In this review of the Electrolux EAP 150 air purifier, I will take a closer look at the effect of using a HEPA air purifier in your home office, and in the rest of your home.
After using the Electrolux EAP 150 Oxygen Hepa Air Purifier for exactly 2 months I would like to share this review of this brilliant device.
Table of Contents
- How can a true HEPA air purifier benefit your health
- The Electrolux EAP 150 air purifier makes a real difference
- Why did I decide to get an air purifier in the first place
- Why I chose the Electrolux EAP 150 Air Purifier
- Unboxing video
- First impressions
- What´s in the box.
- Different names and functions on different continents
- Operating Panel
- Before you start using the air purifier
- Working impressions
- Noise level
- Perfect air intake and outlet design
- Technical specification summary
How can a true HEPA air purifier benefit your health
Air pollution is mostly beyond your immediate control, even if it comes from your neighborhood. An air purifier offers you a great way to be proactive and re-gain control over your home environment.
A true HEPA air purifier will give you a lot of control over pollutants such as:
- Wood burning smoke
- Cigarette smoke
- Mold spores
- Pollution from traffic
- Industrial pollution
- Construction dust
The Electrolux EAP 150 air purifier makes a real difference
The fact that the Electrolux EAP 150 makes a difference is undeniable. I think the image below speaks for itself. The picture was taken after using the air purifier for exactly two months. Granted, I have used it a lot in order to build a solid foundation for this review. But still. That´s a definite YIKES!
I am not a clean freak but no pig either so this result will probably represent the effect that the average user will experience with the Electrolux EAP 150 HEPA Air Purifier / Electrolux PureOxygen AllergyTM 150 – Allergen.
Related article: Electrolux Air Purifier Oxygen EAP300 Review
Why did I decide to get an air purifier in the first place
I recently moved into a new area where wood burning ovens are commonly used as a heating source or just for comfort. Unfortunately this occasionally results in a rather intense smoke pollution in the neighborhood. I desperately wanted a way to control the quality of the air that I breathe in my home.
Unfortunately these lovely wonders have somehow escaped my attention until now. However, I recently stumbled upon the Electrolux HEPA Air Purifying Series in an Electrolux showroom.
After witnessing the obvious effect of such a device, I regret my ignorance on this topic.
Why I chose the Electrolux EAP 150 Air Purifier
When I started researching available brands and models and I quickly found out that many products do tricks to the air at molecule level. I even found products that manipulated the air in a way that led to introducing ozone into the living environment. How about that? The last time I checked ozone was not particularly healthy!
The larger Electrolux models in the EU and all models on the US market are capable of magic air tricks as well. These air purifiers use a technology called “PlasmawaveTM”. However, the documentation states that this technology does NOT produce harmful ozone gas. (More on this topic later in the article).
Be that as it may. For my home office I wanted a true HEPA air purifier that offered a purely mechanical filter system. By that I mean a basic “air through physical filter” arrangement. This led me to choose the Electrolux EAP 150. This product series offers large area true HEPA filters with a protective carbon pre-filter.
The “Plasmawave” filter stage can be turned of easily though. This knowledge might have influenced my choice in favor of the larger 300 model. Nevertheless, I have been extremely happy with the size and effect of the EAP 150 just the same.
After using the air purifier for 2 months, there is no doubt in my mind that this product has a significant ability to collect all kinds of airborne pollutants.
Fresh out of the box the air purifier feels like a high quality product.
The device is pleasant to handle and the modest all white design is easy on the eyes.
All visible parts are made out of plastic and as such, the device is quite light (5kg / 11lbs). It is easy to lift and move by using the built-in handle on the back. Except for suitcase traveling I will go as far as calling this a portable air purifer.
I was pleasantly surprised to find extra carbon filters to cover a full year.
What´s in the box.
- One true HEPA 13 filter (not washable)
- 4 Cleancel active carbon filters (not washable)
- Filter fixture
- User manual
- And the air purifier of course.
Different names and functions on different continents
When I did my research for this article I learned that for some reason Electrolux differentiates the selection of models available in America and Europe. The advantage goes to the US buyers as you will see below.
Additional functionality on the US version
For reasons beyond my imagination, Electrolux has chosen to make different versions of the Electrolux EAP 150 model. This US model has the following extra features:
- Auto function. This is one of the main things that I have missed on the European model.
- Plasmawave Technology
- Light sensor which automatically initiates sleep mode when it gets dark.
- Plasmawave activity indicator.
