The AC4825 air purifier is GermGuardian’s best-selling machine. It’s among our most frequently recommended air purifiers in its price range. Unfortunately, it lives in a price range inhabited by a lot of junk and overly gimmicky purifiers. Which makes finding stand out purifiers like the 4825 difficult. There are a few compromises here and there, but overall it addresses most people’s needs. It will handle everything from dust, to pollen, to odor. And, best of all… it’s very, very affordable. But, there are some huge cons and compromises for certain uses… and users. All that taken into consideration… we had to write a comprehensive Germguardian AC4825 review.
Editor’s note: We originally published this article in February of 2015. However, since we still love this unit we thought it deserved an update. So, we completely revised the original article for accuracy, relevance, and in consideration of new developments in purifier technology.
Review Summary – GermGuardian’s AC4825
Overall, the GermGuardian is a solid choice for budget shoppers. In fact, it’s one of the best selling purifiers on the market. And, it’s definitely GermGuardian’s most popular unit. It offers HEPA filtration and activated carbon, two must haves in shopping for purifiers. Consumers seem to love it, and levy very few complaints. However, we’re not entirely sold on features like its UV-C lamp. We know that they’re used in hospitals and other commercial and industrial applications, but there isn’t a lot of research on their efficacy in home air purifiers.
- Washable pre-filter with activated carbon
- True HEPA filter
- UV-C technology kills bacteria
- Energy Star certified
- Great Performance for a Budget Purifier
- Small machine not suited for large rooms
- For slightly more money you can get a great purifier like Honeywell’s 50250-S
- The design is a little dated
- Long-term cost of ownership climbs fast (in a few years it will outpace better units)
How well does it clean a small space?
You really need to consider the room you plan to purify before you start shopping for a purifier. How large is it? If it’s much larger than 155 square feet you’ll want to move onto a larger capacity unit. Does it have high or average height ceilings? If the ceilings are high you’ll want to look for a more powerful purifier. The 155 square foot rating isn’t for a room with vaulted (or higher than average) ceilings. It’s geared more toward a smaller room. Higher volume rooms require more capacity than a similar 10×15 foot room with low ceilings.
With that said, this purifier will move a fair amount of air in a smaller room. It is CADR rated at “100+” which isn’t that impressive, until you look at how loud competitors fans are that move more CFM. It also provides a pretty large HEPA filter that you won’t find in many other sub one hundred dollar purifiers. And, that means you’ll capture pretty much everything that passes through the machine. And for things that are too small for HEPA, the 4825 includes an activated carbon filter as well.
Bottom line on performance… it works well for the price. Just don’t expect too much. It isn’t going to hold a candle to purifiers in the $300 plus price range. Be sure you carefully consider your needs and room size before you order.
It’s not that quiet. But, you do need to take that price tag into consideration when evaluating noise. Most of the 4825’s competition is also kind of loud when compared to larger, more expensive, units. On lower fan speeds it’s acceptable, but on high it’s less of a white noise machine and more of something you’ll need to cover up with extra TV volume or music. If you want something quiet and affordable consider Coway’s AP-1512HH (a way better value in the long run) or one of the GermGuardian 5000 series purifiers. Overall the biggest problem with the noise this purifier makes is that it’s fan produces a higher pitch than competitors. And, that’s at any fan speed.
Is it easy to use?
Yes. To expand on that a bit… it’s a pretty simple machine so it doesn’t require a degree in anything to start purifying air. There’s no timer, no smartphone app, and no digital readout. The purifier offers users a dial and a button. That’s it. The dial will take the 4825 from off to fan speeds one, two and three. While a small button, marked “UV,” turns the UV lamp on and off. Filter changes are straightforward (and kind frequent) so you’ll be good at swapping those after your first encounter. When it comes to operation this is basically a tower fan; with a filter and without oscillation. So yeah… it’s easy to use.
Features and Technology
The AC4825 is the best value product in Guardian’s line of air purification systems. It also competes well with units costing 2 to 3 times as much. This earned is a top spot in its class, as few other air purifiers offer as much quality for the price that GermGuardian does. This machine features multiple purification technologies that scrub the air clean no matter what ventures into its path.
3-Level Filtration System
Guardian designed the AC4825 as a multi-purpose machine that incorporates three levels of filtration to target a wide spectrum of airborne pollutants.
2-In-One Pre-filter With Activated Carbon
Pre-filters are becoming are great. They protect a unit’s HEPA filter from large contaminants, allowing HEPA to tackle things as small as 3 microns. The pre-filter allows the machine to run more efficiently and also extends filter life.
The 4825 also combines its pre-filter with a layer of activated carbon to reduce odors. Activated carbon is a unique material that removes odors due to its incredibly porous structure. Chemicals, VOCs, and odors will sneak through even the best HEPA filter. But, activated carbon will tackle smoke, pet odor, and kitchen funk with ease.
True HEPA Filter
High Efficiency Particulate Arresting (HEPA) air filters are the most effective means of filtering out the vast majority of airborne pollutants from your home. HEPA filters contain millions of fibers that trap pollutants inside the filter. HEPA filters are also the only filters standardized by the United States government. To earn the title the must be effective at removing 99.97% of particles larger than 0.3 microns.
It’s important to note that some of GermGuardian’s competitors switched to low quality HEPA-type filters to cut costs. However, GermGuardian has kept true HEPA filters in their machines keeping them a step ahead. That’s a huge plus in our book.
UV-C Air Sanitizer
The GermGuardian uses ultraviolet light technology as the last step of its filtration process. Manufacturers claim that this technology is effective at killing bacteria and viruses like E.coli and rhinovirus. It’s debatable how effective this can be, but it is nice that they include it and give you the option to turn it off if you prefer. We did a full write up that explains where we stand on the matter.
The AC4825 is an good machine, and when you consider the low price… it’s even better.
It’s great for those of us who live in communities with low overall air quality. But, not for those with large rooms as this purifier is only rated for 155 square feet.
However, if you are seeking a machine specifically for smoke or a lot of VOCs you may want to look elsewhere, such as this purifier. This machine does feature an activated carbon filter but it does not contain enough carbon to be incredibly effective against large amounts of smoke and other intrusive odors. But, it will help.
What we learned preparing this Germguardian ac4825 Review…
The GermGuardian was one of our favorite machines when we first started learning about purifiers. Especially for people sticking to a budget. Its low price made it accessible to nearly anyone, and the quality seemed pretty solid. Users rave about its performance and love that it can eliminate dust, cooking odors, and reduce allergies and asthma symptoms. However, as we logged more time on other machines we changed our views a bit.
How did they change? Well, we started seeing more value in purifiers that are slightly higher priced. Most notably the Honeywell 50250-s. Granted that machine costs almost twice as much as the GermGuardian, but the Honeywell is probably 3 to 4 times the machine. It actually compares nicely to Austin Air purifiers which start in the high $300 price range.
We’re definitely not saying that the GermGuardian is bad… just that you’ll get more out of each dollar spent by considering other options. If you prefer a more high-end air purifier, or a machine more effective at eliminating strong odors, there are a variety of options that will surely to meet your needs. But, this purifier is awesome and affordable so it’s definitely worth a try even if you get something from Alen, Blue Air, or Rabbit Air.
About Guardian Products
Guardian Technologies, founded in 2002, is an Ohio company that specializes in home sanitation products with an emphasis in providing top notch products at a great price point. Some of their products include air sanitizers, ultrasonic humidifiers, vacuums, and water filtration technology.