Breathe Easier with the Family Handyman Approved Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier
Concerned about indoor air quality? We tried this Honeywell air purifier and had excellent results.
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With air quality concerns on the rise, air purifiers are soaring in popularity.
Smog, smoke, allergens and even viruses have homeowners wondering about indoor air quality and what they can do to improve it, especially as they spend more time at home. And with my own recent move to the Denver metro area, I understand the need for a solution to poor air quality days. That’s why I was excited to try the Honeywell HPA300 HEPA Air Purifier.
What is the Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier?
HEPA stands for “high efficiency particulate air.” These filters are proven to remove microscopic particles such as dust, pollen, pet dander and smoke from the air. HEPA filters are often used in air purifiers, but you can also find HEPA vacuums and furnace filters, although they may not be the best choice for your furnace blower.
Honeywell manufactures HEPA air purifiers in several sizes. The model we tried, the HPA300, is intended for large rooms up to 465 sq. ft. There are four filters inside the filter housing — three certified HEPA filters and one odor-reducing pre-filter.
This air purifier is big, just under two feet tall, and it’s supposed to stand on the floor. Though sizable, it’s light, just 17 pounds. The instructions advise putting a mat or rug beneath it to prevent carpet stains. And it’s not for use in bathrooms or other damp locations.
The HPA300 boasts 4.8 air changes per hour in a 465 sq. ft. room. The odor-reducing pre-filter should be changed every three months, while the HEPA filters should be replaced every 12 months. If you’re not using it for a while, Honeywell recommends removing the filters and storing them in airtight plastic bags to prolong their lifespans.
The filters actually come wrapped in airtight plastic bags to ensure freshness, so don’t just take it out of the box and turn it on. Remove the plastic wrapper from each filter first. The number and placement of filters differs depending on which model you get, so be sure to read the instructions.
How We Tested It
I wanted to test the air purifier on kitchen odors. So once I removed the plastic and installed the filters, I placed it in my dining room, which has an open floor plan with the kitchen. I also tried it around the corner in the living room, but didn’t notice any difference because of the open floor plan.
Over the last couple of months, I’ve used the Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier any time there was an odor in my apartment, and it has definitely helped.
When the Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier arrived, I wanted to try it out right away, so I lit a candle. I could still smell the candle, but when I blew it out, the air purifier filtered out the trail of smoke and the unpleasant smell.
Since the candle test, I’ve used it for trash odors, pizza drippings in the oven, burned toast, that oily smell from frying chicken wings and even neighbors’ cigarette smoke from the sidewalk outside my window. I expect this will come in handy on poor air quality days this summer.
When using the air purifier for a specific odor, I set it to high or turbo. I also ran the air purifier for extended periods without a triggering odor to test the timer feature. In that case, I used the low or medium setting. It has automatic shutoff settings for two, four or eight hours.
There’s also a dimmer function with three brightness levels. Since I kept the device in the dining room, the dimmer wasn’t a big selling point for me, but it would be if I put it in the bedroom. I taped over the blue light on a tower fan a few years back because it didn’t have this feature.
Performance: It’s hard to measure the true effectiveness of an air purifier at home, so I judged it by smell. I noticed a difference each time I turned on the air purifier. When standing next to it, you can feel air blowing out of the top, and it has a fresh, clean smell.
Value: This is one of the more expensive options in Honeywell’s air purifier lineup, but it does work for a large space, and it comes with all the necessary filters included. It’s a pretty good deal for three certified HEPA filters, an odor-reducing pre-filter, an Energy Star certification, a five-year warranty and cleaner air. If you live somewhere with good air quality and don’t have any allergies, it might not be worth the $250. But if you have allergies or deal with a lot of smog, wildfires or dust storms, this product is more worthwhile.
Reliability and durability: This product requires little maintenance, Honeywell recommends wiping the outside with a dry cloth every three months and replacing the filters according to the aforementioned schedule. There is a “check filter” light, but it’s a good idea to set a reminder elsewhere just in case. If you notice a drop in performance, change the filters sooner.
Ease of use: The buttons on the top of the Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier are self-explanatory and easy to use. Still, Honeywell includes a quick reference guide that slides neatly into a slot on top of the device. It’s no harder to operate than a tower fan or humidifier.
I thought the air purifier was great! It’s the first one I’ve used, and it definitely helped this winter when it was too cold to open the windows. It’s likely that my area will have some air quality advisories this summer, and I have no doubt Honeywell’s HEPA air purifier will freshen the air inside my apartment.
My favorite features are the timer and the dimmer. These thoughtful extras take it from good to great. The timer saves energy, while the dimmer saves sleep. I was also pleasantly surprised by how quiet it is. Even on its highest setting, it’s no louder than my tower fan or furnace. The sound is also smooth and consistent so it blends into the background.
The only negative about this air purifier is that it’s not supposed to be used in the bathroom. I thought it might work well for litter box odors, but my cat’s litter box is in the bathroom.
Why You Should Buy This
If you have a space under 500 sq. ft. that could use an air quality boost, this is the product for you. It’s quiet, easy to use and noticeably effective. It worked well in my kitchen/dining area, but it would also refresh stale air in a home office, remove allergens from a bedroom and much more.
Air purifiers overall are expensive, and the Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier (HPA300) is moderately priced compared to many. Still, $250 is nothing to sneeze at. If you plan to use it in a smaller space, the HPA200 or HPA100 might be a better, more affordable option.
Where to Buy the Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier
The Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifier is available from most major retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, Lowe’s and The Home Depot.
About the Author:
Mikayla Borchert is an assistant editor for Family Handyman. When she’s not hiking, she loves gardening and perfecting her home décor and organization.