacement is LITERALLY a snap on both the AC4825 and AC4900CA! Both are identical in how filter replacement is done. (Left) The cover is removed by pressing the release tab at the top, then after the cover is released the old filter can be removed (right). Installation is extremely simple and is just the reverse of removing the old one. I really like how easy it is!

Control differences

As I mentioned near the beginning, both models share similar controls. Actually, they’re functionally identical and are extremely similar cosmetically.

GermGuardian AC4900CA vs AC4825 controls image
As you can see, they’re extremely similar, with the AC4900CA (left) having a small LED for indicating the UV-C germ killing option power status and the AC4825 (right) does not. It does, however, use the illuminated trim to do this (see earlier section).

Both feature a power-on LED which, when green, indicates normal operation and turns red to indicate filter replacement should be checked. The fan speed control is superbly simple as you just switch it from the off position to speeds 1-3.

AC4825 VS AC4900CA Pricing – Is there a difference?

Yes, from time to time there is a difference in price despite their similarities. As prices tend to fluctuate up and down, it’s important to check the current pricing.

For example, here’s the current pricing as of this moment on Amazon (I’ll use the site as a great example since it tends to be more competitively priced and reflects supply & demand as well):

Model:AC4825AC4900CA
 
Current price:$89.99Price not available

(Current pricing updated on 2020-09-30 at 14:11 via Amazon)

They’re both great performers and are very well-reviewed. You can’t go wrong buying the cheaper model over the other one.

Final thoughts – GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC4900CA – Choosing the best one for YOU

To recap: both models are nearly identical and have only minor differences. Performance is the same – only a difference in style and where the controls are located. However, as you saw above, you can potentially save a few dollars if you shop smart.

I will note that if you’re very sensitive to light and are a light sleeper like me, the AC4900CA may be a better choice for you. The AC4825, with the glowing blue front trim, tends to illuminate the room a little bit at night.

Many times I’ve been asleep but woke up later and noticed the glowing blue trim on the AC4825 when the UV-C feature was in use.

To help you better make a decision, here’s a brief comparison chart the minor differences I’ve found in my comparison of the 2.

GermGuardian AC4825 vs. AC4900CA Basic Comparison Table

Image
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,...
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,...
Model
GermGuardian AC4825
GermGuardian AC4900CA
Room Coverage (Sq ft)
155
155
Size
6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″
8.875 x 7.125 x 21.75"
Difference Vs. Other Model
UV-C glow trim, controls on top, UV bulb replacement reminder flashes blue in trim
UV-C indicator is small LED, front-facing controls, modern style
Warranty
3 yrs limited warranty
3 yrs limited warranty
Replacement Filter
FLT4825
FLT4825
Replacement bulb
LB4000
LB4000
Image
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,...
Model
GermGuardian AC4825
Room Coverage (Sq ft)
155
Size
6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″
Difference Vs. Other Model
UV-C glow trim, controls on top, UV bulb replacement reminder flashes blue in trim
Warranty
3 yrs limited warranty
Replacement Filter
FLT4825
Replacement bulb
LB4000
Image
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,...
Model
GermGuardian AC4900CA
Room Coverage (Sq ft)
155
Size
8.875 x 7.125 x 21.75"
Difference Vs. Other Model
UV-C indicator is small LED, front-facing controls, modern style
Warranty
3 yrs limited warranty
Replacement Filter
FLT4825
Replacement bulb
LB4000

These are great basic air purifiers that work well and won’t let you down. Operation is very simple, the true HEPA and activated carbon filters work well, and the filter & bulb reminders are nice. The addition of a UV-C germ-killing feature is definitely a big plus. You won’t be disappointed!

If you’d like to know more see my detailed review of the AC4825 here.

If the AC4825 or AC4900CA are still too expensive for you, don’t worry! I wrote a great post with some affordable models all under $100.

GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC5000 – A Detailed Comparison

Germguardian AC4825 VS AC5000 featured image

They’re two very similar (and popular!) air purifiers – but what are the differences? Which one should you buy?

To help, I’ve put together a detailed comparison of the GermGuardian AC4825 vs AC5000 to tell you everything you need to know.

I’m a proud GermGuardian owner and I’ve had the pleasure of testing both. Read on to find out what you need to know and make the best decisionClean, fresh air is only a few steps away!

Contents

GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC5000 – Getting started

GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC5000 basics image

The AC4825 and the AC5000 (sometimes listed as the AC5000E) are two of the most popular High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter-based air purifiers sold today. Because they use true HEPA filters and because of their great ability to circulate air in a room, they’re very good at removing air quality problems.

