Pros: Sucks the dust and other crap out of your air.
Cons: There's a maintenance schedule you need to keep on top of.
I've had allergies all of my life. After I had my son though, things seemed to get worse for me. I take 10mg of Claritin every single day, no matter what the season. I stopped mowing the grass and dust just sends me into a tailspin.
My Dr. gave me an entire list of recommendations that were supposed to help me with dealing with my allergies. One of those recommendations was to invest in a HEPA air machine for my bedroom. Supposedly, it would keep the air in my bedroom cleaner and it would be easier for me to sleep.
I looked around places like Sears, JCPenney's, and Loews. Nothing really grabbed me. Then while at Kohl's I came across a line of Honeywell HEPA air systems that looked like they might do the job for me.
What Is This?
This, my friends, could be your next best buddy. The Honeywell Enviracaire Portable HEPA Air Cleaner is an appliance that circulates the air in your room, six times an hour. It removes 99.97% of stuff that gets in the way of you breathing - like dust and other crud. How does that happen? Well, I'm not going to get into the technical positive and negative ion thing. Basically what happens is that the air gets sucked into the appliance, and all of the crap is filtered out by one of two filters. The first filter to come into contact with the scum is what I refer to as the outer, disposable carbon filter. It usually grabs the stuff that you and I can see with our eyes - lint, dust, etc... Depending on your air quality, you're going to replace this every three months at the price of $10.99. The inner filter is very durable hardware and does the main job of sucking in all of those things that you can't see. Again, depending on your air quality, you'll probably replace this about once every two years. To replace this particular filter, you're going to pay about $60.
Just in case you're wondering how big it is, it is 16 inches in circumference, about 1 1/2 feet tall, and weighs somewhere around 15 pounds. If you need to move your cleaner around, that's not a problem because it comes with a very sturdy handle.
How Easy Is It To Use?
Just in case you've forgotten, I am all thumbs at assembling stuff. Lucky for me that the Honeywell Enviracaire Portable HEPA Air Cleaner comes fully assembled. Pull it out, plug it in, turn it on, and you're in business.
This particular model has two speeds - high and low. When I put this in a new room or haven't had it on for a while, I set it to high. Otherwise, it stays on 24/7 to low.
How Well Does It Work?
I wish every thing that I purchased worked this well. In the five years that I've had this particular model, it's never stopped working.
The only pain is remembering to change the filters. I'm a lazy person and sometimes I forget. That's when I notice that the air quality isn't as good. When I open the appliance up (and all you do is twist the top open), I'm amazed at the amount of crap that these filters trap.
There's two side benefits of the Honeywell Enviracaire Portable HEPA Air Cleaner that excites me. First - the white noise. I can't sleep without it. The gentle hum of the air cleaner is like a lullaby to my ears! Second, the circulation of the air in and out constantly creates a cool breeze. I love cool breezes :).
A Note About Honeywell Enviracaire Portable HEPA Air Cleaner
If you're wondering about all of these different model numbers and what they mean, they're all basically the same appliance but for different room sizes.
This model, 11520, is meant for rooms that are no bigger than 12x16. If you need something bigger (or smaller), you might want to look at the following:
Model 10500 - Room size: 9 x 12
Model 12520 - Room size: 16 x 20
Model 13520 - Room size: 17 x 22
Model 14520 - Room size: 20 x 20
You probably won't be surprised to know that Honeywell has a five-year warranty on this product. That should assure you that their product is durable and works well. I've never know anyone that has had an issue with a Honeywell Enviracaire Portable HEPA Air Cleaner not working properly.
Highly recommended for: allergy sufferers, asthmatics, people who catch a lot of colds and viral infections, and people who need white noise to sleep :)