Welcome to our GermGuardian AC4825E air purifier review article:
This unit is about 22 inches tall, approximately seven inches wide, and around ten inches deep. The unit weighs in at just over eight pounds. This unit features a carbon pre-filter, a combination of a carbon filter and a pre-filter, and also includes a HEPA filter.
The air enters the unit through the back; it goes through the grill, the carbon pre-filter, the HEPA filter, and then exits through the front. There are actually two areas on the front where air comes through. Even though the front grill is here and covers the entire front, there are only two areas here where it exits. Air comes in through the back, through the carbon filter, through the HEPA filter, and then out through the front.
There are only three fan speeds on this unit: low, medium, and high. The unit outputs at approximately 130 to 140 CFM and retails for about $84, more or less depending on where you buy it.
Pros and cons of GermGuardian AC4825E
What do we like about the AC4825E? We definitely like the output on this unit for its price. This unit can normally be bought for well under $100, and at that price point, there’s just not a lot of options that give you this level of output.
There’s a lot of air movement through here, a lot of air coming through the back, a lot of air, of course, being processed, and that is definitely a strong positive for this unit—the fact that it gets that fairly high level of output at its price point. Most of the units that output at approximately the same level are priced at $100, maybe $120 in that area. The fact that you can normally buy this unit for a little bit under $100 and still get that level of output is definitely a strong positive for it.
Another thing we like about this unit is the fact that it comes equipped with a HEPA filter. At this price point, a unit with a real HEPA filter is not a given. The fact that this unit does come equipped with a HEPA filter and has that 99.97% efficiency with smaller particles is definitely a very strong positive for this unit—the fact that it does come equipped with that type of filter.
What do we not like about this unit? Well, we just talked about the HEPA filter, and the HEPA filter is going to take care of particles. Well, we don’t like, on this unit, the carbon filter. Now, there are two issues here. The first is the fact that it’s a combination filter.
That means that any larger particles that come through here are going to get stuck on their carbon filter, and that’s really going to reduce the life of the carbon filter because it’s going to just clog up with all of those larger particles. And it’s not washable like a pre-filter on some higher-rated units. You’re going to have to replace that carbon filter even before it may be saturated with gases. Definitely a strong negative there. The other factor here is the fact that it is, of course, there for gas filtration, and for good gas filtration, you want a lot of carbon. And there’s just not a lot of carbon.
Many other units have the same type of filter, where it’s a fibrous material that is coated with carbon. But there’s just not that much fiber here. It’s not a very dense filter. And because there’s not a lot of fibers, there’s not a lot of fibers to be coated with carbon, and therefore there’s not a lot of carbon. With this unit, you’re definitely dealing with a situation where you’re having less carbon than you would on most other units, even in this price range, and a little bit more expensive. Definitely take that into account if you are concerned about gas filtration at all. This unit is definitely not as strong in that area because of that real lackluster carbon filter. And the truth is that as soon as you rip it off the HEPA filter because the carbon filter is actually attached to the HEPA filter with Velcro, and as soon as you tear it off of there, you’ll notice that it just falls apart. And that’s just not something that you see on a lot of other carbon filters on the market.
When you tear off other carbon filters that are installed in the same way, even if they are a pre-filter as well, for example, the Honeywell HPA series, those filters there, they’re also attached in a similar manner with Velcro, often at least one of the models in that series is. And when you tear off that carbon filter that is a solid carbon filter on here, it’s just a very undeads, if you will, a carbon filter, and it just falls apart very rapidly. Of course, you’re only going to deal with that when you take it off when you replace it. That’s the only time that it’s actually going to fall apart. The fact that it falls apart is not really an issue because it’s immediately going to go in the trash after you remove it. But the fact is that that demonstrates the fact that this is just really not a very well-made filter.
The second big concern we have with this unit, other than that carbon filter, is the UV light. And the fact here is that all of GermGuardian’s units are equipped with that UV light. That is a strong selling point for their brand. And the fact is that in this unit and other tower units that we’ve tested from GermGuardian, the UV light is just located in a very poor location here. If you actually take the back off here and you look at the top compartment here where the UV light is kept, it’s behind a metal shield. You have to unscrew it to access the leg. And the fact is that that light is inside of a compartment in there, in a compartment that is enclosed on really all sides.
