My Hands-On GermGuardian AC4900CA Review – How Does It Rate?

GermGuardian AC4900CA review featured image

In my review of the GermGuardian AC4900CA, I’ll cover performance, quality, features, any flaws I found, and much more. After being an owner for so long I’ve learned a lot.

I wanted to find out how the AC4900CA stacks up not just against other popular products from the company (like its twin the AC4825) but also its main competitors.

Read on to find out what I found and see if it’s a great choice for your home, too. (Hint: I love mine!)

Contents

Unpacking & first impressions

Packaging

GermGuardian AC4900CA packaging
My AC4900 purifier arrived well-packaged and securely held in place. After opening it I found the owner’s manual located conveniently on top. There’s practically NO setup! Just unbox it, unwrap, and get started enjoying it!

My new purifier came well-packaged. The AC4900CA arrived in great shape as its held in place both at the top and bottom using recycled cardboard inserts. It’s an eco-friendly touch I appreciate.

Unboxing is simple and there’s no fuss whatsoever: just remove the packaging inserts, power cord plug cover, and the protective plastic bag.

You’ll find the owner’s manual placed on top upon opening the box.

As I already own and really enjoy similar and incredibly popular GermGuardian AC4825, I was really curious how it would compare. Is it just as good? How does it look, sound, and work?

It’s time to dig in and find out!

Build quality

GermGuardian AC4900CA closeup quality image

Build quality is just as good as I’ve come to expect after owning & testing many GermGuardian products. Fit and finish are great, with no manufacturing defects or cosmetic issues. The AC4900 has a unique brushed metal appearance that’s stylish and modern. It’s a satin silver-gray effect I like.

As I always do, I ran the purifier through a series of once-over inspections I do as a basic check for build quality issues and any noticeable problems.

I’m happy to say the AC4900 is just as nicely put together as its sibling the AC4825.

Despite having a sturdy plastic housing, it looks more expensive than it really is (just like its sibling, it usually sells below $100) and looks quite nice.

Build quality & overall impression

The assembly is great. Construction is solid, with no misaligned body parts or noticeable flaws of any kind. The body features a very nice simulated brushed metal (satin) finish that works well.

Both the front air grill and the controls are smartly matched in color just right.

While it’s very modern and stylish in design, it manages to not stand out too much. That is, it doesn’t look out-of-place in modern rooms.

Quite the contrary – it resembles a classy and modern appliance.

Checking out the controls

GermGuardian AC4900CA front controls image

Just like the AC4825, the controls are extremely simple to use and are together in one place. On this model, they’re forward-facing (and not on top). The controls work well and have a great “feel” when used. They’re tight, responsive, and don’t feel cheap. I like them.

Using the purifier is extremely easy. While it doesn’t have the more advanced electronic controls of some competitors, one advantage is simplicity.

Not everyone is well-suited to push button controls, after all.

To use the AC4900, just turn the fan speed to 1 of 3 settings (low, medium, and high). The power light will show when the unit is switched on.

To use the UV-C germ killing feature, there’s a momentary on-off push button switch. When turned on the blue UV-C light will light on as well.

The controls feel good – they’re not too “light” and not too firm. In other words, they’re firm enough to be easy to use but not easy to accidentally change.

The fan switch is also quiet and doesn’t add any annoying sounds when in use.

However, one thing kind of irritates me although it’s not really a big deal: when using the UV-C feature, turning the main power off sets the UV-C option back to the off state the next time you use it.

There’s no memory feature for that. I don’t understand it…but again, it’s a minor complaint I have, and that’s all.

Specifications

GermGuardian 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 replacement indicator
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Replacement filter: FILTER B (FLT4825)
  • Power use: 55W (max. fan speed)
  • Carrying handle
  • Weight: 9.84 lbs (21.7 kgs)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Control location: top front
  • Size: 8.87 x 7.125 x 21.75″

Size and thoughts on using a “tower” purifier

AC4900CA height measurement image

At just under 22 inches in height, the AC4900 definitely isn’t a small model. “Tower” purifiers are those that are taller than they are wide and don’t use a low-profile design.

They’re normally taller by design due to the use of more internal fans which is the case for this model as well. Additional fans are used to offer better air cleaning performance by a higher airflow rate.

It’s definitely important to make sure you have enough room for it before buying. However, at only about 9″ or so at its widest point, it fits nearly anywhere in my experience.

Note that you’ll need to be sure to keep a few feet (say 3 feet) unblocked space behind and in front of it to allow proper airflow so it can work as intended.

Purifiers need a fair amount of unrestricted space to circulate and clean the air in a room.

Carrying the purifier

GermGuardian AC4900CA carrying handle image

The built-in handle works well to help you move it within a room. It’s a nice feature I’ve always loved in the other models I own as well.

One feature that I really appreciate is the built-in carrying handle that’s in the top rear of the body. It’s large enough so that you can grip the purifier easily when moving it around.

It’s a nice touch that you don’t always see on competing products. On occasion when I needed to reposition the unit (like during cleaning, opening doors, etc) it came in handy.

Air cleaning ability & performance

GermGuardian FLT4825 dirty filter vacuum example image

The purifier’s filter (the FLT4825 filter included from the factory) trapped a LOT of dust! You can extend the pre-filter life by vacuuming off excessive hair or dust as needed as you can see I did here. Dust is a very bothersome air quality problem in my home and the AC4900 made a big difference when I used it regularly.

Recommended for medium-sized rooms up to around 155 square feet in size, it’s well suited for many homes, offices, and other living areas.

While you can use it in larger rooms, I don’t recommend doing so as that increases the time required for it to cycle the air and trap particulates. For larger rooms, you’re better off with a larger model like the AC5000 large room purifier.

During testing my AC4900 was really helpful at helping me deal with my biggest air quality problem: dust.

As you can see above, it trapped a lot of that terrible dust that plagues my air and covers surfaces regularly.  Additionally, the activated carbon filter cut down on odors and any nasty airborne vapors I had due to cleaning products or even food in the room.

Just be sure to remember that air purifiers work by cycling air in the room. It takes a few hours to completely cycle and clean a room’s air. You’ll also want to use it regularly as well.

I often leave mine running all day while I’m gone.

GermGuardian AC4900CA filter and grill

The AC4900CA HEPA filter with prefilter attached alongside the rear cover/grill.

GermGuardian AC4900 square feet coverage and room size

While it’s recommended for medium-sized rooms (up to 155 square feet) there’s absolutely no reason you can’t use it in smaller rooms!

In fact, smaller rooms would greatly benefit even more – you’ll find it cleans the air even faster in that case.

For reference, rooms about 155 square feet in size are roughly a 10 x 15.5 ft. Also, note that this is an estimated size recommendation. It’s doesn’t have to be used in a room that’s exactly that size.

Filter ability

GermGuardian AC4900CA filter close up
The AC4900’s HEPA filter (white) is made of a folded, dense fiber material. The prefilter is a (black) thin mesh material that works to trap larger elements like dust and hair as well as trap odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The HEPA filter is a “true” HEPA model in that it meets the requirements for excellent air filtering performance. It’s a great filter and works well in my experience.

A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is combined with a prefilter/activated charcoal filter. The HEPA filter is fantastic for trapping the most common air quality contaminants like those that cause allergies.

Some of the most troublesome air contaminants the AC4900 can remove are:

  • 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

The “3-in-1” name used for advertising purposes comes from the 2-section filter and the addition of the UV-C germ killing feature.

The filter is an assembly in which the replaceable prefilter is attached to the HEPA filter using a Velcro-type attachment.

The prefilter’s job is to capture larger particles (such as dust, pet hair, lint) and prevent them from wasting the HEPA filter material. Additionally, the activated carbon filter in the material can absorb and trap odors, airborne chemical vapors, perfumes, and more.

The true 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’s incredibly small! Such elements aren’t visible to the human eye as they’re microscopic in size.

It’s a great filtering system and works well. After having an initial break-in period in which the “new product smell” had time to disperse, the filters worked great and I came home to very fresh and comfortable air.

Note: the prefilter can be replaced separately to save money. You won’t have to buy a complete replacement filter set, I’m happy to say.

The ultraviolet light (UV-C) germ killing feature

GermGuardian UV-C and Ti02 germ killing badges

One trademark feature of the family of air purifiers from Guardian Technologies is the addition of an ultraviolet (UV) based germ killing feature.

The system operates using a special UV-emitting bulb along with a titanium oxide (TiO2) germ killing device. Working together these render sickness-causing germs and other microbes harmless.

The UV light bombards the molecular structure as they pass through the purifier and works to destroy them, essentially. In order to work, you’ll have to have the fan speed in positions 1-3 as it requires airflow to work.

You’ll also need to manually switch on the feature when you’d like to use it.

There’s a built-in safety switch that prevents the unit from operating when the rear cover and rear filter are removed. The light is totally enclosed so there’s no chance of UV exposure as well.

Unlike the AC4825, the feature’s on-off switch keeps the feature on the next time you turn the purifier back on.

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 remaining odor molecules
caused by smoking, cooking and pets.AC4900 owner's manua

Does the AC4900CA produce ozone?

Does the AC4900CA produce ozone that can potentially cause headaches? That’s a common question I’ve learned is on the minds of many potential air purifier owners.

As I explained in this post, filter-based purifiers won’t contribute anything unhealthy to the air as they don’t produce emissions, gases, or by-products.

The AC4900CA is perfectly safe and healthy. It does not produce ozone.

Filter & UV bulb replacement indicators & cost

Replacement indicator lights

AC4900CA power and UV indicator lights image

Both filter replacement and UV bulb replacement indicators use the existing power and UV on/off lights. When a replacement is needed or the filter should be checked the indicators change colors.

There’s a great set of features built in to let you know when it’s time to check the filters for replacement and install a new UV bulb.

After 6 months of use the front green LED light will change to red and blink indicating it’s time to check the filters. Likewise, the UV indicator will change from blue to solid red to show the bulb is no longer working and should be replaced.

If your filter has had very light use and isn’t in need of a replacement you can reset the indicator by holding the UV-C button for 5 seconds.

ConditionMeaning
UV indicator turns from blue to red(UV bulb needs replacement
Power light turns red & blinkingFilter needs check/replacement

Filter life and costs

GermGuardian FLT4825 replacement filter
The FLT4825 is the genuine replacement filter from GermGuardian. The package includes a HEPA filter and the active carbon filter section. While the original filter set is only around $30+, you can save money by buying 3rd party replacements.

