Ionic Pro Air Purifier Reviews 2020 — Turbo vs Platinum & Compact
Air purifiers with the brand name Ionic Pro, have been popular for many years with their ‘forever filters’ and silent operation. But how well do they work to clean the air and are they good value?
There’s a lot of inaccurate information about these electrostatic air cleaners online and most reviews don’t cover important issues you need to be aware of before buying one of them.
Ahead is the truth about the Ionic Pro’s negative ion generation and ozone output, a comparison between the 3 different models, and the pros and cons of Envion’s air purifier range clearly laid out.
- Ionic Pro Compact Air Purifier, also labeled as CA200, which you can see here.
- Ionic Pro Turbo, sometimes referred to as TurboMax, you can check the price of here.
- And the Platinum model, also named TA750 Elite, available here.
For other models in the Envion by Boneco range see this honest investigation into Therapure air purifiers.
Ionic Pro Purifiers are Electrostatic Air Cleaners Not Ionizers
Right at the start of this review, it’s important to point out some common misinformation online about the Ionic Pro Turbo, Compact and Platinum air cleaners.
These appliances are not actually significant negative ion generators, or even ionic air purifiers in the true sense of the term, if ‘ionic’ is used to mean generating negative ions. They are actually electrostatic precipitators.
Using both positively and negatively-charged ‘ionic’ filters, they attract airborne pollutants to collection plates inside the machine. In this way, these air cleaners seek to electrostatically filter the air without using a HEPA filter.
The primary benefits of this process are no replacement filters, low energy requirements and fairly silent operation when working properly.
The main problems with electrostatic air cleaners like this are that they have not been shown to be as effective at fine particle filtration as air purifiers with True HEPA filters, like one of these quiet bedroom air purifiers.
All Ionic Pro models also need regular cleaning of both their collection blades and ionizing wires to run properly.
There’s a full list of the pros and cons of Ionic Pro air filters ahead, as well as a comparison between the Compact CA200, Turbo Max and Platinum TA750 versions.
It’s also important to consider both negative ion generation and ozone output before buying this brand for your home.
Low Negative Ion Generation
Surprisingly, for a range of air cleaners called ‘Ionic’, these machines generate very few negative ions.
Many Ionic Pro reviews online state that these air purifiers ‘flood the air with negative ions’. This is completely wrong according to the manufacturer Envion’s own customer service.
I wrote to the company inquiring about the negative ion output of their air purifiers and they replied with this:
- “Compact: not less than 500,000 ions/cm3 measured at outlet.”
- “Turbo: not less than 500,000 ions/cm3 measured at outlet.”
- “Platinum: not less than 2 million ions/cm3 measured at outlet.”
On a more positive note, the same communication with Envion customer service also had the company stating that the brand’s ozone generation is very low. They wrote:
“For ozone production there are less than 0.003 PPM of ozone produced which is well below the regulated amount.”
If this figure is accurate, then it is indeed well within the safe 0.05 PPM EPA limit. Though it is still recommended for asthmatics and other sensitive people to avoid ozone-generating air purifiers like this all together.
It would make sense that Envion, now owned by BONECO, has worked to lower ozone output on their air purifiers with all the negative publicity surrounding this reactive gas.
That said, 0.003 PPM does seem extremely low and I wonder if this is a typing error and this figure should be 0.03 PPM. Either figure is still within the EPA ozone safe range.
The now-defunct Ionic Breeze by The Sharper Image, which the Ionic Pro is based on, was known to emit a lot more ozone and court cases regarding its ozone levels saw the company file for bankruptcy.
It currently appears that Ionic Pro models can be delivered to California. This should not be possible with state laws if ozone levels were considered too high.
Both the Envion and associated BONECO websites studiously neglect to give any of the usual product specifications or technical details on how their Ionic Pro air purifiers actually work.
Literally every other set of reviews on this brand I’ve read online, including from some big name websites, has glaring inaccuracies and misinformation as well.
From sites like Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot and Best Buy, details do emerge, but I’d personally find them difficult to trust until Envion put independent testing results on their company website.
Turbo vs Compact
The Ionic Pro Turbo model is said to have an air purification capacity of 500 ft² and clean the air 3 times in an hour within that space. I’d consider this highly ambitious.
The 200 ft² area quoted for the Compact model seems more likely, though both of these electrostatic air cleaners would work much better in smaller rooms rather than larger ones.
