Ohio-based Guardian Technologies Inc. introduced a very successful line of budget-priced antimicrobial UV air cleaners a couple years back.
As with most new products in this price range, what I call "big box retailer budget product brand rotation" soon set in.
At the outset, Germ Guardians found retail shelf space at Target, Best Buy, WalMart, and Bed Bath, with replacement filters prominently displayed nearby.
But after the new wears off, shelf space dedicated to the product line shrinks, with filters tending to disappear before the purifiers do.
When the initial promotional surge dies down, replacement filters get scarce and, to most buyers surprise, expensive.
In the case of GermGuardians, when big box retailers stopped carrying the filters, prices nearly doubled.
So now, most filters must be purchased online, few are in local retail inventories.
Guardian recommends that most filters be replaced "every 6–8 months depending on use."
The velcro-attached prefilters are not sold separately.
So users with high odor situations, like smoking or pets, will find odor/smoke reduction will be diminished in maybe 90 days.
These users will be forced to buy new "combination filters," replacing both carbon and HEPA layers when only the carbon is spent.
While the UV lamp is still effective, the first 12 months or so, the photocatalytic layer behind the filter will continue to oxidize some odors after the carbon is saturated.
One user review claimed over two years of HEPA filter life when the filter pack is gently vacuumed in a low-odor situation.
Genuine OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) replacement filters have the same plastic frame as the originals.
High prices and spotty availability of OEM replacement filters have spawned some generic replacement filters for GermGuardians.
Generics may have a cardboard frame in place of the stiffer OEM plastic, some can be made without lip seals present on OEM filters.
These defects may cause additional bypassing, which could be remedied with some scotch taping of the filter's edges.
Most GermGuardian purifiers have a safety switch that must be depressed by the filter frame for the motor to start.
User reviews say some generic filter frames are too weak to depress this switch.
So the generics are best suited to do-it-yourselfers who will use tape and cut-to-fit prefilters to lower costs.
I link buyers to filters direct from the manufacturer, Guardian Technologies, and my affiliate vendors Amazon.com and Sylvane.com.
Notice that prices I quote from Amazon.com are approximate, since they adjust prices dynamically according to recent demand.
Users can click to check today's Amazon deal, which can vary either way from my estimate.
Guardian Technologies formerly used a system of filter numbers ("FLT4825"), but has switched to an alphabetic series of filter names ( A, B, B-Pet, C, C-Pet, D, and E).
Most vendors, and older GermGuardian air cleaners, still use the old numbers, so filters are listed here under both systems.
Filters are listed here in alphabetical order, users who know the alpha name of their filter can scroll down to the highlighted alpha filter descriptor (Filter A).
FLT4010, Filter A, fits GermGuardian's AC4010 Table Top Air Cleaning System.
Filter A is a one-piece combination filter, with true-HEPA, charcoal, and PCO (titanium dioxide coating for photocatalytic oxidation when exposed to UV energy.
Amazon price is close to $12:
GermGuardian FLT4010 Replacement Filter at Amazon.com.
At the manufacturer's site it gets $19.99:
FLT4825 fits AC4800 Series GermGuardian air cleaners.
This is a one-piece (velcroed together, must buy both at once) with two parts, the true-HEPA filter and a charcoal-impregnated detachable odor and coarse particle prefilter.
GermGuardian discourages washing the prefilter, suggesting gentle vacuuming instead.
User reviews report a plastic smell, lasting about a week, from the new filter.
I suggest airing out the new filter, or even installing it and running it outside on a patio or porch for a few days, until until the "new car smell" dissipates.
GermGuardian FLT4825 HEPA Filter, Filter B, is about $27 at Amazon.com.
Sylvane sells the Genuine OEM FLT4825 for $29.95 with free shipping:
Genuine OEM FLT4825 Filter at Sylvane.com.
On the Guardian site, a genuine OEM FLT4825 goes for $34.99:
FLT4850PT is the true-HEPA with enhanced odor filter for the GermGuardian AC4800 Series air cleaners.
This filter is frequently out-of-stock at Guardian Technologies.
Pet Pure filters are sprayed with an antimicrobial agent to suppress microorganism growth on the filter.
It is quite common for these chemicals to outgass odors, so I do not recommend this filter for the Chemically Sensitive.
Amazon sells FLT4850PT B-Pet for roughly $30:
FLT4850PT Pet Pure Filter at Amazon.com.
Sylvane sells the Genuine OEM FLT4850 Pet for $35 with free shipping:
Genuine OEM FLT4850 Pet Filter at Sylvane.com.
The FLT5000 "C" replacement filter fits AC5000 Series GermGuardian air cleaners.
One FLT5000 can also be substituted for GermGuardian's discontinued FLT5111 two piece filter.
Users report poor availability of the slower selling 5000 series filters, which arrive in port in cargo containers maybe every three weeks, causing delayed deliveries.
An OEM FLT5000 is a true HEPA, with the plastic frame.
The spotty availability and high price have led some dealers to substitute generics at times.
Note that the phrase "True HEPA Charcoal Filter Designed to Fit GermGuardian AC5000 Series" does not describe a genuine OEM filter.
Germ Guardian FLT5000 True HEPA "C" Filter,is about $35 at Amazon.com.
Sylvane offers Genuine OEM FLT5000 filters for $30 with free shipping:
Genuine OEM FLT5000 Filter at Sylvane.com.
Genuine OEM FLT5000 filter is $39.99 at the manufacturer site:
FLT5250PT C-Pet filter fits AC5000 Series Germ Guardians.
This is a single filter, but some vendors may still have inventories of the discontinued two-piece model.
C-Pet is a True HEPA with "Pet Pure" anti-microbial treatment.
Approximate Amazon price is $31:
GermGuardian FLT5250PT C-Pet Filter at Amazon.com.
Sylvane offers Genuine OEM FLT5250PT filters for $35 with free shipping:
Genuine OEM FLT5250PT Filter at Sylvane.com.
At Guardian FLT5250 C-Pet filters fetch $50:
FLT4220 fits Guardian Technologies newer AC4200 HEPA UV 3-in-1 Table Top Air Cleaner.
Sylvane offers Genuine OEM FLT4220 D filters for $25 with free shipping:
Genuine OEM FLT4220 Filter at Sylvane.com.
FLT4200 runs $29.99 at the Guardian Technologies site:
Guardian describes the E filter as a "HEPA FILTER," but follows with a qualifier, "Captures 99% of dust and allergens."
This does not qualify the filter as a true-HEPA ("99.97% of .3 micron particles").
Filter number FLT4100, Filter E, fits GermGuardian AC4100 Table Top Air Cleaning Systems.
A typical Amazon price is near $15.
FLT4100 HEPA Replacement Filter E at Amazon.com.
Sylvane offers Genuine OEM FLT4100 filters for $25 with free shipping:
Genuine OEM FLT4100 Filter at Sylvane.com.
Guardian lists the FLT4100 at $24.99:
Replacement Filter FLT4000L fits GermGuardian Table-Top Air Purifier models:
Guardian Technologies site says "combination HEPA filter captures 99.97% of dust and allergens."
Again this is not a true-HEPA specification, which must state both a percentage retention and particle size.
A very common Amazon price for FLT4000L is $20:
GermGuardian FLT4000L Replacement Filter at Amazon.com.
And at Guardian it's $19.99: