Friedrich C90B 390 CFM Electronic Air Cleaner with Three Speed Fan, Power Indicator Light, Safety Interlock Switch & Self-Regulating Power Supply
List Price: $449.00
Our Price: $449.00
Clean fresh air...your good health and well-being depend on it. But according to the Environmental Protection Agency, today's tightly-sealed homes and offices can have air that is up to 100 times more polluted than outdoor air. An air cleaner is an excellent way to minimize indoor pollutants. The C-90B, Friedrich's second generation electronic air cleaner, effectively cleans the air for a healthier, more pleasant indoor environment. They've taken the best and made it even better. The C90 has been consistently top-rated by leading publications. It quickly eliminates dust, tobacco smoke, pollen, pet dander and other allergy and asthma triggers. The C90B's clean air delivery rates (CADR) are as much as 18% higher than its predecessor, the C90A, which already outperformed 99% of the AHAM certified air cleaners on the market. And, no other air cleaner rated for 600 sq. ft. or less, outperforms the new C90B. The C90B is ENERGY STAR qualified. It uses about the same amount of electricity as a household light bulb. Growing concerns about ionizers and indoor ozone levels have caused confusion about what is safe. In independent test, the C90 was selected as the best safe and effective choice, producing only minimal amounts of ozone. In standardized industry testing, the C90 produced only .014 parts per million of ozone, well below the UL and FDA limit of .050 ppm. And the Friedrich C90B has been proven effective by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). The C90B is quiet and unobtrusive. At times you may not even know it's running. On the low setting, it runs at 45.89 dBs, almost as quiet as a PC. This makes it ideal for bedrooms and offices, as well as for family rooms and other high-activity areas. You can keep the unit operating at peak efficiency by periodically washing the electronic cell. Simply lift out the cell and submerge it in a bathtub ot other suitable container. It may also be placed in an automatic dishwasher. The pre-filter can be rinsed with
Effectively covers a room up to 506 square feet.
Excellent for allergy and asthma sufferers.
Using electrostatic plates this unit cleans your air without costly filter replacements.
Excellent at pollen, dust, pet dander, mold spore, smoke, and odor removal.
Reliable This is my second unit, the first lasted 7 years. The unit runs 24/7 and I clean the filters twice a month. Its a little loud on high and you occasionally hear pops, but it works. You would be surprised as to the amount of black soot that is washed out. I would recommend it highly....more info
BEWARE OF HORRIFIC MESS!!! I am a very careful shopper, and meticulously care for my property. This air cleaner was purchased on the recommendation of Consumer Reports.
The air cleaner would work well for awhile, but then I would notice BLACK FLECKS all over the walls, ceiling, windows, throughout the air cleaner ...... everywhere throughout the room!!!!!
This mess is caused by the replaceable "carbon filter" at the back of the air cleaner, and the mess DOES NOT clean up with soap and water - a heavy cleaning agent is required!!!!!
After the 4th mess throughout the family room, and numerous replacements of the "carbon filter" (one $24.00 filter lasting a whole 2 weeks before it spewed all over the walls and the air cleaner itself), I ordered a "pre-cleaning filter" to replace the "carbon filter", but the air cleaner no longer turned on. I believe too much BLACK GUNK from the carbon filter had ruined the air cleaner - and there is no way to take the air cleaner apart to clean the inside.
I made contact with the company for help with the problem. They merely guessed at what might have happened and offered no solutions.
After only 2 years this $500.00 air cleaner (not including the numerous replaceable "carbon filters") now rests in a land fill!!!...more info
5 stars for the product, 1 star for the manual I have owned this guy since it came out and am very happy with the product, but the manual could use some improvement.
Used properly you'll get years of trouble free, cheap and clean air. The chief concern with a unit of this type is ozone production. Ozone is *bad* for you. This unit is *the* best rated unit for ozone production and its ozone levels are very safe -- *IF* the unit is properly serviced.
What the manual doesn't tell you -- if you smell ozone you need to clean the element. You will need to clean the element a lot. If you cant/won't do that, this is not the air cleaner you are looking for.
The second problem with the manual is the cleaning directions are frankly harmful. The manual says to use dish detergent. The dish detergent will react with the aluminum and over a long enough time line turning the element black. This deposit will act like a dielectric (just like the dirt the element collects naturally) and the thing will spew out ozone. Once this had happened I could not get the element clean again and had to replace it.
