After seeing Alen BreatheSmart 45i in action and finding how well it performs, I wanted to step up the game and have a look at one of the higher models from Alen. So for this review, we invested in the highly recommended BreatheSmart 75i.
Boasting a coverage area of 1300 sq.ft, I knew I had to find a larger test area. So, with my huge box in hand, I traveled to my parent’s home to see if the 75i is as good as its recommendations.
- RECOMMENDED FOR: Dust, allergens, pollen, fur, pet dander, household odors PLUS smoke from cigarettes, wildfires, and VOC fumes from chemicals and aerosol sprays. Perfect for large rooms, offices, schools and open spaces.
- B7-FRESH FILTER: Has 3.6lbs of activated carbon to absorb smoke and toxic smells to help prevent respiratory issues.
- TRUE HEPA: Includes a Medical Grade H13 True HEPA layer that captures 99.99% bacteria, aerosolized viruses, and airborne particles larger than 0.1 micron. Includes a vacuumable prefilter to help increase filter life.
- 5 AIR QUALITY COLORS: A Laser Smart Sensor detects airborne particles and auto-adjusts with air quality changes. Blue = Excellent, Green = Good, Orange = Fair, Red = Poor, Purple = Bad air quality (high levels of particles).
- QUIETLY POWERFUL: Cleans 1300 SqFt every 30 minutes and captures airborne pollutants fast. Perfectly tuned to generate soothing pink noise - a frequency to help you sleep up to better.
As this is their first time operating an air purifier in their house, I knew the 75i had something to prove. Firstly, if the unit would clean the air in their living room and secondly if they would notice the difference.
The 75i boasts a CADR of 347 in rooms up to 1,300 sq. ft. so this shouldn’t be a problem in their modest home.
In the interest of all fairness and science, I didn’t want to sway their view with my knowledge of this unit and experience of the 45i. So I left the unit with them to make up their own minds.
Here’s what my Pop had to say after a week:
We have recently replaced all of the soft furnishings, carpets, curtains and just about everything else. It all looks very nice but I fear that we have let loose a whole new set of airborne mischief. Our living room runs from front to back with a busy kitchen in the corner. The kitchen contains all manner of implements, foodstuffs, various containers, and recycling bins. If you add in a chef who graduated from the ‘crash, bang, wallop’ cookery school (me), you can see the potential for a particle problem.
Now, I freely admit to being a bit of a technophobe with an aversion to instruction manuals (I’m the same with maps). My buying criteria for new ‘tech’ is pretty simple – it has to be effective, affordable, and easy to operate.
My somewhat basic research revealed that the Alen BreatheSmart 75i captures dust, allergens, and airborne pollutants down to a vanishingly small 0.1 microns. As a recent study (published by the University of Portsmouth) suggested that the average person may be inhaling up to 7000 pollutants of up to 10 microns per day, the Alen spec looked good to me.
Perhaps we didn’t fully take on board the dimensions of the unit when we agreed to test it. As Daniel staggered up the driveway with a very large box we knew instantly that our air purifier was not going to sit anonymously in a corner. There is no getting away from it – it is big! (I am reminded of a very large suitcase packed to the brim for the summer vacation).
Even though it is a large unit, there are wheels on the back which made moving it to the correct spot in the house simple. There is also a handle on the back but I would advise using this to tilt and roll the Alen instead of lifting it completely.
On the top of the unit is an easy to reach ‘capacitive’ control panel which requires a light touch only. It couldn’t be simpler to operate. The power button is surrounded by a color ring which gives a visual guide to the air quality being measured by the particle sensor. There are a total of five colors with blue for very low levels of pollutants, through to purple for very significant levels.
There are five speeds to choose from, from one (sleepy time) to turbo (the dog has farted).
My favorite feature so far is auto mode. With one click of the button and the 75i uses its SmartSensor to measure the quality of the air then it will change its fan speed to accommodate. We opted for this mode most of the time as you can actually see it working. As soon as we opened the kitchen door when I was cooking, the color indicator changed and you hear the fan speed up. I wasn’t sure if that was a thumbs up or a thumbs down to my culinary skills.
