GermGuardian is an aptly named brand of air purifiers. In a sense, the GermGuardian air purifiers are your ‘Guardian’ against ‘Germs’. Of at least that’s how they want to present their units.
As we know, pre-filters, HEPA filters, and activated carbon filters don’t really destroy germs; bacteria, and viruses. The main component of all GermGuardian air purifiers is not the HEPA filter; it’s the UV-C light filter.
According to GermGuardian:
UV-C light helps kill airborne viruses such as influenza, staph, rhinovirus.
That’s why we always the upgraded 4-stage filtration system in GermGuardian air cleaners. It needs to be said that GermGuardian is not the No. 1 brand of air purifiers – that honor belongs to the Alen BreatheSmart series of air purifiers.
In this GermGuardian air purifiers review, we review the top 6 GermGuardian models, based on specifications.
Obviously, GermGuardian air purifiers can’t compare to the best air purifiers (you can check the top 9 of them here).
People do find GermGuardian model numbers somewhat confusing because they really look like series numbers.
You can check out the LM ranked list of the best GermGuardian air purifiers here. Below you will find a comparison table, an insight into UV-C filtration and other specs, followed by individual reviews of these 6 GermGuardian models:
- GermGuardian AC4825E (Overall Best GermGuardian Air Purifier)
- GermGuardian AC5900W (Best Large GermGuardian Air Purifier)
- GermGuardian AC5000E (Best Tall GermGuarian Air Purifier)
- GermGuardian AC9200W (Best GermGuardian Air Purifier For Allergies)
- GermGuardian AC5250PT (5-Stage GermGuardian Air Purifier)
- GermGuardian AC4100 (Smallest GermGuardian Air Purifier For Office)
Comparison Of Best GermGuardian Purifiers In 2020
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GermGuardian 3 + 1 Filtration System With UV-Light Filter
They key to how any air purifier works is the filtration system. The most basic one is the 3-stage filtration comprised of pre-filter, activated carbon filter, and HEPA filter.
- Pre-filter captures large airborne particles like pet hair and protects the HEPA filter.
- Activated charcoal filter removes gaseous air pollutants such a odors and cigarette smoke.
- True HEPA filters capture more than 99.97% of the smallest air particles that are 0.3 microns in diameter or bigger. This includes dust mites, pollen, smoke particles, dust, and so on.
GermGuardian, however, does use an additional filter in addition to this already fully-fledged filtration system. You can notice the 4th filter – the one that GermGuardian air purifier are known for – here:
UV-C Light Filter
UV-C Light filter is the very thing that makes the GermGuardian special. In fact, it can only be called ‘Germ’ ‘Guardian’ = ‘Guardian against germs’ because of this filter.
According to GermGuardian, the UV-C Light filter ‘kills airborne germs and viruses’. As we know, ultraviolet light is a 10-400 nanometer wavelength light that’s a degree more powerful than visual light.
UV-C is the strongest part of the UV light spectra. Here’s the germicidal part, as quoted from Wikipedia:
Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is a disinfection method that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet (ultraviolet C or UV-C) light to kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions. UVGI is used in a variety of applications, such as food, air, and water purification.
The GermGuardian UV-C light filter uses the very UVGI that is proven to ‘kill or inactivate microorganisms’ such as bacteria and viruses.
With the UV-C light filter, the GermGuardian’s 4-stage filtration system is complete.
CADR Rating And Room Coverage
With GermGuardian, the germicidal filter is the main focus. However, we have one measure that we can compare all air purifier on, and that’s CADR rating. CADR rating primarily evaluates the efficiency of HEPA filters.
You might notice that most GermGuardian air purifiers are designed for smaller rooms. We can put the in 3 categories:
- Console air purifiers for bigger rooms. Example: GermGuardian AC5900W and GermGuardian AC9200W with 335 sq ft and 338 sq ft coverage area, respectively.
- Tower air purifiers for small rooms. Example: GermGuardian AC4825E, GermGuardian AC5000E, and GermGuardian AC5250PT with 167 sq ft, 161 sq ft, and 180 sq ft coverage area, respectively.
