Alen BreatheSmart FLEX Specification
|Product||Alen BreatheSmart FLEX|
15 x 25 x 8.5 in
(38.1 x 63.5 x 21.6 cm)
|Weight||15 lb (6.8 kg)|
|Coverage (up to)||700 sq. ft. (65 m2)|
|Airflow speed||53-187 cfm (90-318 m3/h)|
|Dust free (CADR)||245 cfm (416 m3/h)|
|Pollen free (CADR)||245 cfm (416 m3/h)|
|Smoke free (CADR)||245 cfm (416 m3/h)|
- Replacement cost ($)
Washable Pre-filter (with HEPA filter)
6 - 18 months
- Replacement cost ($)
HEPA-Pure Filter FL40
6 - 18 months
- Replacement cost ($)
- Replacement cost ($)
HEPA-Silver Filter FL40-SILVER-CARBON
6 - 18 months+- $79
HEPA-OdorCell Filter FL40-MP
6 - 18 months+- $89
HEPA-Fresh Filter FL40-CARBON
6 - 18 months+- $69
|Noise level||39 - 55 dB|
|Timer/ Scheduler||2, 4, 12 hours|
|Air qualityAQ indicator|
|Filter change indicator|
|More color options|
|Warranty||Lifetime Limited Warranty|
|Email/ Phone support|
- 2-stage filtration (3-stage with optional filter upgrade)
- Washable Pre-filter/ HEPA-Pure filter
- 4 fan speeds
- Personalizable front cover
- Child-lock control panel and child-safe vent guard
- 4, 8, 12 hour timer
- Lifetime limited warranty
- [Optional] filters - HEPA-Silver filter, HEPA-FreshPlus filter, HEPA-OdorCell filter
Alen BreatheSmart FLEX review
- Changable front panel with tons of modern wood trim design.
- Consistent and strong airflow delivery rate that supports the wide purifying area.
- Up to 3 optional filter upgrade that is excellent against allergens and odors.
- Longer lasting filters compare with similar segment models although that would also depend on usage frequency.
- Built-in timer (2, 4, 12 hours).
- Child friendly machine with locking control panel and safe vent guard.
- Lifetime Limited Warranty.
- Lacks odor filtration on bundled HEPA-Pure filter (Need to move up with one of the optional filter).
- No dedicated odor carbon filter that separates from the HEPA filter that would reduce each filter workload.
- Noisy at highest fanspeed although not the worst in its class.
- Lacks advanced filter replacement indicator (only basic version), SmartSensor (thus Auto mode), Ionizer. All these is available in BreathSmart/ FIT50.
The shrunk version of Classic BreatheSmart model, Alen BreatheSmart FLEX is a well-designed air purifier that comes with a smaller dimension at 15 x 25 x 8.5 in. Weight wise is 15 lb thus lighter by least 6 lb than the original, fitting quality remain unchange with zero air bypass. What’s also remain is the swappable/ changeable front cover panel where you could choose one of the ideal wood trim design to suit your home decor. Underneath the front panel you will find air inlet located at side and bottom while air outlet is located behind at top. A carrying handle is also at the back right beneath the outlet.
Shifting our attention to the top control panel, there are 6 clearly labelled round buttons and dedicated indicator lights above each button. Unlike the previous version, the HEPA air purifier has a capacitive touch panel which means each button would only require a light touch and a chime can be heard to reassure your action. To turn on the air purifier, press the middle Power button. Press again to turn off all indicator lights and again to turn off the air purifier. At this point you can start adjusting the air purifier fan speed. Press the Speed button repeatedly to loop between Speed 1, 2, 3, T (turbo). The indicator above will show you what speed you are currently in. Same goes with the Timer button that press repeatedly will cycle between 2, 4, 12 hours. Moving to the left, Filter life button allows you to reset the filter countdown timer by pressing and holding the button for 5 seconds. Do this after you have successfully changed to a new filter when the indicator light turns gradually from Green, Yellow to Red (traffic light style). Finally, you can lock the control from any modification or fiddling from your kids by pressing and holding the Lock button for 3 seconds. The 2 buttons missing out from BreatheSmart Classic and Fit50 series is the Auto and Ion button, both features are sadly omitted here.
