Honeywell 50250-S HEPA Air Purifier Review


Pros: High airflow, high efficiency, cheap purchase price
Cons: Limited concerns, noisy on high speeds, short warranty
Great for: Allergies, Dust
Not Recommended for: Asthma, Germs, Chemicals, Odors, Smoke


The Honeywell 50250 air purifier is a great choice for many of the most common concerns. It is a basic unit with no frills or added functions. It utilizes a basic knob for the speed controls and also offers a filter life timer.

The main advantages of this unit are its high airflow and low purchase cost. The drawbacks to this unit are its rather high noise levels and its high power consumption. This leads it to have a higher cost to operate than some other more expensive units. 

In addition, it offers a charcoal pre-filter, which is positioned for light odor, but it is not substantial enough address chemicals, heavy odor, or smoke effectively.

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Review Outline & Key Findings (Click to Skip Ahead)

1. Unboxing the Unit
Basic Controls
Filter Change
Ugly Look
Solid Feel

2. Key Technologies
High Performance HEPA

3. Available Filter Options
HEPA Filter
Carbon Pre-Filter

4. Product Specs
300 SqFt
99.97% Efficiency
74 dB (loud)
180 Watts (high)

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

6. Cost to Operate
Power: $9.7
Filters: $8.15
Total: $17.85

7. Similar Units
Whispure 250
Alen T500

8. The Bad
Power Consumption
Basic Concerns

9. The Good
Cheap Price
High Efficiency

10. Why Buy Here?
Long Term Support

Full Review of Honeywell 50250-S Air Purifier

Unboxing the Unit

Basic Knob Controls

The 50250-S uses a basic a plastic dial to turn on and off. The knob cycles between 3 speeds with an audible click each time. This basic style of switch is common on many Honeywell units because of its simplicity and low cost.

Opening the Unit/Changing the Filter
While changing speeds is simple, changing the filter is more complex with this unit than many others. The unit has to be turned upside down and the bottom unscrewed. There is only one large screw and it has an easy grip handle, so taking the unit apart can be done by hand and without any other tools.
The large drum filter is then lifted out of the unit. The unit came with a carbon pre-filter but it was not installed and this has to be done by you when you open the unit. I probably wouldn't bother with it because the carbon is so little that it won't remain effective for odors for long.

Additional Features
The unit has two buttons on top, one for the Filter life indicator and one for the Pre-filter life indicator.

Construction Quality: Solid But Cheaper
The unit creaks and squeaks as I carry it and move it around. It is made out of a hard plastic which similar to what your computer monitor or keyboard would be made from. The one we keep around the office has yellowed with age (left unit), though we will be testing a brand new one out of the box.
The filter is quite light given the weight of the unit. This means that most of the weight is in the motor, which is a good sign. While costs have been cut to save on materials like plastic and durability, the motor is easily the most expensive component of this unit. Since motors are most likely to be your component that fails, having a good one can mean your unit will remain functional long after the warranty has expired.

Key Technologies

Honeywell units tend to be on the cheaper end of the scale in terms of air purifiers. Therefore, they do not tend to come with an new or innovative technologies. However, many low end Honeywell units actually have very high performance HEPA filters in them which we will see in section 7 below.

However, other than a high efficiency filter, the Honeywell 50250-S is a basic unit with no other significant features or technologies. This is ok though as the unit is intended to be a budget unit for allergies and dust.

Available Filter Options

As with all basic/lower priced units, filter options are usually at the minimum. This honeywell unit offers:A Large HEPA Filter & Carbon Pre-Filter. These two filters get changed separately on different schedules.

Large HEPA Filter
This filter is very high efficiency, as you will see below in our product testing. Due to its cylindrical shape, it has quite a lot of surface area, which allow for high airflow on the top speeds.

Carbon Pre-Filter
Most budget units include Carbon Pre-Filters. This is so they can claim that "carbon removes odors". While it is true the carbon removes odors, our experience tells us that there is not enough carbon on a pre-filter to be very effective for odors.
If you really need odor or chemical removal, a unit offering only a carbon pre-filter simply won't cut it and you should upgrade to a uni that offers several pounds of activated carbon in a pellet form. Despite the carbon not lasting long on the Honeywell 50250-S, a pre-filter is still good for capturing large particles like hair and some dust and is still recommended.

