Lifewise Ultra Air Purifier
The LifeWise Ultra 63-1530 Air Purifier retails for $150 to $200 at Radio Shack. Pre-filter replacements cost $6.25 for a two-pack, and replacement UV bulbs cost $30 for a two-pack. LifeWise is one of Radio Shack’s trademarks, and this air purifier is a KAZ model that has been rebranded for Radio Shack, and has been given a slimmer design. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers gives this product a clean air deliver rate, or CADR, of 69 for dust, 88 for pollen, and 80 for smoke. It is the right size for a small room. The 63-1530′s main selling point is that aside from the prefilter, there is no filter to replace because its main cleaning unit is an electrostatic collector rather than a HEPA filter.
With electrostatic air purifiers, impurities pass through the washable grid pre-filter, which picks up hair, lint, and larger particles. Charging wires ionize incoming air so that particles cling to the cleaning grid due to the electrical charge. It must be very consistently maintained and cleaned in order to do its job. The electrostatic cleaner is easy to vacuum, but it cannot be washed, and this means that oily airborne substances will build up. An ultraviolet light system made up of two UV lights will reduce the number of airborne germs in the exhaust. The power of the UV lamps is not published.
Users who buy the LifeWise Ultra 63-1530 do not like that it has to be kept meticulously clean or else it loses its efficiency. The overall rating for this model from the Radio Shack website is three stars out of a possible five. The UV purifier is not strong enough to do much in the way of disinfecting, but that is true of many home air purifiers that use UV technology. Users do like how quiet the machine is, saying it is easily quiet enough to sleep next to. These purifiers do release a certain amount of ozone, below the 0.050 parts per million that is the standard for medical devices. Users with asthma or heart disease are advised to consult their doctors before using any ozone-emitting air purifier.
Overall, this is a compact machine, at 10.75 x 16.5 x 9.25 inches, weighing about 10 lbs. It comes with a five year warranty exclusive of filters. While the idea of not having to replace HEPA filters is very appealing to some consumers, users must know that they have to clean the electrostatic grid often and thoroughly to prevent it from clogging up.