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It’s an unfortunate fact that so many people are currently experiencing unprecedented levels of contamination in the air they breathe in 2020. Whether it’s from wildfire smoke or city pollution, it’s bad news for respiratory health and general wellbeing at home.
Hence the need for an excellent air purifier that can combat smoke, fumes, gas, and chemicals. For this reason, we have reviewed the IQAir GC Multigas air purifier as it is designed especially to reduce nasty pollutants from the air.
We assess the features, functionality, maintenance costs, overall effectiveness, and compare it to the IQAir Healthpro Plus model in our comprehensive review.
IQAir GC Multigas Is Best For:
✔ Tobacco smoke
We have pinned this unit with the award for “best for smoke” as it has been designed especially to clear smoke, gas, chemicals, and VOCs from your environment. We all know that even second-hand smoke exposes us to many harmful chemicals, and the 12 pounds of “gas-phase media” activated carbon absorbs these nasties efficiently, (many positive user reviews support this).
✔ Asthma and allergies
We’ve given this unit a “best for asthma and allergies” award thanks to the super HEPA filter that catches particles as small as 0.003 microns that can trigger asthma attacks. People who have pollen, mold, dust, and pet-related allergies are protected from unnecessary flare-ups and can, therefore, sleep better (and require fewer tissues and antihistamines).
Note that IQAir purifiers don’t produce any ozone (no ionizers or UV lights) which means they’re ideal for people with sensitive respiratory systems or Multi Chemical Sensitivity. We were pleased to discover this as we reviewed the specs, as it’s a sore point for many people. What’s more, the materials they use for the body of the unit are ABS plastics that do not emit nasty fumes into your home that can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms.
✔ Large rooms
The GC Multigas is designed for large spaces up to 1125 square feet, earning it a “best for large rooms” award. You could easily cater to a large floor in your house, an entire apartment, or an open-plan office.
✔ Pet odors, hair, and dander
The IQAir GC gets the Air Honest award for “best for pets and pet dander” because of the HyperHEPA pre-filter that captures particles as small as 0.003 microns (95%).
This means tiny fragments of pet dander (as well as hair) are snatched from the air before they can settle in your respiratory system, while the GC Multigas cartridge obliterates pet odors (supported by excellent reviews). Another great benefit is that there’s no ozone production to threaten your pet’s health.
Setup, aesthetic, and overall design
The GC Multigas is a large, tower-style unit in grey, with a blue vertical stripe down the center, and like other IQAir models, it’s quite bulky and looks similar to a printer or scanner.
The air is drawn in through the air inlets at the bottom of the unit, where it meets the HyperHEPA pre-filter before flowing through the GC Multigas cylinders (covered in post-filter sleeves) at the top of the unit. The clean air is then set out through the air outlets all the way around the top of the unit.
There is a small control panel at the top of the unit, with minimal lights and only the bare necessities (on/off, fan speed, and menu). There’s also a little panel of LED lights that indicate the status of the filters to remind you when to check and change them.
Size, weight, room size, and ratings
Interestingly, the IQAir GC Multigas does not have an AHAM CADR rating, as the IQAir company considers it to be a problematic rating system. However, the manual does state a list of air delivery rates for each fan speed, ranging from 40 to 300 cubic feet per minute.
Size: 16 x 15 x 28 inches
Weight: 44 pounds
Coverage: 1125 square feet
Energy star rated? No
The filtration system is excellent, as it provides maximum effect without any harmful or unnecessary extras such as ionizers or UV-C lights.
Pre-Filter: HyperHEPA pre-filter catches particles as small as 0.003 microns (95% of them). This filter sits at the bottom of the unit, directly above the air intake, ready to filter out large particles
Odor Filter: the cylindrical GC Multigas Cartridges sit above the pre-filter and contain 12 pounds of activated carbon to neutralize odors and remove gas, chemicals, and smoke. They also contain the IQAir GC Chemisorber technology that uses alumina pellets to destroy nasty chemicals such as formaldehyde
Post-Filter Sleeve: the filters are wrapped in sleeves that ensure no particles can escape the filters
Modes, operation, and extras
Keep looking if you’re after many different features and flashy modes, as the GC Multigas isn’t WiFi compatible, it doesn’t have an air quality sensor and indicator, and it doesn’t have separate modes for sleep.
