Sniff, sniff, achooo! If that's a common summertime tune at home, it may be time to consider getting an air purifier. Our 1920's Los Angeles apartment is the perfect real-world testing ground for air purifiers, thanks to the urban setting, poor window and door seals, and two feline occupants. More importantly, I live with a seasonal allergy sufferer, allowing reviewing and recording the effectiveness of the new Honeywell AirGenius 4 as easy as sniffing the air and listening for sneezing throughout the day...
The Honeywell AirGenius 4 offers 3-stage filtration and an electronic ionizer for advertised 99% particle removal with a slim vertical form-factor ideal for small rooms (rated ideally for 250 sq. ft. spaces).
The AirGenius 4 is small enough to hide away into a corner. Air purifiers ideally should neither be seen nor heard.
At nearly 27" in height, the black grilled monolith strikes a fairly benign presence (at least once you remove all the stickers). All that height is put to good use, with a large pre-filter covering a permanent washable QuietClean ifD filter and an electronic ionizer capturing the majority of dust, spores, and other things best left out of your nose and lungs.
Most air filter PR releases like to quote ideal laboratory findings about maximum air exchange and 99.999999999946282% particle removal. But none of us live in a perfectly sealed lab space, so understanding the limitations and effectiveness of any air purifier should be considered accepting the fact most every unit has limitations related to room size, door and window seals, and even general cleanliness of the users. This is especially true in this price range, where units like the AirGenius 4 can be very effective secondary air quality aids, but generally do not perform to the standards of a pro grade unit.
That all said, I've had the AirGenius 4 flanking my side all day, every day for two weeks inside my home office. The unit has performed admirably at both reducing the symptoms of seasonal allergies, alongside the bonus of keeping my computer equipment properly ventilated (clean air means less dust inside your gear) and reducing the need for air conditioning during warmer days.
With 4 levels of fan speed (sleep, general, allergen and max), the three first settings are all subjectively quiet. In a completely quiet space, there is a faint noticeable electronic buzz that sits above the pleasant whirr of the otherwise remarkably quiet fan system. But I've slept contently with the unit on even at "allergen" setting (third fastest), and even at max setting, the unit places amongst the quietest air purifiers we've tested. This comes to no surprise considering Honeywell's open honeycomb filter design, which allows air to flow easily opposed to the loud power required to push air through a multi-stage HEPA system. It's a tradeoff of filtration vs. operation noise, thus my opinion the AirGenius 4 is best used as a sidekick to a more serious HEPA system if you suffer from bad allergies.
The AirGenius 4 is advertised with the ability to reduce odors and VOCs from the air, but this should be taken with a grain of lavender infused salt. The pre-filter is only going to offer a minor ability to remove the odiferous bouquet of a litter box or stinky fish supper. So keep showering, empty the litterbox, and remember to open the windows occasionally.
Both the pre-filter and the more substantial honeycombed ifD filter are removable and washable, making the system an economical choice (though, if maximum allergy reduction is required, I do advise a replaceable air filter unit over these non-HEPA, washable filter systems). And another plus: noticeably less vacuuming required, thanks to the filter systems ability to pull in dust and hair that would otherwise find their way on your floor and furniture.
Just in case you're interested in the specifics, the CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) Rating figures are:
Other notable features are at the filter check indicator, oscillation (nice for larger rooms), 2/4/8 hour auto-off timer, and accent lighting controls for both dimming and complete shut off. The AirGenius 4 is offered with a 5 years parts and labor limited warranty. One additional note: the AirGenius 4 is marred by what can only be deemed a packaging issue, with two review units sporting the same cosmetic marks on the top of the unit (also mentioned by customer feedback on other sites), so please be warned to inspect your unit upon shipping.
Comparing the manufacturer's photo of the similarly equipped AirGenius 5 vs. the top of our AirGenius 4 review unit reveal scuff marks; Honeywell should ship these with a static plastic sheet!
Closing Thoughts The AirGenius 4 is a solid air filtration unit recommended as a secondary unit for allergy sufferers. For general air filtering use, one in each room can do a serviceable job of minimizing dust, allergens and pet fur, with the unit being quiet enough for bedroom use even set to near-max settings. The 5 year warranty and washable filter modules make the AirGenius 4 an affordable option for anyone who wants improved interior air quality without the intrusive noise of a larger HEPA unit.
Pros: Static charged ifD filter does a solid job of both filtration in smaller rooms with moderate odor removal capability; compact size makes placement in smaller spaces easy, control options galore.
Cons: Review unit delivered with cosmetic marks on top of control panel (twice), very faint electronic buzz may be noticeable to sound sensitive users, no HEPA filtration.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. This specific product was provided by the manufacturer for testing and review purposes.