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Re: Asept-Air Life Cell 1550 - Canada

A Reader writes:

Hi there,

I've been reading through your site, and am quite impressed with the thoroughness of your reviews.

I'm looking to purchase my first air purifier for my bedroom (roughly 290 square feet)

I've been looking at the RabbitAir BioGS 421, the Sharp Plasmacluster FPA40CW, and I just came across one on Costco the Asept Air LifeCell 1550

I've recently been noticing some allergic problems and was tested.

According to my allergist I'm suffering from dust allergy, as well as it appears my dog/dander.

Our dog is 10 yrs old and has slept in our room since we've had her, not on the bed but in the room.

She's a 100 lb Rottweiler, who sheds insanely. We sweep generally 2 times per day.

Of the 3 listed I'm unsure of which one to purchase.

I notice that you have high recommendations for the Rabbit Air, and the Sharps.

Just wondering if you've heard of the Asept-Air products before? and have any opinions of them.

The AseptAir and Rabbit 421 as within $30 of each other.

As well, should I look at a whole home solution if I find the one on the bedroom works and helps relieve my allergies? or one for the main areas of the home where we spend time?

Cheers, A Reader.



Ed's Reply

Hey Reader;

US readers may not recognize these brand names - Asept is a Canadian company, and Sharp FPA40CW is the Canada-marketed version of the 40-series Plasmacluster.

1.) Asept-Air 15500

Asept-Air is a Montreal based manufacturer of both consumer and commercial indoor air equipment. I have no direct experience with their products, so these are my impressions from looking them up on the web.

This is an experienced company, with deep technology resources, as evidenced in their engineering inputs - carbon blends, chamber/airflow designs, sophisticated user interface and aesthetic appeal.

The LifeCell 1550 is a sharp-looking, automated modern design.

Costco has several positive buyer reviews, though a couple mention defective front cover latches.

However, I'd expect a company this sophisticated to provide more data - noise measurements, weight and content of carbon/gas phase filter...web info is scarce beyond the too-cryptic marketing package.

One glaring gaff is advertising the Lifecell 1550 as suitable for 1,500 square foot rooms. Producing only 1 air-change-per-hour (1 ACH), this is seriously over-installing the air cleaner, and seriously misleading to retail consumers.

Room size at 230 square feet (6+ ACH) would be my recommendation. While a bit less than your 290 square feet, Asept 1550 is still substantially more powerful than either the Rabbit 421a or 40-series Sharp, both with CADRs (AHAM-certified Clean Air Delivery Rate) in the 150 area.

I recommend CADR equal to or greater than room size, so I am giving the unrated Life Cell 1550 an estimated 200 average CADR, based on Asept-Air's room size claim and retail ads quoting 200 cubic feet per minute (CFM) through the filter train.

I'd add a little to this for the PCO installation, so 230 is my CADR and room size estimate.

1550 has five stages of filtration;

Washable prefilter

True HEPA filter

Gas phase carbon filter

Photocatalytic Oxidization catalyst (PCO)

Ultraviolet narrow-spectrum (254nm) germicidal lights

Automation is complete with odor/gas and dust sensors and a remote control.

Asept emphasizes the lack of ozone emissions without mentioning that PCO oxidation may have safety issues of it's own - partially oxidized byproducts. Is it safe? I don't really know, but other oxidixing systems (dual polarity plasma-ion) have been widely used without any evidence of health issues.

I have been waiting for some manufacturer to build "specially designed chambers to reduce air speed and smooth out turbulence." If Life Cell really is quiet, as one Costco reviewer claims, this is real progress.

I have no way to guage Canadian market penetration or support quality. One of the Costco buyer reviews did laud Asept's support with the latch issue.

Asept-Air offers original purchasers a Lifetime Limited Warranty on Life Cell air cleaners - I assume this applies to units purchased direct, as the Costco site says "1 year".

Readers know I am a huge fan of the Rabbit Air team, but the 421A might be a bit weak for your application.

Costco USA carries top sellers, like Winix and Blueair, so their vote of confidence is a plus in the market penetration department.

For the limited information available, I am favorably impressed by Asept's attractive product.

I recall BlueAir's early marketing (2004?) of their then-revolutionary hybrid technology was similarily thin.

2.) Sharp FPA40CW

FPA40CW is Sharp Canada's version of the 40-series Plasmacluster.

I think the 40-series' Clean Air Delivery Rate (140/129/160) is a bit weak for your big bedroom with even bigger dog.

3.) Dog Allergy

Do not expect dramatic results form any air cleaner re dog allergy.

I have several posts/pages detailing the nature of human-pet interaction, which precludes effective saliva protien particle interdiction by air cleaners.

We don't call them "pets" for nothing. I have never seen a dog that didn't lick to show affection.

3.) Whole House

IMHO, whole house HEPA air cleaners are for the very well-to-do, and not a complete substitute for the clean air sphere provided by closely installed room air cleaners.

I'd get rid of carpets and other sources first.

I like the electron microscope photos of carpet on indoor air expert and author Jeffrey Mays' website.

If you have doubts about removing carpeting, check out these beauties; Jeff Mays' carpet photos

Best wishes,

Ed



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