Indoors holmes

Published on January 3rd, 2011 | by William


Cleaner Air Quickly With Holmes

We’ve re­cent­ly had some air qual­i­ty is­sues in our build­ing- a mix of kitchen smoke, fumes from our test labs, and like­ly some mildew or mold has tak­en root dur­ing our reg­u­lar trav­el. Those who smoke cigarettes, have al­ler­gies, or just have pets know what we’re talk­ing about- is­sues breath­ing and odor prob­lems. We need­ed an air fil­ter, be­fore the hol­i­days set in and up­set friends and fam­i­ly.

The Holmes HAP756-U doesn’t look like much. It’s al­most all ven­ti­la­tion, with a tiny and slight­ly-hard to use con­trol pan­el. Nor­mal­ly, that might be a prob­lem, but when the pur­pose of a unit is to suck and fil­ter air, we’re hap­py to see a small­er ma­chine not waste any space. The list of fea­tures in­trigued us, not least the claim of of­fer­ing true HEPA fil­tra­tion, with 99.7% of al­ler­gens re­moved. It al­so can cov­er a very large room, up to 400 square feet, which should be enough for all but larg­er apart­ments.

A timer mode al­lows you to set the unit run­ning for up to 16 hours, and the Arm & Ham­mer-en­hanced fil­ter is a bit of a gim­mick- but did seem to do a pret­ty good job on odors. A five year war­ran­ty backs up the con­struc­tion, which seemed pret­ty sol­id- our unit was heav­ier and denser than ex­pect­ed at 25 pounds, and wasn’t easy to find a nat­u­ral spot for. But once sit­u­at­ed, it op­er­at­ed fair­ly qui­et­ly, and it was easy to feel the dif­fer­ence quick­ly.

The down­side of the any of these units is the need to buy ad­di­tion­al fil­ters, and this mod­el re­quires two dif­fer­ent ones- a car­bon fil­ter as sort of a pre-fil­ter, and two true HEPA screens. At over $20 each, the lat­ter should last around a year (car­bon ones are much cheap­er at un­der $4 but need re­plac­ing more of­ten, ev­ery three to six months). One note: the HAP756-U will let you know when you need to re­place your HEPA fil­ter and your car­bon fil­ter with sep­a­rate lights- don’t re­place both at the same time un­nec­es­sar­i­ly, as it’s easy to make that mis­take.

There are four speed set­tings, from Sleep to High, and they of­fered enough gran­u­lar­i­ty to work well in dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions. We rarely used the high­est set­ting, opt­ing for a con­sis­tent run on Medi­um, which seemed to pro­vide the best re­sults. We didn’t love the se­mi-in­dus­tri­al look of the unit, and it seemed a bit dif­fi­cult to find a place for- but it ran smooth­ly, and of­fered ex­cel­lent re­sults both im­me­di­ate­ly and over time. And at about half the price of our re­cent­ly-re­viewed con­tender, the Holmes HAP-7560U is a bar­gain at $145 or so avail­able on­line.


About the Author

William Wall is a graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul. He is no stranger to freelance work. William has done commercial photography, developed software for children with communication disorders, and been a 'head hunter'. He has also done some art photography, and sold work through gallery showings. William enjoys good food, good music, political humor, and looking at the world through a camera lens. He has lived throughout the Midwest, east coast, traveled out of the country some, and has settled in a smallish river town with quite a bit of history and several good supporting characters to his life's play.

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