Air purifiers don’t need lots of bells and whistles to be effective. In fact, some of them have a pretty modest set of features, like the Honeywell HFD-120-Q. But that’s not to say it doesn’t do a stand-up job…

But how good is it really? Does it have an ionizer? Is it any good at reducing odors? Does it help with allergies? What type of room does it suit? Are the filters washable or must they be replaced?

The answers await you.

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What Interesting about the Honeywell HDF-120-Q?

The most interesting thing I found is to do with ionizers…

Air purifiers with ionizers are controversial and often avoided like the plague. Well, this model has an ionizer. However, unlike some other Honeywell air purifiers, this is disclosed clearly. It is stated on the Honeywell website and on the packaging that this machine is “ARB certified to comply with federal ozone emissions limit“. It’s up to you whether or not you find this acceptable or if you’d rather avoid an ionizer all together.

Honeywell HFD-120-Q QuietClean Oscillating Air Purifier with Permanent Washable Filters

If you’re not up to scratch with why ionizers are unpopular, here’s a quick explanation. Ionizers use opposing charges to make airborne particles larger and easier to be caught by an air purifier. The downside is that they also produce ozone. Ozone can exacerbate respiratory issues such as asthma and allergies. Basically, you can end up with the very symptoms you are trying to avoid – coughing, sneezing, a tight chest and throat irritations.

What do other customers and reviews say?

Judging by the fact that 78% of the reviews belong in the 4 and 5-star sections, this air purifier has impressed a decent chunk of customers. It’s not all rosy though, as 15% do belong to the 1 and 2-star sections. But why the highs and lows? Read on.


Gives off a strange smell: a concerning number of customers have reported a strong, plastic-like smell coming from their air purifier. Some have described it as a “burning” smell which doesn’t go away after a few days like they had expected it to. This has made the machine unusable for these customers.

Oscillation issues: a decent handful of customers have had issues with the oscillation feature. Some have said there is a loud, clanging sound when the oscillation feature is turned on. Others have said the feature simply stops working and the fans cease to move all together. A few others have said that all the oscillation feature does is create a cold draft.


Great at reducing odors: I was really pleased to see that many people have experienced an extreme reduction in odors thanks to this machine. The most common odors mentioned in the reviews are cigarette smoke and pet-related smells. Obviously, these people haven’t encountered the lingering “burning plastic” smell others have.

Reduces dust: lots of people have been shocked at how much dust the Honeywell HFD-120-Q collects. They have found that the filters become absolutely full of dust very easily, while the dust in their home is heavy reduced. Happy customers have found that they don’t need to dust their home as frequently.

Helps to reduce allergy symptoms: I think the best possible comment an air purifier can receive is that it reduces allergy symptoms. This machine has plenty of such reviews. People rave that their allergy and sinus-related symptoms have greatly improved since installing this machine. Satisfied customers have said they’ve experienced easier breathing, less sniffling, clearer eyes and more comfortable sleeps.

Very quiet: many “quiet” air purifiers end up driving people mad with their loud hum. However, this air purifier has impressed a huge amount of customers with its quietness. Happy consumers have stated their surprise at how quiet the machine is, even on the higher settings. The lowest setting sounds as though it’s fine for even the lightest of sleepers to have running in the bedroom at night.

What are the technical specifications?


Recommended Room Area 170 square feet (small-to-medium room)
Clean Air Delivery Rate smoke – 110, pollen – 132, dust – 100. This model is AHAM certified (which basically means it has been tested and confirmed that it can clear pollen, dust and tobacco smoke from the air).
Special Features/Settings: Power button: the power button turns the unit on, but it’s also used to select different cleaning levels. When you turn the unit on, it will automatically select the “low” speed level. Press the power button to choose your desired speed level.

Oscillation button: the button with the little round symbol turns on the oscillation feature. This is when the fans turn from side to side, moving more air (supposedly).

Electronic filter-clean reminder: the little window labelled “filter reset” will light up when it’s time to check your filters. To reset the light, you have to use something tiny like a paperclip or fine-tipped pen to press the button.

