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Honeywell is a household name when it comes to air purifiers, with a range of excellent models for different budgets and needs. This review focuses on the slick Honeywell AirGenius 5, a tower-style model with an abundance of cleaning options for a fresh 2020.

We’ve scoured this machine to find out the specs, filtration system, maintenance costs, and effectiveness. We also compared it to the Airgenius 5’s siblings, models 3 and 4. We provide an insight into the user experience by studying unbiased customer reviews both raving and constructive.

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Honeywell AirGenius 5 is Best For:

Allergies: as supported by many customer reviews, the AirGenius5 efficiently reduces and sometimes even eliminates allergy symptoms. The excellent allergy-clearing abilities can be attributed to the filter (catches common allergens 0.3 microns or larger), and the dedicated “allergen” cleaning stage. 

Pet odors: when using the optional odor-reducing carbon pre-filter, this unit is great at reducing odors in the home, especially pet-related smells. The “max” cleaning level (level 5) is great at quickly dealing with an influx of odors. 

Medium-sized rooms: this unit caters to rooms up to 250 square feet, enough for a large master bedroom or smaller living room. For context, the average size of an American living room is 330 square feet.

Size, Weight, Coverage, and Ratings

CADR: this model has been rated by AHAM for rooms up to 250 square feet, with the CADR reports as follows:

Smoke: 161 cfm
Dust: 160 cfm
Pollen: 170 cfm

CADR refers to “Clean Air Delivery Rate” and indicates how fast the air purifier takes to clear a certain room size.

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Size: 9.97 x 9.92 x 26.81 inches
Weight: 13.05 pounds 
Coverage: up to 250 square feet 
Energy-Star certified? Yes

Filtration System: does it produce ozone?

The filtration system consists of 3 parts and is a little controversial. For one, it has an ionizer, meaning it produces small amounts of ozone. For this to be sold legally in the USA, it must conform to safe ozone level regulations. As Honeywell states: “This product complies with the maximum allowable concentration of ozone of 0.050 parts per million by volume in a 24-hour period”. 

The other two filters are:

Washable pre-filter or odor-absorbing pre-filter: you can choose between a washable pre-filter, or an odor-reducing pre-filter to help with household smells 

Permanent washable ifD filter: the main filter is called the “ifD filter”, capturing 99.9% of allergens as small as 0.3 microns, meaning that it is not classified as true-HEPA (it needs to capture 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, so it almost makes the cut)

Style, Operation, Modes, and Features 

The Honeywell AirGenius 5 is a tower-style model with black plastic housing and a small footprint. At the bottom of the unit, there is a blue accent light that can be dimmed or turned off completely. It is a simple unit in the sense that it isn’t WiFi-enabled and there is no auto mode, but this keeps costs down and ensures an easy user experience. 

Timer: program the unit to run for 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 hours before switching off automatically

Cleaning modes: there are 5 cleaning modes including 1-sleep, 2-germ, 3-general, 4-allergen, and 5-max. Sleep mode uses the quietest fan speed, but note that it does not dim the control panel lights

Oscillate: you can opt for the model to move from side to side, or keep this function switched off. Some users who reviewed this model mentioned the oscillation feature created a clicking noise

Accent light button: dims or switches off the blue accent light at the bottom of the unit

Filter status light: illuminates based on the number of hours the unit has been running since the last filter replacement

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Maintenance and Filter Requirements 

An interesting fact about the AirGenius range (models 3, 4, and 5) is that the filters are washable and permanent. If you choose the washable pre-filter, you won’t need to buy any replacement filters. This is a great plus for people who want to keep maintenance costs down.

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Can the filters be cleaned or washed?

If you are using the permanent washable pre-filter, it can be washed, dried, and reused without requiring replacement. However, if you’ve chosen the optional odor-reducing pre-filter, it cannot be washed and must be changed every 3 months. 

The main ifD filter is also washable and should be cleaned every 3 months. All it requires is a rinse with warm, soapy water before being left to dry thoroughly. 

Where can I get replacement filters for the AirGenius5 and how much are they?

You can purchase a bundle (the unit plus 2 odor-reducing carbon filters) for the best price on Amazon here (Link Opens in a New Tab). The odor-reducing carbon filters are the only ones that will need to be replaced as the others are permanent and washable.  

Honeywell AirGenius5 vs Honeywell HPA300, AirGenius 3 and AirGenius 4

AirGenius 5 vs. HPA300

The HPA300 is one of Honeywell’s most popular models, (we reviewed it here). It is a large, oval-shaped unit for large spaces up to 465 square feet (compared to the AirGenius 5’s 250 square feet).

The HPA300 has a different filtration system in the sense that it is true-HEPA, it doesn’t have an ionizer, and the filters are not washable or permanent like the AirGenius5.  There are 4 cleaning levels: general, allergen, germ, and turbo, and a timer with increments of 2, 4, and 8 hours.

AirGenius 5 vs. AirGenius 3

The AirGenius 3 is a pared-down version of the 5, with only 3 cleaning levels (sleep, general, max), a regular button control panel, and no timer feature. It caters to a smaller room size of 225 square feet and has a smaller price tag than the 4 and 5 models. It has the same filtration system, oscillation feature, and filter check light. 

AirGenius 5 vs. AirGenius 4

The AirGenius 4 is almost identical to the AirGenius 5, but it only has 4 cleaning settings (hence the name). It does not have the “Germ” setting but it has the Allergen Removal setting. What’s more, it does not have a touch screen control panel and has regular buttons instead. The AirGenius 4 is a little cheaper than the 5, but not by a significant amount. 

AirGenius 5AirGenius 4AirGenius 3
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Optional carbon pre-filterYesYesYes
IonizerYesYesYes
Washable permanent FilterYesYesYes
Room Size (Square feet)250250225
TimerYesYesNo
Cleaning levels543
Allergen settingYesYesNo
Touch screenYesNoNo

Noise and Light: is it quiet and discreet?

People have different preferences and tolerances to noise and light in the home, so it can be tricky to give a definitive assessment of such factors. However, we can gather information provided by customers who left a telling review.

In this regard, the AirGenius5 proves to be a little inconvenient for people who require pitch blackness at night. The control panel lights are bright and cannot be dimmed or switched off. However, you could place a cloth or scarf over the panel to mute the brightness.

The consensus around noise is that levels 1 and 2 are quiet, 3 is audible, and 4 and 5 are considered loud. It’s safe to say that levels 1 and 2 are quiet enough for light sleepers to tolerate in the bedroom.

AirGenius 5 Pros & Cons

Pros 👍
✔ Filters are washable
✔ Effectively reduces allergy symptoms
✔ Clears odors

Cons 👎
✘ Ionizer cannot be turned off
✘ Produces ozone
✘ Not true-HEPA

Review Verdict

The Honeywell AirGenius5 is a sophisticated air purifier with thorough cleaning ability and affordable maintenance requirements. It’s great for people who want fresh-smelling, allergy-friendly air in 2020 but aren’t fussed on fancy tech features. If our review has tempted you, check it out for an affordable price on Amazon here.