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Alen’s BreatheSmart 75i is the company’s largest air purifier, and it’s one of the largest I’ve tested altogether. The 75i is also quite powerful–indeed, maybe too powerful for most residential users, making it a better fit in commercial venues.
Measuring a daunting 27 inches tall and 12 inches deep, it’s the 19 inch-wide face that really draws attention. Rather than designed as a cylinder or tower, the 27-pound BreatheSmart is built more like a CRT-style television that’s been turned on its side.
A pair of wheels on the rear of the unit’s base help (a little) with maneuvering the behemoth around, but any way you slice it, the BreatheSmart makes its presence known in the room.
Is the Alen BreatheSmart 75i available in different colors?
Unique to the BreatheSmart line is the availability of six different color schemes for that massive front panel, ranging from a soothing graphite pattern to a brushed stainless steel look to a faux oak grain.
If one of these fits in with your décor, it can certainly take some of the sting out of the dominating size of the unit. Just keep in mind that you’ll pay a $39 premium over the $749 asking price for any color aside from white.
Operationally, the unit is fairly standard. The front panel pops off to reveal a large HEPA filter (no rating specified) underneath. Air is pulled in from around the sides of the panel, through the filter, and emitted through a large grille on the top of the device. A child-friendly vent guard attachment is also in the box if you’re worried about Junior sticking a hand inside.
Designed to service rooms as large as 1,300 square feet, the 75i offers a beefy CADR of 347 cfm at the highest of five available speeds. (No breakdown for different pollutants is provided.) An option lets you turn on an ionization feature, in addition to the unit’s standard HEPA filtration system.
What kind of HEPA filters are offered with the Alen BreatheSmart 75i?
While the standard “Pure” filter is a simple HEPA model, two additional options are available, including “Fresh” (which adds a carbon filter for odors and VOCs), and “Pet,” which is tuned for animal hair and dander. Each offers a maximum lifespan of 15 months.
The Pure filter replacement costs $100; the others are $130 each, with a subscription available that knocks 10 percent off the price.
Onboard controls are basic but functional, including a color-coded ring around the power button that indicates one of five levels of particulates in the air.
Speed can be adjusted manually or using an automatic mode, and a countdown timer lets you shut the unit off after two, 4, or 12 hours. A child lock mode can also be activated to ward off little fingers.
How loud is the Alen BreatheSmart 75i?
The unit is whisper-quiet at its lowest speed, but in automatic mode I found the unit rather aggressive at ratcheting up the speed, even when particulate levels were low. The 75i gets quite loud when things start running at higher levels; I often ended up manually turning it down to quiet the room.
The Alen Air mobile app offers all of the onboard features and more, at least once you manage to get to them. The lengthy setup process includes more onerous security than my bank account, but while the process is a hassle, I completed it without any hiccups.
The app isn’t the most intuitive, in part because it seems to be designed to service multiple devices instead of just one. All status indicators include the number of devices which are in the given state, so you might see “1” running, “1” with “blue” air quality, and “1” with good filter life. You have to drill down to an individual device to access its controls and a detailed graph of both indoor and outdoor air quality history.
While the timer system works the same way in the app (with the same three time options), there’s no scheduling system that lets you set up recurring operations.
Is the Alen BreatheSmart 75i worth the cash?
The Alen BreatheSmart 75i is nothing if not powerful. In fact, the unit is so punchy that it can create a breeze across a moderately large room, which may be more than most home users need.
The same goes for the outsized price tag, which probably makes the unit better suited for commercial environments, especially if you want it to match your office’s wood paneling.