Product Specs

Coverage Area 300 sq ft
Efficiency 99.97%
Noise Levels 74 dB on High (Very Loud)
Power Consumption 180 Watts on High (High power consumption)
Energy Star Rated No
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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)
3 180 (very high) 68.5 (very loud) 99.9% (very good)
2 128 63 99.9%
1 92 55 99.8%

Cost to Operate

Cost to Operate: High
Monthly Power Cost:$19.44
Monthly Filter Cost: $16.30
Maximum Operating Cost: $35.74/month
Typical Operating Cost: $17.87/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:

Honeywell and many other lower priced brands often recommend very lengthy replacement schedules. They state that the main HEPA filter can last 3-5 years. Our belief is that Honeywell assumes you are only using the unit a few hours a day, and not 24/7, therefore this filter life is quite over stated. We have based our calculations on a 12 month filter replacement schedule.

Power Consumption Cost

Unit Power on High: 180 watts
Cost of Electricity from Utility: 15 cents/kWh
Your Daily Power Cost on High: 65 cents per day
Your Monthly Power Cost on High: $19.44/month on high

Filter Replacement Cost

Filter Cost Change Frequency
HEPA Filter (2 pack) $72* 3 every 12 months
Charcoal Pre-Filters $25 1 every 3 months

Power Cost:
The cost of running the Honeywell 50250 on high, 24/7 would be $19.44/mo.

Filter Cost
Replacing both the HEPA filter and the pre-filter on schedule would cost an average of $16.30/mo.

Maximum cost to operate the Honeywell 50250 is $19.44 (power cost) + $16.30 (filter cost) = $35.74/month. While we recommend that you run your units on high, 24/7, we don't expect that everyone will need to do that. Therefore, we divide the max cost to operate in half to get a more typical cost to operate of $17.87/mo.

Overall, the Honeywell 50250-S is cheap to buy, but rather expensive to run. This means that spending a little bit more up front on a more expensive unit could end up saving you a lot of money over the life of the unit.

Most Comparable Units

Honeywell 50250-S
Whirlpool Whispure 250
Alen T500
Price $169 $199 $249
Coverage (2 air changes) 750 800 500
Coverage (5 air changes) 300 320 200
Efficiency (0.3 Microns) 99.9% Not Yet Tested 92.8%
Noise on High (dB) 68.5 Not Yet Tested 56.5
Power on High 180 75 54
Warranty 5 Year 1 Year Lifetime Limited
Max Cost to Operate $35.74/mo $18.43/mo $10.71/mo
Typical Cost to Operate $17.87/mo $9.22/mo $5.36/mo
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The Honeywell 50250-S is a high performance unit available at a budget price. It's HEPA filter efficiency is unmatched by most units in its price range which make it a great entry level unit, or one for less frequent operation.

However, once you get past the savings on the initial purchase price, you will see that the unit is going to be costlier to maintain than the comparable units. Many budget air purifier brands operate similar to the printer/ink industry. By almost giving a away cheaply priced units, they build a customer base that needs to replace the filters in order to keep the unit functional.

As air purifiers increase in price, the quality of their parts tend to improve. This means better motors with lower power consumption, and often more reasonably priced filters. For a small ugprade in price, the Whispure 250, or Alen T500 begin to offer better performance and more features.

Areas for Improvement (The Bad)

Noise is the biggest drawback of this unit. It is loud on high and it would not be practical to have a conversation with someone or watch tv with this running on high nearby.

Power Consumption
Power consumption for this unit is quite high compared to most other air purifiers in its price range. This is because of the high efficiency filter, but if the unit is too loud to use, then you won't get much benefit from a good filter.

If you are buying this unit because of its low price, and you expect to use it regularly, you are likely going to be better off financially to spend a little bit more up front for a unit that is cheaper to operate.


Reasons to Buy (The Good)

You need a budget unit for basic allergy and dust concerns. You don’t mind noise on the higher settings or can tolerate it when you really need to. You want something basic and functional.

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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