I suggest you clean the element in your dishwasher, with *no* soap and no jet dry. Fill the soap bucket with pure white vinegar and do a light wash. It will come out sparkling clean and so far mine has not changed colors -- sometimes simple is better. Vinegar is a natural aluminum cleaner. Do *NOT* add cream of tartar or baking soda (this is a common aluminum cleaning recipe) -- this will get baked on to the element and it will *never* come off. Ask me how I found out? :-)
Lastly, the element is a very standard Honeywell element. You can purchase one for around $125 from online HVAC sites should yours become soiled or damaged (the part # is stamped on the side of the element).
Awesome Air Purifier This is a wonderful air purifier. I did my research before buying and pulled the trigger about 2 months ago. I am so glad I did. I no longer have the allergy issues that I had in years past. My main focus was clean air without the costly filter replacements. That is what you get with the C-90B. I placed mine in the bedroom and run it whenever I sleep. I just cannot begin to tell you how much it has improved my life. I sleep better and my waking hours are better as well. I would highly recommend this product to anyone as I am very pleased. Thank you Friedrich for making such a great product!...more info
Might want to cut larger filters Air cleaner works fine, but filters that came with machine are a little small. It is easy to cut furnace filters to fit the cases. I live with 4 dogs, and they shed dust elephants worth of hair daily, so cleaners are put to hard use. ...more info
Cleans great but poor quality control; the truth about "snapping" We've bought 4 of these for use throughout our home ahd have had to return half of them (50%) due to quality control problems and "snapping". This is ridiculous for a product of this high rating and price. We've been seemingly through the trenches with these, dealt with dealers AND the factory and here's the result of our research.
Now, here's the deal re "snapping". There is appropriate snapping and inappropriate snapping/rubbing noises. Like bug zappers, large dust and dirt particules drawn into the cleaner are ionized and charged, sticking to the metal filter elements and may create a sharp electrical, bug-zapper type snapping noise. We've noticed that and can discern it. This is good and we have no problem with it.
The other snapping noise we've had is the fan blades hitting the inner plastic appliance/fan housing, especially when run on high. This is NOT good and we've had repeated problems. Our current crop of 90-B we can run the one in the basement on High and its quiet. The living room one we can only run on Med; on High in a short time we hear this rubbing/snapping-type noise. Both sit on level hard floors.
I let one of these run a while snapping/rubbing and upon examination of the inner plastic fan housing (you can look when you clean the filters) noticed black skuff marks where the fan blades (black plastic...that can flex on higher rpms?) rubbed the bottom of the housing. Taking coarse sandpaper I rubbed the scuff area repeatedly, over time eventually removing enough excess plastic, and the fan stopped the rubbing/snapping.
I called another high volume allergy product retailer in the area and asked if they had any problems, the clerk responded "You mean like parts rubbing? Uh...no. Never! Never had any problems". Well, the disingenuous answer and tone told me this was something they had heard before. I described the problems and types of noises to the Factory and they suspected the fan may have gotten misalligned, hence rubbing, in shipping to the distributor...told me to return it immediately. My retailer in Delaware had a good return policy, I kept all papers and documentation and conversations and actions on our part, worked with us and we were eventually able to weed through poorly performing units and do Frederich's QC research for them.
In summary, an incredible air cleaner when it works like its supposed to that I'd love to rate high but recommend to purchase only after reviewing your vendor's return policy (definately NOT mail order!!!) ...and don't modify the unit like we did to fix the problem as it will likely void any warranty. BTW, we've also not noticed any odor problems or anything else. ...more info
Outstanding Air Cleaner -- and No Expensive Filters to Replace! For years I was interested in purchasing a high-end air cleaner for my apartment, but hesitated due to the prospect of regularly spending mega-$$$ on expensive HEPA filters. And while the principle of electrostatic cleaners seemed great -- simply clean the collector regularly -- the negative reviews (stating that models like Sharper Image's "Ionic Breeze" are essentially ineffective) kept me from buying.
After reading the reviews in Consumer Reports -- where this Friedrich was top-rated -- I decided to buy one. And I am VERY happy with my purchase! It provides outstanding cleaning of dust/pollen/etc., and there are no expensive filters to replace.
The only filter you might need to replace -- and this is optional -- is the Carbon filter. Said filter helps remove odors from the air, but if your primary concern is air cleaning, you can forget about replacing it. (I have had my air cleaner for six months, and do not see a need to replace the Carbon filter.)
CLEANING TIP: The main filter mechanism -- a removable electrostatic "cell" that looks like a small radiator -- can be cleaned in a dishwasher. (Indeed, the user guide recommends dishwasher cleaning.) In any case, if the cell does not fit in the top rack of your dishwasher, flip the top rack upside down. This should provide ample clearance for the cell, and as an added bonus, the bottom of the rack should be free of protrusions that could potentially damage the cell.