- Extra fan speed level. Judging from the DB levels, the extra setting must be in the low to high area to accommodate for the auto function.
The device has a straight forward and easily accessible operating panel.
Air quality sensor
This is the “Nose” of the air purifier. This is also called the Air Quality Sensor. Surely this is a particle sensor based on PPI measurements. (Particles Per Inch).
The sensor determines the amount of particles and aerosols (microscopic droplets). The result is indicated via the air quality display.
Resets the “change filter” indicator after changing the filter.
Auto (US version)
This nifty feature will adjust the fan speed automatically. When the air quality sensor measures an increase or decrease in the surrounding air quality, the fan speed will adjust accordingly.
Air quality indicator
This display indicates the quality of the air with color indication from green to red. The display consists of 5 lights. Two green, two orange and one red level.
Plasmawave indicator (US version)
The back-lit, wave shaped symbol indicates whether the Plasmawave technology is active.
Fan speed control
One button operation used to step through the fan speeds.
Filter change indicator
Indication of when it is time to change the filter.
Before you start using the air purifier
Plasticky factory smell in the beginning
A not so pleasant surprise was a plasticky factory smell when you turn on the air purifier for the first time. I ended up isolating the air cleaner for 3 days running at medium fan speed around the clock. By then the smell had decreased enough for me to start using the air purifier in my home office.
Poorly build filter fixture system
The filters are supposed to be held in place by a narrow plastic frame. For some reason this one is not build to click into place but is supposed to hold itself and the filters in place by fitting tightly into the square socket. However, the frame that I received is slightly bend to a degree that makes it unable to hold the filters in place. They would simply fall out of the socket when I tried to lift the air purifier.
I decided against returning the device and tried to straighten out the filter holder which did not work. I eventually solved the issue by simply attaching one of those little anti-scratch pads (see image below). This keeps the filters snugly in place and replacing the filters is still easy.
Simple to operate
The Electrolux EAP 150 is extremely simple to operate. Basically the only thing you can do wrong with this air purifier is to turn the HEPA filter the wrong way. Nevertheless, this is easy to avoid by noting the arrow sign on the side of the HEPA filter that indicates the direction of the air flow.
The buttons are easy to identify in daylight. However, operating them in the dark is not so easy since they are not back-lit.
The buttons react promptly to a light touch with a brief confirming beep.
The fan speed button works by pressing it repeatedly to step through the fan speed levels. I would have preferred a button per level, but that´s a minor issue.
Air quality sensor and light indicator
The air quality sensor is surprisingly sensitive and is by no means just a gimmick. I have noticed that the air quality sensor does not appreciate moist air or any kind of noticeable smell. If you air out the room on a foggy day the air purifier gets rather angry.
Another time I noticed that the air quality indicator was at peace at the lowest green level, but when I entered the room with a hot pizza it jumped to full red alert.
I suppose this means that a red light does not necessarily mean that your health is at risk. On the other hand, I have experienced a less alerting reaction to a noticeable wood burning smell from the neighborhood which is definitely in the unhealthy category.
To some people, the light indicators might seem somewhat on the bright side when you use the air cleaner at night. It does have a dimming effect on the sleep setting and personally I think the light level is acceptable.
Stress test of the indicator
The other day I created a red level 5 situation in my bedroom by fluffing some pillows and using a perfumed hand lotion to provoke the sensor.
Room size: 30 m3 / 1060 ft3.
It took exactly 18 minutes to go from red 5 (max) to green 1 (min) at fan speed setting “high”. That´s not bad at all.
Apart from removing a considerably amount of unhealthy particles, a HEPA air purifier must do wonders for people with allergies.
I do not suffer from allergies myself, but I have seen many comments and small reviews from people with allergies. Many seem to have experienced improvements in their general well-being by introducing an air purifier in their homes.
The noise level is an important topic, of course. To clarify the testing environment, I don´t have carpets in my house and generally little furniture. I am sure that a fully furnished home with carpeting or some carpets will slice off a couple of decibels.
Most of the time I have had my air purifier set on the lowest setting when I use it in my home office. At that setting it does not call much attention to itself. Apart from the soft sound of moving air there is only a certain humming sound from the motor.
When I use the air purifier without music or other background noise it is clearly audible when you pay attention to it, but it rarely bothers me. When you listen to music, watch TV, cook, or entertain there is no way you will notice the device when it runs on the low setting.