The AC4825 is one of the top sellers in its price range with an amazing number of great buyer reviews and feedback. The AC5000 is a favorite among purifier buyers and has established itself as a popular buyer choice too.

Based on my personal experience from owning & using the AC4825, I totally agree! But it’s not just performance that they’re known for – the quality and ease of use made me a believer right away.

These 2 models are definitely very similar in style, so I can totally understand how you might be a bit confused between the two.

While knowing the differences in specs can help, in my opinion, it’s actually more important to read a full review and comparison from someone who’s actually tested both.

GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC5000: Comparing specifications

GermGuardian AC4825 VS AC5000 comparison
Let’s start with the basics first. Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specifications (including features) of each. Later I’ll go into more detail about the small differences as well as similarities between the two.

AC4825 Specifications
  • Room size rating: 167 sq. ft (med. room)
  • UV-C germ killing light
  • Titanium Oxide odor molecule remover
  • 3-speed fan control
  • True HEPA filter w/ activated carbon filter
  • CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings: Dust (118), pollen (125), smoke (108)
  • 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: Illum. trim
  • Replacement filter: FILTER B (FLT4825)
  • Replacement UV bulb: LB4000
  • Power used: 55W
  • Carrying handle
  • Weight: 8.2 lbs (3.7 kgs)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Size: 6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″ (17.1 x 26 x 54.6 cm)
  • Warranty: 3 year limited
AC5000 Specifications
  • Room size rating: 180 sq. ft (large room)
  • UV-C germ killing light
  • Titanium Oxide odor molecule remover
  • 3-speed fan control
  • True HEPA filter w/ activated carbon filter
  • CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings: Dust (123), pollen (128), smoke (116)
  • 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: Illum. trim
  • Replacement filter: FILTER B (FLT5000)
  • Replacement UV bulb: LB5000
  • Power used: 60W
  • Carrying handle
  • Weight: 10.55 lbs (4.8 kgs)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Size: 11” x 6.75” x 27.25” (27.9 x 17.1 x 69.2 cm)
  • Warranty: 5 year limited

As you can see by comparing the details above, they’re identical in features. Both also have the same great features and quality that make the AC4825 so popular.

The most important thing to take note of is the difference in their room size coverage and warranties. While the AC4825 is recommended for medium-sized rooms (to about 167 square feet), the AC5000 is well suited for large rooms (180 sq. feet in size).

Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) notes

Comparison of GermGuardian AC4825 vs AC5000 CADR labels & ratings

To help buyers compare the performance of air cleaning products when shopping,  the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) was developed as an industry-standard rating system. It’s a standard provided by the AHAM.

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) is an organization that verifies the testing results of home appliances & carry out lab testing for appliance manufacturers. The CADR rating tests are voluntary and not required by law.

In simple terms, the CADR ratings are numbers used to help you know an air cleaner’s performance before buying. The rating numbers are based on “higher is better.”

The AC4825’s CADR ratings are pretty good for an affordable purifier. The AC5000’s are slightly better, which is to be expected.

The AC5000 CADR air cleaning performance means that it offers better air cleaning efficiency, but it’s not a huge difference. 

However, if you’re more concerned about dealing with a particular problem (for example, I’ve got a dust problem that’s a real pain!) definitely choose the best CADR rating if your budget allows.

Build quality & design similarities

Both models are well-made and are housed in a strong ABS plastic body with a satin black finish. Both designs use a rotary fan switch that allows you to easily operate the purifier. The rotary switch feels good in my opinion and makes operation incredibly easy.

The UV-C germ killing feature is activated by an on-off momentary push button on both. This kind of control makes operation a breeze and I like how it feels when I switch it on or off.

Note: if the UV feature is turned on and then the purifier is switched off afterward, you’ll have to turn it on again the next time. There’s no memory feature.

These two sibling air purifiers use a single electrical motor located in the center of the body that’s attached to not one but two cylindrical fan blade assemblies.

AC4825 rear motor and fan illustration

The pink arrows show the location of the internal fans in both, with the AC5000 being a larger version of the AC4825. Two fans are used together to move air with more efficiency. The electric motor (pictured, the silver object in the center) drives both.

Both models have a built-in handle at the top rear as shown in the image above. It’s a great feature to have and makes moving them easy. While neither are really so heavy, they can be a little bit cumbersome to carry due to their height. This feature makes it easier in my experience.

Both models have good fit and finish – assembly is good with no unusual gaps or quality issues. The finish is really nice and I like them both – a nice satin finish for both the body and the trim near the controls.

Size, performance, and noise levels

Size

GermGuardian AC4825 vs ac5000 side by side

As you can see there is a bit of difference in size between the two – but that’s expected. The AC5000 has a higher Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) as it is larger and has the ability to move more air. There’s no substitute for size when it comes to fans & purifiers!

