If you’re shopping for a great purifier at a very reasonable price, this Honeywell 50250 s review is for you. We wanted to go the extra mile on this one because we think this is one of, if not the, best purifiers around (or under) two hundred dollars. In this review, we’ll cover what separates this air purifier from the pack… and hopefully save you some time while we’re at it.
Gimmick laden purifiers make decisions difficult. That’s just a fact of life when it comes to the lower-priced purifier market. There are a ton of $100-200 purifiers that offer UV “purification,” filterless filters, ionizers, etc. While some of those technologies kind of work… sometimes; we think it’s wise to stick to what actually works.
So does Honeywell. They decided to take the high road and design a gimmick free purifier at a fair price. With the 50250-s you get government-regulated HEPA filtration and scientifically-proven activated carbon. The former captures small particles and the latter absorbs VOCs and odor (technically it adsorbs… but that’s better left for another discussion).
Honeywell 50250 s Review Highlights
- Huge 360 degree air intake
- One of the largest true HEPA filters available
- Activated Carbon pre-filter that traps odor and VOCs while protecting the HEPA filter from larger particles
- Rated coverage – 390 Square Feet (36.23 SM)
- AHAM Certified Clean Air Delivery Rate of 250 pollen/250 dust/250 Smoke
- Powerful fan capable of moving 252 cubic feet of air every minute
- Long track record – the 50250-s is one of the longest production runs in the plug in purifier market
- Affordable replacement filters
There aren’t many companies with a portfolio like Honeywell. The New Jersey based company engineers and manufactures products for aerospace and defense, the healthcare industry, and homes like yours… just to name a few. In thier household product line alone the offer smart home products, HVAC controls, home security, and of course air purifiers. We’re not fans of corporate jargon… but holy synergies Honeywell.
What does this mean to you? First, Honeywell is a global corporation so they’re much more likely to be around for a long, long time. Second, there’s bound to be some overlap in engineering and technological advancements. Your purifier Honeywell probably has something in common with the latest commercial airliner. Third, their size helps them keep cost down… which we think is reflected in the low price of the 50250-S.
What will the 50250-s Remove?
The Honeywell’s huge HEPA filter will capture 99.97% of particles measuring .3 microns or larger. For reference a human hair measures about 50 microns in diameter. One of your red blood cells would be stopped by a filter capable of capturing particles as small as eight microns. So A HEPA filter is capable of capturing pretty much any particle you can come up with.
What that HEPA filter will not capture is gas or volatile organic compounds. But, don’t worry… the activated carbon pre filter does a great job of capturing both odor and VOCs through a process known as adsorption. Just think of activated carbon as an ultra porous trap for gas and odor. The prefilter also helps extend the life of the HEPA filter by trapping huge (relatively speaking) contaminants. And, when it gets visibly dirty you can just vacuum the prefilter.
If you’re thinking that you’ve heard about activated carbon before; you probably have. It’s been used in water purification for a very, very long time.
How does the Purifier Operate
The 50250-S is elegantly simple. There’s a fan, control panel, a HEPA filter, and an activated carbon pre filter contained by a cylindrical housing. There’s no smart phone app, no UV light, and no ionizer.
The air intake sucks dirty air in from 360 degrees, passes it through air scrubbing filters, and exhausts through the top of the appliance. On its trip through the machine large objects (like pet hair) are trapped by the prefilter. Which also does a great job of soaking up odor thanks to activated carbon. From there is moves into the true HEPA filter element where insanely small particles are trapped in a fine mesh. The clean air is then exhausted into the room. Simple, right?
Like more expensive purifier models (AirMega and AustinAir to name two of the best) this purifier provides a lot of filter surface area and a ton of activate carbon. Basic models don’t even come close. In fact most rely on a small rectangular filter and a relatively weak fan to separate dust and pollen from the air you breathe.
How to Use a 50250-S
Once you unbox the purifier place it in a space no larger than 390 square feet. That’s about the same size as the average two-car garage. In smaller spaces it will be even more effective. In larger rooms it will work but not as well as a powerhouse like AirMega’s 400S. That will tackle a 1,560 square foot space without breaking a sweat. Honeywell recommends placing the purifier 3 feet from the wall, but in practice that’s easier said than done. The 50250 s isn’t exactly small.
