Re: HealthWay 20600-03 Air Purifier

A Reader writes:

I live in the UK and have come across Healthway air purifiers - are they any good in your opinion?

(I really appreciate the work and thought you put into your reviews - thank you!).

Also, are there any portable air cleaners out there that you might recommend for going out and about in London?

A Reader.



Ed's Reply

Hey Reader;

HealthWay air purifiers, US-based out of Pulaski, NY, is a premium brand, also marketed outside the US.

This is a low-selling brand in a limited market niche already dominated by a key player - Blueair.

You would be wise to compare brands with support in the UK/Euro region, as many are retrenching and leaving customers high and dry.

HealthWay dealer www.promolife.com has this:
"Healthway Air Purifiers are no longer available."

Even more foreboding is heavyweight vendor www.amazon.com;
"Currently unavailable."

Some users report replacement filters are scarce.

It looks like the company has resorted to some puff marketing inconsistent with the premium space. They also use some direct marketing techniques similar to disreputable brands (former Ecoquest, Filter Queen), like setting appointments for sales representatives to visit homes, test the air, and leave machines for trial periods.

I'll address the HealthWay 20600-03, the company's flagship air cleaner.

First, this is a quality product, consistent with the premium image.

But, though HealthWay advertises its Enhanced Media Filtration (EMF) as providing "better than HEPA efficiency," this is an electrostatic hybrid, not a HEPA filter.

A similar system, using a loose HEPA-like filter augmented with an electrostatic field, is deployed in the Euro-built and widely supported Blueair air purifiers.

The combined electronic and media filter does eliminate microorganisms, but this type filter is subject to efficiency losses as the filter ages.

This may be why HealthWay has included the advanced pressure drop filter monitoring - to alert users to increasing emissions and of course, sell replacement filters.

This is a very desirable feature, preferable to Blueair's time based filter interval to maintain warranty coverage.

The company's websites, US and UK, flaunt tight seals - "100% Sealed Filtration" - and claim to be the only air cleaner with zero particle exhaust on the market. IQAir, heavily supported in the Eurozone, has made and demonstrated this claim for decades.

To be fair, this is considerably better efficiency than the blow-by prone 3-filter Blueair models.

20600-03 by HealthWay is not the quietest;

Decibel/CFM Levels
Speed 1- 70 CFM 45 db.
Speed 2- 100 CFM 51 db.
Speed 3- 200 CFM 58 db.

Health Way claims 20600-03 can service a 1,000 sq ft (8,500 cu ft) area on maximum fan speed.

NOT!

The 200 cfm throughput, assuming that it was measured with filters sealed in, would provide a room air change in about 43 minutes. This is far from the 6 air changes hourly which experts recommend.

While there is no CADR listed on AHAM's site, the EPA EnergyStar site lists CADRS as Dust 308, Smoke 270, and Pollen 361.

This suggests that the 20600 blows stronger than 200 cfm.

Since the high speed noise level at 58 dB is a bit excessive, I rate this machine for a much smaller room, 275 sq ft is generous, since the middle speed puts out only 100 cfm.

This performance is roughly equal to the similarly priced and Euro-available Blueairs.

Also, even the low speed might be a bit noisy for bedtime use - 45 dB.

But notice the wide discrepancy between the Smoke and Pollen CADR numbers - this is a particle focused machine, with little carbon/gas capture to justify the price. Blueair's design had this same issue, they have been forced to add carbon to the product line over time.

Users report very good performance with dust, as advertised, and as expected with this type filter. Less user satisfaction is reported concerning the claim of effectiveness in mold remediation, but mold is a very difficult area for air purifiers due to the continuous nature of the source.

Despite the EnergyStar rating at a minimal 2.2 Dust CADR/Watt, HealthWay 20600 uses a bit of current, with no super economy on low;

High - 125Watts
Medium - 75w
Low - 65w

This electrostatic produces some ozone, "negligible amounts." But some user reviews, referring to the predecessor model Healthway EMF 20600-2 Air Purifier, report the smell;

"Well this device when running on medium smells like I have several photocopiers (which produce ozone) in the room."

With this many issues, especially the low availability at prominent vendors and filter availability issues, I cannot recommend the HealthWays, especially in the lower air cleaner service density of the UK.

Blueair, though not perfect, would be a similar technology and a safer bet.

I spent the year 1965 in London, and remember heavy diesel soot from the many cabs and lorries, I presume it has improved now.

As for a portable, there are few which are small enough and simultaneously powerful enough to do any real good.

For the car, I like the E.L.Foust 160 AN, mentioned in previous posts; Foust car air purifier.

Also see my Amaircare Roomaid Portable Air Purifier Review

Best wishes,

Ed



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