Twenty brands were tested and factors such as construction features, availability, reliability, efficiency, and cost were considered. Each brand/model ended up with a numerical score from zero to a high of 46 and then the scores were used to rank the brands. The average score was an 18 while the low was a 12 and the high was 32.

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**NOTE** These reviews are for units that are integrated into a home's air duct system and are typically called whole house units. You can also check out our ratings of portable units.

 So, here is the list:


At the bottom of our list is the ALPINEPURE brand from WATERFURNACE INTERNATIONAL.

This brand offers nothing very special and is only available from dealers of their geothermal systems.

SCORE = 12

# 13

In near the bottom of our ratings are what I call the flagship brands (FRIGIDAIRE, MAYTAG, NUTONE, TAPPAN) from NORTEK GLOBAL HVAC. The N-HEPA DM400 units feature three step filtration with an optional VOC post filter.

SCORE = 12

They are really very average units as far as technology but they have familiar brand names put on them so the cost is higher than other Nordyne brands.

# 12

Just ahead of their sister brands are what I consider to be the "value brands" (GIBSON, KELVINATOR, PHILCO, WESTINGHOUSE) from NORTEK GLOBAL HVAC.

SCORE = 14

They are ahead of their sister brands in our ratings simply because they are going to cost less than their "flagship" brands. They are identical in all ways except they will have an even more limited distribution network.

# 11

The AC500 from GENERALAIRE is next in our rankings. For the most part, they are average units but they do have a two speed motor even though it is controlled by a manual switch.

SCORE = 14

They are typical bypass type units that are available in the USA and Canada but only through a very limited dealer network.

# 10

Cracking our top ten brands is the 1200HS PLUS from PureAir. This brand features partial bypass units that have their own ECM variable speed motor rated at 1200 CFM.

SCORE = 18

They feature three stage air filtration but only manual on/off controls. It seems that they have very limited distribution but, if you are able to find one of their dealers, it would be worth considering.

# 9

Next is the FSHEPADM400 from FIVE SEASONS.  The brand is made in Canada and offers optional variable speed motors.

SCORE = 20

They offer standard efficiency units but it is unclear as to how you would go about purchasing one of them.

# 8

We are definitely moving out of the ranks of the average with our #8 entry, the SKUTTLE brand. The main thing that they have going for them is the engineering of the motors and the design for the airflow.

SCORE = 22

Their unique push/pull design where the very quiet ECM motor is between the filters allows for very quiet operation. The motors have two speeds and are backed by a good warranty but their controls are not really state of the art. 

# 7

Next, from DAIKIN GLOBAL, is their CLEAN COMFORT brand AMHP-250-UPD five stage air cleaner. The unit offers variable speed airflow control and the backing of a truly global brand.

SCORE  = 22

They are only available through their HVAC dealer networks for the various brands.

# 6

In the sixth spot is the IMPERIAL brand from IMPERIAL AIR TECHNOLOGIES. The units are available in two sizes (200 or 300 cfm) and feature three stages of filtration.

SCORE = 26

They use ECM variable speed motors and are backed by a very good guarantee but you are more likely to purchase one with another brand name on it as they make many of the name brands.

# 5

Moving on to the top five HEPA air filters is another brand from IMPERIAL AIR TECHNOLOGIES and their GREENTEK brand. The units are identical but it seems that it is easier to find these units.

SCORE = 26

# 4

Continuing our march to the top, we come to the AccuClean models from AMERICAN STANDARD which is a part of INGERSOLL RAND. These units can remove pollutants at a 99.98% rate down to .1 micron size and they are available in three sizes.

SCORE = 28

When their ACCULINK control is used, you have the ability to automatically choose from three different system settings. The units are backed by a very good warranty but are only available through their HVAC system dealers.

# 3

Just ahead of their sister brand is the CleanEffects from Trane which is also a part of INGERSOLL RAND. The units are identical but this brand has a little bit larger distribution network.

Score = 28

# 2

The runner-up in this year's top HEPA air filters is the AIRWASH WHISPER 350 from AMAIRCARE.

SCORE = 30

This brand is made in Canada and features high efficiency backward curved fans as well as an optional VOC canister.

The brand is reasonably priced, backed by a good guarantee, and is easily purchased by the do-it-yourself customer.


# 1

This year's top pick for a whole house HEPA air filter is the P600W central air system from AIRPURA

SCORE = 32

This brand offers variable speed control and an optional germicidal lamp.

The brand is backed by a good warranty and is easily purchased by homeowners . It is an easily installed bypass unit with a large 560 cfm capacity.

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