Cleaning levels: the cleaning levels (fan speed) low, medium and high

Filter Type washable, permanent ifD filter and pre-filter, with the option of using a replaceable odor-reducing filter (non-washable). The ifD filter is not HEPA specified, but it does capture particles as small as 0.3 microns
Energy Usage Energy Star qualified
Color black with a silver base and control panel
Noise Level level 1 and 2 are very quiet, but level 3 is more audible and might be irritating to those who are very sound-sensitive. However, many pleased customers have found this machine extremely quiet.

Dimensions and Weight

Size 29 x 11 x 10 inches
Weight 14.52 pounds

How do you use it?

It’s really very easy to use, it just takes a bit of maintenance to keep the filters in check.

When your air purifier is brand new, set it up by making sure all plastic packaging has been removed from the filters before they are slotted into the machine.

Find a flat surface to place the air purifier on, ensuring it’s in close reach to a power outlet. Make sure that there are no objects within 3 feet of each side of the unit.

Turn it on, select your desired fan speed (low, medium or high) and leave it to do its job.

When you see the filter reset button light up, unplug the unit and remove the filters. Clean or wash them, ensure they’re completely dry, and put them back in the unit.

How do you clean it? Is it easy to clean?

Is it easy? Yes, very. To clean the outer unit, give it a wipe-down with a damp cloth, or pass your vacuum cleaner brush attachment over it. Make sure you do this regularly, as it can get pretty dusty (if it’s working as it should be).

Cleaning the filters is pretty breezy too, if you’ve got a vacuum cleaner with a brush or nozzle attachment. Every week or two, give the filters a thorough clean on both sides with your vacuum cleaner. This will get rid of most of the dust and preserve the efficiency of the filters between washes.

If the filters are still dirty after vacuuming them, it’s time to wash them. Soak the filters in soapy water for a few minutes, rinse and dry. It’s best to use a gentle dishwashing detergent.

How Does It Compare to other models?

Honeywell HFD-120-Q vs GermGuardian AC4825

The GermGuardian AC4825 has a very different filtration system than the Honeywell HFD-120-Q. The first filtration stage involves a pre-filter with an odor-reducing charcoal layer. The second filter is a true HEPA filter, and the last is a UV-C light which kills germs.

Like the Honeywell HFD-120-Q, the GermGuardian AC4825 has a simple control panel with 3 fan speeds and a filter-check light.

These two models have a similar shape and aesthetic: dark, tall, slim with silver accents.

What is the cost of replacement filters and where to get them?

Since the ifD filter and the washable pre-filter are both permanent, there are no replacement filters available to buy. However, you can buy the Honeywell odor-reducing K pre-filter from the Honeywell website for an on-special price of $15.95 for a pack of 2 ($29.95 is the regular price).

How often do filters need to be changed and can’t they just be cleaned?

Yes, the washable pre-filter and the ifD filter are permanent and washable, so you shouldn’t need to replace them at all. Of course, if you want to start again with fresh filters after couple of years or so, then by all means, go for it. The odor-reducing K filter is not washable, and must be replaced.

The manual states that the ifD filter should be washed “when needed but not more than once a month”. They also recommended giving the filter a once-over with the vacuum cleaner regularly (I take this to mean once a week or fortnightly).

Are there other replacement parts, where do I buy them?

There are no other replacement parts available for this model, excluding the filters. You shouldn’t need to replace anything, but if you do have issues, contact the manufacturer.

What’s the warranty?

Honeywell provides a 5-year warranty.

Can I find it at other retailers like Target?

Target doesn’t sell this exact model at this time, but they do sell a similar one. The Honeywell QuietClean Tower Air Purifier HFD230-B.

What’s The Best Price For The Honeywell HFD-120-Q and where can I buy it?

Amazon usually has the best price for this model, but the Honeywell website has the second best. Price change and special offers come and go, so make sure you check the different listings often.

Verdict: Is This Air Purifier For You?

This is the one for you if you can handle the risk of an odd smell emitting from the machine, which may or may not dissipate. I can’t say for sure that this will happen, but I have to mention it as it has bugged quite a large handful of people. If you need an air purifier to reduce odors while staying nice and quiet, this could be ideal for you. If washable filters appeal to you, you’ll like the style of this air purifier.

If you absolutely must have true-HEPA filtration, try the Levoit LV-H132, it has true-HEPA filtration as well as an odor-reducing carbon filter.

Click Here to See the Honeywell HFD-120-Q on Amazon

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