Mingus & Dottie Try It: Alen BreatheSmart Air Purifier

10.17.13 | By

If you live with dogs (and I’m going to assume you do), you know that they’re capable of all kinds of dirty. Hair, dander, every-little-thing-they-bring-in-from-outside… it winds up on your floors, on your furniture, and in the air you breathe. If you or your pup suffer from environmental allergies, breathing in all that particle-laden air isn’t very cool. This month, Mingus and Dottie test out the BreatheSmart air purifier from Alen to see how it handles two dogs’ worth of dirty air.

[Disclosure: Alen sent us a BreatheSmart air purifer to review. All views and opinions are our own.]

The Alen BreatheSmart air purifier is guaranteed to reduce allergens in your air like dust, dander, mold, and pollen, and it helps keep your home (or office) smelling fresher by reducing odors from pets, smoke, or other environmental sources. (I like to cook with garlic. Anyone else?) The BreatheSmart air purifier has a modern, sleek design, and it’s quite pretty for being, you know, a machine. Basically, if Apple designed an air purifier, this is sort of what I imagine it would look like. Cool, right?

BreatheSmart’s HEPA-OdorCell filter is designed to be a workhorse. This thing is serious. It’s about two inches thick and is made up of several different layers, including Alen’s patented MCP odor technology. I really don’t know exactly what that means, but basically the filter can remove up to 99% of of the particles (that measure greater than 0.3 microns) from your air. Science!

Installation of the filter couldn’t be easier – just pop open the front of the unit and place the filter inside. BreatheSmart’s cover snaps easily back into place via magnet locks. The foam filter cover can be removed and cleaned (washed or vacuumed), but the remainder of the filter requires periodic replacement.

I’m not sure exactly what my IQ is, but it’s quite possible that BreatheSmart’s is higher. You would not believe the bells and whistles on this puppy. It has adjustable speeds, of course, and the optional ionizing function charges smaller particles to improve filtration. There’s a timer function, if you wish to operate it at set intervals, and lights on the control panel indicate the filter life and the overall quality of air detected. (We operated quite a bit at red, meaning “significant quantity of airborne particles detected.” Thanks, dogs.)

Here’s the kicker, though. Are you ready for this? BreatheSmart comes equipped with a sensor on the side (the SmartSensor) that detects when allergens and pollutants are present in greater levels in the air, and it automatically adjusts its airflow speed to deal with it. So if your dirty ol’ dog walks by and BreatheSmart detects, as a result, more allergens in the air, it kicks itself up a notch. That is, to use a technical term, awesome.

Since it’s so powerful (cleaning up to 1100 square feet of air), BreatheSmart is on the large side, so for everyday use we found a spot to nestle it in our laundry room. It probably wasn’t the optimal location for it, but it’s a centrally located spot near the areas where our dogs hang out and where a lot of outside air enters the house.

To get an idea of how well it removed particles from our air, we set up the BreatheSmart and left it running pretty constantly for a month straight. We generally kept it on the lowest speed to keep the noise down, although BreatheSmart’s WhisperMax Technology helps the motor run fairly quietly, considering its size and power. Over the course of that month, I definitely noticed a reduction in the amount of dust on furniture, appliances, and other areas of the house. Mingus decided to blow his coat, too, so that was his contribution to the experiment. (Dottie’s just dirty.)

And after a month? Whoa. Ew. All that crud was in our air? Yikes. What you’re looking at there is a lot of dog hair, a ton of dust, and, right there in the middle, a bird feather. So the BreatheSmart was definitely doing its job. After taking these pictures I vacuumed off the foam filter cover, put the cover back on the BreatheSmart, and turned it back on. Clearly we need all the help we can get.

BreatheSmart comes with a sixty-day satifaction guarantee and a lifetime limited warranty. You can check out all the specs here.

Katherine, who lives with her family in the mountains of North Carolina, curated her own dog blog for a couple of years before joining the Design Milk team. If she ever won the lottery, she’d most definitely spend it all on live music & airfare to New York City. Other interests include craft beer, banjos, books, & BBQ.