Hamilton Beach TrueAir Review
Pros: Not terribly loud, compact
Cons: Poor air cleaning performance, high operating costs for a machine of its size
Manufacturer: Hamilton Beach
Our Analysis and Test Results
Air Cleaning Performance
The TrueAir is 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. 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 Beach TrueAir's score is one of 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. In the plus column, it weighs only 4.9 pounds, so it is very easy to move around.
Despite a low initial cost to purchase the unit, the 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 TrueAir's price 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 have 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 this, we would not recommend it.
— Buck Yedor, Max Mutter, and Steven Tata
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