Size-wise, there is a little bit of difference, as the AC5000 stands at just under 28″ (71 cm) tall. While the AC4825 is just under 22″ (55.9 cm). In practice, though, I didn’t have any real problems with that.

In terms of width and overall size, the AC5000 is definitely a bit larger and it’s a bit deeper in size as well. Honestly, after having used the AC4825 for some time now I found it really easy to get used to using its bigger sibling.

Performance

Both purifiers worked great against my main air quality concern – dust. However, as I expected, the AC5000 is more capable than the AC4825 at filtering air (it’s more efficient) and therefore performed better.

Before I purchased my AC5000 I used my AC4825 for some time in a small room and it really made a big difference! As I mentioned here, it really helped a lot with my dust problem and caught much more dust than I had ever expected.

Note that I’ll go into a bit more detail room size and cleaning ability below.

Noise levels

I tested and compared both, especially as I already have considerable experience with the AC4825. My first thought about the AC5000 was “I bet it’s louder since it’s larger.” I was very wrong!

In fact, the AC5000 is a very quiet purifier and the sound level was nearly identical to the smaller AC4825!

It’s worth mentioning that one characteristic of the GermGuardian AC series of purifiers is a slight “whirring” sound they produce when in use. It’s due to a combination of things, one of which is how the motor is driven electrically. Second, it’s a trait of the motor itself (this is common for many electric motors).

I mention this so you’ll understand that neither, when brand new, is perfectly silent on the lowest setting. They are, however, both very quiet indeed. Unless you’re the lightest sleeper like me, the low setting is very quiet and both operate with low noise. 

They both sounded extremely similar to me and very pleasing to the ear. No complaints or big differences between the 2 in terms of their noise levels.

Volume measurements

dB noise level meter measurement image

Here’s some real data. To document what I actually heard, I measured volume levels using this great little digital sound level meter I bought at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifiers.

Measurement/SpeedAC4825 Vol. In Decibels (dB)AC5000 Volume (dB)
Off (room noise)39.339.3
Low42.543.5
Medium50.551.5
High5857

As you can see, they’re almost identical in fan volume, which was a bit surprising (but I’m not complaining!) Both are very quiet on the lowest setting with the AC5000 being about the same or a tiny bit less on high.

Maintenance cost differences

UV bulbs

GermGuardian AC4825 vs ac5000 UV-C bulbs comparedBoth of these models use a replaceable ultraviolet light (UV) bulb. The AC4825 uses the LB4000 (about $25) while the AC5000 uses the longer LB5000 bulb (around $29). In either case, it’s usually 10-12 months or so life expectancy for the bulb.

Both models have several maintenance items to be aware of:

  • Replacing the UV-C bulb
  • Replacing the pre-filter (you can replace it separately)
  • Replacing the HEPA filter

In all cases, it depends upon use. For example, if you rarely use the UV-C germ killing feature you’re not likely to need to replace it for years. The pre-filter can be replaced separately from the HEPA filter or in a complete set.

Although it can’t be washed, you can vacuum the pre-filter and replace it after about 6 months or so (less with heavier use). That will allow you to prolong the life of the HEPA filter, as there’s no real need to waste money on a new one when the current one still isn’t completely full yet.

That’s especially helpful if you have pets that shed a lot or have a bad dust problem like I do.

After some time in use, my pre-filter built up quite a bit of dust it had captured. I carefully vacuumed it off and it was ready for action again!

Replacement filters

GermGuardian AC4825 vs ac5000 filters compared

The AC4825 replacement set uses ]amazon link=”B0055521W0″ title=”the LFT4825 package”/] while the AC5000 uses the larger FLT5000 package filter set. In both cases, remember that this is for a complete set. If the HEPA filter isn’t completely saturated you can save money by buying separate pre-filters, which are less expensive.

Expect roughly 6-9 months of use from the filter before replacement, although that varies with use & needs. Heavier conditions and heavy odors and especially heavily dirty air (like with hair for example) will require a sooner replacement date.

Likewise, for low-demand conditions like in my home, you can expect the filter to last longer.

You’ll still need to check the filter manually and reset the filter replacement reminder yourself, as there’s no way for the purifier to know how soiled the filter is. You’ll need to check to be sure.

Pre-filters are separately replaceable

These GermGuardian models allow replacing the pre-filter separately, which I’ve found to be really good for reducing costs. It’s especially helpful if you have pets, cigarette smoke, or other odor-causing contaminant sources that can use up the pre-filter more quickly.

Having a purifier that allows the pre-filter to be replaced separately is a big advantage! Not all do.

