Are Cheap Air Purifiers a Waste of Money?
There are many types and sizes of air purifiers on the market today. Prices can range from less than $50 to well into the hundreds of dollars. If you have been looking for an air purifier but price is a factor, you may be tempted to go with a lower end unit to try to say some money. The one question you may be asking yourself is are cheap air purifiers a waste of money. I put together this Holmes HAP9415 review to give you an idea of the kinds of features you can expect on an air purifier in this price range.
This Holmes HAP9415 review will, hopefully, help you decide if a lower end air purifier is right for you. We have been using a Holmes HAP9415 air purifier for some time now, and we will give you our honest opinion on its performance so far.
The Holmes HAP9415 air purifier is a low cost unit that I bought a couple of years ago from a popular chain store for approximately $45. It was very low cost and compact, two features that inspired me to give it a try. I recently did some research and found that this particular unit appears to be in short supply from major retailers. There were a few on Ebay in the $30 to $40 range.
Holmes does have a similar unit available, the HAP9413, that appears to use the same filter. With the HAP9415, it is capable of using several different filters, all available from Holmes, that have different target uses.
Holmes Air Purifier Filter Options
The filter in our unit has the AER1 HAPF30AT Total filter. It is advertised as a HEPA filter but if you look deeper into the specs, it is classified as a HEPA Type filter, not True HEPA. For comparison, I would put this filter into a MERV 7 to 8 category as far as filtering ability. For those of you who do not understand MERV ratings for filters, check out this article for more info. This filter also has been infused with Arm & Hammer baking soda for household odor elimination.
Basically, HEPA Type filters are good for dust and lint, pollen, dust mites, some molds, and some pet dander. Directly from the Holmes website, HEPA Type filters are capable of capturing 99 percent of particles that are 2 microns or larger. True HEPA filters captures up to 99.97 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns.
Searching online, I can find replacement filters for this unit for about $15 and the True HEPA filter upgrade for about $20.
AER1 READY Filter Types that can be used in this unit include:
ALLERGY PLUS HAPF300AP
Holmes HAP9415 Review Specifics
The HOLMES HAP9415 air purifier is recommended for rooms up to 138 square feet. It had 3 fan speeds and an on/off switch on top to activate the ionic feature of this unit.
The particular unit that I am reviewing today has been used for about a year by a family member with dust allergies and the unit has proven itself to be effective in this regard.
The recommended filter lifespan of 4 months is fairly accurate. The pre-filter shown in the picture below will need to be cleaned about once a week or so to keep the unit in top condition. It is somewhat lacking as far as I am concerned.
One downside to this unit is the noise level. I find it to be a little loud, even on the lowest fan speed setting. It registers about 30 to 40 dB on the sound meter. You can check out this article on air purifier noise levels here.
Here is a video of the unit running to get an idea of the noise level of this unit.
No Holmes HAP9415 review would be complete without checking the power consumption of the HOLMES HAP9415 with my Kill A Watt EZ power meter, I found that the unit will use about 8 cents worth of power every 24 hours on the highest fan speed. This drops down to about 5 cents for low fan speed. The cost of my power is about 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, yours may be slightly different. I’ve included a couple of shots of the Kill A Watt EZ power meter showing wattage used on both high and low fan speeds for comparison. Check out this article if you want to calculate approximate energy cost for your particular electricity rate.
One last issue that I had with this unit is the way the air is pulled into the unit from the front and pushed out the back. It is exactly opposite of what most folks would consider a normal configuration. Not really a big issue aside from how the handle is situated and how the power cord exits the unit. It is a little awkward, at least to me, to have the cord exit point where it is. It feels like you are having to turn the unit backwards to direct the airflow into the room.
If you are asking yourself “Are cheap air purifiers a waste of money?” The answer could be, “It depends.” The Holmes HAP9415 air purifier delivers a fair value for the money. Replacement filters are priced reasonably and the cost to run this unit continuously is minuscule. It is not going to scrub your air clean of all impurities, even with the upgraded filter, but it will do a reasonable job on the most problematic particulate like dust and pollen. Noise level may be an issue to some folks so keep that in mind as well.