First of all, the light needs to be more centrally located to properly distribute here as air is coming in through the back of the unit. Secondly, the light needs to actually be well exposed to the air coming through here if the UV is going to kill those germs coming through. And the fact is that it’s surrounded by plastic, and it’s very difficult for that, for it to actually reach the air to purify that air with the UV light. The UV light on these units is definitely not a selling point. Do not buy a unit like this if UV light is the reason why you’re buying it. If you’re interested in killing germs, if that’s why you’re buying a unit, do not buy it for that. It’s poorly implemented on this unit, and that’s definitely a negative for this.
Now, we will say that most of their units on the market do not have UV lights at all. You can just leave the UV light off on this unit, and you will have something that’s very similar to most other air purifiers in the market. Why it’s a negative in that it’s not what it appears to be, it’s not a negative in terms of that you’re losing something compared to other air purifiers in the market. There’s nothing that you’re losing here. You still have particle filtration; you still have gas filtration. You just don’t have that UV light implemented well for it to be effective to kill germs.
Reference: TOP the best air purifiers worth buying
How would we compare this unit to other options available on the market? Well, the truth is that what you have with this unit is essentially a 120, 130, 140 CFM air purifier that is going to be able to only process particles. The UV light, like we said, really doesn’t do much. The gas filtration is minimal because of that really poor carbon filter. What you have here is you have something that processes particles for $84 or thereabouts. And the fact is that there really are not a lot of other options at that price point. Even though this unit doesn’t offer much at the price point, there’s just not a lot of alternatives at that price point for us to compare it to.
What we’re going to do is we’re going to compare it to units that are a little bit more expensive and talk about that. What we’re going to do is we’re going to talk about how this unit compares to top-rated models. Now, top-rated models are going to be a little bit more expensive. But in comparing this unit to those top-rated models, we’re going to show you what you’re really giving up by paying less for this unit. First of all, understand that for this unit to be used, it can only be used in rooms up to about 150 square feet. And in such rooms, it has to be run on maximum settings. It has to be run on that maximum fan speed for it to be effective. Even in a small room up to 150 square feet on that highest setting, it’s going to draw quite a bit of power. It’s going to be quite noisy because it’s on that maximum setting to accommodate that size of the room.
With a top-rated unit, that unit is going to be effective up to rooms as large as 300 square feet. With a top-rated unit, you can also run it in a smaller room at around 150 square feet. But you can run it on lower settings. What that means is that if we do an apples-to-apples comparison of the typical application for this unit, which is a smaller room, and we compare it in that situation to a top-rated unit, the top-rated unit is going to be able to be run at a lower setting where it’s going to be much more energy-efficient; it’s going to be much quieter.
Even in the setting where this one, where this unit right here, is going to be a good candidate, a top-rated unit is just going to be much more effective. It’s going to be a much more pleasant experience to use a top-rated unit in such an application than it would be to use this unit right here. And that’s not to mention the fact that you can also use a top-rated unit in a larger room if you so please, and that’s just not possible with this unit. If you use it in a room up to 300 square feet, it’s just not going to be able to do much in a room of that size.
Another thing with the top-rated unit is you’re going to get much better gas filtration. Odors, VOCs, things like that, with the top-rated unit, you’re going to get a proper carbon filter that’s going to be able to actually do something about those gases. You’re also going to get better particle filtration because of the higher CFM of top-rated units. They’re going to have approximately double the CFM of this unit. With double that processing power, you’re going to be able to process twice as much air in the same amount of time, and that’s going to go a long way in how quickly it reduces particles in a room and how effectively it can really get that particle concentration to a very low threshold. If you spend more for a top-rated unit, you’re not only getting better gas filtration, but you’re also getting better particle filtration with a top-rated unit.
Where does that leave us? What is our bottom line recommendation here? The fact is that for $84, this is one of the better options on the market, if not the best. And if that is all you have to spend, then this unit will suffice. It will get the job done in a room up to 150 square feet if all you care about is particles. Now, a top-rated unit is going to give you more. It’s going to give you better gas filtration; it’s going to give you better particle filtration. It’s going to be more energy-efficient; it’s going to be quieter. But you’re also going to have to pay more for that. The decision is really yours. That’s really all we have to say about the GermGuardian AC4825E air purifier.