Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 Air Purifier Review

Overview:

Pros: High airflow, high efficiency, smart technologies, industry leading warranty
Cons: Not Many 
Great for: Allergies, Dust, Asthma, Germs
Ok For:Light Chemicals & Smoke Odors
Not Recommended for:Serious Chemical concerns

Summary:

In our opinion, the Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 air purifier is one of the best air purifiers on the market. The unit features several technology improvements over its predecessor, the Alen BreatheSmart, and leads other air purifier brands in areas such as performance, ease of use, smart operation, and warranty. Upgradeable filter options as well as various front panel designs allow the unit the address a variety of concerns and decors.

When buying filters in bulk, the long term cost of operation of the Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 is actually lower than many cheaper air purifiers. This makes the Alen FIT50 hard to pass on!

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Review Outline & Key Findings (Click to Skip Ahead)

1. Unboxing the Unit
Simple Packing
Sticker Tips
Simple Filter Changes
High Quality Feel

2. Key Technologies
Particle Sensor
Air Quality Light
Designer Panels
Child Friendly

3. Available Filter Options
Plain HEPA
HEPA w/ Silver & Carbon
HEPA w/ Extra Carbon
HEPA Odor Powder

4. Product Specs
900 SqFt
99% Efficiency
60 Watts

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

6. Cost to Operate
Power: $6.48/mo
Filters: $6.58/mo
Total: $13.06/mo

7. Similar Units
Whispure 510
Winix U450

8. The Bad
Filter Switch

9. The Good
Too Much To List!

10. Why Buy Here?
Advice
Expertise
Long Term Support

Full Review of Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 Air Purifier

Unboxing the Unit

The BreatheSmart FIT50 box is rather large when first receiving it. It is clearly labeled with arrows pointing to where to open it from. Rather than being taped closed, the box is banded. Once the bands are cut, there is no searching for tape or tabs to cut and the front of the box is easy to open. The box uses a clam shell design and reveals all of the the contents sitting right in front of you.

This is by far the easiest unit to unbox that we’ve seen. With many units, unboxing it (and the fear of reboxing it) is the most frustrating part of the process. However it is quite easy with the Breathesmart FIT50. The box is banded not taped. Once the bands are cut, the box opens in a clamshell style and the unit lifts right out of the box. The box contents are all sitting on top of the foam and easily identified.

Elegant Controls

The FIT50 uses a combination push button covered by film for its controls. It looks sleek and has a high end professional feel. It definitely feels like a $500 appliance and it looks like one too. The unit is turned on with a soft but intentional push of the button. Pushing the power button again puts the unit into sleep mode. This turns off all of the lights while still maintaining its operation. While you don’t think the little lights can be bright, try them in a pitch dark room. You’ll be very thankful for this little touch. Press the power button again when the unit is in sleep mode to turn the unit off completely. Pressing any other button will turn the lights back on.

Easy Filter Change

The filter is placed behind the front panel of the unit. The front panel hangs on the top front of the unit and snaps into the bottom with the use of magnets. This process is a little confusing at first. When you pull on the front panel, many people instinctively pull from the top, rather than the bottom. And when putting the front panel back on, you have to pay attention to guide the hooks into the slot. However, do it once, and the process will become quick and effortless.

Easy to Follow Stickers for a Quick Use

The FIT50 includes several stickers on the control panel, front panel, and inside of the unit that make it easy to start using right out of the box. This saves a lot of effort from having to flip through the manual to figure out what everything does.

Good Construction Quality

This unit is quite solid. The plastic seems rather solid as well. The unit is well balanced and easy to carry with a handle in the middle of the back of the unit. The lifetime limited warranty resolves any other concerns about construction quality that we could encounter.


Key Technologies

Smart technologies set the BreathSmart family of units apart from the competition.

Built-in Particle Sensor
The FIT50 has a built in particle sensor that detects changes in the air quality. The changes in air quality drive the air quality light and automatic operation.

Air Quality Light
You always know when the BreatheSmart FIT50 is working because you can see the light color on the unit from across the room. When it has cleaned the air, the light will be blue. When there is dust and allergens in the air, you will see the unit detecting it and and responding. The air quality light will be yellow or red.

Auto Mode: Air Purification Made Easy
When set to Auto mode, the unit will adjust its speed up and down automatically based on air quality levels detected in the room. When the air is clean, the unit will drop down to the lowest speed. This is great for saving on power consumption and filter replacement costs. When particles are detected, the unit speed will step up.