This saves money and reduces waste because in many homes the HEPA filter’s life can be extended. You won’t have to waste money if the HEPA filter still has good life left in it.

Room size coverage

Room size measuring example

One of the main differences between the two models is the room size coverage recommended by Guardian Technologies, the manufacturer.

These are:

  • AC4825: 167 sq. feet (medium room)
  • AC5000: 180 sq. feet (large room)

In both cases, these are recommended room size applications for you to use them in – it’s not mandatory. However, in the case of air purifiers, it’s helpful to understand that the recommended room sizes will tell you how effectively the purifier will clean the air.

You can most certainly spend a little bit more and get the AC5000 which will clean the air in a smaller room more quickly than the AC4825. On the other hand, if you can’t afford the AC5000 you can still get good air cleaning however it will take more time to clean your room.

Don’t let room size specifications discourage you in case your room is a bit larger. For a good quality air purifier with great airflow and adequate ventilation, it’s possible to clean the air in a somewhat larger room well. You’ll need to give it additional time to do so but it will.

The main thing is to understand that air purifiers work by cycling air and filtering it. After some period of time, all of the air in a room will have been filtered and cleansed.

Filter and bulb indicators

Filter replacement reminder

For both models, the power light (a soft-glow LED) is normally green during standard operation. It will turn red and flash as an indicator when the filter needs to be checked and possibly replaced. You’ll need to reset the reminder when that happens, which is easy. Simply push and hold the UV control button for 5 seconds.

UV bulb replacement

GermGuardian AC4825 vs ac5000 UV-C feature turned on
On the AC4825 and AC5000 the blue glowing trim (the light glowing when the UV-C feature is in use) will blink when it’s time for bulb replacement. You’ll need to reset the reminder using the UV button after bulb replacement.

Both models indicate it’s time to replace the bulb by continuously blinking the blue light/trim on the front. When in use the UV-C feature illuminates the trim surrounding the base of the top of the purifier.

It’s a nice touch that looks great.

GermGuardian AC4825 / AC5000 blinking light summary

Here’s a basic chart to help you understand the meaning of the blinking light patterns.

Blinking Light TypeAC4825/AC5000
Blinking blue light(UV-C glow trim blinking) UV bulb needs replacement
Red blinking lightThe filter needs check/replacement

Filter replacement

Filter replacement is identical for both and is one of the easiest to replace that I’ve ever seen! It’s just a simple matter of pulling down the release tab, removing the cover, leaning the old filter out, and leaning the new back into place.

Then simply hook the cover back into place (with the tabs at the bottom) and snap the cover back in. You’re done!

It takes all of about 10 seconds to do.

GermGuardian AC4825 filter removal image
Filter replacement is LITERALLY a snap on both the AC4825 and AC4900CA! Both are identical in how the filter replacement is done. (Left) The cover is removed by pressing the release tab at the top, then after the cover is released the old filter can be removed (right). Installation is extremely simple and is just the reverse of removing the old one. I really like how easy it is!

Controls

GermGuardian AC4825 vs ac5000 controls image
As I mention earlier, both models share similar controls. Actually, they’re functionally identical and are extremely similar cosmetically

They’re so close in appearance and the “feel” that you won’t be able to tell them apart, probably. There’s no difference in how the controls operate.

Both feature a power-on LED which, when green, indicates normal operation and turns red to indicate filter replacement should be checked. The fan speed control is very simple as you just switch it from the off position to speeds 1-3.

While that might not seem impressive to some, remember that some people (especially the elderly) find more intricate electronic controls difficult to operate and potentially frustrating.

By using simple, clearly labeled controls, there’s none of that. Just turn it on and forget it!

AC4825 VS AC5000 price differences

As I’m sure you’ve already guessed, there is a bit of a difference in price. The AC5000 is roughly 25% more efficient at air cleaning than its little brother the AC4825, it’s bigger, and is priced accordingly.

Model:AC4825EAC5000
 
Current price:$89.99Price not available

(Current pricing updated on 2020-09-30 at 14:11 via Amazon)

Regardless of pricing, they’re both great performers and are very well-reviewed. You can’t go wrong buying the AC4825 in case the AC5000 is outside of your budget.

In the worst-case situation, air cleaning may take longer if you use the AC4825 in a large room. But it’s certainly not a deal-breaker (Note: I don’t recommend that – I always recommend using the correct size or even a purifier suitable for even larger rooms for best results)

Summary – Comparison table and which to buy

Essentially, there are only a few differences between these two great air purifiers:

  • The AC5000 has a higher speed fan and is more efficient (better suited for large rooms)
  • 5 year limited warranty for the AC5000 vs. the 3 year limited warranty for the AC4825
  • Size differences & price
  • The AC5000 uses about 5W more electricity (with UV on and on high)

Maintenance cost differences between the two models are minimal, and both are surprisingly quiet in use. I can’t tell the difference even though the AC5000 has more airflow and is more efficient! It’s that good!

