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TOP 50 REVIEWERon September 13, 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Product update 1/5/13 - Sanyo has discontinued this air filtration system but Panasonic bought them and has a replacement filter for it that FrankieBoy was kind enough to post links to in the Comment section of this review. He has been kind enough to post a link on page 6 of the comments here. The filter is model #6161580870. Hopefully Amazon will begin to carry this soon because the price is pretty steep and Amazon always seems to do better. I've been vacuuming my filter with a good strong vacuum cleaner and that seems to work so far but a replacement will be needed in the future. I love the air cleaner and want to continue using it. A big Thank You to FrankieBoy, for researching and posting the link here!

The thing I like best about the Sanyo Air Washer Purification System (besides that it does a great job of purifying the air) is that it has a nice sleek look to it and doesn't detract from the room decor. It has a handle built into the top, making it easy to carry (15.9 lbs.) and it's pretty quiet as air purifiers go. It has a 4-stage HEPA filter removes 99.97% of airborne particles and allergens. The other thing I really like is that the filters can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner and are supposed to last for about 4 years. (You'd want to use a HEPA vacuum cleaner or you'd defeat the purpose.) I called customer service to ask about the price of replacement filters and they told me the suggested retail price is $69. That's pretty much in line with other filters I've researched. The customer service people were very helpful in answering questions about the unit which I count as a big plus.

I don't know if the electrolyzed water technology is just a gimmick or not, but the unit does a good job of cleaning the air and removing odors from any room that I place it in. There are several articles on the internet about electrolyzed water technology and electrolyzed water being used to sanitize water and possibly use it to kill bacteria in a number of applications including using it as a non-toxic way to clean fruits and vegetables in the food industry. It would make sense that it could be useful to kill bacteria and viruses in the air. With pets and all their dander, not to mention all the pollen and dust in the air this time of year, it gets a real workout around here. I hope that we find that we have fewer colds in the winter.

Just a few details that I didn't include in the video: I measured the watts that the unit takes at the low, medium and high speeds with a P3 International P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor device. At low speed it uses 4 - 8 watts (the higher number when it's emitting the electrolyzed water. You'll see that in the video.), on medium 13 - 17 watts, on high 57 - 63 watts, and if you use the "power" setting, 63 - 65 watts. This compares favorably with other air cleaners that I've used in the past or use now and it seems to work more quickly at removing odors.

BTW, another reviewer had mentioned that the "Device contains a chemical known to the state of Caifornia to cause cancer, birth defects, etc." Living in California I'm used to seeing these warnings on just about every piece of electrical equipment I buy due to the "Prop 65" laws here. Nonetheless, when I called Sanyo, I asked about this warning and what part of the unit had the chemical. As I expected it is the lead in the electrical cord connection, the same as my computer. When handling electrical cords it's always a good idea to wash your hands afterward.

I hope the video is useful. It's difficult to tell from a small photo what the unit looks like and I wanted you to have a better idea of how it worked and what it sounds like.
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on May 8, 2017
I don't understand why there are so many negative reviews. I've been using my unit for several years with no issues. And I can still find filters unlike other reviewers. I buy them online for a reasonable price. The best thing about this unit is that it has made my sleep so much better. I am allergic to cats and have two. This air purifier has made a world of difference for me.
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on November 1, 2011
For $140, I didn't think this was a bad purifier. I'm not ready to spend $300+ for a higher end purifier, so I bought this to use meanwhile. Depending on what you want from your purifier, you can probably find another purifier for cheaper. For example, if dust is your primary concern, there are purifiers that remove dust from the air better than this one for less money. I turned my attention to this one because it has extra perks and has gotten decent reviews for removing odor and allergens.

After a month of use, the air in my room has seem to improve. It is easier to breathe in my room compared to before and my coughing has died down. The room doesn't smell clean or "soapy" like others have claimed, but it does not carry a stench any more.

