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GermGuardian AC5350B Review

A high performing purifier at a mid range price
GermGuardian AC5350B
Credit: GermGuardian
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Price:   $250 List | $135 at Amazon
Pros:  Good air cleaning performance, very quiet, simple to use
Cons:  Somewhat expensive filters
Manufacturer:   Guardian Technologies
By Max Mutter and Steven Tata  ⋅  Nov 1, 2017
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 14
  • Air Cleaning Performance - 40% 6
  • Noise - 25% 9
  • Ease of Use - 25% 8
  • Operating Cost - 10% 5

Our Verdict

If you're especially sensitive to noise, the GermGuardian AC5350B is the perfect air purifier for you. It manages to combine almost completely silent operation with effective air cleaning performance at a reasonable price. In fact, the GermGuardian AC5350B provided one of the best overall values per dollar in our testing. The only model we tested that bested the AC5350B was the Editors' Choice winning Coway AP-1511HH, which costs significantly more. However, the Coway and the GermGuardian AC5350B both end up costing about the same in the long run, so the Coway is a better choice if you're ok with a bit more of those costs being upfront. However, if you're looking for great performance at a reasonable list price, the GermGuardian AC5350B is the purifier for you.

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GermGuardian AC5350B
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Price $250 List
$134.99 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Good air cleaning performance, very quiet, simple to useExceptional 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 filtersCan be expensive when not on saleExpensive up front costExpensive upfront cost, no CADR ratingSomewhat weak
Bottom Line Good air cleaning and very quiet operation at a relatively affordably priceSuperb air cleaning performance and quiet operation make for a great overall experienceHigh end performance with an average lifetime cost make this a great choice for almost anyoneEffective for those looking for relief from common airborne allergensLow price and silent operation can't completely make up for the relative lack of air cleaning performance
Rating Categories GermGuardian AC5350B Winix 5500-2 Coway AP-1512HH TruSens Z-2000 Levoit LV-H132
Air Cleaning Performance (40%)
6
8
8
7
5
Noise (25%)
9
9
9
9
9
Ease Of Use (25%)
8
9
8
9
8
Operating Cost (10%)
5
5
5
5
8
Specs GermGuardian AC5350B Winix 5500-2 Coway AP-1512HH TruSens Z-2000 Levoit LV-H132
Dimensions 9.06" x 6.69" x 27.56" 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 11.25 lb 15.4 lb 12.7 lb 7.4 lb 8.45 lb
CADR 125 CFM 246 CFM 240 CFM N/A 110 CFM
True HEPA Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Estimated Lifetime Cost $542 $660 $556 $548 $323
Airborne Particulate Reduction After 1 Hour (%) 99.50% 99.99% 99.84% 99.85% 95.66%

Our Analysis and Test Results

The GermGuardian AC5350B provides high end performance at a price that certainly isn't cheap, but also is not overly expensive. It is perfect for those looking to get the most value per dollar out of their air purifier investment.

Credit: Steven Tata

Performance Comparison



Air Cleaning Performance


The GermGuardian AC5350B earned a 6 out of 10 in our air cleaning testing. This put it above average, but a bit short of the top performers.


This purifier was able to reduce the airborne particulates in our testing room by 91.5% after running for half an hour. That reduction raised to 99.5% after an hour. This put it just behind the top scoring Coway, which hit a reduction of 99.84% in the same time frame. While the Coway did clean the testing room a bit faster (it had reached a reduction of 99.32% at the half hour mark) it is incredibly unlikely that you'll be able to tell a difference between these two machines after they've been running for an hour.


The one area where the GermGuardian AC5350B does fall behind the Coway is its CADR (clean air delivery rate) spec. The GermGuardian AC5350B CADR rating is 125, meaning it can handle rooms of up to 188 square feet. This is plenty for most bedrooms, but if you were hoping to purify the air in your living room, it may be slightly underpowered. The Coway, on the other hand, has a rating of 240 and can thus handle rooms of up to 360 square feet. This extra power lends a bit more versatility to the Coway.

Noise


The GermGuardian AC5350B was one of the quietest models we tested, earning the top score of 9 out of 10 in this metric.


You can really only hear the GermGuardian AC5350B if it is on its highest setting, which emits a fairly low hum that easily blends into the background for most people. We had no trouble watching TV, listening to music, and even napping with the GermGuardian AC5350B right next to us and set on high. At lower settings the machine is virtually silent. This performance was, if anything, just slightly better than the Coway, which also scored a 9 out of 10 in this metric. The Coway was also virtually silent at lower settings. On high it produced the same volume as the GermGuardian AC5350B, but its pitch was just slightly higher, making it just slightly more noticeable, but still well short of annoying.

The AC350B's simple and clear interface.
The AC350B's simple and clear interface.
Credit: Steven Tata

Ease of Use


The GermGuardian AC5350B shared the top score of 8 out of 10 in our ease of use testing with the Coway and Levoit models we tested.


The GermGuardian AC5350B has a very simple and clean interface. The backlit buttons are easy to read, even in the dark, and an LCD display clearly indicates which settings are selected. This makes it easy to set fan speeds, turn the UV sanitizer on and off, and set an automatic sleep timer. It lacks a built-in air quality meter, a feature the Coway does have, but we didn't miss that feature while we were using the GermGuardian AC5350B.

At 11.25 pounds the GermGuardian AC5350B isn't light, but it is slightly lighter than the Coway, which tips the scales at 12.7. Both models have comfortable carrying handles, however, so moving them around isn't too much of a hassle.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Operating Cost


The GermGuardian AC5350B earned an average score of 5 out of 10 in our operating cost testing.


The GermGuardian AC5350B uses filters that last 6 months and cost $34. It also uses 0.03kWh of electricity for every hour of operation, translating into about $16 of electricity per year. Adding all this up with the list price and you get an estimated lifetime cost of $542. This is surprisingly close to the $556 estimated lifetime cost of the top scoring Coway.

Value


The GermGuardian AC5350B has an estimated lifetime cost of $542. Its main competitor, the Coway, lists for more but has a very comparable estimated lifetime cost of $556. We feel that both of these models represent good values, though if you can afford a bit more upfront costs you do get better performance out of the Coway.

Conclusion


The GermGuardian AC5350B is a high quality air purifier that costs less than other high end models. However, in the long run its lifetime costs are about the same as the top performing Coway.

Max Mutter and Steven Tata