Honeywell Air Purifier: Enviracaire IFD

Enviracaire 60001 $200 to $220

NOTE - This model is superseeded, see Honeywell HFD series and AirGenius models

Honeywell 60001 Enviracaire air purifier is no longer on Honeywell's website, but is widely shown available on the web. Several models using the IFD filter are still actively marketed.

The Honeywell Germicidal IFD HFD-130 Air Purifier is the nearly identical current version.

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to be an engineer designing air purifiers today.

Every day they live between the rock of air cleaning efficiency and the hard place of consumer demand for quiet, filterless, maintenance free, inexpensive air cleaners.

They must build an air cleaner that moves enough air to clean a typical room, score high on CADR tests, but not allow too much bypassing.

The design cannot be so loose that consumers notice low efficiency.

This is nearly impossible, but don't forget the room air purifiers must sell under $200.

The Honeywell Enviracare IFD, with no replacement filters to buy, is the result of one such effort.

I have direct experience with the IFD, installed in my son's Houston apartment for a couple years.

With 6 reviews averaging 3 stars at Amazon.com, there is mostly negative user feedback.

Consumer reports ranked this AHAM certified Honeywell 16 of 30 in the 10/2005 tests.

The Honeywell permanent IFD (Intelligent Filter Design) filters never need replacement.

There is a cleverly designed collector grid inside the Honeywell electrostatic air cleaner.

The Enviracare air purifier consists of a polyester foam prefilter, a charging plate which ionizes particles in the air stream, and the honeycomb-like collection grid, which slides out like a drawer for easy cleaning.

Honeywell Enviracaire 60001 is marketed with confusing claims: what exactly is "98% HEPA" performance?

Especially when there is no HEPA anything on the Enviracaire machine.

Despite my criticism of AHAM, CADRs are very helpful here; Dust 140, Tobacco Smoke 145, and Pollen 130.

A bit weak.

Enviracare>

</p><p>Recommended room size is 227 sq. ft. for 6 air changes per hour. 

</p><p>These air purifiers
are claimed to capture (not eliminate) a wide variety of particulate matter; tobacco smoke,
 mold, pollen, pet dander, and dust. 

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Honeywell electronic air purifier controls include 3 cleaning levels, a programmable 10 hour timer, and a filter monitor.

The monitor is a timer, but it doesn't reset on our unit.

Filter restriction would be difficult to measure with this open grid.

Honeywell Enviracare is fairly quiet, but with those anemic CADR's it should be.

Low 35dB(A), middle 45dB(A) and high 55dB(A) are acceptable noise levels.

I have slept with the IFD 60001 running, it is quiet.

Stylish and compact, the Honeywell air purifier measures 14" x 10" x 23" and weighs only 13 lbs.

60001 is Energy Star certified, but energy consumption is a bit high for the limited power: 50/100/150 Watts.

This electronic air purifier comes with a 5 year limited warranty.

Enviracaire air purifiers: Bypassing

The Honeywell IFD filter is easy to vacuum, but many consumers will not be able to keep it clean.

My son is a busy executive, he lived close to a freeway in the diesel soot capital of the presently explored universe (Houston).

Modern HVAC systems inhale about 50% of the air they provide from the outside.

This is a good thing as far as indoor air is concerned, as long as outdoor air is cleaner.

His lifestyle includes candles and incense, a large white haired Siberian Husky, and his girlfriend's cat.

Add a 75 cent furnace filter my son won't replace because it's the landlord's responsibility, and you have the picture. Think thick soot, everywhere.

The rarely vacuumed 775 square foot apartment is a world class room air cleaner test track.

Even my college age boys sleep poorly there.

But the addition of the Honeywell Enviracaire has made it easier for several family members to survive overnight in the "bat cave."

Naturally the Honeywell had run for two years without being cleaned when I showed up for the weekend.

So I tried to gently prod my fine young man about cleaning the Enviracaire 60001, and we took it apart to vacuum the grid.

See for yourself - the red arrow shows where dark, sooty airborne particles have slipped by outside the purifier air collector grid and stained the mounting box.

Honeywell Envircaire Soot Buildup
honeywell enviracare



Purifier air exhaust will contain many of these particles.

Here the red arrows point out finger smudges where I wiped dust which has bypassed the grid and accumulated on the fan and case.

This is a reservoir of fine particles which make the air purifier an air polluter.

Very frequent cleaning is required with this air cleaner to prevent particle buildup.

A majority of the Amazon reviews recount negative experiences with the Honeywell IFD unit.

"need to replace the IFD filter due to the accumulation of nicotine on it and can not find one anywhere"

"tobacco smoke odor was still there and you could still see the dust particles floating in the beam of sunlight from the window"

"so much ozone not accumulated any significant dust"

"I opened the box was that this filter smells! It smelled with acetone plastic glue that I had to run it for a week on the balcony in order for this glue smell to go away."

Honeywell 60001 Enviracare rating

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: 5 of 10, ozone is low, but some smell it, glue used in assembly.

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

Score: 5 of 10

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

Score: 6 of 10, will bypass even when collector grid is clean.

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

Score: 10 of 10

5. Air purifying machine has long filter life, low maintenance requirements, and reasonable operating costs.

Score: 8 of 10, I don’t agree with the “low maintenance” label for any electrostatic cleaner.

6. Air purification unit produces low noise levels and meaningful air flow rates relative to noise.

Score: 7 of 10, quiet, but not much real airflow.

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

Score: 9 of 10, 5 year warranty long for price range.

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

Score: 7 of 10, less value than a Honeywell Enviracare HEPA air purifier.

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

Score: 9 of 10.

10. Purifier is stylish, portable, comfortable, and convenient for consumer use.

Score: 8 of 10, stylish, light.

Enviracaire IFD 60001 air cleaner rating: 72

Better than the "Breeze" for half the price, but I recommend the equally priced much stronger Honeywell Enviracaire 50250, a 14" HEPA model.

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