Bottom line, this air cleaner is an outstanding investment. It provides one of the most economical solutions, while also being one of the most effective. What more could one ask for?...more info
Don't buy this unless you feel like taking out a mortgage on filter replacements This item works well if it is in the direct air flow of the house. Aside from that, if you want to pay about $70 every few months to replace filters, then get it . . . when I purchased this originally the replacement filters were cheaper (at least that's how I remember it). Look them up now . . . just type "friedrich filter" into the search and look at the carbon filter and the prefilter if you don't believe me.
I have a whirlpool (I think) that cost me like $200 and it works just as good . The filters are significantly cheaper too.
I wouldn't purchase this again . . . I wish I didn't in the first place. 3 times replacing the filters and I could buy a whole new unit of a different brand....more info
Great air cleaner, don't worry about the OZONE This is a great air cleaner and has beaten all other room air cleaners in many tests. I'm amazed at all the crud I clean off the collector plates every week. I can smell a slight ozone odor sometimes but it's hardly noticeable. I was leery about getting an air cleaner that uses an Electrostatic Precipitator because of the ozone concerns. After much research I found that ozone can be a big concern with many Electrostatic precipitators like the Sharper Image Ionic Breeze, Oreck and many others but not with the Friedrich C-90B. The FDA has set a safe ozone limit at 5 ppb and the C-90B was tested at 1.4 ppb by their own tests and 4 ppb by Consumer Reports. Sharper Image Ionic Breeze tests at 18 ppb by Consumer Reports and others tested as high as 28 ppb. The C-90B is one of the few Electrostatic precipitators to pass Underwriters Laboratories ozone test, so I'm not worried. ...more info
awesome appliance - easy, inexpensive maintenance I bought this appliance after reviewing many options that were well recommended and less expensive. But, I figured out that because there is no expensive filter to replace (just a very reasonable one that seldom needs replacing in my house) it works out to be alot less expensive in the long run.
It's done a great job. My allergy symptoms are greatly reduced and so, therefore, is the amount of medication I have to take for them.......more info
I wish I could afford 2 I recently purchased one of these after extensive research. Since we have a two story home, I find myself moving it back and forth. The only downside is the size. It's about the size of a medium dog carrier. But the fact that it is so quiet and works so well, make it worth it. My husband and I both smoke and our house smells fresh and clean for the first time in several years. His mother, a non-smoker, is even amazed. Next year I will definately be buying another one. You don't even know it's running on low and when I turn it up, it's still fairly quiet and non-distracting....more info
Cream Of The Crop This is the best Air Cleaner on the market,period. I have had mine for 11 years and I am ordering a new one as soon as I finish this review. It is worth every penny and then some. It really works, I guarantee it. Don't listen to the negative reviews....more info
I wish I could return this... I bought this air purifier because of the good reviews. Within the first week I had to contact customer service because it because it rattled and made snapping noises. Customer service was very nice, and they arranged to have a new one sent out.
I got the new one, and although it didn't rattle, it continued to make a "snapping" sound. When I called about this, I was told that it would eventually stop, and it was only because the product was still new. (And by the way, I am very careful about following all the instructions regarding the cleaning and care of the unit.)
Well, it's been over 6 months and it hasn't stopped. My husband is furious that I got rid of the old purifier, because this one wakes us up at least 3 times a week at night with that "snapping" sound.
I just got off the phone with their customer service today to complain again, and I was *now* just told that the popping sound just means the unit is working - and that it will never stop! I would never have bought this product if I knew that.
I will grant you that it cleans the air well, very well - but who wants to put up with the sound of a whip cracking every other night? It's unbearable, and unless something like this wouldn't bother you, I would pass on the product.
Update: I just got an email from Friedrich which said the following:
"From everything you have written it sounds as if your unit is operating as designed. If you feel that there is something wrong with the unit, you can certainly send it to the nearest Service Center as listed on page 9 of your Operator's Guide.However, if they find nothing wrong with the unit you would be liable for all service charges."
Economical filtering, high quality, slightly noisy In comparison to many air filters which use disposable (and expensive) HEPA filter units, this Friedrich uses an electrostatic filter element to collect and trap dust particles. This is far superior to the electrostatic filters sold by Sharper Image because the total surface area for collecting dust is MUCH greater. The Friedrich C-90 (A or B) has an internal fan that draws air through a pre-filter, then through an aluminum element with many electrostatically-charged plates that capture dust particles, and finally through a carbon filter for cleaning up odors. Filtration has 3 stages: 1)an outer filter to catch hair and large dust particles, etc. 2) the main inner filter element and 3) a final charcoal filter. Each are removable to clean. The main filter element can be cleaned in a dishwasher; the pre- and carbon filters can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner brush. I've never bothered replacing the carbon filter - but have no strong odors in the apartment. I've never noticed any "ozone" smell noted by other reviewers. Friederich after-sales support is terrific.