- Desktop air purifiers for the smallest rooms or offices. Example: GermGuardian AC4100 with 78 sq ft coverage area.
The GermGuardian console air purifiers have the highest CADR rating; a bit over 200 for smoke, pollen, and dust CADR. They are more capable of removing small particles from indoor air but they are also more expensive.
Tower air purifiers by GermGuardian are the most popular ones. Then have a 100+ CADR rating.
The smallest desktop GermGuardian air purifiers are very small and have a 50-80 CADR rating.
All the room sizes are calculated with 4 air changes per hour in mind. That means that all air purifiers change all the air in a room of the recommended area every 15 minutes.
With this in mind, let’s look at the best GermGuardian air purifiers:
1. GermGuardian AC4825E Review (Overall Best GermGuardian Air Purifier)
|Coverage Area:||167 sq ft (4 ACH)|
|CADR Rating:||Smoke 108 / Pollen 125 / Dust 118|
|Dimensions:||9 x 5.5 x 22 inches|
The GermGuardian AC4825E is by far the most popular GermGuardian air purifier. In fact, the AC4825E model is one of the most popular air purifiers in general. On Amazon, it has more than 27,000 reviews already. With a 4.6/5 rating, GermGuardian AC4825E just might be the most beloved air purifier by consumers.
What’s really important is the inclusion of a UV-C light filter for germs and the specs. AC4825E is a tower model designed for a recommended coverage area of about 167 sq ft.
It has a decent CADR rating for a small-medium sized air purifier. GermGuardian AC4825E pushes all the air in the 167 sq ft room through the HEPA filter every 15 minutes (4 air changes per hour). This yields a smoke CADR rating of 108, pollen CADR rating of 125, and dust CADR rating of 118.
The true secret to immense GermGuardian success is twofold:
- UV-C light filter bulb, powered by 55 Watts, created the germicidal UV-C light.
- Very low price for a 4-stage air purifier.
The price is just outrageous. It’s probably the main reason, alongside the reliably operation, for the popularity of the GermGuardian AC4825E air purifier. It’s a tremendous air purifier that costs less than $100.
2. GermGuardian AC5900W Review (Best Large GermGuardian Air Purifier)
|Coverage Area:||338 sq ft (4 ACH)|
|CADR Rating:||Smoke 218 / Pollen 215 / Dust 220|
|Dimensions:||9.7 x 16 x 20.9 inches|
For larger rooms, the GermGuardian AC5900W is more appropriate than the AC4825E. It’s a console-like large room GermGuardian purifier with a 338 sq ft recommended coverage area.
The CADR ratings alone are amazing for a GermGuardian air purifier. Every one – smoke, pollen, and dust CADR rating – crosses the 200 barrier. That just means that the HEPA filter is doing what it’s supposed to be doing; removing more than 99.97% of the smallest particles down to 0.3 microns in size.
The true value of all GermGuardian air purifiers, including the AC5900W model, is the germicidal UV-C light filter. With that, the GermGuardian is considered a ‘Powerful machine with noticeable effects’, as put by one GermGuardian AC5900W reviewer.
200+ CADR rating are purifiers tend to be more expensive simply because they are bigger and have higher air purification performance. However, even with the UV-C light filter, the GermGuardian AC5900W costs less than $300. For comparison, another germicidal air purifier – the Molekule Air – costs $700.
All in all, the AC5900W is the best inexpensive large room GermGuardian air purifier.
3. GermGuardian AC5000E Review (Tallest GermGuarian Air Purifier)
|Coverage Area:||161 sq ft (4 ACH)|
|CADR Rating:||Smoke 116 / Pollen 128 / Dust 123|
|Dimensions:||9 x 12.5 x 29.3 inches|
GermGuardian AC5000E almost 30-inch tall models with 4 fan speeds. It has a 4-stage filtration system that consists of:
- Pre-filter for larger particles.
- Charcoal filter that absorbs undesirable odors.
- HEPA filter that removes small particles, like dust, pollen, smoke particles, mold, dust mites, and so on.
- UV-C filter that is germicidal, and destroys bacteria and certain viruses.