Aside from the things I listed above, they’re essentially the same – just in two different sizes and cleaning performance. They’re both wonderful & hassle-free purifiers that work well to clean the air, but I recommend the AC5000 if you can afford it.

UPDATE! There’s a newly-offered white version of the AC4825. Finally, there’s another option for those of you who prefer more color options. 

GermGuardian AC4825 vs AC5000 Comparison Table

Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,...
★ New color! ★
Germ Guardian HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer, Eliminates...
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,...
Model
GermGuardian AC4825E (Black)
GermGuardian AC4825W
GermGuardian AC5000
Room size (sq. ft)
155 (medium)
155 (medium)
180 (large)
CADR ratings
118/125/108
118/125/108
123/128/116
Fan speeds
3
3
3
UV-C Germ Killer
Size
6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″
6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″
11” x 6.75” x 27.25”
Warranty
3 years limited
3 years limited
5 years limited
Replacement filter
FLT4825 (about $29)
FLT4825
FLT5000 (about $32.50)
Replacement bulb
LB4000 (about $25)
LB4000
LB5000 (about $29)
Current price
$89.99
Price not available
Price not available
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,...
Model
GermGuardian AC4825E (Black)
Room size (sq. ft)
155 (medium)
CADR ratings
118/125/108
Fan speeds
3
UV-C Germ Killer
Size
6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″
Warranty
3 years limited
Replacement filter
FLT4825 (about $29)
Replacement bulb
LB4000 (about $25)
Current price
$89.99
★ New color! ★
Germ Guardian HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer, Eliminates...
Model
GermGuardian AC4825W
Room size (sq. ft)
155 (medium)
CADR ratings
118/125/108
Fan speeds
3
UV-C Germ Killer
Size
6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″
Warranty
3 years limited
Replacement filter
FLT4825
Replacement bulb
LB4000
Current price
Price not available
Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,...
Model
GermGuardian AC5000
Room size (sq. ft)
180 (large)
CADR ratings
123/128/116
Fan speeds
3
UV-C Germ Killer
Size
11” x 6.75” x 27.25”
Warranty
5 years limited
Replacement filter
FLT5000 (about $32.50)
Replacement bulb
LB5000 (about $29)
Current price
Price not available

(Current pricing updated on 2020-09-30 at 14:11 via Amazon)

Which model should I buy?

Image of GermGuardian AC4825 black and white models side by sideThe AC4825 is your best choice for:

  • Small or medium-sized rooms
  • Tighter budgets where you can’t afford the slight difference in price
  • Using multiple purifiers to cover more areas (or a single larger area) in your home. (A 2-pack of the AC4825 is available too)

I’ve owned and enjoyed the AC4825. Despite owning & testing quite a few air purifiers, it’s still one of my favorites! Take a look and see why it's one of the world's best selling & most popular air purifiers at Amazon.

The AC5000 is a better choice for:

  • Larger sized rooms
  • Areas where the larger size isn’t a problem
  • Problems like dust, pet hair, and allergens where you want the most cleaning power

My GermGuardian AC5000 is a wonderful and well-made purifier I’ve owned and enjoyed just as much as its smaller sibling – but with even more cleaning power!

Be sure to check out the amazing buyer reviews and see why it's a top seller at Amazon.

Further reading

HEPA Type VS True HEPA Filters Explained

HEPA type vs true HEPA purifier examples image

Air purifiers are wonderful and can definitely improve your quality of life. Unfortunately, a lot of the ones sold today can be hard to figure out.

You might find some labeled “true” HEPA filters while some others are advertised as “HEPA type.”

To make matters worse, as a new buyer it’s easy to be misled into buying a product that’s misrepresented and pretends to be as good as better-quality products. 

In this post, I’ll explain the difference between HEPA type vs HEPA filters in great detail.

Contents

True HEPA and HEPA type air purifiers

HEPA type vs true HEPA purifier examples imageShown: 2 very common air purifiers, which don’t seem very different from the outside. Left: A Holmes HAP242-NUC air purifier which includes a HEPA-type filter and marketed similarly to a true HEPA filter. Right: GermGuardian AC4825 air purifier. It includes a genuine HEPA filter that meets the High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) standard.

The problem with air purifiers sold today (as pictured above, for example) is that it’s very easy to think they’re all the same. Because of clever marketing, you may think a HEPA-type is just as effective as a true HEPA product.

The problem lies in the details and how filters are rated.

What is a true HEPA filter?

