A good brand name says a lot about a product. It can even be the deciding factor in a shopper’s purchase. Simply recognizing a brand name isn’t enough to make an informed decision, though. Understanding the company’s history, favored technology, and a broad range of customer sentiment will help any shopper make the best choice. We’re looking at the Oreck air purifier line to see how well they stand up to scrutiny and if anyone could benefit from buying one.
The Oreck company launched in 1963, and from the start, they specialized in vacuum cleaners. Since then, they’ve branched out into other cleaning products, including steam mops, floor cleaners, and air purifiers. The company’s experience with suction and air circulation gave them an advantage when they first began building air purifiers. Oreck purifiers do move a lot of air, and it seems that circulation is their main selling point. Their products can cover a fairly impressive range, and all of their technology caters specifically to superior air circulation.
Oreck makes affordable products. This means more people can get efficient air purifiers, but it also means Oreck’s priorities are reflected in how their purifiers function. Tightly sealed machines that make the most of HEPA filtration require heavy-duty fans and lots of careful development. This is probably why Oreck’s air purifier technology aims to replace the popular HEPA standard with a more economic system.
Oreck’s Air Purifier Technology
While most brands rely exclusively on one type of primary filter, usually HEPA, Oreck offers buyers options. Oreck utilizes not only HEPA filtration, but also Truman Cell technology. Truman Cell technology uses an electrostatic charge to collect particles, whereas HEPA depends on high quality, tightly packed fibers to catch irritants. Each of these filters has different advantages, and customers should read Oreck’s full comparison guide to get the fullest understanding of the two products.
Truman vs HEPA
Truman Cell products’ only advantage over HEPA is their reusability. HEPA filters can only be used once, and after they do their job, they can never be used again. In order to keep an air purifier working at peak capacity, you have to regularly buy and replace these disposable parts. A Truman Cell filter just needs to be wiped clean.
Another advantage of Truman Cell technology is energy use. HEPA filters require strong fans to push air through their tightly packed filters. However, since an air purifier with Truman Cell technology doesn’t have to force air through a filter that offers a lot of resistance, the purifier can operate just as efficiently on lower fan speeds. Oreck focuses a lot on moving air, both in their product designs and their advertising. They emphasize that air must be moved through the filter in order to be cleaned, and imply that their ability to move air through the air purifier faster than many competitors makes them superior. This is why Oreck is so fond of Truman Cell technology. However, while their point has some merit, it’s also a little misleading. After all, air speed is nothing without proper filtration.
Is Truman Purification Worth the Money
Despite all of its advantages, Truman Cell technology is not as reliable or as thorough as a HEPA filter. An independent third party test HEPA filters before they hit the market, and that’s a huge advantage of HEPA filters. This ensures it stands up to the basic requirements for HEPA certification. Despite how much Oreck talks about their Truman Cell options, they cannot list what percentage of particles these filters actually remove from circulation. Neither can they report the size of the particles the filter can effectively remove.
Oreck Air Purifier Customer Sentiment
Oreck’s dedication to affordability comes at a cost. Although many users have found their Oreck air purifiers satisfactory, considering their price, their lifespan and durability are severely limited. Many users have complained about construction quality, and even the biggest fans of the Oreck brand confess that they’ve had to replace multiple parts multiple times.
Due to their emphasis on alternative filters and air speed over thorough filtration, Oreck’s purifiers also face efficiency limits. Most of the brand’s happiest customers use their air purifiers regularly on low speeds to limit things like pet hair, dander, and kitchen odors. While some users experienced notable allergy relief, Oreck’s preference for Truman Cell technology means their products can’t compete with many HEPA-oriented brands. Of course, those other brands almost inevitably cost more.
According to previous buyer feedback, customer service is Oreck’s best quality. Although their machines will break, they do offer warranties, and they provide great support for buyers. They send replacement parts when needed, and they often offer free servicing at their retail locations. This high quality service has convinced many users that the hassles are worth the price.
Oreck started out making vacuum cleaners, and they effectively adapted that technology for air purifiers. These air vacuums focus on larger particles and odors rather than the tiny particles HEPA filters are renowned for capturing. Although they haven’t cut HEPA technology out of their brand entirely, they rely heavily on Truman Cell filters. Truman Cell filters save users money. Unfortunately, they won’t help shoppers who need air purifiers for medical reasons. Oreck purifiers move the air, but they move a lot of the contaminants with it. When it comes to smoke or other irritants they might actually do more harm than good.
Oreck provides excellent customer service, however, and it’s kept them competitive in the air purifier market. In order to keep their products at the prices their customers can afford, Oreck had to cut corners, and the features that support good HEPA filtration seem to have been the first on the chopping block. Oreck cutting corners doesn’t necessarily mean their air purifiers aren’t worth the price, though. Many people use their Oreck air purifier regularly, and plenty claim to have seen their air quality improve.
It all comes down to what you need out of your air purifier. If you have a medical condition, you may want to continue shopping. If you’re looking for an affordable way to boost your air quality a little, Oreck may be the perfect solution. Overall, if it were our money… we’d skip the Oreck. We recently reviewed Oreck’s Tabletop XL air purifier… and it failed to impress.