Whilst the Turbo is bigger, at 7.5 × 9.5 × 28.5 inches and 13.1 pounds, compared to the Compact CA200 at 2.3 × 13.9 × 17.5 inches and 6.25 pounds, the air cleaning technology is still the same in both machines.
Until Envion provide an explanation as to why slightly larger electrostatic collection blades would provide a 150% increase in air filtration, I’d personally question the 500 ft² air filtering figure.
Both the Turbo and Compact models are very quiet when working properly and the company says they use less energy than a compact fluorescent bulb.
Sales pages also state that both models will “sanitize and remove 99.9% of airborne allergens, irritants and pollutants” as well as “destroy cold and flu viruses, mold spores and strep bacteria”.
Independent testing of electrostatic air filters, like the Ionic Pro range, has not delivered such impressive results however. Once again, the customer is been asked to trust these marketing statements with no proof on offer.
Both the Turbo and Compact come only in black. The larger Turbo Max has three fan speeds compared to the Compact’s two. It’s almost twice as expensive though for no good reason that I can see.
If you are determined to get one of these Ionic Pro air cleaners then I’d say the smaller CA200, at a reasonable price here on Amazon, is the much better value for your money.
That said, any of these budget air purifiers, some of which are even cheaper, would be likely to be much better at filtering the air in your home.
Turbo vs Platinum
The newer Ionic Pro Platinum air purifier is quite a departure from the old Ionic Breeze stylings of its two older brothers. I’d imagine it must have seemed quite modern looking in its day.
It is also known as the TA750 in the Platinum owner’s manual and it appears Envion previously called this model the Ionic Pro Elite.
This electrostatic air filter is 6.5 × 7.6 × 25.7 inches and 8 pounds in weight, so similar to the Turbo tower in dimensions yet lighter to carry.
The stated air purification potential is “up to 500 ft²” and “three times in one hour”. This is the same as the Turbo so no special reason to choose the Platinum TA750 there.
The Platinum TA750/Elite is the latest model in the range and, according to some customer reviews, may have a fan to complement the electrostatic collection blades. I could find no details on this on the Envion site though.
The Platinum is also the only Ionic Pro model to list its CADR rating, which is listed as: Pollen — 116.3, Dust — 107.6 and Smoke — 107.1.
These are not especially high CADR figures and seem ineffective for air purification in a 500 square-foot room three times in an hour.
Other features of the Platinum Ionic Pro include ‘ultra quiet operation’, 24 hour timer, Energy Star certification and 4 fan speeds.
These 4 fan speeds on the TA750 are labeled as Silent, Germ, Allergy and Max. However, since the Platinum lacks a True HEPA filter, or UV-C light like Therapure air purifiers, I see no reason why it would be especially good for either allergies or germs.
The new Ionic Pro Platinum/Elite is probably a bit better air purifier than the Ionic Pro Turbo, though at the time of writing this review it was significantly more costly. You can check the current price of both models here on Amazon.
You can also find much better silent air purifiers here that will be more effective at combating allergies and germs than either the Platinum or Turbo models.
Pros and Cons
Consider the points in this section carefully before buying an Envion Ionic Pro air filter. While there are some benefits to these electrostatic air purifiers, they’re definitely not for everyone.
For true ionic air purifiers, see these superior options. And if you’re looking to save money, then these cheap air filters are much better value.
1. Permanent Ionic Filters
The big selling point of electrostatic air cleaners like the TurboMax, CA200,and TA750 is their ‘forever filters’ that attract and capture dust and other allergens onto their surface.
These filters do need to be cleaned regularly though. If you have a dishwasher you can put them in there but regular hand cleaning would be time-consuming.
More importantly from a health perspective, they are unlikely to filter the air of pollutants and allergens as effectively as industry-standard True HEPA/activated carbon filters.
2. Silent Operation
Another positive of this air cleaner range is their very quiet operation when working properly. When the ionic filters need cleaning though there can be a hissing or popping sound.
If the filters get too dirty then the machine will shut down and show a cleaning light. When this happens you cannot run one of these air purifiers again until you have cleaned the filters.
Envion highlight the low energy consumption of the both the Turbo and Compact Pro. The new Platinum TA750 has Energy Star certification and they say it will use only 4 cents of power per day to run.
4. Positive Customer Feedback and Reviews
There is a 4 star rating from close to a thousand customers on the TurboMax here. This is far too high for all of the reviews to be fake.
