Today, we’re going to put two highly popular air purifier models in a side-by-side comparison—the GermGuardian AC4852 and the Coway AP-1512HH—to see which comes out as the better option. Both come from manufacturers with awesome track records, but which, if any, belongs in your home? Read our full comparison below to find out.
Square Footage Capacity
The GG is a tall, freestanding dehumidifier that is designed to snatch particles out of the air of rooms as big as 167 square feet. This means it can handle it is more than adept at cleaning the air of the average bedroom and kitchen. In more spacious areas, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
For instance, you can take a look at the blocky yet sleek Coway that suctions and distributes air evenly throughout rooms of up to 361 square feet. With this far a reach, the Coway could sit comfortably in the kitchen and purify an adjacent dining room at once.
Bigger isn’t always better, especially if you need an air purifier to clean a specific room or plan on taking it with you wherever you go. That said, the Coway is able to clean the air of spaces more than twice as big as the GermGuardian can. If your goal is to find a multi-room air purifier, the Coway would be the better option.
CADR (Clean Air Deliver Rate) describes how effective an air purifier is against dust, smoke, and pollen. The higher the rating, the more effective the unit is at a certain CFM airflow rate. The GG is rated at 118, 108, and 125 CFM in the three categories respectively. Considering its limited 167-square-foot cleaning range, these figures are decent—not great but good enough for most households.
The Coway scores significantly higher CADR ratings in each category. In order, the Coway’s CADRs are 246, 240, and 233 CFM, making it a trustworthy air purifier for small to medium-sized rooms. Generally speaking, any air purifier that scores higher than 200, especially in all three categories, is a top contender for the title of the best residential-grade air purifier.
In terms of CADR ratings, the clear winner is the Coway that delivers almost twice the effectiveness as the GG when dealing with those three common airborne pollutants. However, it’s worth noting that manufacturers are not obligated to put their air purifiers through the test so any product with a CADR rating is, in most cases, a trustworthy model. Both of them come with True HEPA Filters so that’s pretty cool.
Air Quality Sensor
An air quality sensor constantly reads the concentration of airborne particles in the air. After reaching a certain threshold, the unit will activate automatically and select the appropriate fan speed for efficient cleaning. Sadly, the GG does not have this feature…
…but the Coway does. Plus, there are helpful LED lights that indicate how polluted the air is so you’ll know when the air purifier will kick it into high gear. This feature eliminates the need to babysit the device, making owning an air purifier a hassle-free experience.
Having this feature automatically makes an air purifier stand out. We wish every model came standard with an air quality sensor and auto cleaning mode, but that’s just not the case. The Coway is the clear winner in this department.
UV-C vs. Ionizer
The GG comes with a UV-C sanitizing beam that destroys certain viruses and bacteria by deconstructing their DNA. When you’re dealing with airborne viral attacks, having an air purifier with a built-in UV-C feature can make a ton of difference. Plus, there are fewer issues with ozone production (a potential carcinogen when exposed to high concentrations).
The Coway does not have a UV-C feature but instead relies on an optional ionizer to enhance its particle-trapping capabilities. Ionizer send a negative charge to airborne particles to make them adhere to filters much more easily. The Coway supposedly does not release ozone into the air, but it’s better to play it safe and turn this feature on when nobody’s at home (make use of the built-in timer).
Ideally, you may want both a UV-C and ionizer in your air purifier for enhanced air-purifying effectiveness. However, when comparing these two models, only you—the user—can decide which is more preferable. Note to readers: UV-C sanitizing beams have yet to be proven effective against the Coronavirus.
GermGuardian vs. Coway: Which Should I Get?
UV-C and ionizer aside, it’s clear that the Coway is the better model in terms of air-purifying performance, usability, customizability, as well as convenience. The GermGuardian has its ups as well, but it’s not even in the same league as the Coway AP-1512HH.