I mentioned a couple of months back that Electrolux had asked if I was interested in trying out their Electrolux Oxygen Ultra With PlasmaWave. You can read some of my original thoughts here. As of today, it's been just over two and a half months since we started using it - I wanted to use it longer term to be sure of some of my thoughts on it.
Here's a bit more on the technology details of it:
The Electrolux Oxygen Ultra With PlasmaWave uses a three stage filter system: The carbon filter starts off to filter odors and larger particles such as cooking odors and dust. The second stage is a HEPA filter that filters 99.97% of airborne pollutants at .3 microns - 300 times smaller than the diameter of human hair. PlasmaWave finishes it off using positive and negative ions to remove odor causing airborne pollutants.
When we originally installed it, we placed it in the living room as it is good to cover up to 400 feet, but within 24 hours we decided to move it to the bedroom. It's our most heavily tracked area, especially because at the time it was the only room with AC. Most nights, we have at least five pets on the bed with us, so there's plenty of dander floating around for the Odor Alert Sensor to find, that's for sure. It is super easy to install - just add in the filter that lasts for up to a year, and plug it in. It is supposed to be at least seven feet away from anything for it to work the best, but it's kind of hard to make sure everything is that far away in our small house. Let's say we ended up with things 2-3 feet away.
Just in case you haven't read my previous post, here's something I want to mention from it:
After being about 24 hours on auto, I had opened the window to try to get some cooler air in after turning off the AC last night. I noticed by about an hour later it had started kicking it up a notch and closed the window. I went to make dinner, and about a half an hour later, it was on a full scale attack on the junk in the air.
We almost always just let it run on auto, with a few exceptions when we could smell something off, but the machine wasn't kicking in high yet. I noticed quite a bit of entertaining "pick ups" from the Oxygen Ultra - if anyone passes um, gas, it KNOWS it. There's no lying about not doing it. LOL!! It knows dirty diapers, it knows when the litter box has a smell wafting in from the bathroom. There was several occasions where we would bring our dinner into the room when it was too hot, it also noticed the odor from our dinners and went to work. When it was starting to get colder last month, and we used our wood stove for the first time, within ten minutes, it had also picked it up - even though I am pretty sure we had the machine 400 feet away from the fireplace. That was AMAZING to me - as much as I love wood heat, I've been told it could be a source of my asthma and allergies, so the Oxygen Ultra would definitely be helping with that!
After running it for a little over a month, I received the first full electric bill that contained it running. It's an Energy Star product, so it's not that I had that much to be worried about (although our TV is and that one was a shock!) - I am going to guess that running it 24 hours a day, seven days a week added about $2 total to our bill. Perhaps if it didn't kick into high that much, it could have been lower - I suppose it just depends on how hard it works as to how much your bill will end up showing. At any rate, around $2 wasn't that bad at all.
(Please remember this is all MY opinions only, and not that of Electrolux) One of the things I noticed is that first month, I only used allergy medicine twice. I had very little sneezing attacks - and certain none of my full blown ones where I will sneeze 20-30 times in a row. My eyes felt better, and I did use my inhaler much less - which was amazing. I felt so much better!
Around the first week of October, it started getting much cooler here in Washington State. We started using an electric heater in the evenings and part of the day in order to not freeze to death. ;) Because the Oxygen Ultra releases cool air through the top vents, we made the decision to turn it off for awhile - I didn't want to have to make the electric heater not only work twice as hard, but pay more on electricity because the heater was fighting the cooler air.
(Again, please remember this is all MY opinions only, and not that of Electrolux) A few days later I started getting sick. At first I thought it was a basic cold, but then it seemed to be bronchitis - and then it kept swinging back into colds. I thought that we were just passing germs back and forth among my family - I wasn't the only one with sniffles - but what I seemed to be suffering from, no one else was. They were better within a few days, and here I was, sick for nearly a month. None of the OTC medications I tried really did anything. I have been absolutely miserable, and the wicked sneezing attacks came back so bad - not to mention the fact that I was using my rescue inhaler way more than I should, because I couldn't breathe.
A few days ago, it hit me exactly that - I had gotten sick after the Oxygen Ultra was turned off. I asked my DH what he thought, and we immediately turned it back on. Within a couple of hours, my eyes had stopped watering so bad. Within 24 hours, I felt better. As of today, I am still sniffling and coughing a bit, but I feel like I am finally kicking this virus. I suppose it could be that I am just finally getting better, but I really feel that the Oxygen Ultra is what has made a difference. (Again, my opinion only - your experience may differ)
So here's a quick run down on the pro/con of the Electrolux Oxygen Ultra With PlasmaWave:
Pro: Uses little electricity, works as promised, only have to change out the filter once a year, has a nifty little remote control you can use from across the room if you catch an odor it doesn't (or want to turn it off/on)
Con: while it says it's whisper silent, it can be a little noisy, especially on high - if you're not used to white noise, it might bother you when sleeping, the light on the screen can be bright at night (although it eliminates the need for a night light in most cases), possibly the price (see below)
Ah... the price. Comparing this suggested retail price of the Electrolux Oxygen Ultra With PlasmaWave ($299) to the price of my inhalers ($117 a pop) - it doesn't bother me. However, I know that there are brands on the market that are considered cheaper - in fact, I tried one several years ago. Again, this is just my experience but that $40 "purifier" needed the filters changed a lot more often (every 2-3 months), it didn't switch gears - or odor levels I guess you could call it, and it certainly didn't help me one bit. There are some products that you get what you pay for - and the Electrolux Oxygen Ultra With PlasmaWave is one of them. I would have spent my own money on the Electrolux Oxygen Ultra With PlasmaWave - in fact, my husband and I are discussing the possibility of having two running in the house at once so it's covering the whole place. Our family's health is worth it!
The PlasmaWave Air Purifier HEPA Filter (the replacement) does run $49.99. Again, I know this seems a little steep, but it does last for around one year. (you'll have plenty of time to find deals on them?) There is a filter light that will let you know when it needs changed, so you don't have to worry that maybe it's not ready yet and you're wasting money trying to guess if it needs changed or not.
If you are looking for a practical gift this season for an allergy or asthma sufferer in your life, I highly recommend the Electrolux Oxygen Ultra With PlasmaWave. After testing it over nearly three months, I can honestly say it worked even better than I expected in my home.
By the way, Captain, one of our Corgis, was suffering from airborne allergens of his own all Summer long. (This started back in May) According to the vet, she said it was along the lines of hay fever for humans - every morning the poor little guy would wake up with crust all over his eyes, and I had to clean it several times a day. Within a few days, it cleared up for him! He no longer has those gooky eyes. So if you have a pet with airborne allergies, you may want to give this a shot before moving on to the expensive - and hard to give - allergy shots. I wish this had been available with one of our previous Corgis who had such bad allergies. :(
I received the product mentioned above as a trial in my own home in order to test out and share my opinions of the product. All opinions and my experiences are my own, and not that of the company mentioned above. Chances are, your allergies and asthma differs from mine - after all, we are all unique - so your experiences with the product may differ from mine. Do not discontinue any medication you may be using without speaking to your doctor or health care professional first!
This post is part of my Holiday Gift Guide 2010. To see more great gift ideas, just click it.