My daughter has asthma and allergies. The asthma isn’t as bad as when she was very young, but she can still have some problems, usually triggered by colds or prolonged exposure to allergens (like pollen in the spring). We live in what I call the dustiest house in the world, which doesn’t help things. When The Gadgeteer was offered the HEPAClean Whisper Quiet Air Purifier with UV Light (model HHT-145) by Kaz, a maker of some Honeywell electronics, I asked if I could give it a try in Rachel’s room.
The HEPAClean air cleaner I received is made of putty-colored plastic. It’s about 28.5″ tall, and it stands on a circular base that’s about 8.5″ in diameter. The base is the widest point. The front is a very open grid. The back also is a very open grid; the sticker shown here was removed before using. The third image shows the back with the grill removed. Inside are two permanent HEPAClean filters (white ones), still in their protective plastic shipping bags. The bags were removed before turning on the unit. You can also see the black, washable pre-filter installed in the back cover. The washable pre-filter can be replaced with a special odor-reducing pre-filter; one is included in the box. The carbon zeolite Odor-Lock odor-reducing filter is not washable, and should be replaced every three months for optimal results.
This unit is sized for medium- to large-sized rooms, up to 12′ X 15′. Rachel’s room is about 12′ X 12′. No volumetric rating is specified for the unit, but the packaging says a small room (up to 80 sq. ft) will have 11 air changes per hour, a medium (up to 180 sq. ft) will have 5 air changes per hour, and a large room (up to 300 sq. ft.) will have 3 air changes/hour at the high fan setting. The Honeywell UV HEPAClean air purifier has been AHAM Certified for use in rooms up to 185 square feet. Its certified CADR ratings are: 120 for smoke, 120 for dust, and 130 for pollen.
The odor-reducing filter was sealed in plastic. The washable pre-filter was pre-installed in the back grill of the air cleaner. A couple of booklets were also included with this unit. I left the washable pre-filter in place and started the unit in Rachel’s room. It’s been running for over a week.
The HHT-145 model HEPAClean Whisper Quiet Air Cleaner has a four-stage cleaning system. The air first passes through the washable (or odor-reducing) pre-filter. This removes some of the largest dust particles, and also reduces odors in the air, if the odor-reducing pre-filter is being used.
The unit also contains two UV light bulbs that can be turned on or off. The bulbs are inside the unit, and you will not see the UV light, but the blue light display above the control panel will light up to indicate when the UV light is in use. UV light kills bacteria, viruses, fungi, and mold spores in the air. The documentation promises reductions up to 92.6% of e. coli, 98.1% of penicillium citrinum, 99.9% of aspergillus niger, and 99.9% of the MS2 virus in the air after 2 hours (operating at high settings with the UV light turned on).
The third stage cleaning occurs in the two 99% HEPA-type filters. These filters aren’t true HEPA, which must remove 99.97% of all particles greater than 0.3 micrometer from the air that passes through. When Rachel was having a lot of asthma episodes, we used a true HEPA filter in her room, but I think this near-HEPA filter will remove enough irritants to help reduce lung irritation for her most of the time.
The fourth stage is an optional electronic ionizer. The manual warns that the ionizer can trigger asthma or other breathing problems in sensitive people. I have not used the ionizer.
The HEPAClean air cleaner also has an oscillator. Rachel likes using this feature, so we have left it oscillating the entire time it’s been in use. We leave the air cleaner running 24 hours/day in her room. If you’d rather not leave it running, there’s a timer function that can automatically turn the unit off after the programmed time, up to 18 hours.
We don’t use the UV light in her room all the time, but this picture shows how the display looks when the lights are on. After a week, you can see that her filters are showing some dirt. When the display shows they are dirty, the washable pre-filter should be washed, and the two white near-HEPA filters should be removed and vacuumed. The near-HEPA filters cannot be washed, and vacuuming will extend their life. Replacements filters are available when you feel you can’t clean them enough with your vacuum cleaner. (By the way, the manual says using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter is best for cleaning these filters.)
The left circle shows the fan speed. This air cleaner features Whisper Quiet operation, and it is amazingly quiet. Rachel is very sensitive to sound while she’s trying to sleep, and she likes to have some low-volume “white noise” in her room to mask sounds outside her room. She found the air cleaner operating at the lowest speeds was just too quiet for her. She runs the fan at about 60% of maximum; this produces just enough noise to serve as her low-volume white noise generator while being quiet enough that it doesn’t disturb her sleep. She also likes the flow of air this setting produces, because she likes air flowing over her as she sleeps.
The right circle shows the timer setting in the center when it’s being used. The tear-drop shapes around the edge of this circle are animated to show the unit is operating.
After a week of operation, I opened up the unit to see what the filters looked like. The washable pre-filter looks clean on the side facing the white filters, but the outside surface shows quite a bit of dust has collected as the air enters.
Rachel likes the Honeywell HEPAClean Whisper Quiet Air Purifier with UV Light. She says her room smells better, and there’s less dust on her furniture after a week of use. She likes that it serves as a white noise generator but is quiet enough it doesn’t disturb her sleep itself. She likes the oscillator, because it sweeps cool air over her as she sleep. I’m hoping it will remove enough pollen from her room this spring to help reduce her allergy and asthma problems. And the UV lights promise to kill germs that will be in the air during cold season, which should protect her from our germs and us from hers.