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Customer Review

901 of 927 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars * Whirlpool 510 vs. 450 and CADR Ratings *, November 6, 2010
This review is from: Whirlpool Whispure Air Purifier, HEPA Air Cleaner, AP51030K (Kitchen)
To answer some questions in other reviews:

WHIRLPOOL MODEL AVAILABILITY:

The following Whirlpool models are both still available, (as is a third less powerful model, the 250, which uses different sized filters):

Whirlpool Whispure 450 Air Purifier (AP45030K), also 315-CADR
Whirlpool® Whispure 315-CADR Air Purifier with True HEPA Filter, AP51030K (this page)

Both of these models use the same replacement filters:

Whirlpool 8171434K Large Air Purifier Carbon Pre-Filters
4-Pack and the Whirlpool 1183054K Hepa Filter, Large (links below)

CADR RATINGS EXPLAINED:

The Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) comes from measurements conducted by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), and is a measure of the amount of particle-free air being delivered into the room. It is the best measure of the true cleaning capacity of the air cleaner. The higher the CADR, the larger the room that can be effectively cleaned. A loose equation is: CADR x 1.5 = sq. ft. room size.

This is important because manufacturers can list any "room size" rating they choose, regardless of CADR rating. Thus you might have one product claiming it can effectively handle a 400 sq. ft. room, while another product says it can handle a 200 sq. ft. room, yet both have the same CADR ratings. So always use CADR ratings rather than room size ratings in making your comparisons.

That said, air cleaners are usually advertised with the room size for which they are recommended. If this accurately matches about 1.5 times the CADR rating (as in Whirlpool's case and with many other top brands like Honeywell), just keep in mind that this recommendation is based on the the unit's ability to provide 5 or 6 Air Changes Per Hour in a room of that size.

Thus, a 250 CADR rating x 1.5 = 375 sq. ft. room size, means the unit provides 5 - 6 complete Air Changes Per House in a 375 sq. ft. room sized room. Simple enough.

But for allergy-sufferers it's a bit more complicated than that. This standard rate is sufficient to decrease particle levels in the room by about 70%, which isn't enough for allergy sufferers. A larger unit in the same size room can produce 8 or more air changes per hour, decreasing levels by 90% or more, again, depending on properly matching CADR to room size. This is the correct target in medical situations.

Finally, Please Note: the CADR rating applies to the HIGHEST fan setting of each unit.

MODEL COMPARISON:

The AP510 on this page, is Whirlpool's slightly beefier model that has the following additional features: turbo and sleep modes, 1 extra fan setting, and electronic vs. the 450's manual controls.

Since the CADR ratings of the two units above are the same, the additional cleaning capacity over the Whirlpool 450 model must relate to a higher fan speed (and AC wattage draw) at the maximum setting of the Whirlpool 510. Again, keep in mind that if you want to effectively clean a room as advertised, both units will have to run at the highest speeds.

Sleep mode allows a user-defined setting for sleep hours, wherein the purifier automatically flips itself to the lowest fan settings for that time period, allowing the unit to be run continuously during sleep hours. After sleep mode expires for that period, it flips itself back up to the standard setting. (If anyone has info on Turbo Mode, I'd be grateful and will update this review).

As noted by another reviewer, the AP510 (this page) is Consumer Report's top-rated air purifier for home use in 2010, along with the Hunter 30547. (Consumer Reports September 2010, p.44, "Lab Tests: Air Purifiers - Our Tests Reveal Which Ones Deliver"). I searched for the Hunter unit on Amazon, and it is not available as of 11.5.10. Amazing the company would allow that, given that they should be selling like hotcakes after CR's review. It's typical price is $350, and it has ratings for rooms the same size as the Whirlpool AP510 on this page. (I could not find the CADR rating for the Hunter, but assume it must be the same or similar to the AP510).