NET: The unit is well-built, American-made, solid, but fairly large (like a small college-dorm refridgerator). The fan has 3 speeds. I have no problem with the noise level, (a low hum from the internal fan even at the lowest setting) but it bothers my wife. Prices vary widely; I've owned mine for 5+ years and would consider buying another/the same unit again.
ONE CAVEAT: the plates on the main electrostatic filter element are extremely fragile, and easily bent. Once bent out of alignment, the unit will continually pop and crackle as sparks jump between the unaligned plates. A replacement filter element is costly, but not when one considers the first one lasted over 5 years. ...more info
not satisfied Here some background. I used to use the Ionic Breeze aircleaner to clean the air against my allergies. The Ionic Breeze is not a good aircleaner as it has no fan to drive the air. I had it next to my face, literally, at night to feel an effect. I was not all too offended by the ozone smell until CR came up with its warning against the device and I threw it in the trash. I bought the Friedrich with the highest expectation but I am somewhat disapointed. I run it at night in my bedroom. I am not sure the cleaning power exceeds conventional HEPA filters (myallergies tell me "no"). People in other reviews point out the macroscopic dust that they see. This is what every air cleaner does terrific well (the ones with a fan at least). It's hard to judge the microscopic cleaning power. Let alone I am very disappointed about the ozone emission. I am a physicist. I am not paranoid but the smell from the ozone emission is at least as bad as the Ionic Breeze. Someone above called it wet dog smell. I just don't believe that with the low emission as stated in CR it would smell that bad. Maybe CR tested a particular good model, don't know. For my part I have a 500 $ failed health investment for the garage......more info
Yes, it's that good This really is an outstanding air cleaner. It eliminates almost all my allergy symptoms. I've had mine for four years now, and it's as excellent as the day I bought it. I've run it 24/7 the entire time, and even put it on an A/V cart so I can easily move it from room to room occasionally.
I replaced the carbon filter once a couple years ago, but I really don’t notice one way or the other on it. A room just doesn’t smell any more if you let the cleaner run a while. Even when the carbon filter is depleted, the cleaner still makes a tremendous difference in a room’s air.
Great Product, Owners Manual Missing Some Info I've had this product for a bit over a week and it works very well so far. The cleaning directions in the manual aren't nearly as good as they could be. The Honeywell manual for products which use the same air cleaner cell suggests placing several water glasses on your lower rack in order to support the air cell, rather than just dropping it onto the tines. It also says to not use the dry cycle, as it will bake the dirt into the cell....more info
Very nice Unit Owned this unit for 2 months and has been working Great! Easy to clean with or without a dishwasher. By far the best money can buy compared to other Ion cleaners. Some customers have complained about noise on TV screen from the unit, I have had none of that.
Update: 10/10/05 Recived portable TV (casio EV-4500) TV has moderate to high RF interference from 0 to 20 feet from C90A. as far as I can tell certain itams my be affected by unit.
Pros: very quiet on all speeds. Very easy to clean and filters are very cheep compared to other brands e.g. Oreck. Consumer reports top pick. Very low O-zone level output. Moves lots of air. light on top showing that Ion cells working correctly.
Cons: this unit is very Big and ugly about 30lbs
AHAM Clean air Delivery Rate Certified
Closed room up to 465 Square feet
Friedrich C-90A Air Purifier Friedrich C-90A Air Purifier is a 3 stage air cleaner that operates mainly on electronic filtering of indoor air. Very high marks by noted product review magazine. In use for one month, reliable so far.
Prefilter removes large dust particles.
Electronic filter removes almost all other particles.
Final carbon filter is for odor control. It must be replaced (quarterly?) to control odors. But unit will remove all dust etc without the charcoal filter.
Clean electronic filter weekly with water. Dry completely before using again. No other maintenance....more info
Works well, minor quibbles -- first invest in well-sealed ducts Indeed this unit works much better than units by Honeywell and others I've used. It doesn't sound like a jet engine, like the Honeywell blasters. Importantly, the C-90 doesn't have coatings on its filters that can bother some sensitive people. Other brands do have those coatings. There isn't another filtration unit on the market that can touch the C-90's cleaning efficiency. Although the famous (and litigious) consumer magazine says that the C-90 produces less ozone than competitive products, I am able to smell the ozone when the unit functions, but not on competitive products. I called Friedrich about this, but the person they said would respond never called me.
