Best in Show — Airdog X5 Air Purifier Review

First things first…
I had the opportunity to review the Airdog X5 air purifier and received it a few days before a midnight lightning strike that occurred after a very dry day sparked fires in my county. The fires were very close to my home, and so much ash was sent up into the atmosphere that the streets turned an eerie orange from the sunlight trying to get through the heavy pall which could evidently be seen from space.

Though this review will discuss the merits of the Airdog X5, I hope I can also raise awareness of the plight of those who have lost homes and possessions to the fires that have ravaged California. Please consider supporting the Wildfire Relief Fund or donating to an organization that helps the displaced.


High hopes
Before I received the Airdog X5, I already owned an air purifier that got limited use in a home with two cats that was prone to dander and dust from the surrounding agricultural fields that blanket a large area of the Monterey County. I didn’t really see the immediate effects of the air purifier, so I’ve only put it to use occasionally, either when I’m fed up with the amount of cat fur floating in the air, or my seasonal allergies have taken over.

Now, granted my air purifier was a budget one in the $75-$100 range — it’s possible that I just ultimately got what I paid for. When the opportunity to review the X5 came up, I wanted to see if having a big-box air purifier like the Airdog X5 would produce higher numbers in usage, cleaner air, and better quality of life.

According to their website, there’s a plethora of reasons why the Airdog X5 isn’t your average air purifier. The X5 uses two pole active (TPA) acquire technology to trap and destroy pollutants as opposed to HEPA filters which just capture and collect. If your intent is rid of mold completely, you might be astonished to see that your HEPA filter can actually a breeding ground for growth and accumulation.

The X5, thanks to its ability to kill bacteria and mold with its wired frame and ionic filter, zaps particles with a charge of electricity. As a plus, the filter is also reusable and dishwasher-safe, so you don’t have recurring costs.

The catalyst filter removes stinky odors before air is recirculated, and the digital display with the air-quality index readout shows what the current air quality is. Seeing the numbers change as the air purifier works adds a bit of value to the product because the readout gives you a meter to check in on.

There’s only one button on the machine itself, but the system has been built for convenience and efficiency. The one-button system lets you control the air flow or set the system to automatic, which allows the X5 to spool up or down depending on the air quality.

It even has a child lock to prevent errant button presses.

It’s billed as a product born from a collaboration with Silicon Valley engineers. It’s supposed to be a smarter, more sustainable air purifier, and it also connects to an app on your phone.

Tower of purifying power
The system is heavy, weighing 22.5 pounds out of the box. It’s almost two-feet tall and has a square footprint that’s about 11 inches on each side. It’s built very well, and its presence is more akin to a permanent appliance you should set in a corner of your room as opposed to my other air purifier which feels more like a temporary space heater I can lug around wherever I need it.

The aesthetics of the machine — it’s a blend of modern and futuristic design with its white polish and sleek rounded corners — look like it was created in an Apple lab. The black band that showcases the air-quality index (AQI) on its digital display resembles something from Wall-E — think EVE’s older brother if she had one.

Cooled air flows through the fan to the top of the unit, which is great for bringing down the temperature in warmer rooms. The fans sound like they’re high quality as they whiz smoothly and quietly on the lowest setting. At the highest setting, the machine spools up and sounds about as loud as the air coming through a house’s heating ducts in the middle of a cold winter.

According to the company’s website, the X5 can purify a 400-square foot room in 20 minutes or 1400-square feet in an hour. I brought a machine I purchased into my classroom, which serves as a computer lab, to see what it could do. The machine uses a 0-500 AQI scale with a lower number being best. The display also uses color, green to red, to quickly identify air quality.

I placed the X5 on top of a desk directly in the middle of class. After reading in the 50s when I turned it on, the display’s numbers dropped into the single digits by the time I left.

Now, if you’re like me, you might be skeptical about the X5’s readout after hearing about it for the first time. During the Monterey County fires, I carried the X5 out to the kitchen from my office and then placed it outside. Inside my home-office, the machine is a constant 8 or 9 on the air-quality index. When I placed the unit in the kitchen and outside, the numbers shot up to elevated yellow levels. After a few minutes in the kitchen, the readout came back to the single digits and turned green.

Cost-affecting, use-case scenarios
The system isn’t cheap — it retails for about $599 on the Airdog website. For the average home user, this might be a bit out of budget, even with the cost-saving reusable filter Airdog says is better than the HEPA filters other companies tout in their marketing. There are other options as well that might raise the price. A fast-drying filter that dries in 20 minutes instead of the 34-hours for the normal metal collecting plates costs $199.

But if the claims on Airdog’s site are true regarding the machine’s effectiveness in destroying the COVID-19 virus, one might find yet another and very compelling reason to purchase the system for home, office, and even the classroom. For a teacher like me working with a small cohort of student-athletes in our school’s eSports program, the Airdog X5 could be a literal lifesaver. That makes the X5 something worth budgeting for, and it makes me feel safer knowing there are extra precautions in place to minimize the threat of infection along with the benefits of destroying mold, allergens, and other bacteria.

Final words
It’s well worth the cost of having one, but it’s on the higher end of air purifiers. The review sample also made my office smell like the inside of a computer for a week or so, though the one in my classroom has kept things fresh and clean since it was installed.

Whether the air is full of ash or other pollutants, the Airdog X5 showed its worth by keeping the air around me clean and clear. I’ve had the review sample for a few months now, and it’s now just showing me the -C- that’s telling me it’s time to clean the filter. The process is easy enough. The back of the unit opens, exposing the filter which can be taken apart as easily as separating two loosely interlocking heat sinks.

I leave them both constantly on with the auto function raising the fan speed whenever the air quality raises up a tier. And because the energy costs are similar to a light bulb, I’m not stressing about the cost of electricity knowing it’s doing more good being on.

Ultimately, if you’re in the market for an air purifier that gets the job done, you’re wondering whether this unit does the job.

It does, in both form and function. It looks great, works great. That I have one in the office where my technology and collectibles are stored along with one in a computer lab where dust is the enemy shows how much I trust the Airdog X5 to do what it’s supposed to do.

As for my other air purifier, it’s in the kitchen where my wife has never ever felt the need to use it.

X5 Air Purifier

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This review is based on a review-sample X5 sent to us from the company.

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