Diagram showing HEPA filter efficiency
High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter describes a type of filter designed to meet efficiency and air purification quality levels set by the United States Department of Energy. These filters are made of a very dense fiber-like material.

To meet the standard a filter must be able to remove 99.97% of airborne particles that enter it down to 0.3 microns in size.

A micron, or micrometer (uM), is 1/1,000,000 of a meter. It’s a common unit of measurement for microscopic elements.

A filter’s efficiency refers to how many particles it can trap and remove from the airflow that passes through it. At 99.97%, for every 10,000 particles flowing into it only about 3 escape.

HEPA filters are very effective at cleaning the air!

The good news is that thanks to the High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) standard exist it’s much easier to know what you’re getting for your money.

HEPA-type vs. true HEPA explained

HEPA filter efficiency graph

This graph shows how air filters like HEPA filters perform when used in an air purifier.

A HEPA filter’s efficiency actually begins to fall for particles near the size of 0.3uM, which is why they’re rated to “99.97% of particles down to 0.3uM.” Filters actually work even better above that size (as seen in the graph, like 5uM for example).

Following the red line on the graph, you can see that the efficiency (the number of particles it can capture) drops a bit near a certain size range.

The interesting thing to know is that filters actually trap more particles below that size range, but it’s misleading to sell a filter based on that.

Minimum particle size is what matters

The smallest particle size a filter can remove from the air is the most important thing to know. In the case of a genuine (true) HEPA filter, you can be sure that’s 0.3uM (less than 1 millionth of a meter).

“HEPA-type” filters are those that look like true HEPA filters but don’t meet the same requirements. They’re not standardized and can have any range of efficiency and minimum particle size rating.

HEPA-type purifiers are sold to give a buyer the impression they’re getting the same performance when in fact who knows? Unless the specs are specifically made clear, it’s anybody’s guess.

There’s no mandatory requirement for companies selling those to have proof of their product’s performance.

Industry standard ratings

Honeywell HPA160 CADR ratings label image

An example Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) label from the Honeywell HPA160 medium-large room air purifier. CADR ratings are lab-verified cleaning efficiency ratings based on measuring how effective an air purifier is for 3 major types of air contaminants.

The industry standard Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is a standardized test carried out by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).

The AHAM is an independent (non-government) voluntary industry association that was established to better rate and standardize the ratings of many appliances you buy.

Air purifiers have unique requirements as well so a method of testing their cleaning effectiveness was developed. Using the CADR you can better shop by comparison for those models which include the rating in their specifications.

Understanding CADR ratings

The CADR rating is a cleaning effectiveness rating. It’s a score based on standard lab tests by the AHAM where a purifier is used in a room with a measured amount of air contaminants.

The air purifier is then observed and measured based on how well and fast it can clean the 3 types of contaminants (smoke, dust, and pollen) in a given amount of time.

Air purifiers with a higher airflow rate (larger purifiers with more fan speed) will nearly always rate higher.

That’s expected. Therefore when shopping and reading CADR ratings you should compare purifiers of a similar recommended room size.

(For example, a small room purifier will have a lower CADR rating than a large room one, so comparing them as equals doesn’t make sense).

HEPA-type marketing to watch out for

HEPA type filter marketing gimmicYou might find products advertised as having “99.9% efficiency” or something like that. But the most important thing is what’s the minimum particle size they can filter at that level? What is it? How does it really perform?

Unless it’s specifically made clear, you have no idea how well it’s actually going to work. More than likely it’s not close to the performance of a true HEPA filter and is a bad choice.

In some cases, HEPA-type filters can allow allergens, dust mite particles, and more to escape! That’s because some of the most common airborne particles that give people problems are smaller than they can capture.

HEPA type vs true HEPA visual comparison image

Image showing the filters from the previously shown examples. A HEPA-type filter (Holmes air purifier, left) and a true HEPA filter (GermGuardian, right) look extremely similar. In most cases, you can’t tell the difference just by looking. You’ll need to be very careful and look for specifications that tell you their performance. However, in my opinion, “HEPA-type” filters are best avoided and you should simply get the real thing.

Avoid unknown HEPA-type filters. Don’t waste your money.

Are HEPA type purifiers bad? Are there exceptions?

Holmes HAP242-NUC hepa type descriptionAs I mentioned earlier, it’s generally best to avoid HEPA-type purifiers. But there are exceptions to the rule.

The Holmes desktop air purifier I showed earlier is an example I can use. It’s more of a budget model. However, in this case, Holmes does specify it can trap contaminants down to 2 microns (2uM) in size.

HEPA type filters aren’t “bad” – just a different performance level

While that’s poor in comparison to a real HEPA filter, it’s still ok for some purposes. For example, for larger particles like dust mites, household dust, hair, and so forth it can work just fine.

