In our Bionaire air purifier review, we look at the Bionaire BAP9240 air purifier, which is one of three air purifiers that Bionaire offers. The BAP9240 is the most basic model in the Bionaire range. This Bionaire air purifier is advertised to remove a broad range of airborne pollutants, such as; pollen, pet dander, dust and mould spores. It offers a pre-filter and a HEPA-type/carbon filter, as well as an ioniser that can be turned on and off individually.
Bionaire is a subsidiary of Jarden Corporation, an American consumer products company that manufactures and sells a diverse range of products such as fishing equipment, animal grooming products, plastic cutlery and... air cleaners. The Bionaire air purifier range was first introduced in 1977 and originally consisted of just ioniser air purifiers.
The Bionaire BAP9240 air cleaner is light (2.5kg) and very compact, with the dimension of the unit measuring 16cm x 33cm x 23cm. The unit has one dial to control the speed settings and two further buttons that make up its interface; one to turn on and off the ioniser and the other to reset the filter life indicator light.
The Bionaire BAP9240 has two filters, a washable foam pre-filter and a regular HEPA-type/carbon main filter. The unit can also be used with a ‘true-HEPA’ filter instead of the HEPA-type/carbon filter. However, the ‘true-HEPA’ filter does not come with the unit and would need to be purchased separately. The manufacturer recommends that the foam pre-filter be checked and possibly washed every few weeks and that the HEPA-type/carbon filter be replaced every 3–6 months. According to Bionaire, the unit has a maximum airflow of 67m3/h.
The Bionaire BAP9240 air purifier is retailed at £49.00 - £59.00 (incl. VAT). The unit can be bought from stores such as John Lewis, Tesco Direct, Curry’s and Amazon. Replacement filters can be purchased by calling Bionaire or one of its retailers - the ‘true-HEPA’ filter is £34.07 and the HEPA type/carbon filter is £19.08.
The Bionaire BAP9240 air purifier is marketed towards people suffering from allergies caused by pet dander, pollen, dust or mould spores. The HEPA-like carbon/filter is also advertised towards cigarette smokers as the manufacturer states that the unit eliminates tobacco smoke. The unit is described as having a “contemporary design that fits into any home or office décor” . Bionaire furthermore says that the air purifier will “improve the air quality in your home"  and that it will “remove odours and common airborne pollutants from the environment” . About the HEPA-type/carbon filter, Bionaire says that it is “99% efficient in removing particles larger than 2 microns” in size and that the air cleaner is “ideal for room size up to 26m²”. The Bionaire air purifier range has been awarded the Allergy UK Seal of Approval “for reduction in exposure to house dust mite, smoke and pollen” .
The overall manufacturing quality of the Bionaire BAP9240 is basic (the main material is plastic with a white finish) but the air cleaner makes a durable impression. The unit is small and easy to move around and offers a design aspect we liked. The manufacturer calls it the ‘dual positioning feature’. It allows you to place the Bionaire BAP9240 air purifier upright on its back; which will take up less room and allows you to direct the airflow coming out of the unit into any given direction. This can be useful, especially if the unit is used on a nightstand or a desk.
Gaining access to the filters of this Bionaire air purifier is relatively easy; you simply remove the front grill by pressing down on the latch at the bottom of the unit. The pre-filter is a simple foam/mesh filter that is meant to collect large dust and can be found attached to the back of the front grill. The manufacturer recommends to remove and wash the pre-filter in warm soapy water once it has collected a noticeable amount of dust, i.e. every few weeks. You will need to make sure to dry the filter completely before placing it back into the inlet of the grill. Unfortunately, we could not find a replacement mesh pre-filter on the Bionaire website or any other Bionaire retailer. We are not sure what the manufacturer expects you to do in case the pre-filter is worn out or ripped. Obviously running the unit without the pre-filter would not be a good idea and would drastically reduce the filter life of the main filter which already is supposed to be changed every 3-6 month.
The filter frame of the HEPA-type/carbon filter is made of plastic which is good rather than cardboard as used by many other manufacturers. The filter is also sealed to the side of the plastic casing with a gel, to give the filter more strength and prevent additional leakage. After 3–6 months the filter light ring on the Bionaire BAP9240 will illuminate, letting you know that it is time to replace the main filter.