The price of the C-90's carbon filter is downplayed, but it is far from free. The unit should have casters for easier movement, although it is not terribly heavy.
It's worth noting that this unit, designed to clean a small space, costs about the same as a good whole house filtration unit, which may be a better investment. The whole house cleaner is installed directly in the duct system, and is silent.
I just had my old ducts replaced and cleaned, which made a far bigger difference than running the C90 AND a whole house unit simultaneously. If you have a lot of dust, then you should consider updating your ductwork. Having done so, I no longer need to run the C-90.
Update: Consumer Reports, which previously rated this unit highly, now does not recommend it, or any other electrostatic cleaner, because of the ozone it generates....more info
Rated Highest by Consumer Reports! My wife and I bought two of these 18 months ago. They both run 24/7 with the exception of several hours down-time to clean the ionizer and pre-filter (hose-off - they're too big to fit but one inoizer in the dishwasher). One sits in our bedroom, and the other on our perpetually wet and moldy enclosed patio, just outside the cat door.
It is incredible the amount of matter (blue-lint, cat hair, dun-colored mold spores) collected in the pre-filter, alone. Running as often as these do, the one on the patio needs to be cleaned every two-four weeks, while the bedroom fouls in eight days. When the prefilter fouls, it bulgestowards the ionizer and eventually pulls out of its framing.
This filter gives me, a chronic allergy sufferer, and oasis of fresh air in the room where it operates. I would rate its cleaning ability as absolutley the best I've had in 20 years of trying to find an adequate machine.
Against the Honeywells we had, this uses relatively little power. And, despite what the other reviewer stated about the carbon filter, ours still work after 18 months!
The drawbacks I've found are minor, but I'll provide them here just as an FYI.
Cleaning is not fun. Yes, one just has to pull out the prefilter and ionizer, hose them down, and let them dry. However, one MUST EXERCISE CAUTION. First, the "blades" of the ionizer are VERY SHARP, particularly on the more numerous side, and I've suffered a score of deep, paper-cut like wounds on the tip of a finger or two. Second, the ionizer is VERY FRAGILE (aluminum alloy?) and *VERY* expensive. In cleaning, I dropped one from the height of maybe 12 inches. It landed on a corner and through the ionizer out of alignment. It cost $160 to replace.
Noise is an issue. Even on low speed, the fan/airflow is audible, though regular (Hey! it's the fan that gets the circulation going and gave this the clear advantage over the Shaper Image machine that CR actively recommends against, even in the face of a (succesfully defeated) lawsuit by SI!). When a portable radiator heater we have comes on, the drain in power tends to make the fan hum. I can ingore it, but it bothers my wife, if she's awake. Honestly, by putting the radiator a safe distance ahead of the cleaner, it augments the heater by circulating the heated air. Minor rattles can occur, too, so I keep a beach towel on top of the (large, 2-cubic foot?) unit, and several weighty books. This seems to have done the trick for more than a year.
Overall, I still say this is the best one can get, and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another....more info
Remarkably cleaner air I bought this pricey air purifier because it received the highest rating in a Consumer Reports field test. It may be expensive to purchase, but it's worth it. This model works by drawing air through a series of filters using a powerful 3-speed fan. A prefilter removes large particles/hairs, then an ionization chamber clumps the smaller particles, allowing them to be easily removed by the final stage carbon filter. This combination seems particularly effectively at removing dust, cat dander, pollen, and other odors. It also greatly reduces the odor of cigarette smoke that wafts into my apartment from a chain-smoking neighbor downstairs. The filter also proved effective at removing the odor of cat urine/feces near a litterbox.
Like all air purifiers, the big downside of using one is the energy cost and the cost of replacing the filters. Surprisingly, this unit users much less electricity than cheaper models and costs less to maintain since the filters are washable. Only the carbon filter needs to be changed every 3-6 months since it slowly loses its ability to absorb odor.
The ionization produced by the unit leaves a slight but noticable ozone smell when the unit is running. This may be irritating to some, but it actually smells pleasant to my wife and I since we know that the unit is working. The smell disappears in an hour or less after the unit's been turned off, even if it's been left on for a night.
I would highly recommend this air purifier. Since an air purifier needs to run almost constantly while one is home if "fresh" air is also coming in through an A/C or fan, it's important to pay more attention to the maintenance/electricity costs than the initial sticker shock. ...more info