In that case, you’ll need to be well-educated about what size particles your air problems include. I definitely wouldn’t recommend a HEPA-type filter for smoke, airborne microbes, and other issues.

Smoke particles have been shown to measure well below 1 micron in size, for example.

Honestly, this kind of information isn’t for the average person and leaves too much room for making a bad buying decision in my opinion.

If you’re on a tight budget and your air problems aren’t demanding it’s an option to consider.

However, you can buy a better purifier with a real HEPA and carbon filter for around $50 and up these days.

Summary

As they look very similar to each other, you can’t rely on your eyes alone. As I mentioned earlier, because of clever marketing you could be misled into thinking HEPA-type purifiers are just as good as the real thing.

They aren’t.

To recap, here are the most critical points to keep in mind when comparing HEPA type vs true HEPA purifiers:

  • “HEPA-type” filters are not standardized and can’t match the performance of true HEPA purifiers. Often they don’t show the smallest particle size they can trap. This means they’re not a good choice usually but in some cases they’re ok to use.
  • True HEPA purifiers are verified to meet a standard level performance. They’re standardized and must meet the 99.97% efficiency / 0.3uM particle size quality standard.

In my opinion, it’s worth spending a bit more money for a product with better air cleaning ability and that has demonstrated effectiveness.

Additional reading

Speaking of money – got a budget? I’ve got a great list of some of the best air purifiers under $100 here.

One of the best (and that I own) is the super-popular GermGuardian AC4825 I reviewed in great detail here.

Do Air Purifiers Reduce Dust? A Comprehensive Guide

Do air purifiers reduce dust featured image

Dust is an everyday problem for many of us. I used to suffer terribly from coughing because of dust blown into my work area from the ventilation system in my old job.

As I learned later, dust contains a variety of debris, pollutants, and allergens that are bad to breathe in. One of the best things I’ve ever done is to invest in a high-quality air purifier.

But what if you’re not convinced yet. Do air purifiers reduce dust? That’s a great question I’m going to answer for you.

Contents

Infographic – Air purifier and dust facts

Do air purifiers reduce dust infographic

Do air purifiers reduce dust?

Air purifier dust facts

The short answer is yes, air purifiers reduce dust and help eliminate the problem.

The critical reason is that they eliminate dust particles – both visible and microscopic – from the air. Airborne particulates pass through them and are caught permanently in filters. Larger dust elements like hair and fabric fibers get trapped in a front section called the pre-filter.

It’s important to note that I’m referring to filter-based purifiers, not ionizers or ozone generators. The reason is that while those have a purpose under certain conditions, they’re not nearly as effective as a traditional (filter-based) purifier.

Note that air purifiers aren’t a 100% solution – it’s impossible for them to remove all air contaminants, like dust that has settled on surfaces. I’ll cover the other steps you should take for the most benefit as we go along.

What is in dust?

Image of household dust under a microscope

A microscopic image of common household dust. It’s not made of any one element. However different dust sources may generate higher levels of some particles than others. These microscopic particulates are not just a cleanliness issue but can aggravate your respiratory system, cause allergies and sickness, and even cause cancer. Without a good way to trap and remove dust, you’ll constantly breathe in more and more.

It’s helpful to understand exactly the problem you’re dealing with. Why? Because common household dust isn’t often made of large, visible elements that are easily vacuumed or swept away permanently.

Many dust particles are actually microscopic in size which means ordinary cleaning and vacuuming won’t capture them. 

Additionally, different dust sources can bring toxicity and other potentially harmful effects due to chemical elements and organic threats.

Sources of dust

As you might have already guessed, there are a lot of ways dust gets into your home:

  • Dust mite by-products (dust mite feces and body parts)
  • Pet dander & human shed tissue/skin
  • Home construction materials
  • Carpet dust fibers
  • Fabric & clothing fibers
  • Plant materials
  • Central heating and cooling system air ducts
  • Outdoor elements
  • Hair fibers

…and the list goes on and on. There are just too many to list!

The problem can come from nearly anything that breaks down into small enough particles that can be carried by wind and air.

A surprisingly large amount of dust actually comes from the outdoors. Tracked-in dirt from outside is a great example of how you bring these types of particles into your home without knowing it.

Toxicity and health dangers

Image of human respiratory system
Respiratory and other health problems increase a lot when you inhale dust. Microscopic dust particles are more easily brought into our respiratory passageway. Coughing, allergies, nose problems, and much more are some of the symptoms caused by it. People with asthma are especially vulnerable to it too.

Because most Americans spend up to 90 percent or more of their day indoors, it’s easy to see why dust could potentially bring health risks over time.