There is an ionizer button for enhanced particle attraction which can be switched on/off as desired. The condition of the filter is also displayed on the control panel, green for OK, yellow (time to order a new one), and red (time to install it).
Adding that to a timer button which allows for a pre-set run time of 2, 4, or 12 hours and a child lock then you’ve pretty much got all bases covered.
I’ve been looking at a few different brands of air purifiers to familiarize myself and found that pretty much the standard in all purifiers worth looking at is a HEPA filter combined with activated carbon. Alen also uses this technology but then takes it to the next level.
They have what they call True HEPA (H13) filters. These will remove 99.99% of airborne contaminants down to 0.1 microns. Basically, for us non-scientists out there, the filter captures those teeny tiny airborne particles that we don’t want breathing into our lungs.
The filter comes as one unit which was extremely easy to install and replace. Simply remove the front panel (which is held on by magnets so no need to unscrew anything) and insert. Make sure it’s the right way round as I made that mistake.
For the 75i, you can choose from three different filters to suit your needs.
There is already quite a lot of noise in our household. Along with my love of cooking, watching movies, and listening to music, I’ve started learning how to play the guitar. So any other distraction would be too much for my ears.
Luckily, running the 75i hasn’t distracted me from playing “Smoke on the Water” in the wrong key with the wrong notes.
Here are the stats; on its lowest speed it produces 24 dB and on its highest, the 75i produces up to 49 dB which is pretty much the same as a quiet conversation.
The dull hum on its lower settings is barely noticeable. The only time you notice it making noise is when it kicks in on the higher settings and even then is easily drowned out and forgotten about with the TV on.
We mainly used it on the AUTO setting so we didn’t have to think about changing the fan speeds. Occasionally I would notice it kicking in at its highest speed after a period of quiet which can be distracting but my ears soon adjusted.
What sets this unit apart from the rest is that it produces pink noise over the usual fan sound which can contribute to a good night’s sleep.
Cost of Running
I’ll admit, when I first saw the size of the unit, I immediately thought “Jeez, how much is this gonna cost me to run?” Turns out I had no need to worry. Ranging from 1.8W-45W (depending on fan speed), this energy-efficient air purifier won’t cost you more than $20 a year if you run it on the auto setting throughout the day.
Of course, the filters don’t last forever. Alen recommends that if you run the 75i continually, filters should last 12 months. Depending on which replacement to opt for, your overall cost per year shouldn’t exceed $150.
With more and more reports coming out about how clean air is a huge asset to your health and well-being, I personally think this is a small price to pay.
What We Like
- The simple operation of the touch panel. A light touch of one button is all you need
- Quick and easy replacement of the filter
- The Pre-Filter can be vacuumed
- The download instruction manual is clear, concise, and easy to understand
We don’t like this much
- You can’t hide it away.
- The control panel does get dirty with fingerprints
When the box arrived, I must admit I was a bit skeptical whether this would fit into our home and our lives. As we unboxed the 75i my tech fear kicked in as it only came with one sheet of instructions to guide me through the setup. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. The design of this unit is quite beautiful and brings a modern touch to our living room. The setup couldn’t have been simpler. The magnetic front comes off and reattaches with ease so that the filter can be slipped in/out without having to use tools or force.
Instructions aren’t really needed as the interface is super straightforward and looks really impressive when it lights up. Everything is labeled so getting used to the controls takes no time at all. The air quality indicator is extremely responsive to slight changes in the air which gives you the utmost confidence that the unit is actively working hard to clean out any nasty airborne contaminants.
Since it arrived, we haven’t had one day where we haven’t used it. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to improve the air in their home. Even if this model might seem too big for your home, I would be confident recommending one of Alens’ smaller models that contain the same technology.
And the icing on the cake…no more lingering dog farts.
Last update on 2022-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API