Friday, June 28, 2013

Surround Air XJ-3800 Intelli-Pro Air Purifier With HEPA, Ionizer, UV - No More Allergies

Surround Air XJ-3800 Intelli-Pro Air Purifier Reviewed by Dmiko on .

My mom suffered from allergies, requiring her to take pills and use eye drops, neither of which helped completely. The allergies were caused by allergens in the air, so my hypothesis was that installing an air purifier that removes allergens would alleviate the symptoms. This theory required validation, so I got her the Surround Air XJ-3800 Intelli-Pro Air Purifier with Photocatalytic Filter HEPA/Carbon Filter and Germicidal UV Lamp.

About Surround Air XJ-3800 Intelli-Pro Air Purifier

The Surround Air XJ-3800 Intelli-Pro Air Purifier with Photocatalytic Filter HEPA/Carbon Filter and Germicidal UV Lamp is an air purifier that claims to utilize 7 different ways of purifying the air. Included are HEPA filter, activated carbon filter, ionizer, UV light and other methods. The unit claims to remove airborne dust, allergens, cigarette smoke, mold, microorganisms, odors, chemicals, bacteria and more.

The unit can be run on several fan speeds (including so-called quiet mode) and also has an automatic mode, in which it uses its built-in sensor to detect the contamination level of the air and adjust the fan speed accordingly. The diagnostic sensors indicate when to replace filters. The unit requires cleaning every couple of months and a new HEPA filter every year or so.

The purifier comes with a 30-day risk-free trial and a 3-year warranty.

The purifier comes fully assembled. Its size is moderate, but the profile is relatively flat so it does not take much space. It has to be placed at least a foot from the wall. The manual states that it should be left on for at least two hours, then unplugged and plugged back in to calibrate the air contamination sensor better. This is what I did: turned the unit on, switched it to the auto mode, unplugged and plugged it back after 2 hours.

Controls and Indicators

The front panel features control buttons that are straightforward to use and indicator lights that are quite intuitive. There is even an air contamination indicator bar that grows as the air in the room gets dirtier and shrinks as it gets cleaner. 

The unit can be run in manual mode where you use the dedicated button to cycle through its fan speeds, or in auto mode where it uses its sensor to detect how dirty the air is and adjust the fan speed accordingly. We use the latter and it works very well. When the air is relatively clean, the bar stays short and the unit is virtually silent. When the air gets dirtier, the bar grows and the fan speed increases resulting in a little more noise.


The purifier is installed in a small bedroom, about 1 ft off the wall. The result was almost immediate, within several days my mom's allergies were absolutely gone. And the air in the room smells fresher as well. Since this is the main reason for purchasing this device (allergy reduction) and it actually eliminated allergy symptoms, we can claim that mission was accomplished. Also, the purifier is rarely making any sound and is generally unobtrusive while consuming little energy.

The cleaning is not straightforward and is not something I am looking forward to. But this is just the nature of the beast. Every 2-3 months the grids and wires inside the unit need to be cleaned, otherwise the HEPA filter will get dirty sooner, requiring more frequent replacement (about $30). Cleaning and replacing filters is not very easy but not rocket science either. Considering the allergy elimination, this is a worthy tradeoff.

The unit is disassembled without tools. The directions are spread over several pages in seemingly reverse order. Still, I was able to clean and dry the filters in about 40 minutes. The metal grid and wires were not dusty at all even though the "clean grid" light was on, making me think that the light is not based on the level of dust on it but on time in use. The pre-filter (metal mesh) was very dusty though, so I am glad the light was on.

After re-assembly, the light needed to be rest by pushing the resessed "reset" button together with the "timer" button at the same time while the unit was plugged-in but not on.

Pros: Allergies are gone, room smells fresh, no noise, air quality sensors that work, price, features.
Cons: Cleaning is not easy.

Bottom Line

The Surround Air XJ-3800 Intelli-Pro Air Purifier is excellent in eliminating airborne allergens and smells. It is quiet in operation, has air quality sensors that actually work and is quite inexpensive, especially when on sale. I am very happy with it and my mom can sleep at night now without having to take allergy pills and eye drops. I highly recommend this air purifier and might get one for myself since my Sharper Image Ionic Breeze purifiers seem to have only marginal utility in cleaning the air.

Rating: 4 stars out of 4.

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