UPDATE: The Hunter model has been discontinued, and they sell new models now that rate similar and which are sold here on Amazon: Hunter 30401 QuietFlo and Hunter 30402 QuietFlo. The 401 model is programmable, the 402 is not. The Hunter site lists the programmable 401 at a higher price than the 402, while Amazon sells it for a lower price than the 402. Go figure. Check Hunter's site for more details.

HONEYWELL'S TOP UNIT:

I think of all the many models I reviewed under $600, the Whirlpool is the way to go. Excellent product, strong company backing, easy to find filters, great price. It is all you need, IF the only thing you need is effective particle removal. For serious odor and chemical removal, look to more expensive units.

But one other model that is a very strong contender for home use is the Honeywell 50250 at only $159 on Amazon. It has been very well received and has great reviews here on Amazon. It's faults appear to be high power consumption and noise. The Honeywell did come in at No. 9 in the same Consumer Report's review (out of 20 rated), where they noted it needed to be run on the highest fan setting to be effective, which caused it to be very noisy. As already discussed, all CADR ratings refer only to a unit's highest fan settings, no matter which brand you buy.

Noise is a problem. However, where the Honeywell excels besides a great price, is that their canisters are sealed and therefore they do not tend to leak any dust back out of the unit and into the exhausted purified air. Many other cheaper models do, including the Whirlpool models at least according to my online research. (If you can disprove this, please let me know). This is a big deal to me, though it may not be to other users, because I have asthma and I can't have the "vacuum cleaner effect" with house dust actually blowing up into the room from an air purifier.

UPDATE: I purchased 2 Honeywell 50250 units, and was blown away by the quality of simplicity of design on the units. If only everything was made this well and this easy to use and work with! Filter change was a total breeze. The filters are pretty loud, which doesn't bother me, but it's something you should note if you want something quiet. However, I had some strange problems with the exhaust on both units, and am working with Honeywell right now. The problem seems to be an anomaly and not normal, so I don't want to mention it here as I think it's just a fluke. One thing I can say, is that Honeywell offers AWESOME customer service, and has been great to deal with on the phone. :D

I hope all this helps you with your purchase. I've been researching air purifiers for over a month and I know how confusing it can be!

Please note, that running an air purifier like the 4 discussed here at top speed 24/7 will add a whopping $40 to my monthly electric bill here in San Diego. Do your own research before planning to run your own brand choice full time. As I mentioned before, top speed is required to achieve the CADR ratings advertised.

Links here:

Whirlpool 1183054K Hepa Filter, Large
Whirlpool 8171434K Large Air Purifier Carbon Pre-Filters, 4-Pack
Whirlpool® Whispure 315-CADR Air Purifier with True HEPA Filter, AP51030K
Whirlpool Whispure 450 Air Purifier (AP45030K) - HEPA Air Cleaner

and...

Honeywell 50250 99.97% Pure HEPA Round Air Purifier
Honeywell 38002 Enviracare Universal Replacement Pre-Filter
Honeywell 24000 Replacement HEPA Filter

and...

Hunter 30401 QuietFlo True-HEPA Programmable Air Purifier
Hunter 30402 QuietFlo 402 Air Purifier

Hope this helps!
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Tracked by 9 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 45 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 17, 2010 12:08:48 PM PST
Stephanos says:
Great review with lots of useful information. Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2010 12:13:39 PM PST
Kouzelna says:
No problem, glad it was helpful. As it stands, I got the Honeywells but had some issues with them. They were super high quality, and a totally great value. But I think I had some faulty units. Anyway, am planning to pick up the Whirlpool 510 next, and will post some reviews around the end of January based on my results with it.

