I'm usually really good about doing research and educating myself before I make a big purchase. However, in a few situations I've become desperate enough to try even a gimmicky product, if I thought it might help. This was one of those purchases.
For most of my life I've had to deal with allergies every spring and summer. They would always be at their worst when I was outside, but I could usually find relief from the sneezing and itchy eyes by going into an air-conditioned home. Unfortunately, though, that didn't always work.
A few years ago I found that even inside my home, my allergies were still terrible. After a couple of weeks of interrupted and uncomfortable sleep, I finally broke down and decided that I wanted to purchase some sort of air filter, in the hope that it will make life a little more pleasant when I was inside. After seeing some commercials and reading some ads online, I decided to try one of the "Ionic Breeze" air purifiers from Sharper Image.
Upon receiving it, I plugged it in. The first thing I noticed was that it made no noise at all, however you could definitely feel that it was circulating a little bit of the air around it. I let it run for several days hoping that it would help reduce my allergy problems inside my home, but unfortunately, it didn't seem to have any effect at all. Instead of relief, the only thing that it produced seemed to be a strong ozone-type smell, similar to what you might experience right after a thunderstorm, only much stronger. That's probably the one part about the Ionic Breeze that I actually liked.
After spending so much money I didn't want to give up on it right away, so I left it running. After several days, I noticed that it began making a noise that reminded me of the static noise that you hear on a TV. I checked the documentation and found that this was a symptom of the filter being dirty, and needing to be cleaned, so I proceeded to do so.
Cleaning the Ionic Breeze is fairly easy. The "Collection Grid" (i.e. the metal strips) inside the filter come out through the top of the unit, and they can easily be wiped clean with a damp paper towel. When I removed mine, there was definitely some dust, dirt, and other stuff stuck to them, so I assume that it must actually filter some particles out of the air, but maybe not to the degree that the advertisements promised.
I found that mine works well (i.e. produces the ozone-type smell) for about a week or so, but after that it probably collects too much dust to do much more. Maybe it's just that my house contains more dust than others, and that's why mine only works for around a week? I guess that it's a possibility, but I tend to think that this is probably the type of performance that anyone could expect. Perhaps I would have had better results if I cleaned it more frequently? I suppose that's also possible, so I guess I may not be able to completely blame the device for my poor outcome.
So, unfortunately I didn't get all of the magical benefits that were promised by the commercials, and my allergies continued to make my life inside my home pretty uncomfortable. What I did get, though, was a very expensive, ozone-flavored air freshener, and that was one thing that it seemed to do pretty well. I still use it to this day, but not because I think it's going to clean anything out of the air. I guess I just like the smell that it produces.