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Published on January 3rd, 2011 | by Greg

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Cleaner Air Quickly With Holmes

We’ve re­cent­ly had some air qual­i­ty is­sues in our build­ing- a mix of kitchen smoke, fumes from our test labs, and like­ly some mildew or mold has tak­en root dur­ing our reg­u­lar trav­el. Those who smoke cigarettes, have al­ler­gies, or just have pets know what we’re talk­ing about- is­sues breath­ing and odor prob­lems. We need­ed an air fil­ter, be­fore the hol­i­days set in and up­set friends and fam­i­ly.

The Holmes HAP756-U doesn’t look like much. It’s al­most all ven­ti­la­tion, with a tiny and slight­ly-hard to use con­trol pan­el. Nor­mal­ly, that might be a prob­lem, but when the pur­pose of a unit is to suck and fil­ter air, we’re hap­py to see a small­er ma­chine not waste any space. The list of fea­tures in­trigued us, not least the claim of of­fer­ing true HEPA fil­tra­tion, with 99.7% of al­ler­gens re­moved. It al­so can cov­er a very large room, up to 400 square feet, which should be enough for all but larg­er apart­ments.

A timer mode al­lows you to set the unit run­ning for up to 16 hours, and the Arm & Ham­mer-en­hanced fil­ter is a bit of a gim­mick- but did seem to do a pret­ty good job on odors. A five year war­ran­ty backs up the con­struc­tion, which seemed pret­ty sol­id- our unit was heav­ier and denser than ex­pect­ed at 25 pounds, and wasn’t easy to find a nat­u­ral spot for. But once sit­u­at­ed, it op­er­at­ed fair­ly qui­et­ly, and it was easy to feel the dif­fer­ence quick­ly.

The down­side of the any of these units is the need to buy ad­di­tion­al fil­ters, and this mod­el re­quires two dif­fer­ent ones- a car­bon fil­ter as sort of a pre-fil­ter, and two true HEPA screens. At over $20 each, the lat­ter should last around a year (car­bon ones are much cheap­er at un­der $4 but need re­plac­ing more of­ten, ev­ery three to six months). One note: the HAP756-U will let you know when you need to re­place your HEPA fil­ter and your car­bon fil­ter with sep­a­rate lights- don’t re­place both at the same time un­nec­es­sar­i­ly, as it’s easy to make that mis­take.

There are four speed set­tings, from Sleep to High, and they of­fered enough gran­u­lar­i­ty to work well in dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions. We rarely used the high­est set­ting, opt­ing for a con­sis­tent run on Medi­um, which seemed to pro­vide the best re­sults. We didn’t love the se­mi-in­dus­tri­al look of the unit, and it seemed a bit dif­fi­cult to find a place for- but it ran smooth­ly, and of­fered ex­cel­lent re­sults both im­me­di­ate­ly and over time. And at about half the price of our re­cent­ly-re­viewed con­tender, the Holmes HAP-7560U is a bar­gain at $145 or so avail­able on­line.


About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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