The Holmes brand was introduced in 1982.
Holmes air purifiers are lower-market models found at big box retail outlets, notably Wal-Mart, Target, and Bed, Bath and Beyond.
These department store air purifiers are second in the entry-level market segment to the Honeywell brand, but retain significant market penetration.
In 2005, Jarden Corporation bought The Holmes Group brands, including Bionaire and Holmes air purifiers, along with other housewares labels.
With other acquisitions, Jarden has a global portfolio of over 100 brands.
Jarden Corporation stock is publicly traded (JAH - NYSE) and a member of the Fortune 500.
Jarden's main corporate office in Rye, N.Y., coordinates the activities of over 25,000 employees worldwide.
Holmes air purifiers are sold through Jarden Consumer Solutions (JCS).
The Holmes brand air purifiers do an acceptable job of air purification, when used in small enough installed spaces.
However, Holmes air purifiers are sold using a "razor and blades" marketing model.
A recent well-publicized example was the low-priced inkjet printer, which sometimes sold for less than the frequently-needed replacement ink cartridges.
The purifiers are sold at competitive prices, to naive first-purifier buyers who have not thought ahead to the long-term costs of ownership of a Holmes.
The loss-leader air purifiers then generate a continuous revenue stream from high margin consumables - replacement filters.
Jarden has been very successful with the brand-turnaround strategy, doing $1.74 billion in sales in the fourth quarter of 2011.
These Made-in-China Holmes air purifiers have numerous quality control issues - buyers must retain proof-of-purchase and register with Jarden to get warranty coverage.
On lower-priced Holmes models, shipping costs often outweigh benefits of warranty claims.
Buyers at this level could also consider the Honeywells, which outsell the Holmes air cleaners.
The main advantage of choosing Holmes is replacement filter security.
Holmes air purifiers use a modular filter arrangement.
One style of filter fits a series of air purifiers, which may include Bionaire models, doubling, tripling, or quadrupling the same filter to fit each successive air purifier.
Gaps where two filters join are generally hard to seal well, especially when inexperienced users must install the filters infrequently.
These gaps often allow unfiltered air to pass through the air purifier.
Weak prefiltering allows large dust to clog HEPA filters quickly in the Holmes and Bionaire air purifiers.
Buyers should know the substantial difference in filtering performance between true-HEPA and HEPA-type air purifiers.
True HEPA filters capture 99.97% of .3 micron particles. Typical HEPA-type filters may be rated for particle sizes many times larger, to 2.0 microns.
Note that 2.0 micron filters can be very beneficial to pollen and mold allergy sufferers because pollen and mold spores are big enough to be captured by the HEPA-like filter.
Folks with smaller allergy triggers or smoke will often be less satisfied with the Holmes HEPA-type air purifiers.
HEPA-type filters, and true-HEPAs installed too loosely, will allow fine particles to build-up inside the air purifier, making it a polluter.
To prevent this, buyers should plan on cleaning the interior of the air purifier about every six months.
Holmes purifiers have higher than average ozone emissions, electromagnetic fields (EMFs), noise, and break-in odors.
Holmes air purifier brief reviews are listed below in order of Amazon.com sales rank.
Where there is a full length review, it is linked.
No Holmes products appear on the current AHAM Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) list, so CADRs quoted below are from manufacturer and vendor pages.
"Holmes® HAP726-U True HEPA Allergen Remover for Medium to Large Rooms" looks just like its bigger brother HAP-756U.
CADR are as follows:
Tobacco Smoke 168,
The advertised room size is "to 256 sq. ft."
Like all room size ratings based on 24/7 top speed operation, this is far too big.
I recommend HAP726-U for 170 square feet, where it will provide clean air when run on noisy high speed much of the time.
Those who plan to operate the HAP726U on quieter speeds should downsize the installed space accordingly.
726U is a true-HEPA using two standard HAPF600D filters set side by side.
Odor removal is supplied by an Arm & Hammer baking soda prefilter.
Replacement filters are widely available, and are needed at least once a year - much more
frequently in smoke/pet/odor situations.
You can see the Holmes HAP726-U
Holmes HAP756U is the bigger brother to HAP726U - photos look identical, until both Holmes purifiers are photographed together.
HAP756U is advertised as AHAM CADR-rated at 270, with a recommended room size of 418 sq. ft.
That 270 is a decent CADR, but the room size is based on continuous high speed operation, impossible without earplugs, which some user reviews admit to using.
I recommend 260 square feet as the largest installed space for Holmes HAP756-U.
756U needs three HEPA replacement filters, at least once annually.
You can browse the Holmes® HAP756-U True HEPA Allergen Remover
HAP-242 has been around for many years in essentially the same compact and portable form.
Holmes HAP-242-UC carries a loosely-mounted 2.0 micron HEPA-type filter.
I have four of the ever-popular entry-level Holmeses. I use them with modified filter trains to collect large dust only.
HAP242-UC's AHAM-certified CADRs are;
Official room size rating is room size to 109 square feet, too big as always.
Browse the Holmes HAP242-UC HEPA-type Desktop Air Purifier at Amazon.com.
HAP412N-U is a small "tower" air purifier with a HEPA-Type filter.
A three-speed fan and user-controllable ionizer round out the picture.
Advertised for rooms up to 120 sq. ft., based on a Smoke CADR of 76, Holmes HAP412N-U has a filter using Arm & Hammer Baking Soda for odor removal.
Manufacturer recommendations call for main filter changes every 3-4 months.
User reviews are generally favorable, but many notice that running the ionizer function can generate black soot on light colored objects near the HAP412N-U.
Several user reviews say that no dust ever accumulates on the HEPA-type filter.
Holmes HAP412N-U is poorly sealed, but these users most likely have the filter installed improperly, allowing air leakage past the filter.
They can ship from the factory with a misaligned filter, so users should check for tight filter seating.
Weighing just 9 pounds, and measuring 15.7" x 11.5" x 8.2," HAP412N-U is conveniently portable.
The smaller footprint of the tower adapts well to personal space, like a small office or work cubicle.
Check out the Holmes® HAP412N-U
HAP9412B-U Small Room air purifier has three speed settings. It is sold as suitable for rooms as big as 110 sq ft., based on advertised CADR of 70.
I recommend HAP9412B-U for a maximum of 65 square feet, best for an office cubicle.
A washable foam prefilter precedes the HEPA-type filter which captures 99% of particles as small as 2.0 microns.
The filter is fortified with Arm & Hammer® baking soda for odor reduction.
An optional negative ionizer is user-controlled.
HAP9412B-U's filter life monitor runs approximately four months before flashing to prompt users to change the HEPA-type filter.
Measuring 8.9 x 8.5 x 17.7 inches and weighing under seven pounds, the pyramid-styled HAP9412B-U can fit in to tight spaces and won't disrupt decor.
You can find the Holmes HAP9412B-U at Amazon
Holmes® HAP424-U has two vertically stacked 2.0 micron HEPA-type filters wrapped in an attractive tower style case.
Three speed settings and a Smoke CADR of 116 yield an official room size rating of 180 square feet.
I like it for 110 square feet, tops.
HAP424-U also has the baking soda deodorizer.
HAP424-U will need two HAPF30 replacement filters approximately every four months.
The tower weighs 11.4 pounds, making it easy to transport.
At 26.6 inches tall, and a base of 9.5 by 6.5 inches, Holmes HAP424-U may be too tall for bookshelf installations.
A larger percentage of user reviews mention noise, as compared
to other Holmes purifiers on this page. I think this is primarily due to the higher power of the HAP424-Us.
You can find Holmes HAP424-U at Amazon.com