The GermGuardian AC4825e is the top-selling unit for Guardian Technologies – a US company based in Ohio that was founded in 2002 and creates air purifiers, humidifiers, and essential oil diffusers. Guardian Technologies was bought by Lasko Products, a manufacturing company that has been operating for around 100 years. Lasko Products makes humidifiers, portable heaters, and fans with 376 employees based in Philadelphia.
The AC4825e has been around since 2013, and while demand for this unit has waned over the last few years, it has regularly been on a major top-selling air purifier list. The main area that the AC4825 stands out is that it is Aham verified, and it’s available for less than $100.
|Why You Can Trust This Review|
Here at HouseFresh, we’re unashamed air purifier nerds, so we constantly research CADR rankings and all the other science bits published by the manufacturers. BUT we put them to one side to perform our tests.
I wouldn’t be 100% confident recommending a unit without playing with all its settings and putting it through our real-life performance testing first:
1️⃣ Air cleaning performance test: We test all the air purifiers we review in the same room (sized 705 cubic ft), removing the same type of contaminants (incense smoke). We use the PurpleAir PA-I Indoor PM 2.5 Sensor to track PM1.0ug/m3, PM2.5ug/m3, and PM10.0 ug/m3 every few minutes to determine how long it took this specific unit to remove all pollutants from the air.
2️⃣ Energy consumption test: We also test how much energy each air purifier consumes when running at its bottom and top speeds. We do this with the help of an electricity usage monitor that allows us to record energy consumption in watts.
3️⃣ Noise levels test: Lastly, we use a sound level meter to determine the sound level in decibels emitted by the air purifier when running at its top and bottom speeds.
By the way, we buy all our test units with our money to ensure we can provide as unbiased a review as possible. If it sucks, we want to tell you which is harder to do when you accept free products.
TL;DR The Lowdown on the GermGuardian AC4825e
“A budget air purifier that is not worth your money in 2023, where you will find budget units that perform better and have lots of additional features for the same price of the AC4825e.”— Danny Ashton, Founder & Senior Writer
Not in the mood to read the full review? We know that feeling. Save yourself some time and check out our pros and cons. You never know; you just might wanna read on.
What We Really Like:
👍 55dB (sound level) at the most powerful speed is similar to other units at this price level
👍 Initial setup cost is cheap as it’s often found for $100 or less
👍 You can find generic filters for a good price – $17 for 4 carbon and 1 HEPA
What We Think Could Be Better:
👎 Performance scores were poorer than we expected, with the CADR od only rating of 125 CFM
👎 It’s a power-hungry unit – 56 watts to clean our test room in 104 minutes
👎 UV-C is useless – we didn’t see any difference when switching it on or off and would recommend choosing the non-UV-C version as it uses less electricity
The GermGuardian AC4825e is aimed at the budget range of air purifiers, with its top competitor being the Levoit 300.
|Time to clean our test room:||104 minutes|
|Air purifier technology:||True HEPA with UV-C|
|Recommended room size:||167 sq. ft.|
|Clean air delivery rate (CADR):||125 CFM (212m³/h)|
|Dimensions (in inches / in cm):||21.5H x 6.75W x 10.25D inches (54.61H x 17.14W x 26.03D cm)|
|Weight (in pounds / in kg):||8.6 lbs (3.9 kg)|
|Noise level (low – high):||40dB – 55dB|
|Filter life:||6 – 8 months|
|Estimated energy consumption:||$52.56|
1990’s called and they want their design back.
But in all seriousness, the design does feel a little old-fashioned, but it does have a small floor space required as it’s so tall. It looks more like a fan than an air purifier which might be a good thing, depending on how you want to use it.
It has a super simple menu system with a circular wheel to control power and a one-click button to switch the UV mode on or off.
At the $99 price point, the best comparison to make is with the Levoit Core 300. I prefer Levoit’s design, but maybe you might like the GermGuardian AC4825e – beauty, after all is in the eye of the beholder.
HEPA Filters Below Par
The GermGuardian AC4825e is a relatively simple unit with two filters (true-HEPA and activated charcoal), which you can access by removing the back panel.
The quality of the True HEPA filter is fair, and it covers the entire flow space of the air purifier.
It’s worth noting that the activated charcoal filter is relatively cheap as it is made of fabric covered in charcoal.
This is a big difference when compared with higher-end and more modern air purifiers that use pellets of charcoal — but it’s not just about expensive units; when looking at other budget air purifiers such as the Levoit Core 300 and TaoTronics AP003, they both use pellet-based charcoal for the activated carbon filters.
