Molekule Air Mini+ Small Room Air Purifier 6 Month Review
Molekule Air Mini+ Air Cleaner with Particle Sensor and PECO Technology
When the PR firm representing Molekule reached out to Legit Reviews and asked if we wanted to look at the Molekule Air Mini+ small room air purifier we were intrigued. The Air Mini+ is a high-end, and pretty looking, air purifier that is ideal for small rooms up to 250 square feet in size. It features a particle sensor that adjusts its fans speed based on the particles found in the air when the auto protect mode is enabled. It also uses PECO Technology to “destroy” (a fun marketing term used by Molekule) the widest range of pollutants, including bacteria, viruses, mold, chemicals, allergens and more.
Oh, and the Air Mini+ recently got a firmware update that allows it to work with the Apple HomeKit like your other smart-home appliances. How much will a cutting edge air cleaner like this run you? How about $399.00 shipped at places like Amazon.com. That premium price point is without a doubt up there, but if it works and greatly improves indoor air quality why not?
Our unit arrived back in June and we struggled how to go about testing it. Most air cleaner reviews that you read are complete and utter BS. Let’s just get that part said straight away. Many of the user reviews talk about how clean the air smells and many of the images in the reviews don’t even have the unit plugged in. They are likely just staged glamour shots that were likely bought by influencers through the site and then refunded by other means. Molekule sent us our sample for free, but left the review process entirely up to us.
The Air Mini+ has a modern look to it that really does blend in with pretty much any environment. The vegan leather strap makes it easy to carry around the 7.3 pound air cleaner. The dimensions of the unit are 12 (30.48 cm) high
8.26 (20.98 cm) wide. Yes, this was designed to be portable and that is certainly one of the key selling features.
Most of the 54-inch cord can be stored in the bottom of the unit and it has just a 2-prong plug. This means that it will work on older homes that were not wired with 3-prong outlets. Just above the power cord cutout in the base of the unit is the built-in particulate level sensor.
The replaceable PECO air filter comes sealed in a plastic bag, you’ll have to remove the housing to remove that bag before first use. The housing of the Air Mini+ just twists off with no tools required. Blue UV light does emit from the base of the Air Mini+ and this is only visible in a pitch black room. It doesn’t light the room up, but if you look at the base of the Air Mini+ you will likely notice it. It should not bother you enough to where it causes you issues getting to sleep.
The commercial-grade UV LEDs are not replaceable, but should maintain near peak efficacy for at least 5 years according to Molekule. The PECO technology does not generate any ozone as a byproduct and as a result all Molekule air purifiers are ozone-free.
Our unit came with the Gen 1.1 revision of the PECO-filter that Molekule is using for this model. There’s no difference in the filter itself with the earlier generations, but Molekule made some small modifications to make it lighter and easier to manufacture.
The Molekule app is available for free on Apple and Android devices and allows you to keep track of particulate levels, adjust the fan speed, and see when you need to replace your filter. From what we can tell the filter status is 100% run time based as you need to reset it once you put a new filter in.
Some of the testing that we wanted to do on the Molekule Air Mini+ was to check the power consumption and the noise levels. Notice that the top of our unit has a green light. This is the particulate matter level indicator and green is the best color that you can have as it indicates low levels of particulates. Yellow is considered moderate, red is bad and purple means that you have the highest level of particulate matter in the room. If your indicator is not green then you should increase the fan speed to increase the cleaning speed of the air in the room. This will be done automatically if the ‘auto protect’ mode is enabled that adjusts fan speeds when needed.
When it comes to power consumption at the wall outlet we were pleasantly surprised by the results as Molekule rates the power consumption at 20 Watts on low and ~55 Watts on high. We found the unit used 1.5 Watts turned off, ~8 Watts on the lowest speed and ~38 Watts at its highest speed. We’ve found that the 3rd speed level is the setting we like to leave it at for 24/7 use and that uses about 11 Watts of power. If your electric costs 14 cents per kilowatt-hour you are looking at an annual expense of just under $13.50 per year if you draw 11W for the entire year 24/7.