We were a bit surprised to read in the manual that a ‘true-HEPA’ filter can be purchased and used with the Bionaire air purifier, as this filter option is not well marketed or promoted on both the manufacturer’s and their retailer’s websites. Obviously selling the better/higher class of filter separately from the actual air purifier is a bit inconvenient. People who would only want to use a 'true-HEPA' filter from the beginning (because they would like a high level of filtration or require it due to their allergies), will need to purchase the Bionaire BAP9240 air purifier with the lesser filter and the 'true-HEPA' filter on top of it. They then either have to throw the ‘HEPA-type/carbon’ filter away or use the unit as it is with a significantly lower filtration efficiency.
The Bionaire BAP9240 air purifier is advertised to remove cigarette smoke from the air. The appropriate method for this is to use a carbon filter, which should consist of high quality activated carbon and a lot of it. Bionaire does not state how much carbon is in the Bionaire BAP9240 filter. However, the HEPA-type/carbon filter itself only weighs about 100g. So the amount of carbon in the filter is going to be insignificant. The carbon used in the Bionaire BAP9240 air purifier is also not activated granular carbon but a simple carbon mesh, which will not remove even small amounts of tobacco smoke from the air.
Although the Bionaire BAP9240 air purifier only costs £49.00 - £59.00, maintaining the air purifier is expensive and the additional 'true-HEPA' filter is a bit of a hidden extra cost. If you only want to use the HEPA-filter with the air purifier then you will need to purchase the unit (£49.00) as well as the 'true-HEPA' filter (£34.07). As the manufacturer recommends changing the filter every 3-6 months this will cost you £68.14 - £136.28 within a year. So the unit could cost you close to £200.00 in the first year - which seems like a lot for a small unit like this.
Bionaire advertises the BAP9240 air purifier as being suitable for a medium size room of up to 26m². However, other retailers such as Breathingspace advertises the Bionaire air purifier to be “ideal for rooms up to 13m²” and Healthy-House says that it is “suitable for a small room up to 9m²”.
We agree that the Bionaire BAP9240 air purifier should be appropriate for up to 13 m² if used a) with the HEPA-like/carbon filter rather than the ‘true-HEPA’ filter (as it will have a reduced airflow), and b) if the unit is used on the highest speed setting.
When we tested the different settings on the unit we noticed setting 1 is fairly quiet and therefore would be suitable for use in the bedroom. However, the noise level is significantly higher on speed settings 2 and 3, and might not be suitable if you are particularly noise sensitive. The noise level for the unit given by the manufacturer is 52 dB (A).
The built-in ioniser of the Bionaire BAP9240 can be turned on and off independently. It is somewhat unusual that the ioniser is only positioned in one of the unit’s two air outlets so that effectively only half of the air that comes out of the unit will be ionised when the ioniser is turned on. Bionaire recommends that to “prevent ozone build up”, to only use “the ioniser in well-ventilated areas with the fan on”.
The Bionaire BAP9240 is a small and very compact air purifier. It's the ability to make a decent improvement in the air quality of a given room will be quite limited due to the less than HEPA filtration and low levels of airflow. So that we would only recommend the Bionaire BAP9240 for the smallest rooms and if you are not particularly noise sensitive. The air purifier seems quite inappropriate for tobacco smoke and for filtering out other gases and chemicals. The maintenance required is a real inconvenience, and we wonder if people really wash the pre-filter every two weeks on an on-going basis and change the main filter every 3 months. For most people, an air purifier is something you want to turn on and forget about.
|Price:||£49.00 - £59.00|
|Size:||25 x 33 x 16 cm|
|Frequency of filter change:||HEPA-type filter - every 3-6 months|
|Cost of filter:||True-HEPA filter - £34.07
HEPA-type filter - £19.08
|Theoretical filtration efficiency (according to manufacturer):||99% (@ 2 microns)|
|Airflow on highest speed setting:||67 m3/h|
|Adequate room size (according to manufacturer):||26m2|
|Country of Manufacture:||China|
|Power consumption:||30 Watts|
[1, 2, 3, 4] http://www.bionaireuk.co.uk/aboutproduct.aspx?cid=1