Published on March 4th, 2012 | by Greg0
Electrostatic Air Purification: Crane Germ Defense
It doesn’t matter where you live- there is always going to be something in the air. In urban environments, you’ll deal with soot and other pollutants thanks to automobiles. In rural areas, you’ll find more pollen. If you have pets, there is dander, and everyone has to face bacteria and viruses and dust and cooking odors. Even if you aren’t allergic or sensitive to these things usually, you could get hit seasonally, and even the most hardy individual’s immune system probably could use a little extra help. Air purifiers are often secondary to humidifiers or de-humidifiers, but are starting to get more attention as stand-alone units.
The Crane EE-8072 Germ Defense Electrostatic Air Purifier is an interesting unit, a bit different from others that we’ve seen. For starters, it uses electrostatic technology, instead of the HEPA filters (or multi-step UV filtration) that is common among other systems. And there are some definite advantages (and a couple of downsides) that you should know about.
For starters, this is not meant for a whole house or even an apartment really. Rated to handle up to 230 square feet, you’ll want to put this in your bedroom, and make sure that it has sufficient airflow. Also, like many purifiers, it offers a few different modes, adjusting the fan speeds- and on the lowest setting is fairly quiet. But on the highest setting, which is where it will be most effective, the Crane unit was pretty loud. On the other hand, it offers a pretty small, compact footprint and was easy to move around. There’s no remote control, but the touch panel was easy to use. We might’ve liked a timer or clock to set up a program and automatically have it switch modes depending on the time of day, but it is easy enough to change them manually.
Unlike HEPA filters, the big advantage is that you never need to replace the filter- only clean it. And cleaning is pretty simple, you can wash them or use the included brush- simply pull the (fairly large) filter out and replace it. The purifier will even dry off the filter automatically and safely. Thus, the cost of ownership and use should be lower- and this is a fairly energy-efficient appliance as well. Smaller air purifiers are often given CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) ratings, and we have to admit to being impressed with the ones for this model- 147 for dust, 121 for smoke, and 149 for pollen. These are competitive with most HEPA filters that we saw in this price range. The manufacturer makes two strong claims that were independently verified (though we unfortunately cannot confirm them for ourselves): the “Crane Electrostatic Air Purifier removes up to 95 percent of dust mites, pollen, mold, and dander” and “will also reduce 90 percent of viruses and bacteria in the air after only two hours of use”.
Other than the flip-out feet feeling a bit cheap, and the control issues mentioned above, we definitely can recommend the Crane EE-8072. Available online and in stores for around $200, it’s much cheaper and easier to maintain, if less powerful and less attractive, than the Rabbit Air models we’ve previously reviewed.