Honeywell 50250S Air Purifier Review

50250S Honeywell air purifier, $170.00 to $200.00

Universal Carbon Prefilter HRF-AP1 (was #38002): $15, replaced every 3 months

HEPA filter pack: 3 filters and 3 spacers. Honeywell 50250S requires 3.

Honeywell 50250S is the latest designation in a series of 50250 air purifiers.

Honeywell offered a "LifeTime HEPA" Filter a couple years back, the 50250N.

It used a filter designed with a new weave that allowed for a protective barrier and vacuum-ability.

I have carefully vacuumed HEPAs for many years.

It turned out, predictably, that so-called "Permanent HEPA" filters needed to be replaced eventually.

Lifetime was a brand name, not a guarantee.

After that marketing plan had run its course, the pretense of never having to buy filters, which lures in so many naive buyers, was dropped.

The current model, 50250S, has "long lasting" HEPA filters.

Honeywell 50250, the company's highest powered HEPA air purifier, has persisted in a crowded market where many have failed. honeywell 50250 air purifier

Economy, durability, and an average Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) of 250 are some of the reasons.

These CADRs yield a very respectable CADR/$ ratio: a lot of power for the money.

AHAM certified for air cleaning in rooms to 370 square feet, this Honeywell air purifier was ranked fourth in Consumer Reports 2005 study.

Several hundred buyer reviews at rate it "4 stars."

I have one of the older 14 inch Honeywell purifiers, with lots of "miles" on it.

I like this workhorse, it picks up lots and lots of airborne particles I don't get to breathe.

It will clear a room of dust quickly.

At the peak of the air purifier market, back in 2005, Honeywell had a long list of 5000-series models. Now there are just four, the 50100, 50150, 50200, and 50250.

The last three digits of the model number is the Honeywell air purifiers CADR rating.

There is also the 50255-HD, a 50250S molded in black, and marketed exclusively through Home Depot.

Big HEPA Filtration

It's made of thick, strong plastic, and sealed shut by a bolt about 1/2 inch by 5 inch.

Far too many inexpensive HEPA air purification devices are built of multiple pieces, with cracks and seams that leak.

Some air purifying machines in this price range are designed to hold the filter in place by suction from the fan.

This allows filters to slip and impure air to bypass, lowering purification efficiency in the finer particle sizes, and filling the interior of the unit with fine particles.

Bypassing? Yes, but not too much on Honeywell 50250 air purifiers.

Check out the photos as I unscrew the retaining bolt using the big black handle and vacuum the prefilter - showing much accumulated dust. honeywell air purifier honeywell prefilter

There is very little telltale fine dust streaking anywhere around the black rubber seal: not a lot of bypassing air!

Now let's inspect the inside for accumulated fine particle dust.

This purifier has never been cleaned inside and cannot be told from new!

This is unusual in the price class, and for a Honeywell.

Many air cleaners in the under-$200 area will accumulate fine particles inside the air cleaner body.

The red arrows show where thin films of fine dust would build up in a bypassing HEPA air purifier. The Honeywell air purifier has none.

Honeywell 50250 Noise

What isn't so nice is the noise Honeywell 50250 makes: it's pretty loud.

50250's Noise spec is 35/45/57 dB(A), but this seems understated.

I use this unit in the living room, it sits five feet behind me running on middle speed as I write this. Fine.

It runs full blast every night: I don't have a speck of dust anywhere, even stuck to my TV screen. Great.

But I rarely use it in the bedroom, for it's a little loud for me to sleep with, even on low.

Honeywell 50250 is not so great for lite sleepers.

My IQAir runs in the bedroom, doing 35dB(A) on low, by its side is the incredibly quiet Sharp Plasmacluster KC-C150U, which has lights to remind me it is running.

Some Honeywell users report vibrations in their 50250 purifiers, in addition to the noise.

This is more of an issue where the air cleaner sits on a hardwood floor.

Out of round and unbalanced circular fans, a perennial issue on lower priced machines, are the culprit.

