GermGuardian AC4300BPTCA Review
Pros: Good air cleaning performance, low overall cost
Cons: Somewhat expensive replacement filters
Manufacturer: Guardian Technologies
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|Pros||Good air cleaning performance, low overall cost||Quiet, low operating costs, excellent price||Quiet, low operating costs||Inexpensive, low operating costs||Not terribly loud, compact|
|Cons||Somewhat expensive replacement filters||Lower power for larger rooms||Mediocre power, few settings||Poor air cleaning performance, flimsy construction||Poor air cleaning performance, high operating costs for a machine of its size|
|Bottom Line||A great combination of good performance and low cost make this a great budget option||It's quiet, well designed, and relatively inexpensive, but is suitable for smaller room sizes||An inexpensive, decent overall machine with few notable qualities||A low cost model with correspondingly poor performance||A compact model with relatively poor performance and no redeeming attributes to make that up|
|Rating Categories||GermGuardian AC4300...||Levoit LV-H132||Pure Enrichment Pur...||Holmes HEPA Type De...||Hamilton Beach TrueAir|
|Air Cleaning Performance (40%)|
|Ease Of Use (25%)|
|Operating Cost (10%)|
|Specs||GermGuardian AC4300...||Levoit LV-H132||Pure Enrichment Pur...||Holmes HEPA Type De...||Hamilton Beach TrueAir|
|Dimensions||8.88" x 6.38" x 22"||7.5" x 7.5" x 13"||10.8" x 6.9" x 12.1"||13" x 10" x 5.5"||9.5" x 7" x 15"|
|Weight||9.45 lb||8.45 lb||6.5 lb||4.7 lb||4.9 lb|
|CADR||100 CFM||110 CFM||80 CFM||70 CFM||N/A|
|Estimated Lifetime Cost||$495||$323||$279||$143||$573|
|Airborne Particulate Reduction After 1 Hour (%)||99.39%||95.66%||93.58%||89.49%||89.49%|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Air Cleaning Performance
The AC4300BPTCA was right around average in our air cleaning tests.
It performed well in our air cleaning testing. After 30 minutes in our smoke-filled testing room, it reduced airborne particulates by 97.19%. The top performers were above 99% at this point in the test, so the AC4300BPTCA did lag a bit behind, but not by much. At the hour mark, it had brought airborne particulates down by 99.39%. The top performer hit 99.84% at the same point, so the AC4300BPTCA was incredibly close.
The AC4300BPTCA lost some points because of its relatively low CADR (clean air delivery rate) of 100. This generally makes it suitable for rooms of up to 150 square feet, which is likely smaller than many living rooms. That's not to say it wouldn't do anything in a larger room — it would just take longer to get rid of particulates and may not ever get concentrations quite as low as it would in a smaller room. No model performed well in reducing odors, and the AC4300BPTCA was about average in that capacity as well. It reduced smoke odors in our testing an appreciable amount, but we could still smell quite a bit of smoke.
The AC4300BPTCA improved its fan noise substantially over the models that preceded it, resulting in an above-average score.
We would only consider it annoying when on its highest setting, and even then, it is borderline. The high setting results in a fan noise that is noticeable, but only those who are particularly sensitive to noise will find it grating. We were able to work for a couple of hours with it on the high setting and didn't feel distracted. On the medium setting, the pitch drops substantially and becomes more of a white noise that can blend into the background. At the low setting, the noise is barely noticeable. We've also found that to get a quieter machine, you have to make a sacrifice in price or capacity, and the AC4300BPTCA feels like a good point of compromise.
Ease of Use
The AC4300BPTCA was again about average in our ease of use testing. It was by no means difficult to use but not quite as streamlined as the top scorers.
It keeps it simple with just two buttons, one to toggle through the three available fan speeds, and one to turn the UV sanitizer on and off. There is also a small LED indicator that lets you know when it is time to replace the filter. At 9.45 pounds and sporting recessed carrying handles, it is very easy to move this unit around. This is particularly nice for allergy sufferers that will probably only use the purifier seasonally, and then hide it away in a closet over the winter. With simple controls and a portable body, the only reason the AC4300BPTCA lost any points in this metric is because it lacks advanced features like an auto-off timer or an air quality meter. However, features like that generally come with a higher price tag, so we don't really miss them too much considering the AC4300BPTCA's price.
Our estimated lifetime cost for the AC4300BPTCA came out to $516, nearly $100 less than the average.
The AC4300BPTCA is one of the more power-hungry models we tested, requiring 0.04 kWh of electricity to run for one hour. Over a year, that would amount to a cost of about $21.02 — assuming average electricity rates. However, it makes up for this with very inexpensive filters that last seven months and only cost $30. Its list price is also fairly low. This pushed its estimated lifetime cost well below the average.
The AC4300BPTCA is both a great deal upfront and in the long run. The list price is relatively low for a large purifier, and its inexpensive filters keep the lifetime costs around $500. This works out to around $100 per year over its lifetime. This makes it a great value if you're going to be using it consistently.
The GermGuardian AC4300BPTCA is an affordable and highly functional device. It's missing some of the features of the more premium options and is a touch on the noisy side. However, it offers good air cleaning performance and has low operating costs. It would be hard to find a better-valued air purifier.
— Buck Yedor, Max Mutter, and Steven Tata
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