GermGuardian AC5250PT review

The GermGuardian AC5250PT lacks power and extra features compared to other air purifiers, making it a poor investment

GermGuardian AC5250PT on floor in living room
(Image: © Tom's Guide)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The GermGuardian AC5250PT lacks power and extra features compared to other air purifiers, making it a poor investment.

Pros

  • +

    Uses UV light technology

Cons

  • -

    Underperforms

  • -

    Poor quality design

  • -

    High energy consumption

  • -

    Noisy in use

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

GermGuardian AC5250PT: Specs

Suggested Room Size:  189 square feet
Dimensions: 11 x 6.75 x 27.25 inches
Weight: 11.25
Controls: On-device
Filters:  UV-C bulb, charcoal, pre, HEPA "pet pure" filter
CADR (smoke/dust/pollen): 189/122/132
Speeds: Five speeds
Noise level (db): 41/56.4
Energy use: .853 kWh over 24 hours
Warranty: 1-year limited warranty

The GermGuardian AC5250PT is a mouthful to say. This upright air purifier isn’t the fanciest or most technologically integrated piece of machinery out there, but it does offer a basic set of features, including five fan speeds, a sleep mode and a timer. 

When looking at the best air purifiers around, none of them use UV light as part of the air filtration process — which is where this air purifier stands out from the crowd. Check out our GermGuardian AC5250P review to see if it makes any difference. 

GermGuardian AC5250PT review: Price and availability

The GermGuardian AC5250PT will set you back $149, which makes it sem-affordable. It’s available from Amazon, as well as brands such as Walmart, Best Buy and Guardian Technologies directly. It’s only available in black with silver trim. The replacement filters will set you back $60 at a time, which is by no means cheap.

GermGuardian AC5250PT review: Design

In terms of looks, the GermGuardian AC5250PT won’t win any beauty contests. It stands upright at 28 inches tall and weighs around 11 pounds. This puts it in the mid-tier weight-wise, making it close to the Blueair Blue Pure  211+ Auto, which isn’t that heavy.  It’s encased in a plastic shell that doesn’t feel of high quality and has a fairly sharp edge on its base. It’s possible to scratch yourself on this edge while moving it around, which isn’t ideal. In a modern home that focuses on bright, lofty aesthetics, the GermGuardian AC5250PT will stand out like a sore thumb, even before you plug it in. 

GermGuardian AC5250PT on floor in living room

(Image credit: Guardian Technologies)

The device comes with five different fan speeds and an 8-hour programmable timer, but no auto mode. This means it can’t automatically adjust the speed depending on the current conditions. It will essentially blow as much air as you set it to through its two layers of filters, which include a charcoal and HEPA layer. The UV light that it comes with claims to reduce specific germs and airborne viruses, although its impact isn’t obvious. Plus, if you leave it on all the time, it could potentially burn out the bulb, warranting another replacement cost.

GermGuardian AC5250PT review: Ease of Use

When the GermGuardian AC5250PT is switched on, it shines an intense, bright red light from its V-shaped crest. The lights themselves cannot be dimmed, which makes sleeping tricky, although the speed of the fan can be dulled down using the sleep mode. 

GermGuardian AC5250PT control panel

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Setting the device up is fairly simple. Just remove the back panel, followed by removing any plastic inside. The manual is very short and succinct — full of illustrated diagrams of the device and how it works. The manual didn’t upset the set-up process in any way, however, removing the bag from the filter was not included in the booklet. The filter is also easy to replace — you just need to repeat the above steps and switch in a new one. The control panel is easy to operate and very user-friendly.

GermGuardian AC5250PT review: Performance

The GermGuardian AC5250PT has no smart connectivity or internet capabilities, which continues its run of being a bit lackluster. Other devices, like the Coway Airmega AP-1512HH and the Blueair Blue Pure 411 Auto can do a lot more for the same price. Having a HEPA filter does make it slightly more appealing for those looking to remove viral contaminants, but most air purifiers tend to offer this nowadays. 

GermGuardian AC5250PT on floor in living room

(Image credit: Guardian Technologies)

In our CADR tests, which test how quickly and efficiently air purifiers can purify the air, it performed in the lower half of our bracket, earning a 189/122/132 in smoke, dust, and pollen respectively. With a suggested room size of 189 square feet, it didn’t match up with other mid-sized air purifiers, like the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Auto, although it clearly performs best when it comes to smoke particles.

In terms of noise, it’s one of the loudest around. At its lowest speed, it was six decibels above the ambient noise level of the room. We blasted it all the way up to its max setting and it was over 25 decibels louder. It wasn’t the loudest overall air purifier we tested, but it did make the most noise on the lowest setting, along with the Honeywell HPA300.

It is shocking how much power this device uses though. In just 24 hours of use on its middle setting, it used 0.853 kWh of energy, making it one of the most energy-consuming air purifiers we tested. The Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Auto used just 0.159 kWh by comparison.

GermGuardian AC5250PT review: Verdict

Unfortunately, the limited filters, lack of an auto mode, and cheap feel make the GermGuardian AC5250PT hard to recommend.  The UV light technology, though quirky, can’t cover up the disappointing CADR scores. And when you compare it to other midsize air purifiers, like the Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Auto, it just can’t do the job as well, and will cost more to run too.  

The GermGuardian AC5250PT is a very popular device, being one of the more affordable units designed for larger spaces. But, it falls short in its design, use, and practicality, making it one of the weaker choices out there on the market.

Hope Glendon is a chef and writer who reviews air purifiers for Tom's Guide. She used a number of models in her home for more than three months, evaluating their ease of use, noise levels, and how good they are at eliminating impurities from the air — which comes in very handy for her, as her kitchen is often in need of deodorizing after cooking any number of dishes. When she's not testing air purifiers, Hope works for some of New York City's most prestigious catering companies, and has carved out a niche in the world of high-end events. She's also available as a private chef for when an event needs a special touch.