Filter life is around 6-8 months depending upon use and the level of particulates in the air where it’s used.

As an example, consider that cigarette produces a significant amount of particles as well as odors that will become trapped in both filter sections. You can definitely expect a limited filter life in that case.

For lighter use filter life will be extended, however, and replacement periods will be fewer and further in between.

Replacement filters cost around $30 or so for the genuine GermGuardian set. However, 3rd party budget models like this contain a less expensive filter. Or some include 2 filters in the box.

If you’re trying to keep costs down those are great options. Don’t forget that the prefilter can be replaced separately if the HEPA filter isn’t totally used-up.

Prefilters are also available in economical 4-packs as well.

How to replace the filter

AC4900CA filter replacement how-to diagram

Filter replacement is VERY simple and only takes a handful of seconds to do. I was very happy with how easy and straightforward it was.

Filter replacement is a breeze! So simple and fast. I was very happy with the design and how I was up and going in only a few seconds.

To do so, you’ll just have to do the following:

  1. Press down on the release tab on the rear cover
  2. Pull the cover down and out (there’s 2 tabs on the bottom that sit in slots)
  3. Using your fingers, pull the filter out 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

That’s it! You’re done and ready for more great air cleaning.

UV-C bulb replacement & pricing

GermGuardian AC4900CA UV bulb cover diagram

Image showing the UV bulb cover removal screws. Replacement is simple and only really takes a handful of minutes. You’ll need a Phillips screwdriver (not included) to replace a dead bulb.

LB4000 UV replacement bulb
The replacement UV bulb, part #LB4000. They’re priced around $25. The life rating is 10-12 months, although some few owners have reported shorter life. However, I haven’t had any issues with mine.

Expect to pay close to $25 for a replacement UV bulb. You’ll need a Philips head screwdriver (not included) to remove the rear metal shield that covers it. Afterward, replacement is as easy as unplugging the old one and inserting the new one.

I found it easy to do. If you’re not comfortable with tools I’d recommend having a friend or family member do it for you.

Bulb life is estimated at 10-12 months of use, although a few owners have reported that their bulbs died after only a few months. However, mine has been fine.

The owner’s manual

GermGuardian AC4900CA owners manual image

Just as I’ve come to expect the owner’s manual was again clear, detailed, and easy to read. All basic & important information is included. There’s also information about how to contact the company as well as replacement part numbers.

I always check the owner’s manuals when reviewing products because I know how frustrating it can be when information is lacking or confusing.

After unpacking my purifier I flipped through the manual. It’s clear, well-written, and gets right to the point. It’s also printed in English, French, and Spanish.

Although short (about 10-12 pages for English, I think) it’s concise and good. Inside you’ll find:

  • How to use your purifier
  • The indicator lights (power, air filter replacement reminder, and UV light bulb replacement)
  • Replacement filter model specs
  • How to contact support
  • Power consumption
  • Specifications: size, weight, and square feet coverage

Honestly, the purifier is so darn easy to use it’s really not necessary, although if you’re a first-time buyer I’d recommending brushing up on product use tips.

However, one thing did annoy me: the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) ratings aren’t inside as well as a few other specs missing. They’re available elsewhere (especially the GermGuardian site).

If you’re not familiar with these ratings from the American Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), it’s a voluntary standard way of testing purifiers.

Noise levels during use

The manufacturer lists the AC4900CA as a quiet (low-noise) purifier, and in my testing I found it to be true.

  • Low speed (#1) is fairly quiet, and suitable for sleeping if you’re a light sleeper like me
  • Medium (#2) is actually 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 useful for fast and the most powerful cleaning of air contaminated with odors, smoke, etc.

I think most people will be able to sleep well with it on low or medium. While not as quiet during low-speed as others like the Levoit LV-H132, I’m happy with it.

Additionally, you’re trading performance for lower noise, unlike others.

The main reason it’s not as quiet as some competitors is because it uses 2 fans for more airflow to be more effective at cleaning the room’s air.

Volume measurements

dB noise level meter measurement image

I prefer to personally measure, record, and verify the noise levels of the products I test. My sound level meter is used with a consistent measurement to get a good reading of typical real-world use. It’s a good way to be sure the data backs up my opinions & experiences during testing.

I measured volume levels using a nice digital decibel sound level meter at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifier. Here’s what I found:

Measurement/SpeedVolume (dB)
Off (room noise)39.3
Low42
Medium51
High58.3

A note about the sound while running

One thing I’ve noticed – and let me be very clear…it’s not a big deal – is that during use, there’s a characteristic “hum” of some type produced.

It’s a by-product of how this family of air purifiers work. The electric motor is driven by a control board which quickly switches power on and off to the motor to keep a desired speed.

It’s just a minor trait, and I actually rarely hear it at all. However, after first buying the purifier, you may hear it for a few hours since it’s brand new and hasn’t been broken in yet.

Based on my testing, measurements, and personal use I believe it’s a quiet purifier and has a nice, pleasant sound.

Night brightness

GermGuardian AC4900CA in dark room image

Although the design has front-facing LED indicators, it real use at night they’re not a distraction for me. Unlike some others they’re dim enough that they don’t annoy me or interrupt my sleep. However, it’s important to note that the human eye is especially sensitive to blue light, so you may want to switch off the UV-C feature at bedtime.

Unlike some competitors in its room size range that I’ve tested, there’s no way to dim or turn off the indicator lights.

However, in practice, I didn’t find them to be a bother at night. Then again, as the human eye is especially sensitive to blue light, I did switch off the UV-C feature at bedtime.

Interestingly enough, the front-facing LEDs are a style feature only on the AC4900CA. They’re not shared by Germ Guardian HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer, Eliminates...

Both lights have a soft glow that’s not overbearing in my opinion. They don’t “light up the room” or anything like that. Fortunately it’s obvious that smart design went into keeping the brightness level low.

If you’re a light sleeper like me you don’t have anything to worry about. If necessary, you can always face the purifier at an angle if you’d like to use the UV-C feature at night but not see the blue light.

AC4900CA vs AC4825

germguardian ac4825 vs ac4900ca image
The AC4825 (left) is the super-popular counterpart to the AC4900CA (right). They’re essentially identical in performance, features, and even share the same internal functional parts. Both also use the same replacement filters, making more filters available.

In case you weren’t aware, the AC4900CA is in fact a twin to the wonderful and best-selling AC4825. I’ve owned and really enjoyed for a long time now.

There are few, if any differences between the two. However, as far as details go, one is the unique glowing blue trim ring around the top which the AC4825 has. It’s a very handsome design and looks great.

Curious to learn more? Read my GermGuardian AC4825 vs AC4900CA detailed comparison.

While not as popular as it’s twin, the AC4900CA offers a cool and fresh take on the traditional black design of the other. Air cleaning performance and specs are the same as well.

GermGuardian AC4900CA vs the Honeywell HPA100

Honeywell HPA100 air purifier image

Of the products on the market, in my opinion one of the best and most comparable is the Honeywell HPA100. It offers some features the AC4900 doesn’t but it’s also lacking in a few areas. It’s available in a white version as well. Room size coverage is also the same at 155 sq. ft. It’s a competent rival to the GermGuardian.

After testing, owning, and enjoying the AC4900CA I can confidently say it’s a winner and a great choice. However, there are other choices out there, and one of the best comes to mind.

Although it’s not even close to the popularity of GermGuardian models, the Honeywell HPA100 is a truly solid performer, is well made, and offers electronic touch controls instead of manual controls.

If you prefer those features it’s worth considering as well.

Filter replacement is a bit more complicated as it uses multiple standard-sized Honeywell replacement filters. Additionally, the design is a bit odd in that the prefilter doesn’t attach to the HEPA filter(s) like the GermGuardian design.

Features the HPA100 offers that the AC4900 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 unfortunate. You’ll also pay a few dollars less for the GermGuardian model as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I love some of the features of the HPA100, but I’m a happy GermGuardian owner and have become really fond of them. I’m not sure if I could ever give them up!.

Review summary

The AC4900CA is a worthy bearer of the GermGuardian name. It shares the same performance, quality, and ease of use I’ve come to love from the ones I own.

While not as popular as its sibling AC4825, it’s great-looking and gets the job done quietly. I’m sure you’ll grow to love yours just as much as I have.

My advice? Don’t pay full price. Head over to get a better price and see nearly 500 buyer reviews at Amazon.

Overall
8.8/10
8.8/10
  • Quality - 9.2/10
    9.2/10
  • Value - 8.9/10
    8.9/10
  • Ease of use - 9.8/10
    9.8/10
  • Air cleaning ability - 9/10
    9/10
  • Features - 7/10
    7/10
  • Noise levels - 8.8/10
    8.8/10

Well-made and solid, the AC4900CA provides great air purification in a uniquely style package.

The GermGuardian AC4900CA turned out to be a real treat to own, test, and use daily – I love mine! A functional twin to the incredibly popular AC4825 model, it provides identical performance with a unique style. Just like its sibling it’s incredibly easy to use, works, well, and it’s quiet too. And just like the other one, I’ve grown fond of it quickly. People who want an air purifier that “just works” without any fuss or complicated controls will appreciate it.

Noise levels are low, filter replacement is super easy, and the UV-C germ killing feature is an added bonus not found on most competing products. While it doesn’t offer fancier features I really love such as electronic controls or an auto-timer like Honeywell, the benefit is a better value for your dollar. You get the same (or more) room coverage for less money than many others sold today. Air cleaning performance is great and the ability to replace the prefilter separately can really help keep costs down. It’s a great choice and I’m happy to recommend it to anyone.

Pros

  • Great air coverage for its price range
  • AHAM Verified & Energy Star Certified
  • True HEPA filter + prefilter/carbon filter
  • Very easy to operate
  • UV-C feature kills germs – not found in many competitors
  • Carry handle built-in
  • Dual-fan design
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • UV bulb replacement reminder
  • 3-year warranty
  • Maintenance is easy to perform
  • Low operational noise
  • Reliable
  • Well-built
  • Available in functionally identical AC4900CA model
  • Prefilter/carbon filter separately replaceable
  • Won’t tip over easily

Cons

  • UV-C feature has no memory feature
  • No auto-sensing self-operation feature
  • No auto-off timer feature
  • Blue light may draw attention to eyes at night
  • Tall height may not be suitable for all users
  • Rotary manual control fan speed switch (vs electronic)
  • No other color options available for this model
  • You’ll need to buy 3rd party filters to save money as originals are more expensive

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

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:$84.99$90.79

(Current pricing updated on 2020-10-29 at 19:02 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 AC4100 And AC4150 Air Purifier Hands-On Review And Comparison

GermGuardian AC4100 and AC4150 review and comparison featured image

Looking for a great air purifier for small rooms? If you’re considering the GermGuardian family of products you’re on the right track. But how do the AC4100 and AC4150 purifiers stack up?