Other common sets of features include your pre-selected HEPA filter, 4 fan speed, air quality display, basic filter replacement indicator, Child lock/ Auto-off safety feature that activates when front cover is not tightly closed, UL listed, ENERGY STAR rated and Alen’s unique Lifetime limited warranty.
Airflow, speed, and CADR
What’s inside count
Utilizing the same one filter kit setup, the initial velcro attached pre-filter above the HEPA filter is great at removing visible airborne particles while prolonging the HEPA filter lifespan. Moving on to the primary HEPA filter, you can select one of the 4 available HEPA filters that would trap smaller, micron-size particles with each having their unique specialty. The standard HEPA-Pure filter is cheap and effective against common household allergens but lacks any deodorization filtration. HEPA-Silver filter is very effective against mold, germ type bacteria. Our favorite HEPA-FreshPlus is great against asthma triggers chemical, VOCs and smoke, HEPA-OdorCell is best used to neutralize odors from diaper or pets. Regardless of which filter options you choose, all filter kit shares the same size and build quality as you would expect. The default Ionizer is also available in the air purifier.
Filter maintenance and careBegin by unplugging Alen BreatheSmart FLEX HEPA air purifier to prevent electric short circuit. Then pull out the front panel starting from the 2 bottom sides of the cover. With the filtration exposed, continue removing the old filter by pulling the pull strings. Remove the plastic wrap from the new filter and place it with the pull strings facing outwards. Snap back the front panel via the top tabs and your air purifier is good to go. You can prolong the HEPA filter lifespan by washing the removable pre-filter attached to it. First, peel off the black layer foam held on with Velcro, then lightly vacuum or clean the pre-filter from any trapped particles. Stick it back to the HEPA filter once done. With only one filter needed to be change, you only need to spend 2 minutes of your time within 6 - 18 months period.
Keep it down
Even without the WhisperMax technology incorporated, Alen BreatheSmart FLEX HEPA air purifier is comparatively more silent than the standard BreatheSmart version at only 39 - 55 dB noise level. On real life scenario, you can hardly tell apart between the 2. No problem running in bedroom however, the lack of Auto mode is a bit of let-down especially in night time where you could let the air purifier run at optimal speed rather than full blast.Moving to power consumption, at an average of 36 W rate, power usage is low on this Energy Star unit and unlike the standard Classic version, you can clearly see the difference in your electricity bill in long-run. Again, the lack of Auto mode is a stumble block, but in this air case, not a big deal.
At what cost
^ Replacement filters/ estimated cost
Alen BreatheSmart FLEX VS the challengers
Alen BreatheSmart FIT50Higher purifying coverage (up to 900 sq. ft.) with SmartSensor and Auto mode. Downside is the higher price tag and lower CADR output which is a surprise to many. Alen BreatheSmart Fit50 also might be on end of its life cycle so expected limited stock availability.
Alen BreatheSmart ClassicStandard version with highest price tag but comes with the best purifying coverage, airflow performance and full-set of features including the sorely missed SmartSensor for Auto mode. Being the longest running model in BreatheSmart lineup, Alen BreatheSmart Classic is also the air purifier that holds the best possible online deal.
Rabbit Air MinusA2 SPA-700AIf you do not mind topping up a little bit more cash, Rabbit MinusA2 has more filtration depth than flex (6-stage VS 3-stage) and a more adaptable frame body that you can hang just about anywhere. Otherwise, both air purifiers have the same customizable filters and front panel design to choose from.
Airmega 300As both air purifiers offer identical set of features and sensors, Airmega 300 is distinctive in its design, airflow distribution and purifying coverage but comes at a higher cost. You also have to give up the option to customize your main filter and front panel design.
Good to know