Alen BreatheSmart Air Purifier Review

Overview:

Pros: High efficiency, high coverage, smart technology, filter options, designer panels
Cons: Large size, bright white color
Great for: Allergies, Dust, Asthma, Mold, Germs, Pet Odors
Not Recommended for: Chemical concerns, heavy smoke

Summary:

High performance and smart technology combined with Alen’s industry leading warranty make the Alen BreatheSmart one of the best buys in the air purifier market. Which is why this is the unit I use in my home.

Walk an a room with a BreatheSmart running and you can tell that the air is fresh. You can smell the difference, and you can see the blue air quality light on the unit across the room indicating that your room air is clean.

As you move around the room, sit on the couch, walk across the carpet, or start cooking, you will see the BreatheSmart kick into gear. The light changes color from blue to yellow then red and lets you know it's detecting the particles you are stirring up. The unit steps up its speed to respond.

While many other air purifiers have sensors and air quality indicators, many people seem them as an annoyance. The units change speed abruptly and jump back and forth frequently. Those units go from reporting clean air, to dirty air, to clean air, all in the course of 2 minutes. This is due to poor programming. The Alen BreatheSmart does not suffer from this this erratic behavior.

While the BreatheSmart covers a large area, it is never too noisy to operate at any speed, which means that you are going to use it and benefit from it, rather than turn it off.
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Review Outline & Key Findings (Click to Skip Ahead)

1. Unboxing the Unit
Big box, big unit?
Easy Instructions
Sleep Mode

2. Key Technologies
Smart Sensor
Air Quality Light
Automatic Mode
Filter Life Timer

3. Available Filter Options
HEPA-Pure
HEPA-Silver
HEPA-FreshPlus
HEPA-OdorCell

4. Product Specs
1100 SqFt
99% Efficiency
56dB
105 Watts

5. Our Testing
Power Consumption
Noise Levels (dB)
Efficiency Tests

6. Cost to Operate
Power: $11.34
Filters: $6.55
Total: $17.90

7. Similar Units
Blueair 403
Airpura H600

8. The Bad
A Little Large
Bright Color

9. A Best Buy
Ease of Use
Designer Panels

10. Why Buy Here?
Advice
Expertise
Long Term Support

Full Review of the Alen BreatheSmart Air Purifier

Huge box, what about the unit?

As soon as the box arrives, the first thing you are going to say is "this thing is huge!". The box certainly is, but let's see about the unit.

Opening the box proved to be extremly easy. Rather than being taped in a dozen locations the box is sealed with bands. Once the bands are cut, the arrows on the box direct you to where to lift.

The box opens up in a clamshell style exposing the unit and manual. The low lip on the front makes it easy to lift the unit out of the box.

The BreatheSmart is large, but is not nearly as big as the box makes it appear.

 

Easy instruction stickers and quick start guide
Who wants to read the manual to figure out how to use something you just opened? No one! So Alen has added some easy to follow stickers to the unit that give you a quick summary of what every button does on the unit and how to use it. Once you are familiar, it’s easy to peel off.

On, Sleep Mode, Off
The power button is top and center. Pushing it starts the unit running and you immediately notice the light ring around the center power button. Ours was yellow when we first turned it on, but soon switched over to red after about 30 seconds.

Pressing the power button a second time turned all of the lights on the unit off, but the fan kept running. This is the sleep mode. Pushing the power button again turns the unit off. Therefore, if the lights are on, and you want to turn the unit off, you have to push the power button twice in a row, or you are just going to turn off the lights. Some customers report that they intuitively push the button and walk away thinking they turned the unit off but having only put it into sleep mode.

Construction quality seems good
Unlike other premium units in its class, like the Blueair 403 or the air pura T600, the BreatheSmart is made out of all plastic, rather than all metal. The plastic is a way to reduce cots that has then been applied towards other features like smart technologies. However, despite being plastic, the unit overall feels solid.


Key Technologies: Smart Features

The Alen BreatheSmart incorporates several different “smart technologies” that make the unit easy to own and operate.

Smart Sensor
This is a built in particle sensor that detects the particles in your rooms air.

Air Quality Light
The light ring on the top of the unit conveys the air quality detected by the particle sensor and presents it as Blue/Yellow/Red meaning Good, Moderate or Poor.

Automatic Mode
When put in Automatic mode, the BreatheSmart will adjust its speed up and down based on the particles detected in the air. This lets the BreatheSmart react to increases in airborne particles, while not running on maximum speed when the air in your room is clean, which help save money and extend your filter life.