In my review and comparison of the GermGuardian AC4100 and AC4150 models, I’ll tell you everything you want to know. I personally own and have tested both.

Because of this, I can give you my real and honest opinion. As they’re based on the same design and share the same basic platform I’ll cover both in the same review.

Contents

Getting to know the AC4100 and AC4150

GermGuardian AC4100 vs AC4900 vs AC4825

The AC4100 (left) is a small room purifier and the little brother to the larger AC4900CA (center). The AC4900CA is also the near-identical sibling to the very popular AC4825 (right). The AC4900 and AC4825 are recommended for medium-sized rooms. All 3 share a very similar design and most of the same features.

The AC4100 and AC4150 are similar models and part of a family GermGuardian air purifiers that are some of the most products on the market.

The AC4100 is a small room air purifier that’s the smaller sibling to the AC4900CA and its very popular twin the AC4825.

The two larger models are recommended for medium-sized models up to 155 square feet while the AC4100/4150 is designed for small rooms below 100 sq. ft.

GermGuardian AC4100 vs AC4150BLCA vs AC4150PCA comparison image
The 3 models are extremely similar in design and have identical performance. The BLCA and PCA models are designed to be a great fit for children and include a cool-looking LED night light that projects onto the room’s ceiling!

The AC4150 version is available in 2 different models: the AC4150PCA (pink color) and the AC4150BLCA (blue color). Both feature a top-mounted LED night light that projects 1 of 3 designs on your ceiling.

They’re aimed for use in children’s rooms and make a great choice for a bedroom.

Both are marketed for use in small rooms and feature a “3-in-1” design:

  • A true HEPA filter
  • Prefilter/charcoal filter
  • UV-C germ killing feature

A removable and replaceable filter is used just like the larger models, although smaller. A replaceable UV bulb is used as well (again, specific size for the AC4100).

Note that you can expect to pay about $15 more for the AC4150 depending upon current pricing.

AC4100 vs AC4150 features

Here’s a quick summary of the differences to know between these two very similar models.

FeatureAC4100AC4100PCAAC4100BLCA
ColorSilver-greyPinkBlue
Fan speeds333
Room coverageSmallSmallSmall
UV-C featureYesYesYes
Night lightNoYesYes
Ceiling projectorNoYesYes

As you can see from above, the only real differences between the two types are an additional night light projector and color choices. All 3 use the same replacement filter and UV bulb part numbers.

There’s no difference in their air cleaning performance.

Unboxing and first impressions

Packaging

Unboxing the GermGuardian AC4100 and AC4150PCA

My AC4100 and AC4150PCA (pink kid’s air purifier) arrived! Time to give them the hands-on test. Both arrived well-packaged just like the other GermGuardian products I own and have come to love.

The packaging was great and the same as my other products from the company. GermGuardian uses recycled corrugated cardboard for the packaging inserts and it works well.

Everything looked great and the box even had helpful information about service part numbers on the box flaps.

Build quality

GermGuardian AC4100 and AC4150 comparison image

Before long-term testing and after unpacking, I inspected both to check out the build quality and appearance. Both are well-made, look nice, and give a good impression. Just like their bigger sibling the AC4900CA, they’re very modern and stylish.

I own and use several models from Guardian Technologies already, so I had the same expectations for build quality for these. The great news is that I wasn’t let down.

Fit and finish are great. They’re well put together and I couldn’t find any visible defects, gaps, or assembly problems at all. Both also worked great right out of the box.

GermGuardian AC4100 corner angle image

The finish on the AC4100 resembles a silver-gray simulated brushed metal appearance while the AC4150 models have a satin pink or blue finish.

The finish on the AC4100 is a modern and contemporary one: it resembles a brushed metal silver/gray finish. However, the AC4150 models feature a satin paint appearance.

In all cases my purifiers look great would fit in just about anywhere!

Checking out the controls

AC4100 and AC4150 controls comparison image

The controls are super-simple to use and work well as I discovered in testing.

The AC4100 family uses a 3-speed rotary fan control for fan air cleaning speeds (low, medium, and high). The “UV” on/off switch enables the built-in ultraviolet light (UV) germ-killing feature.

The controls have a good, solid feel and aren’t at all “cheap” in everyday use. No complaints there from me! I was very happy with how well it works, despite the simplicity.

Specifications and CADR ratings

GermGuardian AC4100/AC4150 Specifications
  • Room size rating: 78 sq. ft (small room)
  • Clean Air Deliver Rate (CADR): 56/76/50
  • UV-C germ killing light
  • Titanium Oxide odor molecule remover
  • 3-speed fan control
  • True HEPA filter w/ activated carbon filter
  • Low-noise fan setting
  • Replaceable UV bulb
  • Simple rotary control
  • Push button on/off UV switch
  • Filter replacement reminder dial
  • UV bulb replacement indicator
  • Prefilter/carbon filter is replaceable separately
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Replacement filter: FILTER E (FLT4100)
  • Replacement bulb: LB4100
  • (AC4150) LED multi-color ceiling projection night light
  • (AC4150) 3 night light character lenses included
  • (AC4150) Night light dimmer feature
  • Weight: 5.38 lbs (11.9 kg)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Control location: front
  • Size: 7.5 x 6.4 x 11.5″ (19 x 16.3 x 29.2 cm)

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 AC4100 CADR ratings labelThe AC4100’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.

For the AC4100, the air cleaning is somewhere around 1/2 that of average models like the larger AC4825 and other brands. 

It’s important to understand that smaller air purifiers like this simply can’t move as much air so they’re limited in their performance.

I bring that up so you can understand what smaller units are capable of. For very small rooms that’s fine – but if you’ve got more demanding air quality needs I strongly recommend spending more money for a more effective model. (It’s very important to have realistic expectations)

Setup and placement

GermGuardian AC4100 set up foam pads image

After unboxing the purifiers are ready to go. Just take a few seconds and attach the foam pads and that’s it!

Setup is extremely simple!

Aside from unpacking the purifier, you’ll only have to attach the soft foam pads included. The HEPA filter and pre-filter are assembled as one unit and are pre-installed from the factory.

Some competitors like Honeywell need additional steps before first use, just so you know.

Note: You’ll need to provide at least 1 foot of unobstructed space in front of and behind the purifier for proper airflow.

At about 11.5″ tall in size, it’s small and fits well on small tables and shelves in my experience.

However, for best use of the night light feature, place the AC4150 model closer to the room center to project the night light image across a larger area of the ceiling.

Air cleaning performance

GermGuardian AC4100 dirty prefilter image

In testing the AC4100, it captured significant amounts of dust which is one of my biggest air quality problems. You can see the dirty pre-filter here. Look at how much dust it removed from my air!

I tested the AC4100 by using it regularly including while away from home. It works well in small bedrooms but obviously can’t match the performance of larger models, so I was realistic about my expectations (as I own and regularly use its larger siblings already).

However, it performed well and I definitely found it helpful for removing dust (my biggest problem), pollen, and more. My air was fresher, easier to breathe, and much more enjoyable.

Despite them being lower-cost and smaller purifiers, they’re still great little workhorses just like their bigger brothers, you could say!

Overall I’m quite happy with them.

As both are smaller purifiers they have a smaller amount of airflow as they use only 1 fan unlike their larger counterpart, the AC4900. That being said, if you use them in the correct size room you’ll get the same results.

AC4100 dirty vs unused HEPA filters comparison
Before and after comparison of the AC4100’s HEPA filter. Left: My old used filter after trapping a lot of use in testing over several months. It captured quite a bit! Right: A new HEPA filter. The AC4100 & AC4150  work well for removing airborne irritants and allergens.

GermGuardian AC4100 square feet coverage and room size

The AC4100/AC4150 models are recommended for small rooms less than 100 square feet in size.

The company doesn’t specify the sq. ft. size in the owner’s manual, but it has been said to be below 100 ft, which is about a 10 x 10 ft room in size. This also makes it a great choice for bathrooms and offices as well.

That’s comparable to one of its competitors, the Honeywell HPA060 which I reviewed and tested as well.

When used in a larger room it will take more time to cycle and clean the air depending on the difference in air volume of the larger room.

Filters used

GermGuardian AC4100 HEPA and prefilter image
The AC4825’s HEPA filter (seen here) section is made up of a folded, dense fiber material. It’s capable of excellent filtering ability and works well. The filter can capture almost 100% of all particulates in its airflow down to 0.3 microns in size! A pre-filter/odor trapping carbon filter is attached to the front.

A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is used to remove the most common air contaminants you’ll have to deal with.

Here’s an example list of what the AC4100’s pre-filter/HEPA filter combination 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

Basically, it’s a multi-stage filter process as the pre-filter/carbon filter can trap both odors and larger particles like pet hair and dust. The HEPA filter removes smaller particles like smoke elements, pet dander, dust mite products, and much more.

The pre-filter is a thin, mesh material that attaches to the HEPA filter using a type of Velcro attachment. It’s easily removed and can be vacuumed to remove dust or hair buildup.

GermGuardian uses a true HEPA filter meaning it performs to the HEPA standard: a whopping 99.97% of particles passing through it down to 0.3 microns in size are trapped.

That’s particles less than 1/1,000,000 of a meter in size!

It’s a great filter assembly and works well, although I did notice some “new product” odor at start-up. However, it went away after a few hours of use.

I’ve found that to be normal for many air purifier products in general.

Ultraviolet light (UV-C) germ killing feature

GermGuardian UV-C and Ti02 germ killing badges

The AC4100 family includes a feature GermGuardian air purifiers offer that most competitors don’t: a UV-C ultraviolet light (UV) germ killer. Using a special bulb and titanium oxide components the system works to irradiate germs passing through, rendering them inactive.