We mentioned that we liked leaving ours on the third power level and that is because of the noise levels from the Molekule Air Mini+. It rated at 39dBA at its lowest speed and 62 dBA at its highest speed. We measured the sound levels at distances of 1-foot and then again at 5-feet. The lowest speed blends in nicely with the background noise of a home or office that might have ceiling fans or a refrigerator running. Once you get up to the 2nd speed you’ll hear it over the background noise, but it is a nice white noise that is simple to become accustomed to. The highest speed is loud and it came in over 60dBA at both distances that we checked at. This is a speed that you’ll only want to use when the air quality is poor and you are looking to circulate all the room in the air as quickly as possible.
We’ve used the Molekule Air Mini+ for nearly six months now on the dresser in our bedroom. The air comes in the bottom of the unit via the units 360 degree air intake and this was obvious by looking at the filter. The bottom of the filter had more ‘dirt’ trapped in it. Molekule says their PECO filter is nanocatalyst coated and reacts to the internal light to oxidize indoor pollutants, including viruses, bacteria, mold, allergens, VOCs, and even ozone. Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) technology has not been tested on Covid-19 and remember that no air purifier can completely reduce the risk of exposure to viruses.
We did not rent a air quality meter for this review as it is tough to see if the photocatalysis process is working to speed up oxidation that breaks down pollutants at a molecular level. Most test equipment just shows air filter effectiveness based solely on how well large particles are captured and removed from the air. Lower airflow is actually better for the photocatalytic processes, so the number of times the air in the room is exchanged also isn’t a good measurement tool any longer. The photocatalytic processes is a rather new process and tough to measure outside the lab and in a home.
Here is a closer look at the filter after nearly 6 months. Not really that bad looking for a family of four with two dogs after almost 6 months, but we don’t smoke and it was kept elevated up on the dresser. That said, traditional HEPA filters generally trap impurities as they pass through the filter, while this PECO technology is supposedly capable of destroying the impurities as they pass through.
Molekule suggests replacing the PECO filter for the Air Mini and Air Mini+ every 6 months. Each filter is priced at $75 shipped (Buy on Amazon) and this means you’ll spend about $150 per year for replacement filters. Molekule actually offers an auto-refill program that gives you two PECO filters every 12 months for $99 per shipment. This saves you $50 per year and is done through the My Molekule Account direct with Molekule.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
The COVID-19 pandemic and an increase of wild fires around the country has spiked interest in air filtration solutions. The Molekule Air Mini+ is an interesting unit and we like the idea of the PECO filter and UV light as an alternative to a traditional HEPA filter. Being able to address bioaerosol and VOC pollution seems to be a big deal these days and who doesn’t want clean air. Many people are looking for allergy and asthma symptom relief and running any sort of air cleaner seems to be better than not having one at all. After using the Molekule Air Mini+ for almost half a year it does seem to deliver and everyone in the family says it helps with allergies. It is also neat to see the fan speed up when it is in auto mode while someone is cooking. The Air Mini+ sensor detects more particulates in the air and ramps up the fan speed to get the air clean again.
What can Molekule do to deliver a better customer experience with the Air Mini+ small room air purifier? The top touch panel works okay, but the feel and functionality could be better. The other area that needs to be addressed is the App for both Android and Apple. We were unable to get the Molekule Air Mini+ to connect to WiFi with the Android app even after removing the password on our Wi-Fi network and ran it open. We had to use an Apple iPhone on an open network to get online for firmware updates. We were able to get it working, but it was tricky and not an enjoyable experience. The Wi-Fi range was also something that could also stand to be improved. Thankfully, none of the above issues are deal breakers as you will likely run it at one fan speed and forget about it.
When it comes to pricing the Molekule Air Mini+ small room air purifier runs $399 (Buy on Amazon.com). Yearly running costs appear to be about $15 on electric (3rd fan speed) and $99 for two PECO filters. All Molekule air purifiers have a 30-day home trail if you wanted to try one out. You can return it for a full refund including shipping if you are not happy with how it performs.
Legit Bottom Line: We’ve used the Molekule Air Mini+ small room air purifier for nearly 6 months and it seems to be doing a good job improving the air quality!