This may be a negative aspect for some people who like to have modern features, while others may not bat an eyelid. One thing we can agree on, however, is that the filtration system is excellent regardless of the lack of extra features.
3D Ultraseal: the unit is thoroughly sealed between the housing and the filters to ensure allergens are kept in the filter and cannot escape.
Healthy materials: IQAir uses ABS plastic that doesn’t give off any nasty fumes or chemicals. This is good news for people who are sensitive to strong odors or have chemical-triggered allergies.
Handle and wheels: the unit is a little easier to transport thanks to the wheels and handle.
Timer: allows you to program the unit to operate when you need it to.
Remote control: a sleek, small remote control that changes the fan speeds, turns the timer on and turns the unit on and off.
Filter status lights: each filter has its own LED that displays a colored light according to the filter status. Green symbolizes a fresh filter, while red lets you know you must change the filter.
6 fan speeds: there are 6 fan speeds, from a low-key 1 to full-on 6 (for dealing with higher levels of contamination).
Light and sound
We know that light pollution at night is an issue for many people, making or breaking their opinion of home and bedroom-based appliances. However, we were pleased to see that there are no bright or unnecessary lights flashing on the GC Multigas, and the small control panel can be easily covered if the minimal lights are still too bright at night.
In terms of noise levels, the lower speeds are quiet enough for people who aren’t very sensitive to noise, while levels 4-6 are reported by many to be loud by reasonable standards. Some people have found that they run the highest speed when they are out of the house for a while, to get the best out of the high speeds without being subjected to a loud operation.
Note: if you’re interested in the exact sound levels, they range from 25 (whisper) to 69 decibels (conversation) depending on the fan speed.
Maintenance and extra accessories
All you really need to do to keep this unit in top shape (aside from replacing the filters) is wipe down the exterior housing with a damp cloth.
Can the filters be cleaned?
No, none of the filters can be cleaned, they must be replaced. The good news is that IQAir filters have a very long lifespan.
How much are filter replacements, how often do they need to be changed, and where can I get them?
The HyperHEPA Pre-Filter should be replaced each year (12 months), the GC MultiGas Cartridges should be replaced every 2.5 years (approximately), and the Post-Filter Sleeves must be replaced every 2.5 years, approximately. These times will change according to how often you use the unit, and how contaminated your air is.
You can find filter replacements on Amazon:
Now for the question of cost…the filter replacements are undeniably very expensive, even considering the long lifespan, so be prepared for a high-cost maintenance plan.
IQAir Healthpro Plus versus IQAir GC Multigas
These are two very similar products in aesthetic, dimensions, and efficiency as they both feature the HyperHEPA filter, but it is in the form of a pre-filter in the GC Multigas as opposed to a main filter.
The HealthPro Plus and the GC have a few key differences in their filtration systems. For example, the HealthPro has the PreMax pre-filter, the V-5 Cell filter (with 5 pounds of activated carbon as opposed to 12 pounds), and the HyperHEPA filter. Plus, the HealthPro does not have the post-filter sleeve set that the GC Multigas has.
IQAir Multigas Pros & Cons
✔ Protects you from gas, chemicals, and smoke
✔ Reduces allergy and asthma symptoms
✔ No ozone produced
✘ Very expensive filter replacements
✘ Reports of chemical smell emitting
✘ Reasonably loud
The IQAir GC Multigas Air Purifier is a large, “real deal” unit that caters to very large spaces and is a good choice for people who are sensitive to household chemicals, tobacco smoke, and wildfire smoke in 2020.
For asthmatics and allergy sufferers who need protection against the tiniest of allergens, but don’t want ozone to be released into their environment, this is a worthy contender, as our review has established.
The unit itself is expensive, (as are the filter replacements), which makes this a high-end product for larger budgets. The simplicity and modest number of features make it ideal for people who want minimal input into the running of the unit. If our review has solidified this as the best unit for you, you can find the best affordable price on Amazon.
- IQAir GC Multigas Is Best For:
- Setup, aesthetic, and overall design
- Size, weight, room size, and ratings
- Filtration System
- Modes, operation, and extras
- Light and sound
- Maintenance and extra accessories
- IQAir Healthpro Plus versus IQAir GC Multigas
- IQAir Multigas Pros & Cons
- The verdict