After you plug the purifier into a wall outlet turn the 3 speed fan selector to its highest setting. Then let it run for a few minutes in it’s highest speed before dialing things down. Since the appliance exhausts upward you shouldn’t need to worry about placing it too close to a wall. However, you may want to look for a space away from windows since curtains or blinds will be blown around a bit by the exhaust.
Feel free to leave the unit running, that’s what we do, but in most rooms the lowest setting is adequate for long term use. The low setting is pretty quiet (Honeywell says 35 dB) so you shouldn’t be too concerned about excessive noise. On high (aka “turbo”) it’s fairly loud, so use it only when needed. We recommend high and medium when you’re dusting or vacuuming a room. It’s also handy if your allergies are flaring up. Or even when you burn some toast.
The only other control panel feature to cover is the filter change light. When the filter needs to be changed a small light will illuminate on the control panel. Change or vacuum the filter and reset the light. This won’t happen very often… Honeywell rates the filter life at 3-5 years.
Technical Specifications of the 50250-S
|Honeywell 50250 s
|390 Square Feet
|Air Flow CFM
|up to 252
|18 x 18 x 19.6 inches
About the Filters
In the image above, you’ll see both the 50250-s HEPA filter and its activated carbon prefilter. The prefilter is wrapped around the HEPA filter.
Compared to other purifier options the replacement HEPA filter is very, very affordable. In fact, it’s about one third the price of a replacement filter for an AustinAir Healthmate. When you consider that both last 3-5 years that isn’t a huge deal, but it does show just how affordable the 50250-s is to own and maintain.
You can keep the HEPA filter clean by giving it a good vacuum every 1-2 months. Be sure to either use a HEPA equipped vacuum or clean it outside; otherwise you’re just blowing the captured dust back into the room. You’ll also want to use a soft brush attachment when cleaning the HEPA filter. Treat the filter gently, if you cram a hard plastic wand into the pleats you’re going to tear the fragile element.
The filter you’ll touch more frequently is the prefilter. As we mentioned above, this is the element that will take the brunt of the dirt and debris. Expect to vacuum it as often as every two weeks in a dustier environment. Or slightly less often in less demanding spaces. You can also rinse the pre filter with tap water if need be. But, they’re affordable enough to just replace if vacuuming isn’t working (typically less than ten dollars). Also, if you do decide to rinse a filter… don’t let it touch the HEPA filter until it’s completely dry. Never let your HEPA filter get wet.
50250-S Flaws and Quirks
This is a great purifier at a great price point. But, like anything you get what you pay for. Or perhaps a better way to look at it is… you won’t get what you don’t pay for. Don’t expect this to hang with an AirMega or Austin Air. An AirMega, for just over three times the price, will clean a space almost four times larger than the 50250-s. It also has a ton of smart features. For some that might present a better value. AustinAir’s largest model has 15 pounds of odor trapping carbon (and Zeolite). That’s exponentially more odor fighting ability than the Honeywell. And, it does it without an exponential price jump.
Compared to higher end models this purifier is also pretty loud. That’s not to say it’s terribly loud… just louder than premium models.
You’re also not going to get much in the looks and features department. The 50250-S isn’t bad looking, but it isn’t as attractive as say a RabbitAir MinusA2. It’s also fairly large so if you don’t like the way it looks don’t expect to tuck it away in a corner where no one will notice. And, when it comes to features… the 50250-S is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum when compared to an AirMega. The 50250-s doesn’t even have a timer.
Like anything you’ll buy the 50250-s does have a few quirks. However, those quirks are easily forgiven when you see how well this purifier works. Especially if you have a limited budget. These can be had for well under the MSRP of about 200 dollars. We think it’s one of the best purifiers you can buy… that’s why we bought one. We pay retail and keep some of the purifiers we review. The 50250-s is not going anywhere any time soon.
Honeywell’s 50250-S is available at quite a few online and brick and mortar retailers. As are the replacement filters. We purchased the one for this review on Amazon.