The technology works by affecting germ and other airborne microbes molecular and protein structures.

The UV feature only operates when the fan is running, however. You’ll need to set the fan switch to any 1 of the 3 positions for it to operate.

However, I do have one minor complaint here. When the UV-C feature is in use, there’s no front LED indicator like its bigger sibling the AC4900CA.

According to the company:

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 remaining odor molecules
caused by smoking, cooking, and pets.Guardian Technologies

In other words, air passing through the purifier during airflow is exposed to the UV light. This damages a small some of the germs in the air while the unit is running.

This makes it possible to reduce sickness and respiratory problems caused by germs as well.

Does the AC4100 produce ozone?

Quite a few people have wondered if air purifiers can cause headaches. As I explained in detail here, a filter-based purifier like the AC4100, for example, doesn’t produce any harmful emissions.

The UV-C feature is completely optional and doesn’t present any hazards at all. Both models don’t produce any ozone.

Filter & UV bulb replacement & cost

Replacement indicator wheel

GermGuardian AC4100 filter replacement reminder image

Unlike larger models I mentioned earlier, there’s no electronic filter replacement reminder feature. However, a manual reminder wheel is built into the rear. Using a coin I set the month reminder 6 months ahead to mark when I needed to check the filter for possible replacement.

Bigger models like the AC4900CA and AC4825 have an automatic filter replacement reminder feature. Those models track time electronically and blink a light to show when it’s time to check the HEPA and pre-filter sections.

Unfortunately, that feature isn’t present in the AC4100/AC4150 models. To be fair, it’s also not available in the similar small-room HPA060 air purifier from Honeywell either.

To their credit, however, GermGuardian does offer a “date wheel” as a type of reminder. By setting the wheel 6 months ahead from the current month you can track when the date when you should check the filters for replacement.

Filter life and costs

AC4100 replacement filter options
Right: A complete filter replacement for the AC4100/AC4150 is the FLT4100 size E set. Left: As the prefilter section is removable, you can also save money and extend life by buying a replacement pack instead of the extra HEPA filter.

Filter life is roughly 6-8 months as recommended by the manufacturer. However, in my experience that varies a lot depending upon use. Heavy air quality problems like severe dust, cigarette smoke, and especially heavy airborne particles may consume the filter faster.

It’s not necessary to replace the HEPA filter section every time, which is great! You can also optionally purchase the prefilter/carbon replacement filter separately for more value.

However, it’s important to note that while the HEPA filter may have a long life, the odor and vapor trapping ability of the activated carbon is time-limited. You’ll need to replace them periodically for maximum performance.

Expect to spend around $18 or so for a complete single-unit filter pack (FLT4100) or around $13 for a 4-pack (FLT11CB4) of the prefilters.

There are also replacement filters sold by other companies, but you’ll need to be careful when shopping to get the same performance as sometimes non-original filter replacements aren’t as effective.

How to replace the filters

GermGuardian AC4100 filter replacement how to image

Filter replacement is easy and I found it to be a snap to do. It only takes a few seconds to 1) remove the rear grill by pushing down on the release tab, and 2) pulling out the filter assembly using one finger.

Filter replacement is a snap, so no complaints there. You’ll only need your fingers to do so.

To replace the filters:

  1. Push down on the release tab at the top
  2. Swing the grill down and outward
  3. Pull the soft tab or use a finger to tilt the filter assembly out

That’s it! I replaced my dirty filter (both my HEPA and pre-filter, since both were old) and thought it was very pleasant to do.

Note that as I mentioned earlier, the prefilter section can be detached from the HEPA filter once it’s all out. A Velcro-type fastener is used around the edges to hold them together.

UV-C bulb replacement & pricing

GermGuardian AC4100 replacement UV bulb LB4100The GermGuardian replacement bulb #LB4100. Expect to pay around $25 or so for one when replacing it.

Replacement bulbs cost about $12-$15 or so. Bulb life is rated for 10-12 months but a few people reported shorter life. However, I haven’t had an issue so far during use with mine.

AC4100 rear UV bulb cover diagram
To replace a dead bulb, you’ll need to remove one screw on the bulb’s metal shield after removing the grill and filter assembly. The owner’s manual has great instructions on how to do so.

It’s easy to replace in my opinion – but then again, it’s something you won’t need to do for a long time, so don’t let it be a concern.

Owner’s manual quality

GermUuardian AC4100 owners manual image
Buyers will be greeted by a very nicely done and helpful owner’s manual. It covers all recommended use advice as well has maintenance, replacement filter & bulb part numbers, and help contact information.

The provided owner’s manual is actually very nice, and one of the best I’ve seen from products of its type.

It’s somewhat short in length but very detailed, clear, and helpful. Additionally, French and Spanish sections are included.

In it you’ll learn:

  • Basic operation notes
  • How to set the filter replacement reminder
  • Replacement filter & bulb part numbers
  • Power consumption (about 65W on high)
  • Specifications
  • How to contact the company for support

However, the purifiers are so easy to use there’s little to learn aside from the basics. Note that the AC4150’s manual also has notes about how to use the LED night light provided.

Noise levels during use

Yep, noise levels are one of the biggest selling points for air purifiers and other air quality products sold. To make matters difficult, as it turns out I’m a light sleeper so I took great interest in testing this as well.

Volume measurements

dB noise level meter measurement image
I measured volume levels with my handy digital decibel sound meter, performed at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifiers (note that both are same in noise levels).

Measurement/SpeedVolume (dB)
Off (room noise)39.3
Low47
Medium51
High58

In practice, with the exception of the high setting, I found the AC4100/AC4150 to be pretty quiet and very comparable to other models I’ve tested.

If you’re a light sleeper like me you’ll enjoy the low setting. It’s quite low and barely noticeable in my opinion. Medium is pretty quiet as well.

A note about motor hum

As these purifiers use a motor driven by an electronic board that uses controlled pulses for speed control, there is a characteristic hum you’ll notice a bit.

That’s typical of many in the GermGuardian line but I haven’t found it to be an issue. To its benefit, it’s actually a bit lower than its larger siblings.

AC4150 night light feature

GermGuardian AC4150 night light projection examples

I tested the AC4150PCA’s wonderful night light. You can choose from 1 of 3 included designs to project on the ceiling, in addition to changing colors. It’s pretty neat, and a great addition to your kid’s room! A dimmer function is provided as well.

Evaluating the AC4150PCA, the pink model, was pretty fun. I was really curious about how well the night light would work.

The AC4150 models feature an RGB (red, green, blue) LED night light lamp with a single button control. The purifier includes 3 total “lenses” (plastic light projector caps) you can swap out to change projector designs.

How does the night light work? Is it worth the money?

GermGuardian AC4150 night light how it works

The AC4150 “Kids” model night light works by using 3 LEDs to project one of 3 cute designs on the ceiling. It uses a single push button control to turn it on or off, change colors & mode, and adjust the brightness. It’s a very cool feature and looks very nice in the dark! 3 projector caps are included.

I’ve not always been a big fan of night lights considering how plain or too bright some are, so I had a few doubts before testing the AC4150. It turns out I was definitely wrong about it – and I’m glad!

The night light works great and projects one of 3 cute designs on the ceiling:

  • Under the Sea: whales, sea creatures, and aquatic shapes
  • Twinkle Moon and Stars (my favorite!): a nighttime moon and star pattern
  • Sleepy Safari: palm trees and animals from the jungle and zoo

To change projector caps, you swap out one for another by rotating the cap away from the locked position. It’s easy to do.

When installed correctly the cap locks in place and can’t fall off of the purifier in case it gets bumped or moved.

The night light is easy to use and isn’t complicated, either. The push button control operates using either a push or push-and-hold method.

Push button operationDescription/Night light mode
PushMode change:
1. On (max. brightness)
2. Slow color change
3. Solid white
4. Solid green
5. Solid blue
6. Off
Push and holdDimmer mode: rotates from bright to dark then cycles back to full brightness and repeats if held again

Is it worth the $15+ dollars or so more than the AC4100 model? In my honest opinion, yes!

It’s a rare feature I haven’t seen on competing products. I would have liked, however, to be able to place the projector at an angle. That’s my only gripe with it.

Because it points directly upward, if you want to cover the entire ceiling of a room, you’ll need to place it closer to the center of the room. Otherwise, part of the projected pattern will be lost on a side wall.

GermGuardian AC4100 vs Honeywell HPA060

One of the main competitors is Honeywell’s HPA060 small room air purifier. Here’s a quick summary of how the two compare.

Product
Germ Guardian HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer, Eliminates...
Honeywell DH-HPA060, HPA060, Black
Room size (sq ft)
~75 (small room)
75 (small room)
Filter type
True HEPA + prefilter/activated carbon
True HEPA + prefilter/activated carbon
Germ killer?
Filter reminder?
Yes (date wheel)
No
Product
Germ Guardian HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer, Eliminates...
Room size (sq ft)
~75 (small room)
Filter type
True HEPA + prefilter/activated carbon
Germ killer?
Filter reminder?
Yes (date wheel)
Product
Honeywell DH-HPA060, HPA060, Black
Room size (sq ft)
75 (small room)
Filter type
True HEPA + prefilter/activated carbon
Germ killer?
Filter reminder?
No

Ultimately, in my opinion, the AC4100 and AC4150 are a better deal and offer just a bit more. Not only that, but the GermGuardian models often sell for less.

However, note that the HPA060 is less noisy on the Low setting but otherwise almost exactly the same volume.

After owning and testing both I’ve found the AC4100 to simply be a better value. The addition of a germ-killing feature is a plus that the HPA60 doesn’t offer.

The filters are the same type and performance is the same, so why pay more?

Feel free to see my review of the Honeywell HPA060 here.

Review score & summary

After testing I have to say the AC4100 and AC4150 models are well-made air purifiers that live up to the expectations set by their bigger brother the proven and popular AC4900CA. If your room isn’t very small (or if you have more than light air quality problems), however, I would strongly recommend stepping up to the AC4900 or AC4825 if you can afford them.

Check my review score below to see the pros and cons then head over to see why they’re also highly rated by others as well!

