Have you ever shopped for an air purifier? If so, you probably know that most of the highly effective ones are rather utilitarian in design. As far as color goes, your choices are usually black or white. Sometimes you luck up and get a third color choice (hello, gray).
There is one air purifier manufacturer that takes a different approach than its competitors. Instead of forcing consumers to work within the confines of its products’ appearance and capabilities, Alen lets people customize their air purifier from the way it looks to the way it performs. Alen’s BreatheSmart i-Series of air purifiers has everything you want and nothing you don’t.
What’s So Great About the i-Series Air Purifiers?
Whether you need small or large-room coverage, there is an Alen i-Series air purifier that can handle the square footage. However, you can customize more than just size. Both the Alen 45i and the 75i have a choice of 14 interchangeable panels, all of which is artfully created to appeal to anyone’s taste.
More important than the exterior is the filter within the air purifiers. From allergies and dust to foul odors and VOCs, you get four from which to choose. There is even a filter that’s able to trap one of the biggest airborne health threats – bacteria.
After you select a panel and a filter and get the air purifier set up, additional choices await on the control panel. With either of these two BreatheSmart i-Series purifiers, you are able to change the fan speed and timer length. Plus, there is a color-coded particle indicator, an automatic mode and a panel lock.
I’m Always Cleaning – Should I Really Be Worried About Bacteria?
The presence of bacteria in the air does not mean someone is a bad housekeeper. Most of the time, airborne bacteria comes from a home’s HVAC system. Modern homes are designed to be energy efficient – Their windows and exterior doors usually do a great job at keeping out drafts. Those that don’t are modified by homeowners, using weatherstripping and other materials.
Bacteria comes into play when a home’s HVAC system is running. The air circulates throughout the house, and there is nowhere for the bacteria in it to escape. When fans, air conditioners, and heaters are left running, the bacteria like staphylococci and streptococcus remain in the air. You can’t wipe it off a surface, and inhaling these germs can make you seriously ill.
An Overview of the 45i BreatheSmart
The Alen 45i BreatheSmart adds an elegant touch to any room. Designed for medium-sized bedrooms and home offices, the air purifier is relatively lightweight for its size, making it easy to move by the built-in handle wherever it’s needed.
As long as you use the purifier within the room size for which it’s made, you’ll find it won’t take long for the air to smell crisp and clean. We were fortunate enough to receive a 45i model from Alen, which our tester used in her kids’ bedroom. It only took 30 minutes for the particle indicator light to cycle from red to blue. She contributes the purifier’s effectiveness to its 245 CADR rating and HEPA-Pure filter configuration.
She also reported that her oldest child, who often wakes up with dust-induced sniffles, was able to breathe easily after running the 45i throughout the night. The fan is quiet even when on its fastest speed. There is a timer function if you only want the purifier on for a few hours. With the lock feature, you don’t have to worry about small children changing the settings when you aren’t looking.
An Overview of the 75i BreatheSmart
Finding an air purifier that covers large areas can be a challenge, but Alen has a BreatheSmart just for those spaces. The Alen 75i is perfect for use in open living rooms, basement dens and master suites. Whether you prefer on-trend or classic styles, you’re sure to love at least one of the front panel finishes available.
Since the 75i BreatheSmart is designed for extra-large rooms, it weighs over 10 pounds more than the 45i. However, a pair of integrated wheels let you tilt and roll the air purifier with ease. To accommodate the square footage, the air circulation rate maxes out at 350 cubic feet per minute. However, the purifier manages to hover under 50 decibels.
A total of four filter types are available, including one that traps bacteria and one that captures pet allergens. The intuitive control panel features an LED ring that changes to one of five colors depending on the current air quality. The panel also offers conveniences like a timer and a lights-out setting.
A rundown of the 45i and the 75i’s features paints an impressive picture. With all the air purifier brands out there, why choose Alen? At HouseholdMe, we actually like that Alen doesn’t diversify its product offerings. In other words, the company focuses solely on air purifiers, never skimping on quality.
Alen also works to make products better even after they are released. The 45i and the 75i are Wi-Fi ready, and Alen reportedly has an accompanying app in development. We look forward to testing out the app’s capabilities when it becomes available.
We also appreciate Alen’s warranty coverage. For quality appliances, a generous warranty period would be 5 or 10 years. However, Alen guarantees its air purifiers for life. No tricky hoops to jump through – just a simple lifetime guarantee.
Air Purifier FAQs
Never owned an air purifier before? Read the FAQs section to get your questions answered and learn the industry lingo.
How Much Maintenance Do Air Purifiers Require?
Air purifiers require minimal maintenance. Those that contain disposable filters will need new filters when the old ones reach the end of their lifespan. Reusable filters need a periodic vacuuming and/or washing per the manufacturer’s instructions. Beyond filter care, just wipe down the exterior as needed, and you’re good to go.
