The Honeywell Enviracaire 50250 air purifier has a number of unusual features, all of which make it a superior choice. The most noticeable is the case design. It’s round (19″ high x 18″ in diameter). But that’s just the beginning.
Its round design makes it a little tough to find a good spot in your home to place the unit. Corners are the natural home, limiting your options. But even in a corner you’ll find that the Honeywell 50250 will filter a lot of air efficiently thanks to the 360 degree airflow, which really helps take in and pump out the air. With 21 lbs it’s a fairly hefty unit, too.
The CADRs (Clean Air Delivery Rates) of 250 for dust, pollen, and smoke are unusually good numbers, particularly when you calculate the CADR/$ ratio, which is decidedly on the high end of things. This is just a fancy way of saying you get a lot of clearance for the money.
Besides dust, pollen, and smoke the Honeywell Enviracaire 50250 also removes mold spores, dust mites, cat dander, and other potential allergens. Turn it on for a few hours and you won’t even see the usual dust layer on the TV or coffee table.
The 3-speed fan does, unfortunately, produce more than the usual amount of noise compared to some. At the slowest speed it produces 35 dB. On medium, the sound intensity rises to 45 dB, not horrible but noticeable. On high, the unit produces 57 dB. That’s noisy for a quality home air cleaner, even one in the modest price range. Working on a computer with the unit running on the highest speed requires good concentration.
One reason for that audible operation – and lowering the efficiency a bit – is the HEPA filter/fan arrangement. Air may compress in front of its face, making the unit work hard to draw, leading to a wobble. Some units vibrate because of a slightly off-center fan, but it’s the air movement that’s the problem here. Still, if it’s placed on carpet you’ll probably never notice.
Unfortunately, you may notice a rise in your electric bill if your unit runs all day and night. The Honeywell Enviracaire 50250 consumes 50 watts even on the lowest speed. On medium it uses 120 watts and the highest speed sucks down a whopping 170 watts. Even so, that’s less than two 100 watt light bulbs burning 24/7.
More than balancing things out, the maintenance costs are unusually low. The carbon pre-filter replacement cost for the Honeywell 50250 is low and it can be vacuumed many times before you need a new one. You can clean the HEPA filter, too. It will require replacement only about once every 1-3 years depending on hours of use and your environment.
You can see when either is dirty thanks to the excellent Intelli-Check electronic filter monitor. A red light illuminates to let you know when one or the other is dirty and that’s a nice feature to have. Better still, it senses pressure, not hours in use. That means it actually monitors the real-world condition and doesn’t rely on a time estimate.
Replacing either is effortless. Place the air cleaner on its side and unscrew the large plastic ‘bolt’ to get access to the filter chamber. Then pull out the cylindrical filter from the center. While there, notice what you don’t see: dirt around the edges. No air bypass here. The interior is clean – no scattered dirt particles around the unit where they don’t belong – signaling a well-sealed unit. Air that goes inside the unit gets filtered, not just recycled.