AC4100
AC4150PCA (Pink)
AC4150BLCA (Blue)
AC4150PCA (Pink)
AC4150BLCA (Blue)
Overall
8.4/10
8.4/10
  • Quality - 9/10
    9/10
  • Value - 9/10
    9/10
  • Ease of use - 9.8/10
    9.8/10
  • Air cleaning ability - 7/10
    7/10
  • Features - 7.8/10
    7.8/10
  • Noise levels - 7.8/10
    7.8/10

Well-made and reliable, the AC4100 offers nice small room air purification for the money. The AC4150 adds a fun night light that kids will love.

The AC4100 and AC4150 aren’t flashy or fancy, but they get the job done well in small spaces they’re recommended for (~78 sq. ft ). They’re affordable and easy to use. A true HEPA filter and prefilter/activated carbon filter do well at trapping allergens, smoke, dust, and pet dander as well as odors and vapors. The AC4150 Kids model offers 2 unique colors and a fantastic night light I enjoyed. It’s a unique feature not found in other models. They’re relatively quiet with simple controls anyone can use. Unfortunately, while the germ killer feature is a plus, there’s no indicator light like on larger models. Great for offices, dorm rooms, and other small spaces for adults or children, they offer decent light duty air cleaning, but for greater air cleaning performance you’ll need to spend more.

Pros

  • Quiet operation
  • UV-C germ killing feature
  • Clear, detailed instructions
  • Attractive and classy appearance
  • [AC4150] Nice kids color options
  • Good build quality
  • Simple controls
  • Filter replacement reminder wheel
  • Easy filter replacement
  • Pre-filter can be replaced separately
  • True HEPA filter
  • Great for small tables or desks
  • [AC4150] Color changing night light
  • [AC4150] 3 selectable night colors
  • [AC4150] Includes 3 projection patterns
  • Priced less than several competitors/better value
  • No ozone production
  • Replacement filters are affordable

Cons

  • Low CADR rating/air cleaning performance
  • No UV-C on/off indicator light
  • No power light
  • No filter reminder light (like other GermGuardian models)
  • Reminder wheel requires turning unit around
  • [AC4150] Night light projector can’t be angled
  • No 3 yr warranty like AC4900, AC4825 models
  • Not as quiet as a few others (Levoit LV-H132)
  • [AC4150] Manual doesn’t mention dimmer function

Levoit LV-H132 Vs GermGuardian AC4825 – Which One Should You Buy?

Levoit LV-H132 Vs Germguardian AC4825 featured image

When it comes to the Levoit LV-H132 and the GermGuardian AC4825 it’s not as simple as asking which one is “best” – both have their pros and cons. Additionally, both have excellent buyer satisfaction ratings making it even harder to decide.

In my detailed Levoit LV-H132 vs. GermGuardian AC4825 comparison, I’ll tell you what you need to know before buying. I own and have personally tested both!

Which one is right for you? Read on and I’ll help you decide.

Contents

Getting to know the Levoit LV-H132 and GermGuardian AC4825

Levoit LV-H132 Vs Germguardian AC4825 comparison image

Both models look a bit different from the outside but in fact share a lot of common features, performance, and build quality. There are significant size & styling differences to consider too. But not to worry – both are great at what they do! I’m sure one will find a great place in your home.

As far as air purifiers sold today go, two of the best-selling and most popular are without a doubt the Levoit LV-H132 and the GermGuardian AC4825 both occupy one of the most popular price segments over at Amazon. Both normally sell for below $100.

I’ve owned and have tested many air purifiers and still use my AC4825, but I’ve always been curious about the LV-H132 and wanted to compare the two.

Both models are HEPA filter-based models that work with a pre-filter and active carbon filter to trap air contaminants, odors, and dust and hair.

Additionally, both are pretty simple to use I’m happy to report.

In case you’re interested, I’ve written an extensive review of the GermGuardian AC4825 I own here.

However, there are definitely some important differences between the two to be aware of. This is not a case of “one is better than the other.” Both have strengths and weaknesses, meaning one will be a better fit in your home than the other.

Let’s dig into the specifics, shall we?

Specifications comparison – Levoit LV-H132 vs GermGuardian AC4825

Here are the specific differences to know between both models. Note that the LV-H132 has a lower Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) and doesn’t feature a UV-C germ killing feature, both of which I’ll cover in more detail later.

LV-H132 Specifications
  • Room size rating: 129 sq. ft (small or medium room)
  • 3-speed fan control
  • 2 level night light feature
  • True HEPA filter
  • Activated carbon pellet section
  • Very low noise operation (< 50dB)
  • Prefilter can be cleaned or replaced separately
  • CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings: Dust (110), pollen (110), smoke (110)
  • AHAM Verified, Energy Star Verified, FCC certified, ETL listed, CA PROP 65 certified
  • Electronic touch controls
  • Control lighting on/off feature
  • Memory feature retains the last setting used
  • Filter replacement reminder (~6 mos.)
  • Twist-open filter cover with handle
  • Simple filter replacement (drop-in)
  • 2 year warranty
  • Replacement filter: LV-H132-RF
  • Power use: 28.3W (max. fan speed)
  • Weight: 5.25 lbs (2.38 kg)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Control location: Top
  • Size: 7.5 x 7.5 x 12.5″ (19 x 19 x 31.75 cm)
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)
  • 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 (19 kg)
  • Cord length: 6 ft.
  • Control location: Top
  • Size: 6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″ (17.1 x 26 x 54.6 cm

Levoit LV-H132 overview

Levoit LV-H132 front image with box

The Levoit LV-H132 is a compact and good-looking model with top-mounted controls. Unlike the GermGuardian AC4825, the filter is located on the bottom (as opposed to the rear). It’s well-made and looks great. Note that No products found.

The Levoit LV-H132 is a HEPA filter purifier with the following features:

  • Electronic touch controls
  • HEPA 3-in-1 filter
  • Night light feature
  • Activated carbon section is real pellets, not a coating
  • 3-speed fan
  • VERY quiet operation
  • Memory feature for power-on
  • Now available in black

Replace filters by turning the unit upside and removing the bottom cover (see below for more details) and are normally replaced by inserting a new all-in-one filter cartridge.

The Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is lower than that of the GermGuardian AC4825, but one reason for that it’s a quieter fan that has a lower airflow rate. As its recommended room size is smaller than that of the GermGuardian that’s to be expected as well.

It’s a compromise you live with given the low-noise advantage it provides.

Levoit LV-H132 black model

Finally! I’ve admired the LV-H132 for a long time and while I love my white one, the newly available black version is even better looking!

One of my long-standing complaints about the LV-H132 was the lack of an alternate color. It’s a great-looking purifier – don’t get me wrong, but I love an alternate color choice.

The great news is that Levoit now offers the same model in black too.

Ideally targeted at small to medium-sized rooms, it’s a great choice for a bedroom or any other small room. The air purification effectiveness is very good in my experience. It also has one of the best carbon filter sections I’ve seen.

A good active carbon filter is effective at trapping odors as well as volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) in the air you can potentially inhale.

There’s a handy filter replacement reminder built-in as well.

Compact size, hard to tip over

At about 14.5″ (36.8 cm) tall, it’s still very compact and quite a bit shorter than the GermGuardian model. I like the compactness, but it comes with a trade-off as I’ll tell you later.

One great advantage, however, is that it’s not going to get tipped over like taller tower purifiers.

One advantage you’ll have with the Levoit is the memory feature. Unlike the AC4825, turning it back on restores it to its earlier settings for both the fan speed and night light. That’s a nice touch I really like!

Build quality

I’ve had some time to test and try the LV-H132 and I have to say it’s very well-made. The fit and finish are excellent. Undoubtedly some great thought was put into its design.

Build quality is good, with solid construction and great fit and finish. All around, it gives off a great impression of a great purifier that’s a quality contender.

Night light feature

Levoit LV-H132 night light feature image

The LV-H132 has a night light button with 2 brightness levels to choose from.

While it’s a nice feature to have (it definitely provides lots of light in the room) my gripe is that the low setting is still very bright.

If you’re sensitive to light when sleeping that may be a deal-breaker like it is for me. In that case, I had to leave it turned off.

However, for parents and others who can really use the soft lighting effect, it’s a great option to have at your disposal.

GermGuardian AC4825 overview

GermGuardian AC4825 review featured image

The popular Germ Guardian True HEPA Filter Air Purifier with UV Light Sanitizer,... is a 22″ tall unit containing not one but two fan assemblies. It’s rated at a higher Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) of 100+ and is recommended for up to 167 sq. feet.

The AC4825 also uses a 2-stage true HEPA filter assembly, but the similarities with the Levoit model end there.

It uses manual (top-mounted) controls via a 3-speed rotary fan switch. However, it does have a distinct advantage over the LV-H132: it’s one of the several GermGuardian models featuring a germ-killing ultraviolet light (UV-C) feature that’s optional.

It’s very simple to use by engaging the push button control on top. When turned on, the purifier indicates this by illuminating the trim ring around the edge of the top section with a nice blue glow.

For those who want extra protection against airborne illnesses, it’s a great feature to consider. I’d like to add it’s especially a great idea for those with babies or people prone to sickness, colds, and more.

Tip: The HEPA filter is replaceable both separately from the pre-filter or as a single filter assembly, so it’s possible to save a few dollars.

If the HEPA filter section isn’t completely blocked up with captured particles you can simply replace only the prefilter as needed.

It also has a handy filter replacement reminder right on top where it’s easy to see.

The AC4825’s stylish twin, the GermGuardian AC4900CA. It’s the same in performance and is essentially the same purifier in a different body. 

While the AC4825 isn’t available in an alternate color like the Levoit air purifier, it is available in another version called the AC4900CA. That’s a great model I also own, and it features a stylish brushed metal appearance finish and front-mounted controls.

Both are identical in performance and operation.

(If you’re interested in much more detail, check out my excellent AC4825 review here)

Ideally, the AC4825 is well best for medium-sized rooms. However, it’s fine in small rooms if you’ve got the space. At about 22″ (~56 cm) in height, it definitely won’t fit in as many areas as the LV-H132). So bear that in mind when comparing.

Build quality

As I’ve owned my AC4825 for some time now, I can tell you it also has good quality construction and is well-made. The finish is a great-looking satin black with a matte silver trim on top.

Body parts line up well with no gaps or defects. It doesn’t feel cheap like some other products I’ve owned, and you’ll see what I mean when you get one in your hands, too.

I’ve never had a problem or complaint with the build quality and I’m very satisfied with it!

Night light…sort of!