What’s the Big Deal About HEPA Filters?
HEPA filters are more than a buzz phrase. Quality-centered air purifier manufacturers only use HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, filters because these filter media are the most effective at trapping allergens. A genuine HEPA filter captures 99.97 percent of dust, bacteria, and other airborne contaminants as small as 0.3 microns.
What Are Microns?
A micron is a unit of measurement that manufacturers use to describe the efficiency of the filters inside of their air purifiers. One micron is equivalent to 39 millionths of 1 inch, which is smaller than what the eye can observe. Considering that bacteria can be smaller than 1 micron, a HEPA filter is an essential component of any air purifier.
Why Do Manufacturers Emphasize CADR Ratings?
CADR is an acronym for clean air delivery rate, and it describes how fast an air purifier can collect harmful particles and subsequently, release clean air into the room. Air purifiers have a CADR measurement for smoke, pollen, and dust. You may see all three listed separately or combined into an average.
Alen 45i BreatheSmart Review
If you’re tired of waking up with a stuffy nose and scratchy throat, the Alen 45i BreatheSmart can make morning allergy symptoms a problem of the past. The 45i air purifier boasts a dazzling selection of panels from which to choose, including a fun safari black, a sophisticated gold champagne, and a rich rosewood.
The air purifier is also small enough not to overtake the room and lightweight enough to lift and carry. On the inside, a powerful fan circulates air through the purifier at an efficient enough rate to make a noticeable difference in the air within an hour. As with the exterior panel, you also get a choice of four air purifiers, each of which tackles different contaminants.
While the Alen 45i runs quietly in the background, an LED indicator ring displays the current air quality. To maintain a healthy particle level without lifting a finger, you can operate the purifier on auto mode. The sleek control panel also offers an ozone-free ionizer, a timer and more.
Alen understands that people don’t want to sacrifice form for function. That’s why there are 14-panel finishes from which to choose. The choices range from wood grain to metallic, so there is a style that will definitely fit in with any room’s decor. If you want to switch it up, you can always buy an extra one – The panels are easy to interchange.
The 45i BreatheSmart is a space-saver. Although it stands 25 inches tall and measures 15 inches wide, the air purifier is slim at just 8.5 inches in depth. It sits on a sturdy base that prevents tip-overs from occurring, and a recessed handle on the rear allows for strain-free toting.
This 50-watt air purifier is equipped with a four-speed fan. With the 45i, you can expect a twice-per-hour air exchange rate in rooms up to 800 square feet when the fan is set to turbo speed. On the lowest fan speed, the purifier can still cover 250 square feet.
If white noise has never helped you sleep, you’ll appreciate the air purifier’s WhisperMax technology. Despite the 190 cubic feet per minute of airflow, the fan only emits a low-frequency pink noise, staying in a range of only 39 to 56 decibels.
When you customize your Alen 45i BreatheSmart, you’ll get four filter choices that help the purifier achieve a 245 CADR rating. For bacteria, there is the HEPA-Silver. This filter package is infused with antimicrobial material that stops bacteria and fungi growth in their tracks. There are also filters for dust, odors and VOCs.
Each filter package comes with a carbon layer that does an excellent job at stomping out bad odors. HouseholdMe’s tester found that her kids’ room always smells fresh (no easy feat in a room shared by a teenager and a pre-teen). Thankfully, the 6-9 month filter life means filter changes only happen 1-2 times per year.
Air Quality Indicator
You’ll never have to guess if you’re breathing clean air. The 45i has an LED ring in the center of the control panel. This ring changes color according to the current air quality. Red and orange indicate poor air quality while green and blue mean the air is healthy. Our tester reported that the indicator went from red to green in less than an hour.
If you don’t have time to adjust the fan, just press auto mode. In auto mode, the fan speed will speed up or slow down to achieve and subsequently maintain a healthy air quality.
Some particles are too small for a HEPA filter to catch. For these particles, there is the ionizer. The 45i’s ionizer releases negative ions without producing ozone. These ions attach to the ultra-tiny particles, making them large enough for the HEPA filter to trap. The ionizer feature comes in handy when you’re sick or undergoing a home renovation project.
The smooth touch panel also has a timer you can set up to 8 hours and an indicator that displays the filter life in three stages. If you don’t want anyone to accidentally change a setting, there is a button that locks the panel’s controls. Pressing the power button for 3 seconds lets you turn off the panel’s lights.
Alen 75i BreatheSmart Review
The higher a room’s air volume, the harder it is to maintain a healthy air quality, especially during the cold-and-flu season. For big rooms, there is the Alen 75i BreatheSmart. While it’s larger and heavier than the 45i, the 75i is anything but bulky, and it’s easy to move too.
Like the slim 45i, the 75i model is customizable inside and out. There are over two dozen panel styles, each one just as lovely as the last. You also get a choice as to the filter performance. With four filter packages, keeping bacteria at bay is no problem.
A quiet fan is one of the BreatheSmart line’s hallmarks, and the 75i is no exception. However, don’t let the soft-sounding fan fool you. It can reach a circulation rate well over 300 cubic feet per minute even in 1,000-plus square-feet spaces. Other features to love are the air purifier’s five-level air quality indicator, the three-setting timer, and the convenient auto-fan mode.
Do you love the elegance of espresso wood or prefer the clean finish of pure white? These panel choices and 12 others are available with the 75i. If you decide to get more than one, or need to change the filter, gently pull the panel out and snap the other one into place. This is the same setup as with the 45i model.
Where the two air purifiers differ is size. The 75i BreatheSmart weighs 12 pounds more than 45i. Its height, width and depth are also bigger at 27, 18.5 and 11.5 inches, respectively. However, a wide, flat base keeps the purifier from wobbling. A pair of wheels are built into the base to aid in moving the 75i.
No matter how large the room, chances are the Alen 75i can handle it. When the five-speed fan is set to turbo, the air purifier can circulate all the air in a 1,300-square-foot room once every half-hour. On low speed, the 75i delivers the same performance in 350 square feet.
On the highest speed, the fan circulation rate is 350 cubic feet per minute, which in part gives the purifier a 347 CADR rating. Since Alen used WhisperMax technology in the 45-watt air purifier, the sound never gets louder than 49 decibels.
As with the 45i, there are four types of HEPA filters for the 75i. The Pure filter eliminates bacteria, mold and dust while the Fresh filter traps all those particles as well as VOCs. If you have animals in your home, there is a Pet HEPA filter too.
Each filter’s lifespan is quite long, ranging from 12 to 15 months. Filter changes are a quick easy task. When it’s time to put in a new filter, pop off the panel and pull the tab to remove the old filter. Velcro the new filter set together, push it into the filter cubby and pop the cover back into place.
Air Quality Indicator
An integrated air quality indicator measures the number of particles in the air. This information is relayed via an LED ring. The ring’s color may be purple or red when the air quality is poor and green or blue when it’s healthy.
Five fan speeds allow for easy air-quality maintenance. However, you can automate this task and make it more precise in the process. When auto mode is active, the air purifier adjusts the fan speed for you to get the air clean as quickly as possible.
Besides an extra fan speed and a longer timer, the differences between the 45i’s and the 75’s control panel are minimal. Both are glossy and complete with flat touch buttons. Both panels have a panel lock that you press and hold to engage, and the indicator ring is front and center.
Like the 45i, the 75i also keeps you updated on the air purifier’s filter life. If you find it difficult to sleep with any kind of light source in the room, you have the option of turning off the control panel’s LED lights.
The 45i and the 75i: Similarities
The 45i and the 75i prove that Alen has perfected its craft. Both air purifiers are stylish and make a statement without overpowering the space. You can customize the front panel, and you can choose the filter that best suits you and your family’s needs.
With WhisperMax technology, the fan is quiet no matter how fast it’s spinning, and you can turn on the ionizer without worrying about ozone. There are no clunky buttons to contend with either, and every setting on the control panel is put there with the user’s convenience in mind.
Who Should Buy the Alen 45i BreatheSmart?
The Alen 45i is ideal for use in average-sized rooms and even rooms with vaulted ceilings in the square footage is small enough. If someone in your home suffers from allergies or immunosuppression, the 45i can help improve their quality of life. This is also an excellent air purifier if you want to get rid of smells created by pets or kids, and you hate the look of ugly, clunky appliances.
Who Should Buy the Alen 75i BreatheSmart?
The Alen 75i is well-suited for open-room concepts like living room/dining room/kitchen combos. If you have school-aged children, the 75i keeps germs from circulating around the house. Since the 75i is larger than the 45i, its filters are also bigger. This means they last longer. If the thought of just a yearly filter change appeals to you, you’ll like the 75i BreatheSmart.
Air Purifier Buyer’s Guide
Buying an air purifier is a daunting task, especially when your main goal is to stop the spread of germs. For bacteria reduction, quality counts. Here are the features that set quality air purifiers apart from the rest.
A HEPA Filter
No other filter except for a HEPA filter get the job done. Only a genuine HEPA filter can trap small particles like bacteria. Imitation HEPA filters and standard filters are simply not as effective in terms of the size and number of particles they can capture.
Matching the air purifier to the room’s square footage is crucial. For example, if your living room is 500 square feet but the air purifier is rated for rooms up to 250 square feet, the purifier won’t be able to keep up.
Less dust and hair on surfaces and a fresher smell in the air are signs that an air purifier is working. However, you’ll never truly know if the air is clean unless the air purifier has a particle monitor. The monitor should tell you how clean or dirty the air is through an easy-to-read indicator.
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