AllergyConsumerReview

Alen T300 HEPA Tower Air Purifiers Review

Alen T300 Air Purifiers

The Alen T300 air purifier has an attractive space saving tower design that is best suited to clean the air in a small to medium size room. It uses HEPA filtration enhanced with a small amount of carbon and includes a UVC germicidal light to sterilize pathogens such as germs, bacteria, mold, and viruses.

PARAMETERS STAR RATING
1. Airborne Particulate Filtration
2. Gas, Chemical & Odor Filtration
3. Room Coverage
4. Noise Rating
5. Filter Life & Replacement Costs
6. Ease of Operation & Filter Replacement
7. Quality of Construction: Air-tight design, no off-gassing
8. Electronic Filter Life Monitoring
9. Manufacturer’s Credibility, Warranty & Return Policy
10. Quality of Filters
11. Value for Price

Pluses:

Minuses:

Summary:

The Alen T300 features the increasingly popular tower design. The tower design is great for people who have limited space for additional appliances in their bedroom, office or living area. It is lucky that the tower design appeals to those will smaller sized rooms because its square foot cover is not as large as one may expect. In the case of the T300, the manufacturer claims it will clean a room up to 300 sq. ft. However, for those who suffer from allergies or asthma, room coverage is better estimated at 156 sq. ft., achieving 6 air changes per hour.

A couple of features that made the Alen T300 stand out from other tower air purifiers we’ve tested include its swivel base, control panel and quiet operation. The T300’s controls are large and easy to use; just tap on or off the ionizer, UV light, timer and fan speeds. The selected settings are shown in the small but clear LCD display, which also monitors the filters life with a five-bar filter life status. It is also notably quiet on speeds 1-3, with only speed 4 being slightly noisy.

The T300 uses two HEPA filters that are enhanced with a little bit of carbon and have washable pre-filters. It also has a UVC germicide bulb to kill pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and mold spores. Our testing showed a 79.6% average reduction in particles 0.3 microns and larger on the first air pass. So in a smaller sized room with 6 air changes per hour, the T300 will do an efficient job clearing the air of dust and allergens. Also, though the amount of carbon in the filters is minimal, it will do a decent job at dissipating common household odors. If you need to remove stronger chemical, gas, pet or smoke odors, we suggest replacing the standard filters with the more robust HEPA/Smoke/Odor MCP Filters for $89.

The Alen T300 does require a little bit of time and effort to maintain and the annual maintenance costs are a bit more than what we expected for a unit of this price. However, the annual maintenance cost greatly differs depending on actually usage, and whether or not you follow the manufacturer’s recommended 6 month filter change schedule. For instance, if you only use the air purifier at night or during your 8 hr work day, the filters will actually last much longer than 6 months.

Replacing the filters is a generally easy task. The pre-filters velcro to the HEPA filters and are very easy to vacuum or wash, requiring less than a minute of your time. They should be cleaned every 2 to 3 months and new pre-filters are included with the purchase of the replacement HEPA filters. The two HEPA filters are stacked vertically inside the unit and are very easy to change, as they just slide into place. The standard HEPA filters come in a pack of two for $49. Replacing every 6 months would equal an annual replacement cost of $98.

The addition of the UV bulb is what adds time, effort and cost to the T300’s maintenance. But most would agree the benefits of the UVC germicidal light technology are worth it. For maximum effectiveness, the UV bulb should be replaced annually regardless of whether it looks like it is still working. This is because the power of the bulb fades over time, which means it becomes less effective the older it is. The UV bulb costs $59 to replace, bringing the annual replacement cost to $157. To change the UV bulb, you must remove the bottom panel of the air purifier by removing 2 small Philip screws. After removing the panel, you must remove another little screw on a clip that holds the wiring. Then, you can pull out the UV bulb ballast and carefully remove the bulb. The best advice we can give is to consult the owner’s manual before attempting this task, otherwise you may waste a lot of time trying to figure out how to get the bulb out and may end up breaking something.

In summary, if you have a moderately sized room, and are looking for a space saving air cleaner for allergen and virus control, all at a fair price, then the T300 is worthy of consideration. Alen has created a great reputation for itself in the air cleaner market and so far everyone who has tested the T300 has been very pleased with its performance. Its biggest down fall is replacing the UV bulb and luckily that only has to happen once a year.

Links: Alen T300 Tower Air Purifiers | Air Purifiers