Image of GermGuardian AC4825 in dark

When in use, the AC4825’s UV-C germ killing feature produces a lovely, gentle glow through the translucent trim around the base of the control top section.

It’s not exactly a night light, but it does produce a small glow that provides a bit of light, so it’s still somewhat useful in that regard.

If you’re like me and are very sensitive to light when sleeping, you’ll have to turn it off before bed. However, others may appreciate the other benefit: not just killing germs and microbes in the air, but also a cool-looking glow at night!

Filter replacement comparisons

But how hard is it to check or replace the filter in both? Let’s have a look.

Levoit LV-H132 filter replacement image example

Accessing the filter assembly on the LV-H132. Note that the filter shown (in a plastic bag) is what you’ll see when buying new. You’ll need to remove it from the bag before use, as it’s stored for safekeeping to the carbon filter portion fresh for use.

The LV-H132 isn’t hard to deal with: turn the unit upside down and twist to unlock the cover using the handle (top), then pull it out to reach the filter assembly (bottom). It’s not hard, but when replacing the cover you’ll need to twist it the opposite direction and lock it back in place

All in all, I found it pretty simple and straightforward, so no complaints here!

GermGuardian AC4825 filter removal image

The AC4825 has a simple rear cover with a locking tab to open when you want to check or replace the filters. It’s very straightforward and works well.

Likewise, the AC4825 is really simple as well. If anything, it may be just slightly easier to do, but it’s nothing significant.

To remove the rear cover, push down on the release tab at the top, then lean the cover down. Two bottom-mounted tabs keep it aligned. Simply pull the cover out and up, and it’s free.

The filter assembly also leans out easily and is really simple to replace. Just pull out the old one and re-insert the new one. That’s it! You’re done.

I don’t see any big advantages in one model over the other, so again there they’re quite similar, just different in design.

Controls comparison

Levoit LV-H134 vs GermGuardian AC4825 controls comparison

Controls comparison for the LV-H132 and AC4825 models. The Levoit (left) uses touch-sensitive electronic controls which are a nice touch and work very well, if a bit sensitive. The AC4825 (right) has simple but good-feeling manual controls. It’s also extremely simple to use and I definitely suggest it for those who aren’t comfortable with electronic controls.

There aren’t any major advantages between one or the other when it comes to controls. In my experience, they’re both great at what they do.

Levoit LV-H143 controls

Honestly, I feel like it comes down to personal preference in this category. The Levoit’s controls are clear and easy to use – very intuitive. They’re touch controls, so it’s easy to make a mistake and change a setting by accident, but in my experience that didn’t happen often.

The fan speed control simply rotates through the 3 settings (low, medium, and high) so you just keep touching the fan symbol button until it’s where you need it to be.

The night light feature (shown above as a light bulb symbol) rotates through the high, low, and off settings.

One thing to note: the LV-H132 makes a beeping sound each time a button is touched. You can’t disable the beeping sound. That’s one drawback you need to be aware of.

While it isn’t an irritant for many, for those who will be using it in a baby’s room or another quiet area it’s something to consider.

GermGuardian AC4825 controls

I also found the AC4825 extremely easy to use. It’s an especially great choice for the elderly or others who prefer the touch and “feel” of a manual rotary controller. It feels solid and works well.

Likewise, the push button germ killing switch is a “soft button” and works great with good feedback for your fingers.

I can’t find any faults here either as well. The simplicity of the 3-speed fan control I’m sure will be appealing to both those who like more advanced controls as well as people who prefer uncomplicated products.

It’s cheaper to manufacturer basic controls which I’m sure contributes to the AC4825 being an overall good value (along with having more square foot coverage than the LV-H132.

Maintenance cost differences

Piggy bank image with money

Expect to replace filters around 6-8 months after use, although that time varies greatly by use and the condition of the air in your home. For some, the HEPA filter’s life can be extended as long as a year!

Both models have a separately replaceable pre-filter section, although for the LV-H132 that doesn’t include the active carbon section as well, which for the AC4825 it does.

Expect to pay around $15-$25 for a complete filter replacement for the LV-H132 and around $27-$30+ for the GermGuardian model. Note that prices always vary from time to time and seller to seller.

That being said, the Levoit does have an advantage here as far as filter costs go. You can shop around and find 3rd party brands for less money for the GermGuardian, however. I’ve seen a few in my research.

AC4825 UV bulb costs

One thing to bear in mind is that owners (like me) of the AC4825 will eventually have to replace the UV-C bulb as well.

LB4000 UV replacement bulb

Shown: LB-4000 UV replacement bulb for the GermGuardian AC4825 air purifier’s germ killing feature.

Rated life is about 12 months and you can expect to pay near $25. You’ll need to remove the rear metal cover (located internally in front of the filter) using a Phillips head screwdriver.

It’s fairly simple to do and the owner’s manual provides clear & detailed instructions which I like.

LV-H132 vs AC4825 noise levels

To have some solid facts to share with you, I measured the noise levels I heard. Using this great little digital sound level meter I bought at 1 meter (3.28 ft) from the purifiers I recorded the real noise levels produced.

SpeedLV-H132 Vol. (dB)AC4825 Vol. (dB)
Off (room noise)39.339.3
Low4042.5
Medium4350.5
High4858

What does this mean? The basic result is that the Levoit model is significantly quieter during operation. As a matter of fact, on low and medium settings, it has to be one of the quietest air purifiers I’ve ever heard!

Don’t get me wrong: the AC4825 is quiet and the many happy buyer reviews back up my statement. However, the Levoit was even more quiet than I could have imagined.

When it’s in use, it’s so amazingly quiet that sometimes you can’t even tell it’s on! For those who hate annoying noise, that’s a definite plus.

The GermGuardian isn’t bad by any means. The biggest difference is that the ultra-quiet noise level of the LV-H132 comes with a price. Because the fan speed is low for low noise, the air flow rate is lower than the AC4825. Hence, the room size coverage recommendation is only 129 square feet.

The AC4825’s design is a bit different

The AC4825, however, has two internal fan sections that can move more air much more rapidly (and hence are better for larger rooms) but produce a bit more noise.

Additionally, due to its design, the AC4825’s electronics produce a small amount of “whirring” noise from how it drives the internal electric motor when in use. It’s a very minor detail, but I like people to be aware before buying.

As I’m very picky and have good hearing I can hear the difference. However, I’m still very happy with my AC4825. It produces a nice, steady sound like white noise that’s hardly noticeable in practice.

I did notice that you need to give it some time in use before it breaks in and can become more pleasant-sounding.

Pros and cons comparisons

Here’s a pretty good summary of the fundamental pros and cons of both models. Take what you will from it – it’s not a perfect list, but I’ve tried hard to include everything you should know before making a buying decision.

Levoit LV-H132

PROS:
  • Compact size (only about 14.5″ tall)
  • Electronic touch controls
  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • Better activated carbon filter (real pellets)
  • Beautiful appearance
  • Simple operation
  • Great owner’s manual
  • Good customer support
  • 2-level night light
  • Memory feature
  • Great quality
  • Excellent purifier performance
  • Reliable
  • No motor noise like AC4825
  • Available in black
CONS:
  • No carry handle built-in
  • Lower room coverage than AC4825
  • No germ-killing feature
  • Beeping cannot be switched off
  • Shorter warranty (2 vs 3 years)
  • Cannot disable beeping sound for controls
  • Low setting for night light isn’t low enough
  • Single fan design
  • No auto mode or auto-off timer feature
  • Quiet operation comes at the cost of lower air flow rate

GermGuardian AC4825

PROS:
  • 167 sq. ft. room coverage (medium-large)
  • Very easy to use
  • Available in AC4900CA version
  • UV-C germ killing feature
  • Carry handle built-in
  • Dual-fan design
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • UV bulb replacement reminder
  • 3-year warranty
  • 3-in-1 air cleaning design
  • Maintenance is easy to perform
  • Low operational noise
  • Reliable
  • Highly effective & true HEPA level filtering
  • Well-built
  • Available in twin AC4900CA model
  • Prefilter/carbon filter section can be replaced separately from HEPA section
  • Nice design & weight won’t tip over easily
CONS:
  • UV-C feature must be turned on manually after power off then on
  • No auto mode or auto-off timer feature
  • Uses an activated carbon coating vs real pellets like the LV-H132
  • Blue glowing trim could be noticeable to some with high sensitivity
  • Tall height is not suitable for all users
  • Rotary manual control fan speed switch
  • Slight (very minor) motor noise when running
  • No other color options available (aside from AC4900CA)
  • You’ll need to buy 3rd party filters to save money as originals are more expensive

Levoit LV-H132 vs GermGuardian AC4825 comparison table

FeatureLevoit LV-H132GermGuardian AC4825
Room size coverage 129 sq. ft. (small room) 167 sq. ft (medium-large room)
CADR ratings 110/110/110 118/125/108
Night light? Yes (2 levels) No
Filter reminder? Yes Yes
Control type Electronic touch controls Manual rotary switch
Germ killing feature? No Yes
Noise levels Ultra quiet Quiet/normal
Warranty 2 years 3 year limited
Size 8.5 x 8.5 x 14.5″ 6.75 x 10.25 x 21.5″
Current price $89.99 $84.99

(Current pricing updated on 2020-10-29 at 19:02 via Amazon)

Which should you buy?

I totally understand how hard it is to decide. After all, they’re nearly priced the same and if you’re new to buying an air purifier, you might not even know which is best for you.

Here are my recommendations for deciding:

You should pick the LV-H132 if:

  • You have a small room or office
  • Like the night light feature
  • Prefer a better odor control filter
  • Want almost-silent operation
  • Are ok with electronic controls & the beeping on touch
  • Need a more compact air purifier
  • Don’t need a germ killing feature
  • Prefer touch controls

You should pick the AC4825 if:

  • You have a medium to large sized room
  • Want a purifier with higher fan speed/flow rate
  • Don’t mind the tall size (~22″)
  • Want a germ killing feature
  • Don’t need a super-quiet operation
  • Want more value (more room coverage for the same price range)
  • Don’t like touch controls

My final advice

Ultimately, they’re both excellent air purifiers backed by thousands of happy buyer reviews. As I own both of them and have personally tested each, I’m confident you’d be happy with either one. Have look for yourself!

