Hamilton Beach TrueAir Review
Pros: Not terribly loud
Cons: Poor air cleaning performance, high operating costs for a machine of its size
Manufacturer: Hamilton Beach
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|Pros||Not terribly loud||Exceptional air cleaning performance, very quiet operation, simple user experience||Excellent air cleaning performance, quiet operation, average lifetime cost||Good air cleaning performance, seperate air quality meter, quiet||Quiet, low operating costs|
|Cons||Poor air cleaning performance, high operating costs for a machine of its size||Can be expensive when not on sale||Expensive up front cost||Expensive upfront cost, no CADR rating||Somewhat weak|
|Bottom Line||A compact model that performs poorly and costs as much to run as a full sized model||Superb air cleaning performance and quiet operation make for a great overall experience||High end performance with an average lifetime cost make this a great choice for almost anyone||Effective for those looking for relief from common airborne allergens||Low price and silent operation can't completely make up for the relative lack of air cleaning performance|
|Rating Categories||Hamilton Beach...||Winix 5500-2||Coway AP-1512HH||TruSens Z-2000||Levoit LV-H132|
|Air Cleaning Performance (40%)|
|Ease Of Use (25%)|
|Operating Cost (10%)|
|Specs||Hamilton Beach...||Winix 5500-2||Coway AP-1512HH||TruSens Z-2000||Levoit LV-H132|
|Dimensions||9.5" x 7" x 15"||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||4.9 lb||15.4 lb||12.7 lb||7.4 lb||8.45 lb|
|CADR||N/A||246 CFM||240 CFM||N/A||110 CFM|
|Estimated Lifetime Cost||$573||$660||$556||$548||$323|
|Airborne Particulate Reduction After 1 Hour (%)||89.49%||99.99%||99.84%||99.85%||95.66%|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Hamilton Beach TrueAir is a poor performer and cost more in the long run than other compact models, making it a poor choice for most users.
As you can see in the table above, the Hamilton Beach TrueAir was the worst overall performer in our testing. For more details on why it scored so low read the sections below. There we detail how well it performed in all of our individual tests.
Air Cleaning Performance
The Hamilton Beach TrueAir was one of the worst performers in our air cleaning testing, sharing the bottom of the barrel with one other model. We put it in our smoke filled testing room for one hour and it reduced the airborne particulate concentration by 89.49%. For comparison, the top performing compact (GermGuardian AC4100) model achieved a 95.32% reduction, and most of the full sized models were able to break 99%. So the TrueAir can make the air cleaner, but there are other comparable models that can do a much better job of it. Also, it is the only model we tested that doesn't specify a CADR (clean air delivery rate), but we guess that it would be around 60 or 70, meaning it is powerful enough for rooms smaller than 100 square feet.
The noise produced by the TrueAir in our testing was relatively mild, earning it an above average score of 7 out of 10. On high it emits a low hum that would likely blend into the background after a few minutes of running, but is still slightly more noticeable than the Coway. On medium that hum gets quieter but is still noticeable. On low the hum is very quiet and barely detectable, plenty quiet for reading or meditating.
Ease of Use
The Hamilton Beach TrueAir's score of 4 out of 10 was the lowest in our ease of use testing. It only has three fan speeds and no off timer, which limits its adjustability and makes it more likely that you'll accidentally leave it on all day while you're at the office. Also, the single dial it uses for its control panel feels cheap and flimsy, like it might break off if you're not gentle with it. In the plus column it weighs only 4.9 pounds, so it is very easy to move around.
Despite a very low initial cost of $80 to purchase the unit, the Hamilton Beach TrueAir is surprisingly expensive in the long run. Its estimated lifetime cost came out to $573, which is higher than that of the Coway and the GermGuardian AC4825, both of which are much more powerful and capable machines. This high cost largely comes from its short lived filters, which run $22 and must be replaced every 90 days. That cost quickly adds up if you use the TrueAir frequently. It also uses electricity at an above average rate, accumulating an estimated annual electricity cost of $10.51.
The Hamilton Beach TrueAir's list price of $80 is on the high end for a compact purifier. Then when you factor in its operating costs it becomes more expensive than some of the top performing full sized models. At that point buying a full sized model would be a much better value. If you'd rather a compact model, the GermGuardian AC4100 is a much better value.
The Hamilton Beach TrueAir provides low end performance yet costs as much to operate as much better machines. Because of that, we would not recommend it.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata