REVIEW – I recently reviewed an air purifier from Proscenic, one designed to handle up to 1,000 square feet of space. It’s a good purifier and the right size for our house, but I’d like to find one that’s smaller, one that would work well in an apartment. I had previously tested a pair of earbuds from TaoTronics, which I liked, so when they offered a chance to test the TaoTronics Air Purifier, I decided to give it a shot.
What is it?
The TaoTronics Air Purifier (model TT-AP008) is designed for rooms 100 to 300 square feet in size. It has a two-stage filter, four fan speeds, a sleep mode, and a timer. TaoTronics is a consumer electronics brand that is owned by the Sunvalley Group, a Chinese electronics enterprise.
What’s in the box?
- TaoTronics Air Purifier with filter
- User Manual
- Max Coverage: 312 ft2
- CADR: 176 CFM
- Time Mode: 2, 4, or 8 hours
- Noise Level: 33-60 dB
- Size: 5 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches
- Weight: 8 pounds
Design and features
The TaoTronics Air Purifier has a fairly common design. It’s a round, white cylinder full of small holes around the sides that function as air intakes and curved vents on top that function as the exhaust. There’s a logo and a soothing blue LED ring on the front, a control panel on top, and a large carrying handle on the back. Overall, it’s a pleasant-looking gadget that could fit into any office, living room, or bedroom.
Installation and setup
The air purifier arrived in a tall, bright orange and white box. I removed it from its protective housing and set it on the table. I found the setup section in the manual, which informed me that I needed to remove the filter from its plastic packaging. On the side of the purifier is a pair of locks that indicate which way to rotate the cover, so with the help of my wife–it was very stiff–I unlocked and removed it.
Inside I found the air filter, but it was not in any packaging, which is rather suspicious. It’s like opening the lid of a new bottle of aspirin and finding that there’s no protective sealing. Does this mean TaoTronics isn’t protecting their filters? Are they selling used ones for new? I don’t know, but I think if I had purchased this filter and found the packaging to be missing, I would return it for another one or for a refund. For this review, however, I simply put the filter back in and locked the cover back in place.
When I plugged the filter in, the power indicator on the control panel glowed a faint blue, indicating that it was ready to go!
The TaoTronics Air Purifier is controlled by the control panel located on the top of the exhaust vents, and TaoTronics has done a nice making this super simple to use. No mobile apps are required, no connecting to the Internet, and no sending your personal data off to China. Touching the glowing blue power indicator turns on the soft blue ring light on the front. The other indicators turn on for a moment and then turn back off. If I touch any of the indicators in order to control the filter, they all light up, making it easy for me to see where they are, and then after a bit, they turn off again.
There are three ways to control the TaoTronics Air Purifier:
- The sleep indicator puts the air purifier into sleep mode. This sets the fan on an ultralow speed and turns off all the LEDs, including the ring light on front. I really like this feature, as TaoTronics has done everything possible to ensure that the air purifier doesn’t waken light sleepers like myself while still filtering the air.
- The fan indicator rotates the speed from low to medium to high to turbo and then back to low again. As I would expect, the faster the fan, the more air that is drawn through the filter and vented out the exhaust, and the faster the air is cleaned. At the lowest two speeds, the purifier is quiet. I’ve kept this running in my office (which is around 156 square feet in size) on the low setting, and I never notice that it’s on. On high, it’s moderately loud, and on turbo it’s quite loud, not to the point where conversations are impossible, but where I would prefer to move into the next room.
- The timer indicator sets the length of time that the purifier will run before automatically shutting off. The choices are two, four, or eight hours.
It’s worth noting that there is one feature that is missing: An air quality sensor. The TaoTronics Air Purifier doesn’t have a mechanism for detecting when there’s smoke or pollen in the air and then cranking up the fan in response. It’s up to me to perceive the problem and turn up the filter when necessary.
TaoTronics’ air purifier only has a two-stage filtration system:
- The first stage is a pre-filter for larger particles (like hair). It also has an active carbon filter that absorbs odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids.
- The second stage is an H13 True HEPA filter, which is a medical-grade filter with a particle retention rate of up to 99.95% and the ability to trap airborne pollutants down to 0.3 microns in size. This is what removes pollen, smoke, and dust mites.
The TaoTronics Air Purifier arrived after the pollen season, so I had to find another way to test its effectiveness. I lit three candles in my office, let them burn for ten minutes, and then blew them out. The room was filled with an amalgamation of candle scents and smoke. I then removed the candles from the office, closed the door, turned the filter on high, and set a timer to see how long it would take to filter out the air. After 35 minutes, I could barely smell the candle scents or the smoke, even after leaving the room and returning. I also tested the timer feature, and it worked exactly as expected, running for two hours and then stopping.
TaoTronics recommends that I replace the filter every three months, depending upon usage and my air quality. At first, I couldn’t find a replacement filter, as the link on their Amazon page to the replacement filter was 404, and there’s no link on TaoTronics own website. When I asked TaoTronics’ tech support for a link to purchase the filter, they only sent me the ASIN number (B08Q7B3VS3), which didn’t help. Julie sent an email to their marketing team, and they finally realized the problem and fixed it. (What would TaoTronics do without us?) The good news is that a replacement filter is now available on Amazon for $29.99. (*NOTE* Taotronics products are currently NOT listed on Amazon at this time. You can buy the replacement air filter information directly through TaoTronics for $29.99.)
The control panel has one LED that’s a filter change indicator; it flashes when the filter needs to be changed. There’s also a reset indicator, which I’m supposed to press after I replace it.
The strangest part of the TaoTronics Air Purifier is its handle. Having a handle is a good idea. The air purifier is about a foot-and-a-half tall, and while it’s not that heavy, it is a bit awkward to move around, especially with only one hand. The handle makes it easy to move, but its look-and-feel just doesn’t match the rest of the purifier. It’s made from what appears to be imitation leather and is tan in color, and I think it looks weird bolted on the back.
The manual is quite long, coming in at 23 pages of English instructions, and is comprehensive. The English is rough at places, but I was able to understand everything I needed to use the purifier as well as clean it periodically. The manual includes an email for TaoTronics support.
What I like
- Cylindrical design
- Easy-to-use control panel
- HEPA filter
- Quiet filter and dim LED lighting
What I’d change
- A handle that fits into the design of the air purifier
The TaoTronics Air Purifier has a simple yet functional design. It’s quiet on the low settings and has very little light pollution; the sleep mode is great for light sleepers. It has an H13 True HEPA filter, which should keep odors, pollen, and dust out of small- to medium-sized rooms. The handle seems a bit out of sync with the rest of the design, but at least it makes it easy to move the air purifier around. Replacement filters need to be purchased regularly. I like this air purifier, and I especially recommend it for apartment dwellers.