Whirlpool Whispure AP51030K Review

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Covering up to 500 square feet, this inexpensive air purifier with HEPA and carbon filters boasts an impressive pollen CADR of 401 and makes critics' pick lists alongside models costing hundreds more.

The Whispure line of air purifiers from Whirlpool, the brand known for home appliances, continually receives positive reviews from experts and consumers. The devices are especially noted for their durability. While most cheap air purifiers come with three-year warranties at best, Whispure models remain protected for five years.

Offering 500 square feet of coverage, the Whirlpool Whispure AP51030K (starting at $279, Amazon) is the brand's largest air purifier and boasts solid CADR ratings of 315 for smoke, 325 for dust, and 401 for pollen (experts recommend about two-thirds of the coverage area). This air purifier has a three-step filtration system: An internal fan moves air through the pre-filter to capture large particles, the air is deodorized by the carbon filter, and remaining microscopic allergens are captured by a HEPA filter. There are four fan speeds, as opposed to the standard three found on many inexpensive air purifiers, including a turbo setting ideal for launching high-powered attacks on airborne pollutants. A filter change indicator conveniently notifies users in advance to ensure that replacements will be on hand when needed to keep the unit working at optimal efficiency.

Where to buy

When tested by consumer product experts, the Whirlpool Whispure AP51030K has scored very high for its ability to remove smoke, dust, and pollen, even at its lowest speeds. Customer reviews on Amazon, Walmart, and Sylvane.com, a retail site that specializes in air quality products, confirm these findings. Many praise this model for ridding their homes of cigarette fumes or even wildfire smoke. Several were impressed to see the fan visibly removing dust particles and pet hair from the air. Scores of allergy sufferers credit this machine with notable improvements in symptoms of indoor allergies.

For the most part, disappointments focus on the unit's charcoal filter, which some reviewers found less effective at removing unpleasant smells from their homes as they would have liked. Experts say this model is meant to handle only light odors.

The main drawback of this relatively inexpensive machine is that the manufacturer recommends annual replacement of the HEPA filter, which can cost as much as $100, and the carbon filter is to be changed out every three months (we saw packs of four for about $30). These outlays are rather on the high side -- even more so than replacement costs for some more expensive units. But given the comparatively low upfront cost and demonstrated longevity of the machine, the Whirlpool Whispure AP51030K remains an excellent value overall. It's also Energy Star qualified, so it should be slightly easier on your electricity bill.

Tahirah Blanding

Tahirah Blanding is a blogger and freelance writer currently pursuing her graduate degree in professional communication. She spends her spare time browsing thrift shops in the local area. Tahirah enjoys a good deal, coupon cutting, and short stories.

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