Pros:
- 4 fan speeds: auto, low, medium, high. Auto speed will turn the fan on/off/high according to a air sensor on the unit. The unit's sensor also has adjustable sensitivity levels, which seems to work well. Refilling your water tank depends on your fan speed. When I leave my unit on high, the tank rank out fast (a day or less). At medium speed, it takes 3-4 days to deplete. At low/auto speeds, it will last a week+.
- No more bad smells.
- Comfortable breathing.
- Has a prefilter (always pick a purifier that has one).
- Lights that tell you when you need to refill the water and replace your filter.
- 1, 2, 8 hour timer (I never used the timer feature though).

Cons:
- At high speed, the unit is rather noisy and I often don't use it at this mode unless I need to. At medium speed, the noise level is perfect for me and serves as white noise when I am trying to sleep.
- The lights on the unit has dimming features, but even with that it is still too bright for me (I am a very light sensitive sleeper). Should serve as a good night light for some.
- Does a mediocre-okay job at removing dust (it is still removing dust from the air, just not as much as I wanted it to).

Other thoughts/notes:
- Owned for 1 month.
- ~180 sq ft. room.
- For me, this purifier does a little bit of everything, but doesn't excel too much at one thing. I am fairly happy with the purchase, but I don't think it was that great of a product to receive more than 3 stars.
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on May 15, 2012
I bought the unit about 2 months ago. Recently, it started malfunctioning where the red "add water indicator" light would come on. If I completely empty and refill the water reservoir and restart the unit it works again for between a few seconds and an hour or so but the problem always reoccurs.

The nightmare of the situation is that it would appear that Sanyo sold a portion of its business to Panasonic and completely shut down all of their service centers. Panasonic is left holding the bag and they really have very little idea how to support the unit. The process is quite slow. I had to send in my receipt and it has been 4 days and they still have not received it. I am not all that hopeful. Feels like I wasted a lot of money on a defective unit.

DO NOT BUY!
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on August 23, 2011
I have this unit in our bedroom. I keep in on in the auto setting so it is always on. Most of the time it is extremely quiet. Every now and then it will kick up to a higher setting and then back down after a minute or two.

Because it is running low most of the time it doesn't take a lot of particles out of the air. I still get dust accumulating on our furniture. I realize that removing dust has to be a function of moving air through the unit. On low there isn't a large enough exchange of air to filter the dust out. Higher settings would work better for dust. I might try setting on high with the timer for the daytime when we are out. If you want to get this unit for a dusty environment I thing you'd have to place it in a central location and crank it up. There may be other hepa type cleaners that are better for that purpose.

Appearance is very attractive and the lights on the front give a good indication of what the unit is "seeing". Water usage is sparse and I have to fill up no more than once a week. This is probably due to running on the low "auto" setting. I have not gotten the false empty notice on my unit that was reported by another reviewer. In fact, I've never run out. I just pulled the tank to check and refilled since I was almost empty.

It's an elegant unit. I haven't run it through any tough tests yet, like moving it to the kitchen for an odor test.
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on August 23, 2011
I bought mine a month ago, when Amazon had it on a one-day sale in exchange for a Ben Franklin, and sold by WOOT. It was shipped via FedEx in the manufacturer's box, which was undamaged on delivery. At that price, it was a steal.

How well it works is a subjective matter but, for me (with some allergies), it does seem to make a difference. Less nasal congestion. How well it works for you is a function of the quality of the air you start with, the size of the room, and the length of time you run it. (Since I breathe 24 hours a day, I leave it on 24 hours a day. I don't expect the HEPA filter to last the advertised four years at that rate and I am not looking forward to the cost of replacing it.)

What impressed me most was the design and quality of construction. It is up to Japanese standards, although made in China. In operation, it is quite silent, except on the highest fan speed.

