HoMedics is a privately owned American company, founded in 1987. The company sells various products such as back, foot, and neck massagers, foot baths and humidifiers. In the UK these products are sold through retailers such as Argos, Homebase, Curry’s and Debenhams. At £99.99, the HoMedics Professional HEPA air purifier is the lower end model of their air purifier range. The mid-range unit (AR-20-GB) sells at £149.99 and the top end model retails at £199.99. The HoMedics AR-10A-GB is very similar to the AR-20-GB, which is suitable for a slightly larger room; despite the size difference, however, the AR-10A-GB and the AR-20-GB have the same basic features.
HoMedics AR-10A-GB Air Purifier
The dimensions of the HoMedics Professional HEPA air purifier are 43cm x 38cm x 22cm and the unit weighs 3.85kg; making the air purifier easy to move around. The unit has three basic functions; an on/off button, a filter life indicator and a dial for the three different speed settings. The unit does not have a remote control, a programmable timer, electronic filter check, or UV light, as the AR-29-GB model does. The pre-filter for the HoMedics Professional HEPA air purifier is washable, and the manufacturer recommends that the filter is cleaned at least once a month. The filter indicator lets you know when to clean the HEPA-type filter, which is every 2,800 hours of use and the HEPA-type filter will need to be replaced every 18 months according to the manufacturer. Replacement filters for the HoMedics air purifier can be purchased online for £19.99 (inc. VAT). As the back of the air purifier functions as a pre-filter, this needs to be cleaned and vacuumed on a monthly basis as it is likely to collect significant amounts of dust over time.
The HoMedics Professional HEPA air purifiers are primarily advertised towards people suffering with allergy. As the manufacturer says the air purifiers “reduce the sufferer’s exposure to airborne pollen”, and that they “remove up to 99% of airborne contaminants like allergens, pollen, smoke and dust”. The manufacturer markets the unit to be a “super quiet operation for bedrooms” and boasts an “ultra slim design”. The manufacturer also claims that the “cleanable HEPA filter will last 5x longer than conventional filters” if the filter is vacuumed every month.
The HoMedics Professional HEPA air purifier is made out of a greyish plastic and may not appeal to someone who is looking for a more modern look. The unit is basic and only offers three options: the power on/off button, clean filter indicator and the speed settings. The HoMedics Professional HEPA air purifier operates by drawing the air in from the back of the unit and then releasing the filtered air through the top.
The HoMedics air cleaners control panel sits on top of the unit and covers the outflow. Thus, protecting the inside of the air purifier from collecting dust when the unit is turned off – which is good. We also like that the control panel has a curved design, which makes it easy to clean.
To access both filters you need to open the grill plate which is on the back of the unit. This can be a bit tricky to open as you need to pull the tabs on both sides together. The grill plate is made out of a basic plastic and we have concerns that the tabs that lock the grill to the air purifier will break off after some time from the frequent opening and closing to either change or clean the filters.
How to remove the grill plate to access the filters.
HoMedics is advertising that their air purifier has a main filter that can be vacuumed. That obviously sounds appealing as it could be a great money saver. But it is very unusual for filters to be designed in this way. One reason is that the suction from the vacuum cleaner will very likely damage the integrity of the filter media. This would result in the filter being less effective and letting pollution pass through it before blowing it back into your environment.
The manufacturer states that the HoMedics Professional HEPA air purifier is a HEPA air purifier as it uses a “HEPA” filter as its main filter - even calling the unit “HoMedics Professional HEPA air purifier”. However, a true HEPA filter retains 99.97% of airborne particles at 0.3 microns. HoMedics, however, admits that their air cleaner has only a 99% filtration efficiency. Therefore, the filter of the HoMedics air purifier is either only a HEPA-type filter (so not an actual HEPA filter) or alternatively the air purifier is not leakage free. Either way, we find it very misleading that they have the words “Professional HEPA air purifier” in the title when the unit – by the manufacturers own admission, does not give a HEPA performance.
The HEPA-type filter with cleaning instructions.
We also did not like that the HoMedics Professional air purifier does not have any carbon filtration for removing odour, gas and chemical pollution (such as from cigarette smoke for example) from the air. We are therefore also uncomfortable that the manufacturer is marketing the HoMedics Professional HEPA air purifier AR-10A-GB as being good for removing second-hand smoke – as it will not be.
Once we turned the unit on we noticed a slight rattling sound, which sounded like there was something scraping against the fan. As the rattling sound did not disappear the unit was deemed defective and we returned it for a new one.
The HoMedics Professional HEPA air purifier has an airflow rate of 140m³/hr on the highest setting. The AR-20-GB model has an airflow rate of 180m³/hr and the HoMedics Tower (AR-29-GB) air purifier has an airflow rate of 215m³/hr. These figures are based on the highest speed setting. We were unable to get any information about the airflow rate for settings 1 and 2. We contacted the manufacturer, but funnily enough, they said that they did not have that information either…
There are also a couple of issues we noticed that we did not like in terms of health and safety. The HoMedics Professional HEPA air purifier, for example, continued to operate when the back grill and filter was removed, exposing the (still operating) fan. This is a problem as things could get stuck in the fan, damaging the air purifier and making the unit very child unfriendly.
Small objects can get stuck in the fan.
When we tested the unit for noise levels on the different settings, the unit is quiet on setting 1. There is not a huge difference in noise levels for settings 2 and 3 – which were both quite audible. The manufacturer states that the HoMedics Professional HEPA air purifier has a noise level of
The HoMedics Professional HEPA air purifier has a couple of flaws and did not convince us to be as ‘professional’ as the name tries to imply. The AR-10A-GB is also not a HEPA air purifier as the manufacturer is trying to make us believe. It is a small portable air cleaner with a HEPA-type filter and a pre-filter. The control panel is done well, but that is not enough to make up for its misleading and presumptuous title.
|Price:||£65.98 - £99.99|
|Size:||43 x 38 x 22cm|
|Frequency of filter change:||HEPA-type filter - every 18 months
Clean/Vacuum the air purifier every month
|Vacuum every month:||Yes|
|Cost of filter:||HEPA-type filter - £19.99|
|Theoretical filtration efficiency (according to manufacturer):||99%|
|Actual filtration efficiency:||N/A|
|Air flow on highest speed setting:||140 m2/h|
|Adequate room size (according to manufacturer):||55m2|
|Country of manufacture:||China|
|Power consumption:||38 Watts|
[2, 3, 4] http://www.homedics.co.uk/health/air-cleaners/homedics-professional-hepa-air-purifier.html
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