ImageProductDetails
sample-table__imageLevoit LV-H132
  • Ultra-quiet operation. Smart touch panel controls
  • 2-level night light option. Memory feature for last fan speed used
  • Great for rooms up to 129 sq. ft. Excellent for bedrooms!
Check at Amazon
sample-table__imageGermGuardian AC4825
  • A super-popular purifier that's a best buy, too!
  • Easy 3-speed fan controls. Up to 155 sq. ft coverage
  • Built-in germ killing feature. High speed dual fan design
Check at Amazon

Additional reading

If you’re seriously considering the AC4825, read my detailed and honest review of it here before spending your money!

You can also find out more about the AC4825’s twin, the AC4900CA, here in my AC4825 vs AC4900CA detailed comparison.

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:$84.99Price not available

(Current pricing updated on 2020-10-29 at 19:02 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
$84.99
$82.99
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
$84.99
★ 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
$82.99
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 2020-10-29 at 19:02 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

The Best Inexpensive Air Purifiers – 5 Great Buys

Best inexpensive air purifiers featured image

If you’re concerned about air purifier costs you may be wondering if you can even afford one. Or maybe you simply want something affordable that actually works well.

Where to begin? In order to help I’ve put together a list of 5 of the best inexpensive air purifiers. Here you’ll find the details & pros and cons to know before buying.

Wondering how air purifiers work and which kind is best suited for you? There’s a buying guide and basic information here to help, too.

Contents

A basic air purifier buying guide

There are quite a few products out there today but most fall into 2 major categories:

  1. Ionizers or ozone generators
  2. Filter-based (HEPA) purifiers

1. Ionizers and ozone generators

Ionizer and ozone generator examples image
Left: An O-Ion B-1000 ionizer. Right: An ozone generator. Ionizers are a type of air purifier that use an electrostatic charge to collect airborne particles on plates, removing them from the air. Some also have filters to capture dust & particles. Ozone generators are sold as air purifiers as well but don’t effectively clean air. Ozone also can be irritating to your internal passageways and potentially harmful at higher levels.

Ionizers

As I go into more detail in my post here, ionizers work by generating electrical charges and using plates and/or electrodes to affect air particles. A fan is used to move air through the purifier and as it does, airborne particles get a charge and are attracted to plates of a different charge, trapping them.

Some models have reusable or replaceable filters. Others may include additional features like an activated carbon filter to trap odors or ultraviolet light (UV) germ killer.

One unique property of ionizers is their ability to act as air sanitizers and kill sickness-causing germs.

When compared to filter-based (HEPA) air purifiers, however, they can’t quite compete. I’ll cover that below.

Ozone generators

Diagram showing ozone production and pair particles
Ozone generators work by using a high voltage corona effect to create ozone molecules. Ozone is the funny smell you may remember sensing outdoors after a lightning storm or from an electric train or car sets. It is generated from voltages change oxygen molecules.

The main principle behind it is taking regular oxygen from the air and combining 3 oxygen atoms into an ozone molecule. This molecule has a charge and the atoms 3rd oxygen atom can bond with contaminants in the air.

That’s the idea, at least. However, in practice, ozone generators aren’t very effective. Some do use filters also, but they’re not very efficient and simply aren’t worth the money.

Ozone can be breathed in by humans and pets where it can irritate the respiratory system. It’s especially a bad idea for those suffering from health problems like emphysema.

At higher levels, it’s also potentially harmful to the human body.

Ozone generators are often misleadingly sold as “air purifiers” and while technically that’s true to a lesser degree, they aren’t very efficient as I mentioned. Also, companies often do not include information about the amount of ozone produced, and whether or not they’re safe.

I recommend staying away from ozone generators. They’re a poor use of your money!

2. Filter-based purifiers

How air purifiers reduce dust diagramHEPA filter air purifiers like this GermGuardian AC4825 work by drawing air through filters to capture and remove air contaminants. Clean air blows out and back into the room. They work in a cyclic fashion, continually moving and filtering air. Some also include a type of germ-killing feature in addition to an activated carbon filter to remove odors.

These work based on a simple but effective principle. Fans are used to move air through a very dense filter material called a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA filter. They’re very effective and are safe as these types of purifiers don’t emit anything into the air you breathe.

Additionally, many have additional features to compliment the HEPA main filter. These are an activated carbon filter to remove odors and chemical vapors and a pre-filter for larger particles.

As they run the air in a room is circulated and continually cleaned. As they work very well for common air quality issues like pet allergies & odors, cigarette smoke, dust, and others they’re very popular.

Most also have selectable fan speeds and can be used on low for more quiet operation at night. You can also find some with additional bonus features like a germ killer to reduce microbes.

How effective are HEPA purifiers?

Diagram showing HEPA filter efficiency

The HEPA name denotes a standard first put into use commercially in the 1950s in the United States. It’s a standardized level of air cleaning efficiency that ensures:

  1. The filter is 99.97% efficient at removing particles
  2. Particle sizes of down to 0.3 uM are captured

For reference, 1 uM (micrometer) is equal to an incredibly small 1/1,000,000 of a meter in size! That’s far smaller than the human eye can see. Truly microscopic in size.

This is important because with purifiers using “true” (genuine) HEPA filters you’re assured of how effective they are.

Additionally, many airborne particulates are very small and you’ll have to have an effective purifier that can remove elements of those sizes if you truly want relief.

Which type of air purifier do I need?

I recommend picking a quality HEPA filter air purifier like those below. Ionizers typically don’t have the proven performance of a good filter based purifier.

They also often have a lower fan speed and can’t move air as quickly.

Filter-based purifiers are also much more suited at trapping dust. Models with a carbon filter can definitely help with odors and other chemical substances in the air.

I own and have personally tested several below and I can vouch for how well they work!

HEPA purifiers have proven, demonstrated effectiveness which is important when buying products like this. You don’t want to spend money on something based on marketing hype, only to find out it’s not helping you.

★ 5 of the best inexpensive air purifiers ★

Our top picks at a glance

ImageProductDetails
sample-table__image★ OUR #1 CHOICE ★GermGuardian AC4825
  • Best seller 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 at Amazon
sample-table__imageULTRA QUIET!Levoit LV-H132
  • Electronic controls and super quiet operation
  • 129 sq ft, true HEPA + carbon filter
  • Touch controls, night light, and memory feature
Check at Amazon
sample-table__imageGermGuardian AC4100
  • Great for dorms and small rooms
  • Same HEPA filter + carbon filter quality as larger models
  • Includes germ-killing feature
Check at Amazon
sample-table__imageHamilton Beach TrueAir
  • HEPA filter can be vacuumed for longer life
  • Works upright or on its side. Great compact, effective air cleaning.
  • Simple 3-speed control. Available in pet version and 2 colors.
Check at Amazon
sample-table__imageUnder $50Holmes HAP9240
  • A great budget choice! Affordable version of a true HEPA filter.
  • Built-in ionizer for additional cleaning. Up to 109 sq. ft. coverage
  • Simple/easy controls. Works on its side or vertically
Check at Amazon

Product reviews and details

1. GermGuardian AC4825 – A winner! Best-selling, effective cleaning with good value.

Best seller product review badge graphic imageHands-down, the GermGuardian AC4825 is one of the all-time best-selling air purifiers today and it’s easy to see why!
You’ll get not only more room coverage for your money but the addition of an ultraviolet (UV) germ killing feature, too.

Take a look at why it’s one of the best well-rounded values today:

  • True HEPA filter
  • UV-C germ killing feature
  • Super-easy filter maintenance
  • Inexpensive replacement filters
  • Separate pre-filter for reduced costs
  • Filter check reminder feature
  • Carrying handle for easy moving
  • Available in white or the AC4900 style, too
  • Lab-tested CADR rating of 100+
  • 155 sq. ft. room coverage

Solid features and performance

The true HEPA filter and odor-absorbing pre-filter work together to keep your dorm room fresh, reduce allergies, and let you breathe & enjoy college the way you deserve.

Nasties such as dust, hair, and more get blocked by the pre-filter which can be replaced separately to keep costs down. The HEPA filter works great to block all kinds of terrible allergens, dust mites, pollen, and even mold spores to freshen the air you breathe and reduce sickness.

Unlike many competitors in its price range, the AC4825 also offers lab-tested performance with a CADR of 100+.

While it may lack the fancier features found in others, it’s one of the easiest to use and very reliable as well. I’m a big fan as I own one myself!

In fact, you can read more in my detailed review of the AC4825 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 rotary 3-speed fan control is used to change fan speeds and turn it off. The filter is easy to remove and replace by opening the rear door and simply swapping it out. A filter replacement reminder is included too.

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!

The ultraviolet light feature (UV-C) works with titanium oxide to break down & destroy illness-causing microbes & germs in the air around you. It’s a nice addition that most competitors don’t offer. 

When switched on, you’ll see a soft, safe glow in the translucent trim around the base of the top that lets you know it’s working to destroy germs.

Overall opinion

At 22 inches in height, it’s not as compact as other models but fits well into corners or other spaces. Replacement filters cost about $15-20 and last about 6 months depending upon use. You’ll also find many 3rd part options offered for those of you on a budget, too!

The GermGuardian line of purifiers is one of the most reputable on the market, and without a doubt the AC4825 is a true “workhorse” that people love, judging by the thousands of great buyer reviews.

I’ve enjoyed mine, too, and I love how hassle-free it is to use. The fan speeds are good, it’s relatively quiet, and works well to solve a whole range of air quality issues.

The true HEPA filter and pre-filter are some of the easiest to replace I’ve ever used! If you’re in the market for a good value but not a wimpy purifier, it’s a great compromise between cost & performance.

While it’s not as quiet as some competitors, it’s still pretty low in noise when running. But that’s one of the few tiny gripes I have since I’ve enjoyed mine so much.

PROS:
  • Simple 3-speed fan switch is great for nearly everyone
  • Good overall value for performance & room size vs. the Levoit LV-132
  • Great filtering performance
  • Quiet fan operation on low speed setting
  • Germ & microbe-killing UV-C feature not found in many others
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Soft LED when power is on
  • Nice blue glowing trim when UV-C is on
  • Vertical size is great for corner or areas with more vertical space
  • Good room size coverage (155 square feet)
  • 3-year limited warranty
CONS:
  • No auto-sensing modes
  • No electronic controls
  • No auto-off feature
  • Cannot 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

As a happy AC4825 owner, I understand why it’s so popular. It’s well made, works great for cleaning the air, and is frustration-free. Maintenance is cheap, too.

