GermGuardian AC4300BPTCA Review
Pros: Good air cleaning performance, low overall cost
Cons: Somewhat expensive replacement filters
Manufacturer: Guardian Technologies
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
The GermGuardian AC4300BPTCA provides reasonably good performance at a low price, making it a great choice for those that want some pollen help without breaking the bank.
The GermGuardian AC4300BPTCA was middle of the pack in terms of overall performance, but was by far the best of the models in its price range.
Below we discuss all of the individual testing metrics that, when combined, make up our overall scores, and how the GermGuardian AC4300BPTCA performed in each.
Air Cleaning Performance
The GermGuardian AC4300BPTCA was right around average in our air cleaning tests, earning a score of 6 out of 8.
The GermGuardian AC4300BPTCA performed quite 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 GermGuardian AC4300BPTCA improved its fan noise substantially over the models that preceded it, resulting in an above average score of 6 out of 10.
We would only consider the AC4300BPTCA annoying when on its highest setting, and even then it is borderline. The high setting results in a fan noise that is certainly noticeable, but only those that are particularly sensitive to noise will find it grating. We were able to work for a couple 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, so 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.
The AC4300BPTCA keeps it simple with just 2 buttons, one to toggle through the 3 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 7 months and only cost $30. It's list price is also fairly low. This pushed its estimated lifetime cost well below the average.
The AC4300BPTCA is both a great deal up front 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, and earned it our Best Buy Award. If you're looking for a unit to occasionally use in a small bedroom for guests, the GermGuardian AC4100 may be a better choice.
If you're looking for an inexpensive air purifier to use throughout the year or for the entirety of allergy season the GermGuardian AC4300BPTCA is a great choice. Low operating costs and good air cleaning performance combine to create an effective and relatively inexpensive device.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata