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As air pollution continues to increase, manufacturers are working around the clock to offer air purifiers that remove most of the common pollutants. These include mold, odors, dust, smoke, allergens, and germs.
It’s undeniable that most of them have succeeded. However, only a few can bring this potency at a price tag that doesn’t break the bank.
Fellowes is one such brand, and the AeraMax 100 is one of their most highly rated air purifiers.
Fellowes AeraMax 100 Review “Best For” Awards:
- Those with allergic conditions– this device has a sophisticated 4-stage filtration system to capture most common allergens, including pollen, mold spores, and cat, dog, and rodent dander.
- People with asthma– the AeraMax 100 uses a True HEPA, Activated Charcoal filter, and an optional ionizer to minimize most of the air pollutants that set off asthma attacks.
- Smokers and people who live with smokers– the Activated Charcoal filter gets good backing from the ionizer in removing smoke odors from the air.
- Homeowners struggling with pet odors, hair, and fur– this device’s combination of a True HEPA, Activated Carbon Filter, and ionizer make it a perfect solution for dealing with shedding pets and pet odors.
- Those with small spaces– this model covers room spaces measuring 100-200 sq. ft.
Assembly and Set up Review
AeraMax sells its standalone air purifiers with almost zero assembly requirements. When you take this model out of the box, you’ll only need to uninstall the air filters from their compartment at the back, unwrap the plastic cover that they are in, and reinstall them.
The back cover is akin to a remote control’s battery compartment cover. So, you shouldn’t have problems accessing the filters and putting them back. After reinstalling the filters, plug the purifier into a 110v-120v power socket and switch it ON.
Construction Quality and Design Review
The AeraMax 100 boasts a sleek and stylish design with a minimalized, touch-sensitive control panel at the front, and a carrying handle at the top.
It uses the popular front-to-back air purification method. The air filtration kit is in a chamber at the back. The air-out grill, on the other hand, is thoughtfully hidden by the front panel that houses the controls.
You get this model in either white or black. They all look great, but then again, this will boil down to your personal preference.
Size, Weight, and Placement
This model has a tall-and-thin design with a height of 27.25″, and a base measuring 7.25″ (w), and 8.5″ (d).
We’ve seen large and bulky air purification units, and the AeraMax 100 isn’t any close to most of them. Considering that it capitalizes more on vertical height, we believe most people, including students and apartment dwellers, won’t have placement issues with it.
Wherever you choose to set it in your room, ensure that you leave some clearance, especially at the back. Placing it too close to the wall or furniture may block the air-in vents, thereby affecting its air suction performance.
This model is incredibly lightweight, too, at 8.5 pounds. This weight, together with the built-in handle makes it relatively easy for most people to move this unit around.
We Reviewed How The AeraMax 100 Works:
This device uses a system of fans to inhale indoor air through a series of filters and filterless technologies that remove air contaminants. The fan then ejects the cleaned air back into the room through the air-out vent.
When you turn it ON, the air goes through;
- Activated Charcoal filter– This filter is ideal for combating volatile organic compounds (VOCs), tobacco smoke, pet odor, mold odor, and kitchen smells.
- True HEPA– HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. For a filter to be labeled as a True HEPA, it should be able to remove 99.97% of contaminants that measure 0.3 microns. This filter will capture bacteria, viruses, dust, dust mites, mold spores, pollen, and pet dander, hair, and fur.
- “Aerasafe” Antimicrobial Treatment– Fellowes says that this is a technology used on its True HEPA filter to prevent it from deterioration by curbing the growth of mold, bacteria, and odor.
- PlasmaTrue Technology– the last stage creates an ionized field that kills airborne bacteria, viruses, and molds. There’s an option to switch it OFF if you are worried about ozone creation.
Controls and Operation Modes
The AeraMax features a simple and straightforward control panel without lots of unnecessary buttons to confuse you.
This air purifier will start at auto mode by default. This mode uses an air sensor that Fellowes has dubbed the AeraSmart to monitor the air quality and adjust the fan speed accordingly. The AeraSmart gives its real-time air quality reports in 3 different colors via the large discontinuous circle at the top.
You can also manually cycle through this air purifier’s 3 fan speeds; low, medium, and high. Another impressive mode on this control panel is the Aera+ button that activates a sort of turbo mode. This mode increases air turnover by 15%, which the manufacturer says that it’s excellent for cold and flu season.
The only drawback that we find with this control panel is that there’s no way to dim the LED lights. Most users say that the light does not disturb them, though.
Fellowes recommends utilizing this model in rooms with utmost 100 sq. ft. space. Of course, you could use it in slightly larger rooms with up to 200 sq. ft. However, it may take so long to lower the contaminants to significant levels.
The Fellowes AeraMax 100 air purifier has an ACH (Air Changes per Hour) of 3x. This means that in a 100-square feet room, this model will exchange the air 3 times every 1 hour. If you can use it in the manufacturer-recommended spaces, this ACH isn’t so bad, especially for an air purifier in this price range.
The AeraMax 100’s CADR for dust, smoke, and pollen is much lower too at 65 cfm, 68 cfm, and 75 cfm, respectively. CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) refers to the total volume of air in cubic feet that a purification device can clean within a minute.
Generally, the AeraMax is on the lower performance category. This is yet another reason to consider using it in smaller room spaces only.
The AeraMax has 2 sides as far as noise output is concerned. With the ionizer switched OFF, the noise at the lowest setting is rated at 38 dB. This is lower than the library ambient sound. Even at its highest setting, most people say that it’s not annoyingly loud.
However, when you activate the ionizer function, the air purifier starts emitting some popping noise, which some previous users found discomforting.
How much electricity does it use?
This model operates at between 37 watts (lowest fan-speed setting) and 51 watts (highest setting). Compared to other contenders in its price range, the AeraMax 100 isn’t the most energy-efficient.
It’s also not the most power-hungry, though. If you run it for 12 hours daily, it would cost you around $26 annually (electricity cost per kilowatt-hour estimated at $0.12).
The only maintenance that you’ll need to do on the AeraMax 100 will be to replace its air filters. This unit uses a relatively affordable True HEPA filter that lasts a full year with normal usage. The genuine replacement filter is the Fellowes O True HEPA filter.
The Activated Charcoal filter needs to be replaced quarterly. The replacements (Fellowes AeraMax Carbon filters, 9324001) are sold in a pack of 4 and are also among the cheapest on the market.
Warranty – This product comes with a 3-year limited warranty. The manufacturer promises to offer free repair services and support for any defects in workmanship and material.
What’s the difference between the AeraMax 100, 200, and 300?
The major difference between these models is their space coverage. While the 100 is meant for smaller rooms, the 200 can cover medium-size rooms with 200-400 sq. ft. The AeraMax 300 is the most powerful of the 3 and services spaces of up to 600 sq. ft. Also, the AeraMax 200 and 300 are Energy Star-rated while the 100 isn’t.
- Superb design
- 4-stage filtration system for excellent performance
- Can double as a white noise machine
- Lower noise output (without ionizer)
- Excellent air quality sensor
- Has turbo mode
- LED lights can’t be switched OFF
- Designed for smaller spaces
- Ionizer makes a crackling noise
- Has no sleep mode
At its price range, the AeraMax is hard to beat if you want an air purifier for small bedrooms, living rooms, and offices. This model has a lot to go for, including a reliable 4-stage air purification mechanism with relatively affordable replacement filters. Even better, it can double up as a white noise generator. Although it does get a little bit loud with the ionizer, there’s an option to switch this function OFF.
Yes. With the ionizing function ON, this model will create a small amount of ozone. However, Fellowes says that it is UL-tested and certified to be below the UL’s specification for ozone.
The True HEPA filter lasts 1 year and should be replaced using the Fellowes O True HEPA filter. The Activated Charcoal filter lasts 3 months. It should be replaced using the Fellowes Aeramax Carbon filters, 9324001 (sold in a pack of 4).
Unfortunately, there’s no way to switch it off. However, most previous users say that it does not disturb them.
AirHonest’s Expert Tips
- Operate it at Auto Mode to minimize energy usage.
- Place it 10-15’’ off the wall for optimum air suction.
- If your room arrangement allows, consider placing the purifier in the middle.
- Set the fan at medium speed if you prefer white noise (turn OFF ionizer- optional).
- Take advantage of the Aera+ function during flu and cold seasons.
- Assembly and Set up Review
- Construction Quality and Design Review
- Size, Weight, and Placement
- We Reviewed How The AeraMax 100 Works:
- Controls and Operation Modes
- What’s the difference between the AeraMax 100, 200, and 300?
- Review Verdict