The Aprilaire 5000 has been rated the best whole house air purifier 3 years in a row. What is it? How good of a job does it do?
This is an electronic air cleaner. We commonly hear these called ionizers.
Electronic air cleaners come in two styles. One style uses collector plates and the other uses a media filter. The 5000 uses a micro-media filter to trap particles.
If you don't have a central heating and air system, you will not be able to use this air cleaner. You need a room air purifier. You can read other air purifier reviews here at our site.
The 5000 is connected to your heating and cooling system. Air is pulled into the air return by your HVAC's fan. It passes through the air cleaner system before continuing through the system.
This cleans the air in your whole house. It works each time you heating or air conditioning turns on. As the air recirculates it is cleaned. This leaves your house cleaner and free of most particles.
Inside the air cleaner, air passes over ionizing wires. These wires provide an electric charge that charges the particles in the air. Then, these particles go through the media filter. The filter is grounded so the charged particles are attracted to the fibers. They stick to the filter and are removed from the air.
A big advantage to using a media filter instead of collector plates is easy maintenance. You just have to throw away the filter and buy a new one. With collector plates you spend a beautiful Saturday afternoon up to your elbows in soapy water cleaning them. A wasted Saturday that could have been spent at the ball game.
This filter is pretty efficient. In our opinion it is not as efficient as a good HEPA filter. A whole house air purifier can't reach the same level as a room purifier with a HEPA filter. But this filter does a great job no the less.
It traps and removes 99% of particles 3 - 5 micron size and larger. This takes care of most allergens like pollen, mold, dander. It also removes the larger dust particles.
It can remove 94% of particles .35 microns and larger. This means that this home air purifier system does a pretty good job removing larger particles. Remember that the smaller particles are the worst.
Overall, it can capture 98% of particles 1 micron and smaller.
The Aprilaire 5000 is advertised as working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While this might be true, we have our doubts.
Air only moves through the air cleaner when the fan is on. When air isn't moving the cleaner can't clean as well. So we believe that even though you turn on the filter it isn't doing a very good job. And it isn't providing you with the advertised 4 air exchanges an hour.
Is YOUR air this clean?
The biggest advantage we see in this and any other whole house air purifier is that it cleans the air in your whole house. It does all this without being seen.
It is hidden in your HVAC room.
You don't have to worry about messing up your home interior with another ugly appliance.
One big feature we like in the Aprilaire 5000 is the control pad. This can be mounted on the air cleaner. It can also be mounted on the wall in another part of your house. You can mount it beside your thermostat. This allows you to control the air purifier from your living room.
It also has four settings.
Are you renting? Wondering what happens when you move? We should mention that you can remove this air purifier and take it with you. So you can have clean air at your next house too.
An independent lab tested the Aprilaire 5000 along with 3 other models. Two models used media filters and two models used collector plates.
The test used 12 different sized particles ranging from 3 microns to 10 microns. The main test evaluated the air cleaner's performance at three stages: brand new, 2 months old, and 6 months old. They also performed an airflow resistance test.
Brand new all the air cleaners showed about the same performance. They all did quite well. At 2 months Aprilaire was leading the pack. It continued to do best at 6 months also.
It also out performed the brands in the airflow resistance test. It had the lowest resistance. This is great. It means air flows well and your HVAC doesn't have to work harder.
You will have to replace the filter about once a year. A replacement filter is $50.
You also have to clean the ionizing wires. All told this should take less than 30 minutes.
The system cost about $500. You can probably find it a little cheaper online.
We like whole house air purifiers. And we like the Aprilaire 5000. We think this does a great job cleaning your whole house. It is low maintenance and pretty economical.
We think that everyone could benefit from one of these. You might want to supplement this system with a room air purifier or two to get really clean air.
Just interested in cleaner air. You have no heath problems. Then this system is probably all you will ever need.
Have allergies. This will work fine for you. You might want a room air purifier with a HEPA filter in the bedroom. You can read about more air purifiers one this site. We like Austin Air Purifiers.
Got asthma or MCS. We would recommend you add a room air purifier that is designed to remove VOCs and other chemicals. Austin air mentioned above will do a good job. IQAir air purifiers also do a fantastic job of cleaning these particles out of the air.
Overall our recommendation is the Aprilaire 5000 is great for everyone. If you have MCS this by itself is not going to help you very much. If you have asthma it will probably help you, but you might need more.