Newer models have a bright blue light which can degrade sleep quality.

Honeywell 50250 Filter Monitoring

The Intelli-Check electronic filter monitor has red lights to alert you when the HEPA filter is dirty or the pre-filter should be replaced.

As you saw, I just vacuum the filters and put them back, so I am ignoring the prefilter lite.

I am not relying on this thin carbon prefilter for odor or gas toxin control, so I don't replace it every three months.

Expected filter life remaining is expressed in a sequence of light flashes when you press the appropriate filter monitor button.

When a light stays on, the time has come to change the prefilter or vacuum the HEPA.

With these inexpensive carbon-impregnated prefilters, I use scotch tape to seal the edges so no larger particles get into the HEPA filter.

Many consumers could save money by understanding the critical role of prefiltration in extending main HEPA filter life.

Using upward circulation, the Honeywell air purifier's round design offers 360 degree filtration, which I consider preferable to narrow, drafty exhaust manifolds.

Honeywell 50250 is pretty large, and needs to sit three feet away from the wall.

Power consumption for each speed is 50 watts on low, 120 watts on medium, and 170 watts on high.

This is NOT energy star performance: "costs as much to run as two light bulbs".

Some users in warm climates have noticed the additional heat the air purifier adds in summer.

And those in northern latitudes notice the cold air circulated off the floor in winter.

The 50250S measures 17.75 inches wide, 19 inches deep, and 17.75 inches high.

A center handle and circular shape make it easy to move the 21 lb. 50250 Honeywell.

Honeywell offers a 5 year limited warranty covering defects in material or workmanship, filters excluded.

For the first few days after purchase this purifier may produce a "burning rubber" or "plastic" odor in the air.

honeywell 50250 air purifier

Honeywell 50250S air purifiers are no longer made in the USA.

Interestingly, Mexico got the contract, not China.

But the border-crossing has resulted in some quality slippage.

50250 has no real VOC gas toxin capability, but can provide effective, reliable, particulate removal for those on a tight budget.

Look out for older designs "on sale" in the low to mid $100s, and beware questionable online vendors.

Complaints also abound of returns and damaged units sold as new, pre-filters removed and sold separately, and high charges for returns.

Honeywell 50250-S Air Purifier is available at

Air-Purifier-Power Rating: 77

Each of ten factors gets up to 10 points, 100 is perfect and very unlikely.

1. First do no harm; minimal out gassing, no ozone.

Score: 8 of 10.

2. Serious gas and odor purification is a requirement if health benefits are expected: Air purifiers with real carbon VOC capability rank higher.

Score: 3 of 10

3. Quality construction; case, gaskets, seals, and precision fitting eliminate bypassing and assure high efficiency at filtering airborne sub-micron particles.

Score: 10 of 10

4. The design maximizes the lifespan of each air cleaning stage by allowing independent filter replacement. Ideally this is combined with electronic filter monitoring.

Score: 9 of 10

5. Cleaner has long filter life, low maintenance requirements, and reasonable operating costs.

Score: 9 of 10, "lifetime" air filter

6. Purifier produces low noise levels and meaningful airflow rates relative to noise.

Score: 7 of 10, Honeywell air purifier is loud on high, but does good air purifying relative to noise.

7. Manufacturer has a track record, with many air filtration units in the field and a reputation for supporting what they sell. Warranty period and average service life are long.

Score: 7 of 10, 5-year warranty long for price range, but Kaz requires buyers to pay shipping to Memphis, plus a fee to process warranty claims.

8. Purifier is a value in terms of price/performance ratio. Every price range should be included, “purifiers above $1,200 are best”, while true, is not useful to most consumers.

Score: 9 of 10, value.

9. No dirt; purifiers and manufacturer should be clean of class-action suits, high returns, recalls, consumer complaints, and legitimate negative consumer reviews.

Score: 8 of 10, Kaz, Inc.

10. Air cleaners are stylish, portable, comfortable, and convenient for consumer use.

Score: 7 of 10,

Air-Purifier-Power Numeric Rating; 77, value.


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