This is a major downside to this air purifier in 2023.
|Tip: If you are serious about removing odors, I would always look away from the GermGuardian AC4825e and instead go for air purifiers that use pellets of activated charcoal and have filters packed with at least 1lb of carbon. If you have an issue with VOCs or Formaldehyde, go for something like the IQAir Healthpro Plus, which uses a combination of zeolite and other chemicals within a filter along 5 lbs of activated charcoal.|
Returning to the GermGuardian AC4825e, the filter is rated at H13 HEPA. After spending some time reading the reviews for replacement filters, there seems to be a change in manufacturer as some customers found that the latest filters don’t seem to have the same quality as those bought previously.
Replacing the filter when the time comes is not complex:
It is worth mentioning that the GermGuardian team has reported a new manufacturer had been found for the HEPA and activated charcoal filters. Hence, they expect newer filters will perform better than the older ones.
The last point I will make on the filter technology of the GermGuardian AC4825e is that I think UV-C lights are useless on portable air purifiers, especially at this low price point, and this air purifier has yet to change my mind.
The GermGuardian AC4825e Cleared Our Test Room in 104 Minutes
The big question with any air purifier is how well it cleans the air.
For all the air purifier tests we conduct at HouseFresh, we test them all in the same sized room. This allows us to be then able to compare units with one metric – how long did it take to altogether remove pollutants from the air?
We use incense to create pollutants of different sizes and use a Purpleair indoor monitor to track how quickly these are removed over time. The sensors on the Purpleair device can track the number of pollutants of size 1.0ug/m3, 2.5ug/m3, and 10.0 ug/m3 every few minutes. The room we test is the size of a small bedroom with a total capacity of 705 cubic ft – this allows us to test units designed for all types of spaces.
Based on the CADR score of 125, we expected this unit to perform at the same level as the Levoit PUR131, which managed to clear our room of all pollutants in 60 minutes.
Air Cleaning Performance Compared to Other Air Purifiers
Sadly, the GermGuardian AC4825e took 104 minutes to remove all pollutants from our test room. This is a lot more time than we would expect based on the pure CADR score and is one of the big reasons we like to do our own testing. This score is not too far from the much cheaper Levoit Mini that cleaned the room in 113 minutes for far less money and electricity.
These numbers make it hard to recommend this unit on a pure performance to $ ratio.
Noise Levels Test Results
One area that the GermGuardian AC4825e fared OK was with sound: it reached a maximum of 55dB, which is in the same range as other units at this price level.
Take a listen for yourself below to get a better idea:
The Cost to Run a GermGuardian AC4825e: $106.56 per year
1. Electricity costs = $52.56
One of the costs many people ignore when looking to buy an air purifier is running it. If you have an issue with an allergen in your outdoor environment, you will need to ensure your unit is running 24/7, and costs can quickly add up.
When we review air purifiers at HouseFresh, we use an electricity meter to see how much power is being used at the highest speed. At the maximum power setting with the UV-C mode on, the GermGuardian AC4825e pulled 56 watts which equates to $52.56 in one year, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy.
This compares very unfavorably to many of the newest air purifiers on the market. The Levoit Core 400S uses a maximum of 45 watts but can clean our room in 33 minutes. I have to assume that there have not been any changes to the fan efficiency since the first AC4825 came out in 2012, as it shows poor levels of efficiency.
2. Filter costs = $54
Another cost often forgotten about when buying a new air purifier is replacement filters. The way that mechanical filters like HEPA and Activated Charcoal work are that, over time, they become full of pollutants and beyond a certain point, performance will drop unless you replace them.
It’s recommended that for the AC4825e air purifier, you must replace the filters every six to eight months, depending on usage.
Assuming that you will have to change them every 6 months, the annual cost of filters for the original filters would be $54. This compares fairly well with other units, such as the Levoit Core 300, which could cost you up to $80 in filter replacements in one year. Still, it’s also worth noting that the activated charcoal filter used by the AC4825e is much cheaper and less effective than the Levoit’s, which uses charcoal pellets instead of the less effective impregnated fibers.
The AC4825e is an old air purifier, and it’s starting to show when you compare it with newer units from brands like Levoit and Medify. The Levoit Core 300 and Medify MA-14 are found for less than $100 and perform much better in our performance test than the AC4825e.
Combined with its high electricity costs, even the fairly cheap replacement filters for the AC4825e can’t make us recommend the GermGuardian AC4825e over many other budget units on the market.
If you are looking to buy the AC4825e, be sure to check out our reviews first for the Levoit Core 300 and Medify-14 as you will get much more for your money both in the short term and long term.
We used the Department of Energy’s appliance energy calculator to calculate the yearly electricity costs associated with running the GermGuardian AC4825e for 24hs a day for 365 days. This calculation is based on the U.S. average utility rate, which is $0.12/kWh as of March 6th, 2023.
Last update on 2023-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API