Child Friendly
When it comes to Safety, the BreatheSmart FIT50 is an excellent unit. It has several safety features such as a vent guard and multiple cutoff switches.

Optional Vent Guard
The vent guard can snap on or off. When the guard is snapped on, the vent openings are much smaller, which prevent children from sticking anything into the fan. The added vent guard will slightly reduce the airflow.

Available Filter Options


All Alen Air Purifiers offer 4 different filter options targeted for specific concerns:

HEPA-Pure

HEPA-Silver

HEPA-FreshPlus

HEPA-OdorCell

The filters are a firm cardboard framed filter. While plastic frames provide the best seals, these are quite firm and perform well.

Product Specs

The following product specs are provided by the manufacturer:

Coverage Area 900 sq ft
Efficiency 99%
Noise Levels 48.7
Power Consumption 60 Watts
Energy Star Rated Yes
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Performance Testing

The following performance specs are what we measured in our performance testing.

Speed Power Consumption (Watts) Noise (dB) Efficiency (0.3 Microns)
4 60 49 98.2%
3 52 44 99%
2 43 38 99.5%
1 36 32 99.5%

Cost to Operate

Cost to Operate: Very Good
Monthly Power Cost:$6.48
Monthly Filter Cost: $6.58
Maximum Operating Cost: $13.06/month
Typical Operating Cost: $6.53/month (Divide max operating cost in half, since you probably won't 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: 60 watts
Cost of Electricity from Utility: 15 cents/kWh
Your Daily Power Cost on High: 21.6 cents per day
Your Monthly Power Cost on High: $6.48/month on high

Filter Replacement Cost

Filter Cost Change Frequency
HEPA-Pure Filter $79 every 12 months
HEPA-Silver Filter $89 every 12 months
HEPA-FreshPlus Filter $119 every 12 months
HEPA-OdorCell Filter $129 every 12 months

Power Cost:
Running the BreatheSmart FIT50 on high speed, 24 hours a day will result in a power cost of $6.48/month.

Filter Cost:
Changing your HEPA-Pure filter on schedule every 12 months averages out to $6.58/month.

A more likely use scenario is that you will run the unit about 12 hours a day, or not on the maximum speed. So we divide the maximum cost to operate in half, which gives $6.53/mo as the typical operating cost.

Most Comparable Units



Whispure 510
 
Winix U450
 
BreatheSmart FIT50
Price $297 $379 $499
Coverage (2 air changes) 1200 1125 900
Coverage (5 air changes) 500 450 320
Efficiency (0.3 Microns) 99.5% Not Yet Tested 99%
Noise on High (dB) 59 56 49
Power on High 104 110 60
Warranty 1 Year 5 Year Lifetime Limited
Max Cost to Operate $21.50 TBD $13.06 
Typical Cost to Operate $10.75 TBD $6.53
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The BreatheSmart FIT50 is a premium air purifier with excellent performance. However, there are a few other units that are similar in size and price. Ultimately, we believe the FIT50 stands out above the rest, due to the amazing combination of features and performance, but you may find that these others work better for your situation.

Areas for Improvement (The Bad)

The FIT50 has been thoroughly thought out in its design and there is not a lot to criticize, but we've found a few small things that you might want to know about:

Air Quality Light Colors
The light colors for the air quality light are described as being Red, Yellow, and Blue. Images on the Alen site show a very clear and crisp color difference. The unit we reviewed was a little more like Red, Orange, Blue. This made it a little harder to tell which air quality level the unit was detecting. However, this did not affect the performance of the unit in any way.

Safety Switches Too Safe
We mentioned that the unit has two safety cut off switches, which help make it a more child friendly unit. The unit cannot run without the front panel, and it cannot run without a filter inside of it. Occasionally, if the filter, or the door panel is not seated firmly, the unit will not detect it and will not turn on. This has been reported at the time of opening the unit. A quick adjustment of the filter will resolve this, but it is not immediately apparent to new users so we have taken a few calls related to this issue.

Fortunately, these are extremely minor and the vast majority of the feedback on the FIT50 has been overwhelmingly positive.

Reasons to Buy (The Good)

This unit has it all and is one of our most highly rated and recommend products. Built in particle sensors, automatic operation, and smart technologies to estimate the filter life are only a few of the dozen reasons to buy this unit. It has one of the lowest noise profiles of any unit we’ve reviewed. The high volume airflow and low tones make it easy to run on high in a room without much disruption.

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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