Sharper Image Ionic Breeze Quadra SI637 Air Purifier

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Ionic Breeze Quadra: Is Ozone A Problem?

Dec 4, 2004 (Updated May 18, 2008)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Disappointing

  • Durability:
  • Ease of Use:
  • Effectiveness:

Pros:Cleans the air without additional filters or much electricity.

Cons:Cannot be used with candles or incense. Need more than one unit.

The Bottom Line: Disappointed, see update at bottom of review.


The Ionic Breeze Quadra is a product that cleans your air by ionizing it and attracting the dirt to collection plates. But there has been a lot of talk surrounding the health of these machines and how much Ozone they release. Compared to other Air purifiers that use this technology, the Ionic Breeze Quadra does not release a lot of ozone gas into the air compared to other models. The Ionic Breeze Quadra is also not on the California government’s ozone hit list either (at least not yet). I personally am not worried about the discharged ozone but I am taking precautions listed below.
Products like living air release a good deal of ozone gas when set at high, much more than ionic breeze units. I personally am not worried about this machine but I certainly am of the other more powerful versions out there. I will probably buy a third when I get a chance, but I agree with the skeptics that more research needs to be done with air cleaners overall. But if you have respiratory health problems then you may want to play it safe and spend the extra money over time on a good HEPA air purifier instead of a unit that relies on charging the air and purifying by ozone.

For update and reason for rating change, see bottom

What is it?
The Ionic Breeze Quadra is an air purifier that does not use a fan or traditional filters. The Ionic Breeze Quadra has collection plates that attract particles of dust and other airborne particles. The collection grid does not need to be replaced and the unit uses a low amount of electricity.

Setup of the Ionic Breeze Quadra and how it works.
There is really nothing to setup and it is composed of two pieces. The base, which has the plug and controls, and the collection plates which pulls out of the top of the unit. Mine came completely assembled so all I did was plug it in.
To use it you just plug it in and hit the select button on the top. This button cycles through 4 settings; high, medium, low, and off. It is a little hard to see the markings in the dark but there are 3 green lights that signify what setting the unit is on.

The noise of the Ionic Breeze Quadra
If the unit is running properly then there is no noise. It pulls air through by charging the air particles, not through the pressure differences a fan would create. Since there is no fan, then there is no noise.
The only problem with the Ionic Breeze Quadra is the unit needs to be carefully placed or the unit does not cycle through as much air as quickly.

Where in the room should you place the Ionic Breeze Quadra?
Since there is no fan you should be mindful of the placement of the Ionic Breeze Quadra. I had the Ionic Breeze Quadra behind the couch for several months so my son would not play with it. I began to notice a difference in the air quality. I also did not have to clean the filter quite as often. After I placed it on the coffee table I noticed a minor difference in the air quality and the filter got dirtier more quickly.
I recommend that you elevate the Ionic Breeze Quadra and keep it near the center of the room. If not the center then near a door or hallway. Keeping it in the far corner will reduce its effectiveness. You should not put it behind any objects because this will limit airflow. If you have small children then put it on top of the television or other tall object, not behind a couch.

Should you run the Ionic Breeze Quadra continuously?
I have had no problems with the Ionic Breeze Quadra running continuously as long as you clean it weekly. I have noticed a decline in air quality after the unit has been shut off for a day. If my son knocks the unit down then it shuts off. I can generally walk into the house after work and notice if he did that without ever looking at the unit.
Sharper Image even recommends you run it continuously.

How do you clean the Ionic Breeze Quadra?
Cleaning the Ionic Breeze Quadra is simple. Just pull out the collection plates, wipe it down with a damp sponge, and put the collection plate back in the unit.

How do you know when you have to clean it?
Unless the Ionic Breeze Quadra makes noise then you do not know. Just clean it once a week. If it does make noise then you are not cleaning it enough or you have some oils built up on the collection plates.

How do I know it works?
About an hour after I plugged in my Ionic Breeze Quadra I perceived a difference. This could have been all in my head but at least I thought I was breathing easier. Problem with this is I have no proof, so read on.
Later that week I invited a friend over. She has a slight case of asthma and a problem with allergies. There have been times where she has had problems breathing at our home. Well she had been at our home for around 2 hours and I asked her how her allergies were. She said they were better for some strange reason but she did not know why. I pointed out my new toy and told her what it was. She just smiled and nodded in understanding. But she did cringe at the price.

Fires
We had some small fires in the hills a year ago. They were really bad and you probably saw them on the news. It was so bad that I had a layer of ash on my car for a week. The fires were 40 miles away so I had trouble breathing any time I was outside or at other peoples homes. But in my home I was able to breath quite easily thanks to these units. My family and I left one night to go to a gym that had its doors open. My throat burned and I had trouble breathing (ash was still falling at the time.) About an hour after I got home the burning throat subsided. These things really do work.
My in-laws went to the Sharper Image store a couple of times and almost bought a unit because of these fires (they resisted because of the cost.) They really saw the difference between our house and their house during those 2 weeks.

