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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 3/27/2006 3:30:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2006 3:37:21 PM EDT by DOW]
I need an air filter for my house, possibly two. I was considering the Ionic Breeze but that fucker is expensive, so I'd like some other recommendations from the hive mind.


If you have an Ionic Breeze I'd like to hear from you, specifically do you feel it is worth the asking price?
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 3:35:48 PM EDT
yes. if you find anything good out.... let me know too.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 3:36:50 PM EDT
The Ionic Breeze is an expensive piece of crap. See below:

From Consumer Reports:

CR Quick Recommendations

Not all ionizing, electrostatic-precipitator models produce significant amounts of ozone. As shown in the Ratings, the Friedrich C-90A is effective and emits very little ozone, as does the HEPA-filter Whirlpool 45030. But those we don't recommend produced ozone and did a poor job cleaning the air. New tests confirm that pollen performance, which we haven't measured before, tracks with dust and smoke performance. If you already own one of the five poor-performing ionizers below, try returning it for a refund.

We advise thinking twice about buying any air cleaner before following a few simple, low- or no-cost cleaning methods. Here are some tips from the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the American Lung Association:

• Reduce indoor pollutants. Ban indoor smoking. Minimize candles, incense, and wood-burning fires, and use unscented cleaners. Wash linens in hot water. Keep dust-sensitive people out of the area when vacuuming. Also be sure to keep solvents and pesticides outdoors.

• Keep your home ventilated. Use outdoor-venting exhaust fans in kitchen, bath, and laundry areas to reduce moisture and airborne particles that can breed respiratory irritants. Maintain heating and cooling equipment, chimneys, and vents to minimize the presence of carbon monoxide in your living space.

If you buy an air cleaner, choose one that works (see the recommended models in the Ratings). The Friedrich electrostatic precipitator and the Whirlpool HEPA model were also recommended in previous reports. We plan a full air-cleaner report later in 2005.


Air cleaners: The truth behind the accolades

Ads for air cleaners from Sharper Image and Oreck include a Seal of Truth from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), a Washington, D.C.-based group. Sharper Image ads also display a Seal of Approval from the British Allergy Foundation, now known as Allergy UK, and refer to university studies claimed to support Sharper Image's air-cleaner claims.

As we found, some university studies were funded by the manufacturer. We also found that another seal on some air cleaners addresses the volume of clean air those machines deliver, though it doesn't tell the whole story.

NO ENDORSEMENT The AAFA says its Seal of Truth isn't an endorsement, but its laudatory tone suggests otherwise.

What seals don't tell you. The AAFA's Seal of Truth program is open to manufacturers who submit a $5,000 application fee. According to the AAFA, companies are asked to submit “independent” research for review by a panel of experts, who determine whether a product's performance meets its claims. If the panel says it does, manufacturers can apply the seal to that product for two years. Fewer than 12 allergy-related products, including vacuums and cleaning products, have the seal; Sharper Image's Ionic Breeze and Oreck's XL are the only air cleaners with it.

The AAFA states on its Web site that its expert panel includes M.D.s, Ph.D.s, and Masters of Public Health. Michael Tringale, an AAFA spokesman, would not identify its experts, citing confidentiality concerns. Nor would Tringale or Sharper Image show us research submitted as part of the seal program. But the AAFA's literature discloses two points that the air-cleaner ads don't mention.

One is that its seal is not an endorsement or statement of clinical efficacy. Yet the words on the seal for Sharper Image's Ionic Breeze, above, imply otherwise.

The other is that its program isn't a comparison but, rather, “helps consumers distinguish truthful product claims relating to asthma and allergies, regardless of how products compare to each other.” In an interview, Tringale said that AAFA panel members saw a Consumer Reports air-cleaners report that found the Ionic Breeze ineffective, but granted the seal anyway. “Because we aren't rating in comparison,” Tringale said, “we asked, does the research stand up? And indeed it did.” But when Sharper Image submitted studies to Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, they didn't stand up.

Allergy UK's Seal of Approval program is somewhat like the AAFA's, though it says its seal is an endorsement. A manufacturer submits a fee for new testing by an “independent scientific consultant” at the University College Worcester or a review of its own independent tests. According to the British group, a 39-member panel of experts sets specific protocols for each product.

Allergy UK would not disclose detailed information about its review protocol. What's more, the foundation states on its Web site that its endorsement does not mean that a product will necessarily reduce an allergy sufferer's symptoms.

Endorsement programs between business and nonprofit groups raise ethical concerns. A 1994 study commissioned by the American Cancer Society concluded that the use of its logo is seen as endorsement. In 1997 the American Medical Association withdrew from an agreement allowing its logo to be used on Sunbeam blood-pressure monitors and other devices amid conflict-of-interest concerns. That withdrawal resulted in a nearly $10 million breach-of-contract settlement with Sunbeam.

By 1999 such programs led 16 state attorneys general to issue a report warning that their implied product endorsements could “mislead, deceive or confuse the public.” Such programs remain numerous. But some organizations acknowledge concerns. The American Lung Association says its national board comprises physicians and others who agree to its conflict-of-interest policy, which excludes directors from companies with which it has partnerships. At the time this report was written, the AAFA's Web site showed that its board included representatives of pharmaceutical, medical-device, and air-filter manufacturers.

What the studies don't say. Studies touted in Sharper Image ads came under scrutiny last year in the company's lawsuit against Consumers Union. Court testimony and documents revealed information absent from the ads. For one, documents showed that a researcher had been receiving a $6,000 monthly retainer from Sharper Image for research used by the company to support the sale of its Ionic Breeze. The company also provided research grants to a university professor and author of two reports about the Ionic Breeze prepared at Sharper Image's request, and compensated others whose research was cited.

PRODUCT PLUG Allergy UK makes no bones about calling its seal an endorsement.

One study was deemed irrelevant by Consumers Union because the Ionic Breeze was used as a particle collector, not as an air-cleaning device. To put that difference into perspective, you can collect the dust particles that settle out of the air and onto a tabletop in a room, but that doesn't make the table an air cleaner.

In November 2004 federal Judge Maxine Chesney dismissed Sharper Image's suit, holding that there was no reasonable probability that Consumers Union's findings were false and that Sharper Image's studies provided no basis for challenging those findings. (See Sharper Image lawsuit ends.)

What's in the numbers. Many models, including the Friedrich and Whirlpool, have clean-air delivery-rate (CADR) certifications. Seals are issued by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). A manufacturer must submit its line to independent lab tests or have its results verified by an AHAM-designated lab. The seal lists CADR results and the room size that a model can effectively clean. It also notes that a higher CADR is better. While the numbers are a good guide to an air cleaner's effectiveness, you must check one of AHAM's Web sites (www.cadr.org) to compare models.

What's a good rating? You'll see numbers from 10 to 450. Generally, we judge CADR values above 350 excellent and those below 75 poor. Air cleaners with a CADR of 10 or less are barely distinguishable from gravity at removing airborne particles.

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