Don’t wait any longer for healthy, fresh air! Head over now to see the thousands of great buyer reviews and current low price at Amazon.

NEW GermGuardian AC4825W white model

Good news! You can now get the AC4825 we happy owners love in white as well.

Want some a bit different looking? Check out its twin, the sleek AC4900CA version here.

2. Levoit LV-H132 – Nice features, performance, and a good choice for small to mid-sized rooms.

Levoit LV-H132 purifier white front view

The LV-H132 provides less room size coverage than competitors like the GermGuardian AC4825 but makes up for it with a lot of great features. It’s a popular model and best seller.

Well suited for small rooms or light duty use in medium-sized rooms, it’s a well-designed model you’ll enjoy using.

It’s also one of the quietest purifiers I’ve ever owned & tested, too!

The 3-stage true HEPA filter is great for eliminating odors, allergens, pet dander, dust mite allergens and so much more.  Odors are no problem, either.

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.

Of the inexpensive purifiers listed here it has the most features.

The LV-PUR131 uses a 3-stage design similar to others: a fine preliminary filter, an activated carbon filter, and a true HEPA filter that captures and removes dust very effectively.

Sound levels are pleasant and operation is quiet during use. There’s also a lovely night light with 2 brightness settings built in.

The filter replacement reminder indicates when it’s time to check and change the filter if needed.

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 run around $30 and are easy to replace by opening the top cover.

PROS:
  • Lower height than tower purifiers
  • 2-year warranty
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Night light with 2 brightness levels
  • Nice looking, modern design
  • Electronic soft button controls
  • Quiet operation on low level won’t disturb sleep
  • Filter replacement reminder
  • Great build quality & high reliability
  • Easy filter replacement
CONS:
  • Smaller room coverage than others in its price range (129 sq. ft.)
  • No auto-off timer feature
  • No air quality sensor
  • Electronic controls may not be suitable for some

Of all the air purifiers I’ve owned and tested the LV-H132 had the lowest noise during operation. I was honestly surprised how quite it was!

It’s an excellent choice.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Be sure to check out why it's one of the most popular models and received the Amazon's Choice label.

Levoit LV-H132 black model

UPDATE: A sleek new black version is now available too!

3.  GermGuardian AC4100 3-in-1: Got a small room? Get great performance for less money.

GermGuardian AC4100 angle view
Affordable? Yes. Low on quality? No! I’m an AC4100 owner too (yes, I test many different kinds!) and I can tell you it shares the same quality and performance the GermGuardian purifier family is known for.

It’s a modern looking, well-performing purifier. Measuring only 7.5 x 6.5 x 11″ in size, there’s a true HEPA filter along with a pre-filter/charcoal section to produce fresh, healthy air you’ll enjoy.

The AC4100 is a great choice for small rooms, dorm rooms, offices, and many other places.

Mine works great and it’s a great way to reduce dust if you have problems with it like I do.

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!

The UV light (along with titanium dioxide) kills germs to sanitize your air and reduce sickness. Replacement filters cost about $18. A filter installation date wheel is available to mark when you installed a fresh filter.

Image of a GermGuardian AC4100 showing HEPA and activated carbon filters

A 3 simple rotary control adjusts fan speed and turns it off. It’s quiet and generates a pleasing low noise level on the lowest setting. When set to high somewhat similar to white noise is produced.

It’s different from other GermGuardian models in that the UV-C is an on/off switch rather than a push button control. Also, I’m not so happy that there are no indicator lights for the UV-C feature being turned on or the filter replacement.

Those are fairly minor complaints, however. Overall, it’s a great choice for small rooms and I’ve been happy with the ones I’ve owned and tested.

PROS:
  • Simple 3-speed fan control and on/off UV-C switch
  • UV & titanium dioxide design to kill germs
  • 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
  • Fan speed on high could be slightly better
  • No filter replacement light
  • No additional colors offered

The AC4100 provides the same quality that earned GermGuardian its reputation as a top air product company. I definitely recommend it for both its great value and low price.

Be sure to check it out! Head over and see the great buyer reviews and low price today at Amazon.

4.  Hamilton Beach TrueAir Ultra Quiet – Inexpensive, compact, and quiet too.

Hamilton Beach True Air purifier black front viewThe Hamilton Beach TrueAir is not just a well-made purifier that’s with that’s inexpensive but one that also helps keep ownership costs down.
The HEPA filter can be vacuumed clean. Under normal use won’t have to replace it as frequently as you would for other brands. It’s a great way to save money.

Hamilton Beach True Air purifier black top viewUsing it is super easy! A simple rotary control lets you select the fan speed desired.

Operation is simple using the 3-speed fan control. It runs quietly during operation unlike some other products out there.

The compact size (8.5 x 13.5″) lets it fit in more spaces. Hamilton Beach rates the room coverage at a nice 140 square feet. Perfect for small to medium sized rooms like offices and bedrooms.

Hamilton Beach TrueAir purifier features image

The Hamilton Beach TrueAir fits neatly into small spaces – especially shelves – as it can be used on its side. Remove the rear cover to vacuum the filter for extended life. It’s a great way to keep costs down.

Another great option it has is the ability to be placed on its side – soft feet keep it steady when rotated.

Unlike the others, there are no additional pre-filter or carbon filter sections. I don’t recommend it, therefore, for odors and smoke for that reason.

(Note: If you have pets, check out the pet version TrueAir Pet Specialized Cleaner).

Color options include both black and white. Note that the different colors may be priced differently from time to time.

PROS:
  • HEPA filter is effective for average dust and allergen removal
  • Main (HEPA) filter can be vacuumed and reused – low maintenance costs
  • Can be used on its side for even more convenience
  • Quiet operation
  • Nice design
  • Simple 3-speed operation control
CONS:
  • Limited room size coverage
  • No pre-filter or carbon filter section (odors and cigarette smoke)
  • No power indicator lights or filter replacement reminder
  • No sleep or auto-shut off mode

It’s a nice, affordable option for many people. You’ll be pleased to find out the low price and see the many happy buyer reviews at Amazon.

5.  Holmes HAP9240 HEPA-type desktop purifier – Low on price, high on value.

Holmes HAP9240 air purifier product imageLooking for a competent but lower-priced choice? The Holmes HAP9240 may be exactly what you’ve been looking for. You’ll get a great compromise between performance, filter options, and price.
It’s not the smallest but measures a reasonable 14.8 x 11.4 x 7.2 inches in size.

Featuring a small size that’s perfect for countertops, shelves, and even desks, the Holmes can also be placed vertically on its back. The purifier features built-in rests on the rear to allow it to stand on its end.

For around $50 or so, it’s a good value. Check out the features:

  • Near-HEPA air filter quality for less money (filters 99% of particles)
  • Up to 100 sq. ft. room size coverage
  • 3 cleaning speeds and low noise operation
  • Filter reminder indicator light
  • Optional ionizer feature
  • Can be used in a vertical position
  • Black color option (availability may vary)
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • Washable pre-filter
  • Affordable replacement filters
  • 12 month HEPA filter life

The Holmes desktop air purifier includes a washable filter and HEPA-type filter (left). (Right) Have special air cleaning needs? You’ve got some good options! Pick one of the 3 additional filter options for specialized air cleaning relief.

It uses a HEPA-type filter that’s similar to the filtering qualities of a true HEPA filter. The filter can remove 99% of all particles down to 2 microns in size (as opposed to the 0.3 micron standard of a genuine HEPA filter.)

It’s a budget model but still a good performer for many common air quality problems. The 2-micron particle size rating works well for pet dander, dust, and standard allergens.

I wouldn’t recommend it for cigarette smoke, however, at least not without a carbon filter.

Shown: The Holmes HAP9240 controls are super-simple to understand and use. The filter reminder (left) shows the filter condition and can be reset as needed. Right: The optional ionizer feature is as simple as an on/off switch with light. Center: Choose from Off or 3 fan speeds with low-noise operation.

A built-in ionizer with off/on control is an extra feature that produces a safe level of charged molecules that bond with pollutants in the air. While it’s not the main air cleaning contributor, it’s a nice touch you may enjoy.

Filter check reminder

At power up, the unit will check and show you if it’s time to check and clean or replace the filters using the dual-color light on the control panel. When needed, you can easily reset the check filter light using the reset button provided.

It’s unique in that the pre-stage filter can be removed and washed to be reused. Fan speed is adjustable and while not as quiet as the Levoit and others here, it does offer low noise when at low speed.

Room size coverage and air cleaning performance

It’s recommended for rooms up to 100 square feet in size – just right for dorm rooms! The air cleaning performance is good, too, as it removes allergens, dust, pet dander, and much more from the air very well.

While there are quieter models out there, you’ll pay at least $30-$40, and in my opinion, it’s very quiet on the lower 2 settings. Overall, it’s a nice little budget model I’m sure that’s a great match if you’re on a budget.

Just like experience with it, buyers love it, too, as it’s one of the best-reviewed budget purifiers today.

PROS:
  • One of the most affordable and biggest sellers on the market
  • 100 sq. ft. room coverage
  • Easy slide control switches & 3 speed settings
  • Pre-stage filter can be cleaned and reused
  • Low replacement filter cost
  • Additional filter options
  • Can be positioned vertically
  • Includes ionizer with on/off control
  • Lower cost version of a true HEPA filter with nearly the same standard of performance
  • Available in black
  • 3-year limited warranty
CONS:
  • Not as sophisticated as pricier models
  • No germ-killing feature like the GermGuardian products offer
  • Cannot turn off light indicators on panel
  • Styling is more bland

Overall, it’s a very good budget air purifier that’s a great combination of price, performance, and features.

It’s a great little purifier for those on a budget! Find out the current price & availability now at Amazon.

Summary – The best air purifier under $100

The GermGuardian AC4825 is my top recommended for an affordable air purifier below $100 and it’s often on sale at Amazon for below $80. It’s one of the best values as the room coverage is one of the largest in its price class. The quality and performance are both very good as well.

Based on my own testing and as an owner of the AC4825, I recommend it as the best low-cost air purifier under $100. It’s one of the best-selling models in the world, too.

Additional reading

I personally own the GermGuardian AC4825 and was so impressed I wrote a great review here.

If you’d like to find out more about HEPA type vs. true HEPA filters here’s a great post that explains more.

Feel free to post a comment or contact me if you have comments or questions!