Saturday, March 6, 2010

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Review: AC5000 UV-C and True HEPA Complete Air Cleansing System

Almost a year ago, I began experiencing the worse respiratory allergy symptoms I've ever had. I have no idea what triggered this. Perhaps my body decided, now that I am well past the 35 year mark, that it needs to spend its resources battling other things? In any case, for 6 to 8 weeks at a time, I would develop asthma-like symptoms, such as violent chronic coughing accompanied by shortness of breath. When I start coughing like that, I literally sound like a 90 year old smoker. This turned out to be something that was not restricted to the spring and summer seasons, but rather it occurred year-round.

We have a big monster of an air purifier in my bedroom, which is where the allergies seem to affect me the most. I hate running it for two reasons. It is very loud . . . even on the lowest setting. It also blows out cold air, which is not something I like during New England winters. The force of the cold air blown out is so strong that our cats are afraid to walk by it when the air purifier is running.

When I was offered a chance to review the Germ Guardian AC5000 UV-C and True HEPA Complete Air Cleansing System in my home, I was thrilled. I was extremely curious to see if the update technology of this unit would help with my respiratory allergies. Also, this air purifier uses UV-C technology to sanitize the air.

air purifiers
What I thought about our UV-C Air Purifier:

1) I was amazed at how quiet this unit is. On the lowest setting, I can barely hear it. It is easy to forget that the AC5000 is in the room.

2) This unit is definitely a space-saver compared to our previous air purifier, which was about 16" in diameter. The AC5000 measures 9"D x 5-3/4"W x 27"H.

3) This air cleansing system is extremely user-friendly. There are only two switches . . . one dial to turn the unit on and to set the unit to low, medium, or high. The other is a button to turn the UV light on and off.

4) It is also easy to tell if the unit is powered on and whether the UV feature is activated. There is a red power indicator light and the blue UV light is neon blue. Although it did not bother my husband or myself, if you are a person who needs pitch black in order to sleep, then you may want to switch off the UV feature during the night.

5) Although this air purifier is more compact, the 3-layered filter (pre-filter, true HEPA filter, and photocatalyst and charcoal filter) are actually almost as large as the unit itself. The cover located on the back removes easily and snaps right back into place. This unit takes the FLT5000 replacement filters, which should be cleaned once per month. The HEPA filter needs to be replaced when it turns from white to grey. The time between replacements will vary depending on how often you run your unit. We have not had ours long enough for the combination filter to need replacing.

6) Since starting to use the AC5000, I have only experience minor allergy symptoms . . . mostly just some sinus congestion. I have not had a soar throat, which is a sign that my throat is starting to close up or any indications that the coughing may start again. I hope this is still the case when spring finally arrives and it is time to open the windows.

7) This unit retails for $249.99 and the 3-layered replacement filters are priced at $49.99 each. If you can afford this item, it is worth it to have an air purifier and an air sanitizer in one compact unit. It is light enough for an adult to carry from room to room so you may be able to get away with just one unit per household or at least one unit per level.

As far as the UV-C technology working, it is impossible for me to determine the result. I cannot see germs, so I will just happily trust that the UV light is being effective. UV-C light is said to kill up to 99.9% of germs and is widely used in hospitals. In a household with 3 young children and 4 cats, I think I need all the help I can get.

To learn more about this and other home sanitizing products from Germ Guardian, visit .

Thank you to Germ Guardian for sending us a sample unit free of charge to base this review upon.