What impressed me least was the removable water chamber, which I have to fill on a daily basis. A minor chore and certainly easy enough to do. A red light will come on, on the top panel, indicating an empty water chamber. Of course, from across the room, if you no longer see the puffs of mist, it will signify the water chamber is empty. Use whichever indicator is most meaningful to you.

Some may be bothered by the bright lights on the front panel, but since i can sleep through a fireworks display, I didn't find it to be a problem.

One suggestion: you are going to want to read the instruction manual. There are enough controls to keep an electronics geek happy. I am happy.
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VINE VOICEon September 22, 2011
Update: 13 months and it's dead! (That's one month out of warranty.)
Original Review:
Normally I don't RTFM (read the manual) but for this product I suggest that you do because the filter is in a plastic bag. You have to open up the unit to remove the plastic otherwise the filter won't work. Surprisingly, you don't get a warning if you leave the plastic bag in.

This filter has two basic modes of operation: automatic and manual. I use the automatic mode with the sensitivity switch set to High. On this setting, the unit is off most of the time and the water lasts about 2 weeks (in my kitchen).

I presume that when it turns on, depending upon what the sensor detected, it goes into different modes. Sometimes it's going full blast and other times it's on the lowest setting. I have no idea how or why it works this way. Regardless, it never stays on very long which saves energy.

I like the design and quality. If the filter lasts 5 years, I'll be a happy camper. Compared to my other air filters, the maintenance is almost nothing.
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on September 2, 2011
I have COPD and chronic sinusitis. Over the past 20 years I've tried several air cleaners from Honeywell and others but returned then within a week because they actually made matter worse for me.

I was reluctant to buy this Sanyo unit but interested in its different design (and the sale price was right) so I gave it a try.

It takes very little time to unwrap, add the tap water, and set up. It sits quietly next to my bedroom door and is almost unnoticeable. I leave it set to Auto and occasionally it will turn on,shoot a bit of water vapor into the air and the fan will turn on at a barely audible level in a quiet room.

I've had it for awhile and only had to refill the water once (about due for another). If I leave the bedroom door closed when I go to work, when I come home my bedroom has a nice soapy clean smell. Unlike with past air cleaners this one doesn't aggravate my allergies. I have to be honest and say that I haven't felt any big improvement in my allergies that I can positively point to the Sanyo as the cause. I do notice a little less dust in the room and my allergies have been better this summer, but that could be from the antibiotics and prednisone I've taken.

I'll try and make updates to this review at the 6 month and year marks.
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on May 21, 2012
I have spent the last 2 weeks trying to find a replacement filter for this product which is basically "mission impossible". This is probably due to the fact that SANYO stopped selling direct in the US and Panasonic seems to have taken over their legacy products. After many attempts with Panasonic Service I was told that I could order the filter for $143!! Basically half of the cost of the machine.. This is not only crazy but unethical if you ask me.
The product itself is actually quite nice but I would NOT recommend buying something you will not be able to use after your first filter is gone.!
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on August 27, 2011
I must say I am impressed by the quality of the device and how silent it runs (on the Low setting). It definitely looks higher quality than the $50 units (Honeywell and others). As for noise, it is less noisy than my desktop computer. The medium setting for the fan is acceptable but the high setting is really noisy to keep in the same room.

I can not tell how good of a job is doing (who can, really?) since we still wake up with a stuffy nose. But we don't spend the whole day inside, so I really can't blame it.

Another plus is that the filter has a really long life. I was a little suspicious about a HEPA filter that needs to be replaced every 4 years but the filter does look convincing.
The electrolyzed water is nice, it sprays a little every 10 seconds or so. I think that is nice since it maintains humidity and kills germs at the same time.

We are really happy with the purchase even though we hesitated given the $100 price range.

******
UPDATE Dec 2013
A few months ago the unit started making a weird noise while operating (similar to a strong venting). The noise however is not permanent. It works normally for a while then it suddenly starts making the noise again. We never bothered sending it for repairs.
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