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GermGuardian AC4300BPTCA Review

A great combination of good performance and low cost make this a great budget option
GermGuardian AC4300BPTCA
Credit: Jenna Ammerman
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $150 List | $99.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Good air cleaning performance, low overall cost
Cons:  Somewhat expensive replacement filters
Manufacturer:   Guardian Technologies
By Buck Yedor, Max Mutter, and Steven Tata  ⋅  Jun 17, 2021
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 14
  • Air Cleaning Performance - 40% 6
  • Noise - 25% 6
  • Ease of Use - 25% 7
  • Operating Cost - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The GermGuardian AC4300BPTCA is a simple and affordable option to freshen up your living space. With a low upfront cost and fairly economical operating costs, the AC4300BPTCA can provide good air cleaning performance for any room in your home. If you're looking for a cheap option for infrequent use, the GermGuardian AC4100 may be a better option. However, if you're looking for a low-cost all-year or allergy season workhorse, the AC4300BPTCA is your best bet. The only real downside: it's a bit loud. While it's not terribly loud, if you're sensitive to noise, you may want to consider paying a bit more for the ultra-quiet Coway.

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Pros Good air cleaning performance, low overall costExceptional air cleaning performance, very quiet operation, simple user experienceExcellent air cleaning performance, quiet operation, average lifetime costGood air cleaning performance, seperate air quality meter, quietQuiet, low operating costs
Cons Somewhat expensive replacement filtersExpensiveExpensive up front costExpensive upfront cost, no CADR ratingSomewhat weak
Bottom Line A great combination of good performance and low cost make this a great budget optionExcellent, high quality air cleaning performance from a quiet and convenient applianceA top performing model that combines average lifetime costs to create a great valueEasy to use and powerful, great for those dealing with common pollen and pet allergiesIt's quiet, well designed, and relatively inexpensive but feels a bit underpowered
Rating Categories GermGuardian... Winix 5500-2 Coway AP-1512HH TruSens Z-2000 Levoit LV-H132
Air Cleaning Performance (40%)
6
8
8
7
5
Noise (25%)
6
9
9
9
9
Ease Of Use (25%)
7
9
8
9
8
Operating Cost (10%)
7
5
5
5
8
Specs GermGuardian... Winix 5500-2 Coway AP-1512HH TruSens Z-2000 Levoit LV-H132
Dimensions 8.88" x 6.38" x 22" 8.2" × 15" × 23.6" 16.5" x 9.5" x 18.5" 12.6" x 11.6" x 25.4" 7.5" x 7.5" x 13"
Weight 9.45 lb 15.4 lb 12.7 lb 7.4 lb 8.45 lb
CADR 100 CFM 246 CFM 240 CFM N/A 110 CFM
True HEPA Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Estimated Lifetime Cost $495 $660 $556 $548 $323
Airborne Particulate Reduction After 1 Hour (%) 99.39% 99.99% 99.84% 99.85% 95.66%

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 AC4300BPTCA offers the best ratio of performance to estimated...
The AC4300BPTCA offers the best ratio of performance to estimated lifetime cost.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Performance Comparison


The AC4300BPTCA offered mid-level performance across all of our testing metrics. What really made this unit stand out was its low price. This machine is a great value, delivering adequate performance at a cost-effective price point.

Air Cleaning Performance


The AC4300BPTCA was right around average in our air cleaning tests.


The AC4300BPTCA 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.

Noise


The AC4300BPTCA improved its fan noise substantially over the models that preceded it, resulting in an above-average score.


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 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.

It's easy to replace the AC4300BPTCA's filter.
It's easy to replace the AC4300BPTCA's filter.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

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 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.

Simple controls make changing settings easy, though we do wish there...
Simple controls make changing settings easy, though we do wish there was an auto-off timer.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Operating Cost


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.

Value


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.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Conclusion


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