Precautions I have chosen to take because of the ozone concern.
I do not place the Ionic Breeze Quadra near anyone that is sleeping because the Ozone gas can cause dry throat. As long as the machine is 5 feet away from where I sleep then I personally do not have any problems with my throat in the morning. Because of this I will not place them in my children’s rooms until they are older, but I have no problem leaving one in the hallway if I need to. I normally leave one Ionic Breeze Quadra in the main living room because that is where we spend most of our time. It has made a difference in the air quality and so far I have not seen any ill effects. In fact I have seen some beneficial ones. The units in those rooms are placed away from where my family interacts and this will decrease the concentration of ozone gas I receive.

My take on ozone.
A lot of people are afraid of ozone, and for good reason. At high doses it can be harmful. This is the reason more research should be conducted. But I saw a comment with someone comparing cyanide with ozone. I thought it was funny because the comment seemed full of paranoia. The same type of paranoia occurred with fluorine a few decades ago. Fluorine at high concentrations is used in the manufacturer of rat poison. So when the government was talking about putting fluorine in the water supply, the general public was afraid because they did not want poison in the water supply. What they did not realize is that the fluorine was in a low concentration in our water that was not harmful and also would be beneficial to your teeth.
The same argument can be made with chlorine. Chlorine is a very reactive substance and chlorine gas has been used to kill. But in low doses it is a great way to disinfect household items and keep pool water clean. Chlorine is a necessary element in our society.
Once more research is done (and it needs to be) then we will know for sure, but for the time being I’m not too worried about my machine. And for the time being I am not listening to the paranoia that exists in this area of the industry. I won’t buy an eco-quest or similar machine that the California government is going after, but I will probably buy another ionic breeze when I get the chance.

Fresh clean smell?
There is a smell that comes from the unit. From reading the Sharper Image website I believe that smell is Ozone. They state the levels are well below the safe level for humans.

How many do you need?
I recommend one Ionic Breeze Quadra per room or one for every 2 small rooms. If your child has allergies then one per small bedroom is ideal but you may want to get the 19 inch version instead to save money. This unit will accommodate the average size living room.
This unit is the 27 inch tall model so it can clean a greater amount of air. So if you have this one and the 19 inch then I would recommend using this model in higher traffic areas and the 19 inch in the bedrooms.

Energy usage of the Ionic Breeze Quadra.
This unit only consumes 10 watts of power.

Dimensions of the Ionic Breeze Quadra
27 inches tall
8 inches diameter base
5.5 pounds

Additional costs.
I have had no additional costs. No filters to buy and electricity is pretty low, just like the infomercial says.

Warranty
There is a 5 year warranty.

Problems
The major problem with this unit is that it cannot filter out candle smoke or incense. This will clog up the collection plates and cause the unit to be damaged. I have even heard of the unit exploding because of this. I am very careful to turn off the machines whenever my wife decides to burn candles. I also have been reluctant to use incense but you do not really need incense when the machine is running.

Does the Ionic Breeze Produce Ozone?
Yes it does. Currently the state of California is trying to outlaw several of these units because they produce excessive amounts of Ozone. One of these units is called the Living Air and has received quite a bit of press. As of this writing, the Ionic Breeze is not on this list and I agree with that decision. This unit does produce Ozone but the amount seems to be fairly small and I personally am not concerned with it as a health risk. I have one on in my bedroom and I have not experienced any of the problems that are associated with Ozone like a sore throat or other respiratory concerns. If anything, I am breathing easier because of the machine. But I am looking forward to seeing this unit and other units thoroughly tested in some independent laboratories.


Update 12-16-05
Both of our units have stopped working as of 2 months ago. I've tried various things and nothing has worked. Because of the cost of these things and the relatively short life span, I have reduced the rating. Ultimately, there was no cost savings by going this route vs. a unit with a HEPA filter that needs to be replaced periodically.


Summary
The Ionic Breeze Quadra is an air purifier that does not require filters or a high electric bill. It cleans the air by charging the air and collecting the dust on collection plates. The unit runs continuously but does not use much electricity. This is the tall version and will accommodate a bigger room, but it is also more noticeable.
There are two major problems with the Ionic Breeze Quadra. First, this unit cannot be used with burning candles or incense. Second, you will need one unit for every large room in your house. With the prices, if you buy one for every room you will be spending quite a bit of money.

Other reviews of cleaning tools.
Ionic breeze, 19 inch tall design.
Ionic breeze, the compact bathroom design.
Dyson DC 14 vacuum.
Xango, Mangosteen fruit juice.


Recommend this product? No


Amount Paid (US$): 350
Battery Life: N/A
Noise Level: Almost noiseless

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