Take care!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2011 11:34:00 AM PST
John says:
Great review. I'm considering purchasing this purifier, but was curious about the sleep timer. I found a copy of the manual, and was reading the sleep feature returns the unit back to the previously selected fan speed after 8 hours, but makes no mention of how I can adjust the number of hours to run the fan in sleep mode. Can you only set the sleep timer for 8 hours? If that's the case, I'm considering the Hunter 30401, which has a really nice programmable feature that you can set the fan speed for a particular time of day. Although, I'm a little worried about purchasing the Hunter model because this Whirlpool model seems to have better reviews.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2011 1:27:46 PM PST
Kouzelna says:
Yes, that was my situation too. A few people mentioned that the Hunter had problems with fumes, or the fan, or what have you. So I let it be and have chosen the Whirlpool 510. After all, it's supposed to clean the air, not pollute it. But my biggest concern was customer service. Honeywell's was great, though you waited a while. Hunter's I've only heard about, and as you saw the reviews were not the greatest. Whirlpool's however, was quick to answer, extremely knowledgeable, and followed up with me quickly on issues. Try them and see, for example to ask your question about variable timer settings (and post here please, as I'd like to know as well). For me, that was the clincher. Great product backed up by great service.

As in my review, I would have chosen the Honeywell. Very solid unit, and half the price! But the problems I was having with fumes on both the units I bought made me give up on it. Since I've never heard of the problem before, I assume it was either a fluke, or some problem I have in particular with this unit. But I'm afraid to try again, so I'm going with this Whirlpool.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2011 8:35:35 AM PST
Juyuhu says:
Hi there - thanks for the thorough review! I was wondering whether you had done any research on the Holmes HAP756-U? I am curious that no one has said anything about it, and it's rated higher and cheaper than the Honeywell 50250 on Consumer Reports. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2011 1:08:19 PM PST
Kouzelna says:
Actually I didn't myself, Judy. I didn't find much about it, so I quit looking. Maybe it's really great! :D But make sure it's popular as well, as usage reports are everything. I never saw it on any of the sites where I did my research.

Posted on Mar 5, 2011 9:46:22 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 5, 2011 9:46:51 AM PST
J says:
Thank you for a truly informative review. Outstanding. You asked about the Turbo mode. I put a Kill-A-Watt EZ power meter on the unit and I measured:
Low 57W
Med 69W
High 83W
Turbo 97W
I did not see in the manual any specifics about rpm fan speeds at each of those settings. But my perceived fan speed & noise levels increase pretty much according to those #'s too.

Posted on Mar 25, 2011 7:15:09 AM PDT
Thank you - this review helped me clarify what I needed to look for and why. There's lots of info out there but it had me totally confused.

Posted on Apr 4, 2011 9:07:02 AM PDT
David,

I am looking to get rid of cigarette smoke (very strong) coming into my apartment (folks staying in lower unit is heavy smoker and not cooperative) and was looking for an air purifier. Do you think the Honeywell or Whirlpool would do the job ?

Thanks
Pawan

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2011 11:53:38 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 4, 2011 11:58:33 AM PDT
Kouzelna says:
Ahh... so "Turbo" mode is really, "Fan Setting #4". ;) Thanks J.

Yeah, Robin M, it is really confusing. It's like a real scammer's market out there, you have to really know what you're looking for to buy something worthwhile.

Pawan: On smoke, I think the evidence shows that either of those units would get rid of the smoke. However: if the smoke is causing a nasty smell, I'm not sure if they would or not. Both units come with a charcoal filter sheet, which kinda looks like a scrubby towel, that supposedly gets rid of smells. But if the smoke smell is really bad, I think that you'd need a more expensive unit that gets rid of smells especially.

Here's what I would do: I would buy the Honeywell unit, which is less than 1/2 the price of the Whirlpool for nearly the same power. Remember, the Honeywell unit is pretty noisy; it sounds like a loud fan. (Which I like, I live in a noisy apartment complex!). I would see if that does it. If it doesn't, you didn't spend a ton of money to find out.

I had the same problem, by the way, and I found the answer was that the seals around my doors and windows were leaky. It created a vacuum of sorts, that caused air to be sucked into my apartment continually, drawing my ex-neighbor's smoke inside. Taking care of the seals, which cost me around $50, took care of the problem completely, and also made my apartment easier to heat / keep cool. But I also added the air purifier, at the time, and now run a constant fan.

Good luck!
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