Clearly a lot of people like their results with this electrostatic air cleaner, regardless of the issues I’ve raised in this article.
1. Limited Airflow and Less Air Purification
The positively and negatively charged electrostatic plates in Ionic Pro air cleaners do create a noticeable ‘ionic breeze’ using a process called the Zenion effect. This is no match for a good air filter fan though.
This much smaller, much cheaper and much more highly recommended Levoit model, with its VortexAir technology, would purify far more air than even the significantly larger Ionic Pro Platinum.
Claims that the Turbo and TA750 Elite models properly purify the air of 99.9% of airborne allergens, irritants and pollutants in a 500 ft² room, even once per hour, let alone three, seem highly ambitious to me.
The Compact CA200 quoted room size of 200 ft² is more realistic. However, I’d still suggest these electrostatic air filters would only work well in smaller rooms, not larger spaces.
Pet hairs can pose problems for electrostatic air cleaners as well, causing crackling and even sparking as larger hairs come into contact with the electrostatically charged plates. These are not good air purifiers for pets.
2. Permanent Filter Collection Blades Need Regular Cleaning
The TA750 Platinum Ionic Pro manual notes that the permanent ionic filter should be cleaned every 8 weeks at a minimum. The Turbo and CA200 manuals just state that they should be cleaned regularly.
While there are detailed instructions for how to clean the collection blades in the user manuals, it does look like a fairly complicated process.
You must wait after unplugging the unit before pulling out the collection blades for cleaning (which must release some of the pollutants back into the air you breathe).
Envion recommend avoiding touching the ionic blades until after you’ve grounded them against another metal object or you risk getting a static shock.
Even if you just put the filter collection plates straight into your dishwasher to clean them, you still have to wait for them to be washed and, importantly, they must be completely dry before reinsertion.
In fact, Envion’s advice is to “allow at least 24 hours for the collection blades to dry thoroughly before inserting them back into the unit”. That’s an awfully long time to have to wait for your air purifier to work again.
Envion suggest buying an extra set of ionic collection blades for uninterrupted use of their product. This may be beneficial for the company but I don’t see this issue being made clear to the customer before they make a purchase.
Overall, the need for regular cleaning, and the long delay before an Ionic Pro Turbo air purifier can be used again properly, looks to me like a huge negative against buying one of these electrostatic air filters.
3. Ozone and Positive Ions
The Ionic Pro Compact and Turbo Max owner manuals note that they: “utilize an ionizing process… that complies with US safety requirements for low emissions of ozone (less than 50 parts per billion)… for safety of electrostatic air cleaners”.
Note here the admission this is not a negative ion generator at all but rather an electrostatic air purifier.
They also warn: “Individuals with a history of respiratory disease, asthma, heart disease, lung disease,
breathing problems or concerns about ozone should ask their doctor whether the
concentrations of ozone generated by this… ionic air purifier are
appropriate for their specific health needs.”
Another rarely noted negative effect of electrostatic air cleaners, like this range, is that the positively-charged part of the ionic filter may create positive ions (read about why this is a bad thing here).
Are These Electrostatic Air Cleaners Good Value?
Overall, having thoroughly researched Ionic Pro air purifiers, I don’t personally think they are worth buying unless heavily discounted.
The Compact CA200 for small rooms, at a significantly lower price than the other two here, is at least competitive.
There are much better value air purifiers here though. Particularly the first 2 of these are both cheaper than and superior to the Turbo, or especially the Platinum Ionic Pro, so don’t waste your money.
This style of air purifier had its day and it’s surprising that they are still so popular. Their design and electrostatic filters seem outdated in 2020, especially compared to the newer technology of these highly recommended ionic purifiers.
If you were looking for one of these Envion air cleaners because you thought they would be a good way to generate healthy negative ions then this is definitely not the case.
Any of these true negative ionizers are many hundreds of times more powerful, without the regular cleaning or potential ozone and positive ions from an Ionic Pro Turbo, Compact CA200 or Platinum TA750.
I hope truthful reviews like this can clear up some of the misinformation online about these electrostatic air cleaners.
For certain situations they may be appropriate, such as when cleanable filters and low energy consumption are paramount, but for most homes this brand is not good value and not recommended.
* Statements made in this review are based on the author’s personal opinion and experience. Readers should contact the Envion company directly to confirm specific details about their Platinum, Compact and Turbo air purifiers. *
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