Whirlpool Whispure HEPA Air Purifier, AP51030K Review


Pros: High airflow, high efficiency, cheap purchase price
Cons: Limited concerns, costly filters, short warranty 
Great for: Allergies, Dust
Not Recommended for: Chemicals, Odors, Smoke


The Whirlpool Whispure 510 is a good mid-priced air purifier delivering both high airflow and high rates of particle removal which make it ideal for allergens and dust. Whirlpool only offers a plain HEPA filter with no activated carbon, which means that this unit is not effective for odors, smoke, or chemicals.

The Whispure 510 delivers some of the best efficiency test results we see for products in this price range. The hum of the motor and low sound of airflow make the unit easy to have in a room with you even when running on the higher speeds. There are not many units that can beat its performance at a price under $300. 

The Whispure 510 is an excellent unit if you plan to run it part-time. If you plan to run the unit 24/7 (which we recommend) the operating costs will start to add up. There are alternatives that will have a lower long-term cost of ownership than this one. (See our cost to operate comparison)

Whirlpool sells tens of thousands of these units and despite some drawbacks they are very popular given their price and performance.

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Review Outline & Key Findings (Click to Skip Ahead)

1. Unboxing the Unit
Easy to Carry
Basic Controls
Solid Feel, Ugly Look

2. Key Technologies
High Performance HEPA

4. Product Specs
500 SqFt
99.97% Efficiency
104 Watts

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

6. Cost to Operate
Power: $11.23
Filters: $10.65
Total: $21.86

7. Similar Units
Winix P450
Alen BreatheSmart FIT50

8. The Bad
Limited Concerns
Costly Filters
Short Warranty

9. The Good
Soothing Sound
Good Coverage
High Efficiency

10. Why Buy Here?
Long Term Support

Full Review of Whirlpool Whispure HEPA Air Purifier, AP51030K

Unboxing the Unit

Easy to Carry
The Whirlpool Whispure AP51030K comes out of the box feeling like a solid unit. It is well balanced and not too heavy.  The carry handle in the back makes it easy to move around the home as needed.  so that it is easy to move/carry and the plastic construction does not feel flimsy. It is definitely not nearly the prettiest unit we’ve reviewed, but it does look like it is going to get the job done.

Turning it on/off

The controls are quite basic, but acceptable.  This unit is deigned to be purely function. The control panel uses a sticker over push buttons and some LED lights to display the selected settings. When taking the front panel off, you can see where the color on the control panel ends. This makes it look a little cheap, but you'll only see this once a year as you change the filter.


Opening the Unit
The filter is found behind the front panel of the unit, which is removed by pushing in the tabs on both sides of the unit.

The tabs on the front panel can be a little difficult to push and you have to pull on the front panel while you are doing it. Because the push tabs are plastic, this is a point that could fail sooner than other areas of the unit.

The Whispure 510 unit in our office had one of the tabs break, which prevents the front panel from snapping back on to the unit fully. While this broken tab hasn’t affected the performance of the unit, it is not ideal. Realistically, the broken tab is probably because we’ve taken the front panel off/on hundreds of times in the last few years. A lot more often than you should expect to.

Construction Quality: Solid, But Cheap Appearance
When examining the unit in detail, we initially noticed a few things that seemed odd: Styrofoam inside of the unit.

We regularly take calls from customers asking how to remove the packing material from the inside of the unit. We tell them that it is part of the unit and was done to cut costs, reduce unit weight and lower the noise output. While this has a positive impact on performance, it looks odd if you happen to be looking down the vent inside of the unit.


Key Technologies

The key technology for the Whirlpool Whispure family of units is its high efficiency HEPA filter. The HEPA filter is very well constructed. It uses a plastic frame with a rubber seal along the back side of it to prevent air bypassing.

Aside from its high efficiency, most other aspects of the unit are ordinary, which is to be expected in the $200-300 price range. The best units in this price range deliver good particle filtration but do not tend to offer unique technologies or a wide range of functions.

Available Filter Options

The Whirpool Whispure 510 has one real filter option: a huge HEPA filter.

The HEPA filter priced at $99. This high price is partially because its size, and also its molded plastic frame with rubber backing strip. Plastic frames allow for good quality seals inside of the unit which prevents air bypassing.

The unit also has a flimsy carbon pre-filter which is said to reduce odors. However is not enough activated carbon here to help with much odor at all and we would not recommend it for this concern. The carbon pre-filter sticks to the inside of the front grill which make it a little tricky to apply and remove.