Using it in the quiet of the night is borderline too loud for me. However, I am a lousy sleeper and it may not be a problem for You. The specification claims 26 decibel on the lowest setting.
When you put it into high, there is no ignoring its presence. Somehow it is still not all that unpleasant though because the noise is even and constant. At this level the air purifer handles a handsome volume of air and an orange or red air quality indication is quickly dealt with.
I use this setting when I notice unwanted smells or when I just want to clear out a room before using it. In that respect the added sound level is hardly a problem. Besides, when you need to run it at high speed it helps to know that it is good for your health.
So, use the turbo setting when something is burning and while you wait for the fire department. This little machine can really move some air when you let it!
The noise level increases accordingly with a higher pitched noise. This is no longer pleasant, but since you will only use this setting briefly when you really need to, I find the discomfort to be of little importance.
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Active carbon pre-filter (not washable)
The primary function of this filter is to protect the expensive HEPA filter from the larger particles such as normal dust. When you look at a fresh filter you will notice how coarse it is and wonder how much good it will do. But as we have seen earlier, it has proven to be quite effective.
Apart from being a protective pre-filter, the active carbon filter also to absorb some smells, gasses and organic solvents. Electrolux has added a kind of coating to the filter which they call Cleancel Technology. This material is supposed to prevent the growth of micro organisms in the collected dust and other particles such as; bacteria, fungi and mold.
Somehow I get the feeling that if you would look at a used filter under a microscope you would want to change it every three weeks instead of every three months!
Pre-filter change is recommended for every three months by Electrolux. (Which seems to be appropriate considering the comparison image earlier)
Hepa filter (not washable on this model).
At the core of the Electrolux EAP 150 is the HEPA 13 filter. It has a claimed cleaning effect of 99.97% and should stop particles the size of 0.3 micron and above.
What gets caught in this filter are those nasty fine particles that can go into your lungs and stay there or even go into the blood stream. I appreciate the fact that you can clearly spot a difference on this filter as well.
As you may be able to tell from the image, which was taken after 2 months use, you can detect a slightly more grayish color on the front side of the HEPA filter. However, the active carbon pre-filter has clearly done a good job of protecting it from the worst amounts of dust.
Electrolux recommends HEPA filter change once a year. When you put in the HEPA filter, be aware that it has a black arrow symbol on the side that indicates the airflow direction through the filter.
Read more about HEPA filters here: http://www.webmd.com/allergies/hepa-filters-for-allergies
This is the last filtering stage on devices that offer this technology.
Basically this technology tries to replicate what happens to air molecules in the ionosphere of the earth. However, you should be aware of issues with ozone emission when using Plasmawave and similar technology.
The Plasmawave technology is on by default. It can be turned off by pressing and holding the Auto button for 3 seconds. However, Plasmawave is back ON once the purifier has been turned off.
Perfect air intake and outlet design
Someone has put some serious thought into the airflow design of the Electrolux Air Purifier series. The device is standing on an integrated stand, preventing the device from replacing your vacuum cleaner.
The air intake openings have been scaled to roughly match the fan opening. As a result the air is evenly distributed onto the full filter area. (Note the pre-filter comparison. You can only tell the slightest dust concentration along the edges).
The vertical air outlet reduces floor level turbulence and prevents unnecessary dust whirling.
Technical specification summary
- DB levels. Sound Level (dBa): 26/35/43/52 dB
- Air Volume (CFM): 39/88/138/194
- HEPA 13 filter: CADR rate, 153 m3
- Power Consumption (Watts): 22/28/34
- Energy Star Certififaction
- Swedish Asthma & Allergy Association
- RoHS Compliant
- Air Resource Board – Ozone Omission
Final thoughts of the Electrolux EAP 150 Air Purifier
What I have missed
- Auto function (on the European version)
- Separate fan speed buttons
- Remote control (the absence was clear when I chose this model)
- Extra quiet night setting
- Back-lit power and fan speed buttons
- True HEPA air purifier
- Air intake design distributes the air nicely onto the whole filter area (see comparison image)
- Vertical air outlet
- Noticeable effect on the air quality
- Obvious results
- The ability to run as a purely mechanical filter
- Easy to prepare and operate
- Comes with filters for a full year
- Light and portable
- Nice looking design
- Convincing over all quality feel
- Low power consumption
- Good price vs. performance level
- Poorly designed filter fixture (Is easily fixed as shown earlier)
- No back-light on power and fan speed buttons
- Quiet mode sound level is slightly intrusive at night
- Factory smell in the beginning