Filter Life TImer
The BreatheSmart uses a filter life timer which tells you when to change your filter. The different lights here progress from green/yellow/red to indicate the filter is Good, Almost time to replace, and time to replace. Most units just have a single light that comes on. The BreatheSmart gives you a heads up that you will need to replace your filter soon.

Available Filter Options


Alen offers four different filter options targeted for specific concerns.

  • HEPA-Pure
  • HEPA-Silver
  • HEPA-FreshPlus
  • HEPA-OdorCell

 

Product Specs

The following product specs are provided by the manufacturer:

Coverage Area 1100 sq ft
Efficiency 99% at 0.3 Microns
Noise Levels 56 dB
Power Consumption 105 Watts
Energy Star Rated Yes
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Performance Testing

The following performance specs are what we measured in our performance testing. The following results are almost exactly in line with what the manufacturer's specs listed above state.

Speed Power Consumption (Watts) Noise (dB) Efficiency (0.3 Microns)
4 105 56 98.4%
3 95 50 98.9%
2 73 44 99%
1 64 41.5 99.3%

Cost to Operate

Cost to Operate: Very Good
Monthly Power Cost:$11.34
Monthly Filter Cost: $6.55
Maximum Operating Cost: $17.90/month
Typical Operating Cost: $8.94/month (We divide max operating cost in half since we don't expect everyone will run it on high 24/7)

In order to determine the cost to operate, we consider power consumption cost and filter replacement costs:

Power Consumption Cost

Unit Power on High: 105 watts
Cost of Electricity from Utility: 15 cents/kWh
Your Daily Power Cost on High: 37 cents per day
Your Monthly Power Cost on High: $11.34/month on high

Filter Replacement Cost

Filter Cost Change Frequency
HEPA Filter (Used for Cost to Operate) $59 ~9 months
HEPA-Silver Filter $79 ~9 months
HEPA-FreshPlus Filter $89 ~9 months
HEPA-OdorCell Filter $109 ~9 months

Power Cost:
Running the BreatheSmart on high speed, 24 hours a day will result in a power cost of $11.34/month.

Filter Cost:
Changing your HEPA-Pure filter on schedule every 9 months will cost about $78.60 per year, which averages out to $6.55/month.

Most Comparable Units



Blueair 403
 
Alen BreatheSmart
 
Airpura H600
Price $549 $599 $609
Coverage (2 air changes) 915 1100 2000
Coverage (5 air changes) 365 440 800
Efficiency (0.3 Microns) 87% 98.2% TBD
Noise on High (dB) 59 56 62.3
Power on High 91 105 120
Warranty 5 Year Lifetime Limited 5 Year
Max Cost of to Operate $20.32 $17.90 $23.64
Typical Cost to Operate $10.26 $8.94 $11.82
Full Expert Review Read Full Review Not Yet Reviewed
Not Sold By Air Purifiers America View Product Page View Product Page

The BreatheSmart is by far the best buy in this lineup. The Blueair 403 is a popular unit but is not recommended by Air Purifiers America due to several performance problems. Read the full Expert review for more info.

Areas for Improvement (The Bad)

A little Large
The BreatheSmart is considered a large unit, but due to its plastic construction it is still easy to move around. If you want a smaller unit, take a look at the BreatheSmart FIT50. It has a smaller footprint, and is even quieter, but gives up some comverage area.

Bright White Color
The color of the BreatheSmart is a glossy white, which makes it stand in contrast to most things to place it next to. However, Alen has introduced designer panels that help the BreatheSmart blend into your environment better.

Reasons to Buy (The Good)

A best buy
The BreatheSmart is arguably one of the best air purifiers on the market. It offers excellent performance, high coverage, low noise and ease of use. This unit changed the game and is seeing a lot of copycats in the air purifier market, but the BreatheSmart still stands out as the leader.

Designer Panel Options
The BreatheSmart also recently introduced customizable front panels that allow you to match your decor. This helps mitigate one of the drawbacks, which is that the unit is large. Now it can easily blend in to any environment.

 

Why Buy With Air Purifiers America

With a hundred places you could buy this same product, why choose Air Purifiers America?

With Air Purifiers America, you always have someone to call if you run into a problem.

We can give you advice over the phone or online chat. Help you determine where and how often to run your unit. Help you find the right filter replacement, and more!

If you need to send the unit back, we've got you covered. If your unit has an issue in a year, we can walk you through the warranty process.

Amazon may ship it to you 1 day faster, but after that, you're on your own! When you buy from Air Purifiers America, we are always available to help you resolve any issues you may have.  

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