At the highest fan speed setting, the GermGuardian AC5000E can change the air in a 161 sq ft room every 15 minutes. That means it has 4 air changes per minute; more than Alen BreatheSmart units (2 ACH) but less than Honeywell air purifiers (5 ACH).
However, none of those air purifiers includes the GermGuardian AC5000E’s UV-C light filter that can create powerful UV light.
All in all, GermGuardian AC5000E is a decent small room air purifier that also uses the germicidal UV-C light filters.
4. GermGuardian AC9200W Review (Best GermGuardian Air Purifier For Allergies)
|Coverage Area:||335 sq ft (4 ACH)|
|CADR Rating:||Smoke 216 / Pollen 265 / Dust 216|
|Dimensions:||9.8 x 17 x 27 inches|
By all accounts, the AC9200W is the most impressive GermGuardian model. It’s specifically designed for people who suffer from allergies, like asthma and pollen allergies. Here’s the 2 reason why:
- Obviously, the germicidal UV-C light filter destroying bacteria and certain viruses is characteristic GermGuardian filtration.
- Highest pollen CADR rating of 265. Pollen CADR is a good indicator of a number of other allergies that can be influenced by high indoor air pollution.
In fact, the AC9200W has the highest pollen CADR rating of all the GermGuardian air purifiers. That means that it does a very good job capturing even the smallest airborne allergens that might cause problems.
With a 335 sq ft recommended coverage area at 4 ACH, the AC9200W makes a significant positive impact on the indoor air quality.
With such amazing specs, why the AC9200W is not the top-rated GermGuardian model?
Solemnly because of the price. Allergy-friendly and high CADR air purifiers are expensive. AC9200W has a price tag of less than $500. As such is more inexpensive than comparable units such as Airdog X5 or Molekule Air, but it’s still more expensive than most of the GermGuardian models.
5. GermGuardian AC5250PT Review (5-Stage GermGuardian Air Purifier For Pets)
|Coverage Area:||180 sq ft (4 ACH)|
|CADR Rating:||Smoke 116 / Pollen 128 / Dust 123|
|Dimensions:||12 x 9 x 29.3 inches|
AC5250PT is the only GermGuardian model with 5-stage filtration. As you can see from the model name – GermGuardian air purifiers admittedly have confusing names – the ‘PT’ there stands for ‘Pets’. Like, dogs and cats, for example.
Pets and dogs are the very reason for the 5-stage filtration. As you know, pets do create quite a lot of fluff and pet dander which can overwhelm the pre-filter. That’s why the AC5250PT has the 5th filter; the pet pre-filter, designed to capture larger hair that customarily comes with having a pet at home.
Of course, as with every GermGuardian air purifier, you also get the UV-C light filter. Additionally, the AC5250PT is one of the few models that have 5 fan speed settings.
It’s quite tall and lightweight; that can cause a problem. It might not be very stable, especially if your dog wants to have to leap onto the air purifier.
All in all, the AC5250PT is quite fantastic; 5-stage filtration, 5 fan speed settings, and an affordable price for a UV-C light filter-based air purifier.
6. GermGuardian AC4100 Review (Smallest GermGuardian Air Purifier For Office)
|Coverage Area:||78 sq ft (4 ACH)|
|CADR Rating:||Smoke 50 / Pollen 76 / Dust 56|
|Dimensions:||7.5 x 6.5 x 11 inches|
AC4100 is the little tiny air purifier to put on a desk. That makes the best office air purifier, especially if you (unfortunately) work in a cubicle.
Here are the specs: the GermGuardian AC4100 is designed to cover about 78 sq ft area. If you put it on a desk, it will continuously increase the air quality. Special bonus: the AC4100 has quite an appealing design.
Of course, it’s not powerful enough to remove dust particles in a big room.
It weighs about 5 lbs which makes it very portable. All in all, a neat air purifier for the office.
Comparison Of GermGuardian Air Purifiers VS Other Air Purifier Brands
It’s hard to compare GermGuardian air purifier with some units from other well-known brands. The reason is simple:
GermGuardian is quite specific in having the UV-C light filter. Most of the other brands don’t have that; they either employ the standard HEPA-based filtration system or have an innovative tech that deals with germs.
