Last edit: 11/18/15

GermGuardian AC5000E Air Purifier Review

GermGuardian AC5000 Review

There was a rush in air purifier sales during 2004-2009, but GermGuardian arrived on the air purifier market scene after the peak.

GermGuardian worked very hard and supported their products better than most, staying profitable while some former leaders were forced to close.

GermGuardians rank among the top selling air purifiers at Amazon, they are competitive on both price and service.

The 28-inch tower $125 GermGuardian AC5000E air purifier is selling well enough to collect 653 Amazon buyer reviews, averaging 4.3 stars.

Approximately 10% are negative reviews (1 and 2 stars), many mentioning initial odor problems with new and replacement filters.

There are NO sensors, NO remote, and NO Automation.

Digital controls atop the AP5000E is a flush button that modulates the Ultraviolet lamp, a dial to change fan speed (1-3), an on/off switch, and a timer.

AC5000E is marketed as having "125-plus" CADR, but is NOT LISTED in the official tables.

Solid numbers are in short supply, we'll be forced to use Guardian's room size recommendation - "up to 199 sq. feet."

Nonsense of course, I suggest a room MAX of 120 sq. ft..

Marketers love to dangle phrases like "...medium to large rooms..." which a percentage of naive buyers want to see - do NOT be fooled by this 100 CADR air cleaner, it is weak.

Filter Train

AC5000E is plug-n-play, with little assembly required, you can use it right out of the box. ac5000e

Guardian's True HEPA Filter is coated with Pet Pure Treatment, an antimicrobial agent, it captures 99.97% of .3 micron particles.

Guardian 5000 uses one single combination filter with multiple levels: HEPA, charcoal layer Pre-Filter.

Filter replacement interval, 4 to 12 months, is the key point for evaluating 5000E.

Switching filters quarterly, as some users have been forced to do, runs a filter tab of $144 annually.

The small 8-watt UV-C lamp comes due at 10-12 months, at $34.

A reset button for the filter reminder is handy, and the filter is easy to remove and replace.

Layered atop the HEPA is a eighth of an inch thick sheet of carbonized fabric prefilter.

This is the weak point in GG's design, PCO (see below) is obviously being relied on for odor control.

I would vacuum the filter weekly.

An opportunity is presented with 5000E, a piece of no-see-um fiberglass mosquito screen stuffed in the filter bay would likely save on HEPA costs.

I have NOT tried this, so don't try to say I claimed to have done it.

AC5000E inhales from the rear and exhausts front with a left-ward bias.

Two effects as a design result;

First, AC5000E can NOT be placed flat against a wall or furniture.

Second, some reviewers are disconcerted by the slant wise exhaust flow.

There are a few "cold wind" remarks too.

AC5000E's switchable 8-watt blue UV ring is very bright, but some user reviews say pointing it away from the bed works well.

I recommend covering the blue halo with electrical tape or cloth.

PHOTOCAT (PCO) ?

Many GermGuardian buyers have no concept of photocatalytic air cleaners ( PCO ).

What I see most often is the assumption that ALL UV lamps create ozone, which is NOT true.

Mercury vapor UV lamps can emit several spectral peaks, some are accompanied by UV radiation, some are not.

Germicidal claims their GermGuardian AC5000E does not emit UV-A or B, instead it emits UV-C at a distinct frequency, without ozone emissions.

Ultraviolet radiation, UV, strikes a Titanium Dioxide film on an Aluminum plate, causing electrons to activate to a higher energy level, creating oxidants.

Primarily hydroxyl and superoxide radicals, these oxidants operate at the molecular level, eating odors, killing microbes, and oxidizing fine particulate.

Notice that the particulate destroyed by PCO is very fine, .1 micron and smaller.

Be sure you understand this we are talking tenths of one micron, a fraction of the microscopic .3 micron HEPA gets the certification for retaining.

PCO oxidants do NOT persist in indoor air, as ozone does.

Flip the switch off, the PCO is gone in seconds.

UV-C comes from a 8 Watt Mercury lamp - not real power - scheduled for renewal every 10-13 months.

Lamp disposal is regulated by EPA.

Lamp buyers are required to send the old UV bulb in for EPA-approved disposal.

Never LOOK at a lit UV lamp.

Don't touch the glass tube, handle by the plastic end sheaths.

Towers have strong visual appeal, especially to toddlers, who will push them over.

AC5000E's UV lamp does have a dedicated on/off switch.

GermGuardian AC5000's PCO has a good reputation as a routine home odor eater.

Emissions & Utility

Although a quiet air cleaner overall, AC5000 can be loud on high.

Some reviews say they sleep on low fan speed, with a few saying "two," and many at three.

Many user reviews complain of smells (BREAK-IN ODOR) when new and replacement filters are installed.

These last from 10 minutes to 10 days, bothering a small minority of buyers.

A few remarks concerning persistent odors are present, and AC5000E seems to have a few more "dead on arrival" complaints than other GG models.

GermGuard AC5000E is on the California Air Board's (CARB) approved air purifiers list with ozone less than 50 ppb.

UV-C lamp ads for the replacement say "produces no ozone."

"EPA ENERGY STAR approved."

Burning 63 Watts on high, and using 125 as the Dust CADR number, I get 2.01 CADR per Watt, very close to the the lower limit (2.0 CADR/Watt), good enough for EPA.

Measuring 9.1 by 6.7 by 27.6 inches, Guardian AC5000E is compact enough for many smaller rooms, and can be stuffed into larger luggage.

Heavier than some of Guardian's prior units, 11 pounds, with a built in handle, AC5000E can still easily be moved.

Corporate and Warranty

Guardian is located in Ohio:

Guardian Technologies LLC
26251 Bluestone Blvd.
Euclid,
Ohio 44132
"attention: Customer Service"

Warranty is "5 years," according to Germguardian.com.

But I wouldn't bank on a big warranty claim.

Purchase was just $125, shipping costs hafta be at least $60 (you pay), they will charge you $45 for parts and labor, and there is some risk of damage in post.

Conclusions

PROS

tower attractive style
reasonable price
small tower footprint
good for moderate odors

CONS

filter & lamp, $90/yr?
CADR lame
very small room size 100 sq. ft. - dorms and closets
filter outgassing - with each filter buy
some sensitives to filter outgassing


GermGuardian AC5000E, the air purifier, is available for something around $125:

GermGuardian AC5000E Air Purifier at Amazon.com.

HEPA Filter C is $38.41:

GermGuardian FLT5000 GENUINE Replacement Filter C at Amazon.com.

Germ Guardian AC5000E is compatible with both the 2-piece FLT5250PT filter, and the 1-piece FLT5000 (FLT5111) filter by Germ Guardian.

GENERIC prefilters come in four-paks now, with good reviews, at about $20 each:

Four-Pack Carbon Pre-Filter ( fits Filter C ) at Amazon.com.

GermGuard's UV-C Lamp is available at Amazon.com:

GermGuardian LB5000 UV-C Bulb for AC5000E Air Purifier at Amazon.com.

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