While the pre-filter is not going to last more than a few days for removing odors, we still recommend using. This is because it will capture a lot of the larger particles such as dust, hair, and pet dander that will clog up your HEPA filter and impact its performance.

Product Specs

Coverage Area 500 sq ft
Efficiency 99.97%
Noise Levels 59 dB
Power Consumption 104 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)
4 104 59 99.2%
3 87 55 99.5%
2 75 50.5 99.5%
1 63 47 99.5%

Cost to Operate

Cost to Operate: Fair
Monthly Power Cost: $11.23
Monthly Filter Cost: $10.65
Maximum Operating Cost: $21.86/month
Typical Operating Cost: $10.92/month (We divide max operating cost in half since we don't expect everyone will run it on high 24/7)

While the initial purchase price is lower than many comparable air purifiers, the longer term cost of ownership is actually higher than some more expensive units. One of the reasons is the higher cost of filter replacement.

The Whispure 510 is a mid-priced unit that comes with a higher than expected cost of ownership. Given its moderate price, one would think that the 510 is reasonable to operate as well. However, the filter replacements come at a high price. $99 for a single HEPA filter, which is recommended to be changed every 12 months and a pre-filter that is recommended to be changed every 3 months.

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

Power Consumption Cost

Unit Power on High: 104 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: $11.23/month on high

Filter Replacement Cost

Filter Cost Change Frequency
HEPA Filter $99 every 12 months
Charcoal Pre-Filters $24 for 4-pack 1 every 3 months

Power Cost:
Running the Whispure 510 on high speed, 24 hours a day will result in a power cost of $11.32/month.

Filter Cost:
Changing the HEPA filter on schedule every 12 months and also the pre-filter every 3 months will cost a total of $123/year, which averages out to $10.65/month.

The maximum cost of ownership means running the unit on high speed, 24/7 and changing the filters at the recommended change frequency. While we recommend that you run your unit 24/7, we don't expect that everyone will. Therefore, we divide the maximum operating cost ($21.86/mo) in half to give a more typical operating cost of $10.93/mo.

Most Comparable Units

Whispure 510
Winix P450
BreatheSmart FIT50
Price $297 $349 $499
Coverage (2 air changes) 1200 1125 800
Coverage (5 air changes) 500 450 320
Efficiency (0.3 Microns) 99.5% Not Yet Tested 99%
Noise on High (dB) 59 Not Yet Tested 49
Power on High 104 110 60
Warranty 1 Year 3 Year Lifetime Limited
Max Cost to Operate $21.85/mo $19.38 $13.06/mo
Typical Cost to Operate $10.92/mo $9.69 $6.53
Full Expert Review   Not Yet Reviewed Read Full Review
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The whispure 510 is an exellent mid-priced unit that does a great job of allergen and dust removal. A cheaper unit which focuses on allergies and dust is the Honeywell 50250, but this unit will have a big increase in noise.

If you have it in your budget, the BreatheSmart FIT50 is one of our highest rated air purifiers and is worth a look. It provides comparable performance as the Whispure 510, while adding the benefit of smart technologies & automatic operation, customization colors, filter options to address more concerns, and a lifetime limited warranty. Surprisingly, if you buy your filters in bulk, the BreatheSmart FIT50 is actually cheaper to operate in the long run than the whispure 510.

Areas for Improvement (The Bad)

The Whirlpool Whispure 510 moves a lot of air at a high efficiency level, but it does not address many other concerns that many need protection from as well, such as chemicals, smoke, odors or bacteria.

Replacement filters are quite expensive for a unit that is priced at only $300.  At $99 for a plain HEPA filter, replacing the filter adds up to 1/3 of the price of the unit each year, which is higher than most air purifiers.   

Finally, this air purifier has a short warranty period. The unit is only covered in full for 1 year, and only the motor is covered after that.  Be sure to maintain receipts that show you have replaced the filter on schedule every year in order to have the unit serviced if it fails.  In our experience, something else such as the plastic clips on the unit will break long before the motor does.  

Reasons to Buy (The Good)

The Whispure 510 produces steady and consistent fan noise levels which make this unit easy to fall asleep to. The low pitched fan noise means that the sound is soothing, rather than high pitched and irritating. This air purifier also has relatively good coverage area and very high filtration efficiency which make it great for removing dust and allergens from any room in the home.

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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