Whirlpool Whispure AP51030K Air Purifier Review by Garth Wernsman
|Last Updated: 18/12/2018 12:53 UTC. Because of the rate with which conditions change, prices may slightly vary or product may be temporarily out of stock when checking out the product at the vendor's site. Any price and availability information displayed on the vendor's site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.|
The name isn’t sexy. Its appearance is plain. But the Whirlpool AP51030K air purifier (also known as AP510 or simply 510) performs its job in a way that will definitely get you excited about breathing clean air again.
Performance – 4.8 Air Changes Per Hour in 500 Square Foot Room
For a while Whirlpool dropped out of the air purifier market. They’ve come roaring back with this Whispure model.
Rated 2nd out of 30 top models by Consumer Reports, the AP51030K has fine stats. CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rates) values of 330 for dust, 330 for smoke and 288 for pollen are just one reason. Those fine figures have to be interpreted correctly, though.
They’re measured in the context of clearing a 500 square foot room, which is on the smaller side compared to some of the other leading models. Within that limitation you’ll have no reason to be unhappy, though. It’s still over 22 feet x 22 feet. That’s much larger than the average bedroom and larger than many living rooms.
This unit can take a smoke-filled room of that size or smaller and clear it within an hour. Turn it on in a dusty house, wait an hour, and then take a look. What you won’t see are dust particles dancing in a beam of sunlight. That’s visible and olfactory proof.
Those stats are achieved with 4.8 complete room air volume changes per hour. That’s higher than many models on the market. Even four is a good figure and this model goes beyond that.
It does that while earning the name Whispure. Thanks to a well-made motor and housing, you’ll be able to sleep soundly in the same room with this unit while it keeps the air clean. Even on the Turbo setting you can watch TV with the air purifier nearby without straining to hear.
2-Stage Filter System
The Whispure 510 can clear that much air that quickly in part because of a fine Charcoal pre-filter. The pre-filter itself doesn’t clear small particles; that’s not what it’s designed to do. Instead, it clears hair, pollen, and larger smoke and dust particles before they hit the second element. That way, the other can operate at peak efficiency no matter how dirty the air.
In the next stage there is a superb HEPA filter. Like its counterpart in other air purifiers, it clears up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. Do those numbers mean anything, though? The short answer is: yes. In real-world practice, they mean that only the smallest virus will get through.
Like any filtration system, those filters can be kept at peak performance by regular maintenance. But not all units give you the information you need to know when to do that. The Whirlpool 510 has two separate filter replacement lights that indicate when each should be changed.
No more guessing based on hours in use. That estimate can be wildly off because air purifiers sometimes run at slowest speed (Low), other times at maximum (Turbo), and other times in between. So, you can only calculate an average. Here, you don’t have to be a mathematician to figure out when to change the filter.
You also don’t have to spend more maintenance money than necessary by changing them based on appearance. A good air filter will look pretty bad pretty quickly. That’s how you know it’s working well. But it may still have a lot of life left in it.
Here, you just glance at the indicator light and if it’s red and flashing, it’s time for a change. That can be as short as once every six months or as long as a couple of years, depending on your air quality. The owner’s manual recommends replacement every 3 months for the pre-filter and once per year for the HEPA filter, but – like every other manufacturer – those figures are unnecessarily conservative for most homes.
Unfortunately, neither of them is washable. But, in either case, replacement cost is modest to average with these filters. A 4-pack of pre-filters (Part No. 8171434K) is available for about $30 and a replacement HEPA filter (Part No. 1183054K) runs about $100.
The fan speed can be manipulated in an interesting way with this model. Put the unit in Sleep Mode with a tap and it will downshift to Low for 8 hours, then automatically return to the previously set running speed. You can turn off that change before the 8 hours have elapsed just as easily by tapping Sleep Mode again or selecting the Fan Speed manually.
If you or a guest have a cigarette, or get a big blast of pollen from outside, you can easily tap it into Turbo mode to clear the room in the shortest time possible. There are four fan speeds in all: Low, Medium, High, and Turbo.
To make sure that mode isn’t changed by accident you can also lock the controls. Just press the Sleep Mode control for five seconds and children’s busy hands or a dog’s wagging tail won’t be able to alter the fan speed inadvertently.
What Others Are Saying?
The AP51030K has an excellent positive-to-negative review ratio at Amazon. Currently that number is about 37-3. That means 37 out of 40 people gave this unit 4 or 5 stars. That’s about 93%. Below I put some of the comments to date. Read the full reviews here.
- “Best on the Market”
- “Smart purchase”
- “Helps my boyfriend’s allergies”
- “Stellar! Simply life changing!”
- “Extremely effective air cleaner”
- “Baby-proof quiet, lot of air motion, light weight”
The Whirlpool AP51030K air purifier won’t make you fall in love at first sight. But what it lacks in looks it makes up for in functionality. Within its rated size it clears a lot of air well and does so quietly. The controls are easy to operate and the cost of operation is modest.
True, the Whirlpool 510 is not quite a match for some models that offer five or six stage filtration systems. But it will do for most homes. Even with the two-stage filter system the AP51030K will clear dust, tobacco smoke, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, and other common allergens.
The drawback is that it won’t perform the same service for VOCs (volatile organic compounds) such as ammonia and formaldehyde or other airborne chemicals that are a problem in some homes. If you need that extra layer of air purifying, it’s best you look elsewhere.