Dirty, trapped air increases in dust content over time and you’re constantly breathing it in.

As dust settles, it’s less of a risk but once disturbed it’s airborne again and you’ll be inhaling more of it yet again. People suffering from asthma, emphysema, and other health issues can struggle with even a small increase in dust levels.

Many materials, many dust sources

Man-made materials like fabric, home materials, and carpet distribute particles that break off and enter your air. Many are potentially toxic and contain chemicals like formaldehyde.

In fact, a 2016 study found that it can contain up to 10 household chemicals!

Some are known carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), meaning you’re at risk for even more health problems down the road!

Dust cleanliness problems

Image of dusty table being cleaned

The more you let your dust problem go unchecked, the more you’ll need to clean! I hate dusting so I use my air purifier nearly 24 hours a day for best results.

I really hate having to dust every so often! It’s a boring chore and just feels like I could be spending the time elsewhere.

I’m sure nearly everyone knows how that feels – walking in and seeing cabinets, tabletops, and shelves coated with that same old dust we hate.

The thing is, if left untreated you’ll have the same problem, day after day, week after week – more cleaning. That goes for nearly anywhere you live: If not dealt with effectively, you’ll never escape the headache of dust problems.

I finally had enough of the dust particles that were constantly building up from fabrics and my bathroom towels. Vacuuming helps, but it definitely isn’t the easiest or most efficient way.

So I decided to try an air purifier and I’ll share my experiences below.

How air purifiers reduce dust

How air purifiers reduce dust diagram

Diagram showing how an air purifier circulates air and removes dust in a room. Shown here is the AC4825 air purifier, a great example of an effective product. I’m an owner and have had great success with it keeping dust levels down where I live! 

As I mentioned above, a good purifier is a great choice for reducing dust.

They work by using internal electric fans to continuously circulate air in a room and filter the air as it moves through them. Dusty and dirty air is pulled in and forced through the filters, trapping dusty permanently.

Clean air leaves the exhaust side of the purifier and the cycle continues. In most cases, it takes a few hours with an appropriately sized purifier to circulate & clean the air in a room.

The time it takes depends on the model, the size of the room, and the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) rating of the purifier (if provided).

HEPA and pre-filter sections

A pre-filter section contains a thin mesh material that first traps larger elements like household dust and pet air before they reach the HEPA filter. This is especially helpful because when dealing with air quality problems like this the pre-filter will likely become dirty relatively soon.

In that case, the pre-filter will prevent the HEPA filter section from becoming dirty too rapidly and will extend its life. Many purifiers sold today allow the pre-filter to be replaced separately instead of having to replace both, saving money.

You may be able to vacuum the dust trapped in the pre-filter section as I’ve done before.

The High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) section is made of very dense fibrous material. The HEPA standard ensures it can trap 99.7% of the unwanted particles entering it, down to 0.3 microns in size. (A micron is 1/1,000,000 of a meter).

Working together they form a highly effective way to capture dust both large and microscopic in size.

My experiences with an air purifier and dust

GermGuardian AC4825E dust on filter image

My air purifier’s dust cleaning ability (top photo) after only a week or 2. I was amazed at how much dust it trapped! Truly wonderful, and it helps a lot to keep my place cleaner and the air healthier. Bottom photo: after it became nearly used I vacuumed the pre-filter to get more life out of it.

I bought the highly recommended GermGuardian AC4825 to try out in my own home – the results where excellent! The amount of dust it captured was crazy!

After about 2 weeks or so I opened the rear filter cover to check it out for curiosity’s sake. I was almost shocked by how much dust was on the pre-filter. How much dust had I been breathing in all this time?

Now I normally leave mine running for at least 8-9 hours a day and even longer if I’m inside working all day or while I’m out.

My problem with needing to clean so often has been reduced and I’m much happier. I was so pleased with mine that I wrote an extensive review of the AC4825 purifier here.

Additional steps to take

Ultimately, while an air purifier is the most practical and simplest remedy it can’t work magic. Once the dust settles a purifier can’t remove it. Purifiers treat airborne particles and odors.

There are several more steps I recommend to minimize dust levels in your home:

  • Use a high-quality, dense filter for your central heating & cooling system
  • Clean surfaces using a vacuum cleaner with a good bag
  • Clean your ventilation system or air vents occasionally
  • Avoid bringing dirt and materials from indoors
  • Remove older and deteriorating materials when possible

It’s crucial to buy a quality product with sufficient room size coverage in order to most effectively reduce the dust where you stay.

I’ve got several great recommendations here although I can personally vouch for the GermGuardian AC4825. See my detailed review here to learn more.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to reach out or leave a comment below.