Nonetheless, let’s see what happens when we do the comparison:
GermGuardian VS Dyson
If you compare Dyson vs GermGuardian air purifiers, the Dyson units undoubtedly have a higher maximal airflow. However, Dyson doesn’t reveal the CADR ratings; the truly essential specification for air purifiers.
Nor do Dyson air purifiers come with UV-C light filters. Both GermGuardian and Dyson units have HEPA filters but only GermGuardian has the germicidal filters.
If you’re looking for a feature-heavy air purifier that can serve as a cooler as well as a heater, you should choose between Dyson Pure Hot+Cool HP01, HP02, and HP04 units.
If, however, you’re looking at an air purifier that is also capable to deal with germs, go with GermGuardian units.
Molekule VS GermGuardian
Molekule vs GermGuardian is an interesting comparison. GermGuardian uses a UV-C filter to fight germs; a standard method.
On the other hand, Molekule uses NASA-level PECO technology to fry bacteria and certain viruses. It’s an innovative technology that seems to be working great but it does come with the new tech price tag.
Between the Molekule vs GermGuardian, the Molekule Air is certainly the better air purifier. What needs to be taken into account, however, is the cost. Molekule Air costs about $700 while most GermGuardian air purifiers are priced under $300.
Winix VS GermGuardian
Winix are the basic HEPA air purifiers. They perform very well, have decent CADR ratings, and are reliable. In fact, the CADR ratings they have, as the result of their HEPA filters, are better than the GermGuardian ones.
However, if you compare GermGuardian vs. Winix air purifiers head-to-head, you see that Winix doesn’t have a specialized filter against germs. GermGuardian has one; it’s its most important filter.
The bottom line is this:
If you want are looking for a small particle air purifier, the Winix is the better choice.
However, if you’re concerned about germs, and out like to filter them out of your indoor air, the GermGuardian units are better equipped for that task.
GermGuardian VS Coway
Coway vs GermGuardian is a similar story to GermGuardian vs Winix. With quite a big exception, of course: Coway air purifiers are one of the best performing HEPA air purifiers. They have, in comparison, much higher CADR ratings than Winix air purifiers, for example.
Nonetheless, Coway units have the same weakness when compared to GermGuardian: No specific germicidal filter.
The Coway performance, however, is so exceptional that in most cases choosing a Coway air purifier is the sensible thing to do.
GermGuardian Air Purifiers FAQ
The specifics of the UV-C light filter do raise quite a number of questions. Here LM answers the most common ones:
Is GermGuardian A Good Air Purifier?
In terms of being a classic air purifier, the GermGuardian is not the most brilliant brand. Blueair and Coway air purifiers, for example, have higher CADR ratings.
However, GermGuardian has something that most air purifier brands can’t offer: The UV-C light filter. The UV-C light is reportedly germicidal and the use of such GermGuardian filters is targeted at destroying germs. Namely, bacteria and certain viruses.
In that sense, GermGuardian does create quite good air purifiers.
Are GermGuardian Filters Washable?
GermGuardian filters are not washable. A great majority of filters that go in air purifiers – including the ones used by GermGuardian units – are not washable.
HEPA filters, for example, are notoriously unwashable and need to be replaced regularly once, twice or even three times per year.
However, the main GermGuardian UV-C filter doesn’t need to be washed. It’s a permanent filter. That means you don’t have extra expenses with replacement filters which is always a plus.
How Long Do GermGuardian Filters Last?
GermGuardian’s activated carbon filters last about 3-6 months and HEPA filters last about 6 months. Both of these need to be changed regularly in order to ensure the high performance of all GermGuardian air purifiers.
The good thing is that the main filter – the germicidal UV-C light filter – doesn’t need to be replaced. The activated carbon filter costs something like $10, the HEPA filter costs $20, but the replacement UV-C light filter with the 55 Watts UV-C bulb would be beyond $100. That’s quite a fortune that you don’t have to replace that last one.
If you have any questions about GermGuardian air purifiers, you can pose it in the questions below and we’ll try our best to help you out.