Last updated on January 17th, 2023

The Nu-Calgon iWave-R air purifier unit is a device that you mount in your air conditioning system to help clean the air in your home. As air moves through the iWave residential air cleaner, the device’s ion generator destroys bacteria, viruses and other airborne contaminants, resulting in the fresh air coming out with no harmful chemicals.

In this review, I cover how iWave-R works, what space it can effectively clean, its pros and cons and answer some frequently asked questions you may have.

Nu-Calgon iWave-R air purifier review


Model Nu-Calgon iWave-R 4900-20
Max. Supported Airflow 2400 CFM
Ion Output 160 mil ions/cc per polarity (320 million total ions/cc)
Power 10 Watt (How much Electricity will it use?)
Voltage 24 – 240VAC
Frequency 50/60HZ
Weight 1 pound
Dimensions (L x W x H) 6″ x 4.8″ x 2″
UL & cUL approval
Warranty 3 years on unit

My iWave-R Air Purifier Review

What’s in the Box

  • iWave-R air purifier unit
  • User manual

What’s the iWave-R

Some people looking for Nu-Calgon iWave 4900-20 iWave-R air purifier reviews do not understand one thing: this is not your conventional air purifier that you plug in and it runs until you have to replace filter every 3 to 6 or so months. It does not have a fan to move the air in and out of the unit and it cannot be used out of the box right away.

So what’s iWave-R then? It is a powerful ion generator designed to be installed into an air conditioning system. The A/C system must have a flush, external duct mount so the iWave can be installed correctly.

How iWave Functions

When the air flows through the A/C system with installed iWave, the latter releases an equal amount of negative and positive ions (similar to NuWave Oxypure). This is called a needlepoint bipolar ionization technology if someone’s interested.

After the ions are released into the air, they attach themselves to VOCs, gases and other harmful particles that flow through the air conditioner. During the process, particles get bigger and bigger until they get caught by an air ventilation filter.

In short, iWave helps an air ventilation system catch harmful chemicals, viruses, bacteria and remove odors (from cooking, pet smells, bathroom odors, VOCs and so on). Fits any HVAC system with a cooling coil up to 48″ wide.

iWave Installation

The installation process isn’t hard but some people may find it difficult. Plus, Nu-Calgon (the company that manufactures iWave) warranty requires you to use a certified HVAC or electrical technician to install the unit, otherwise, the warranty terminates in an instant.

That’s an obvious downside, but if you want to install it yourself there isn’t a better explanation other than this video down below. It explains how to install the iWave air purifier in a few minutes:

Usually, the iWave-R is installed in two locations: internal or external duct inlet, near the fan inlet.

If you decided to install the unit yourself just make sure that all other wires and metal surfaces are at least 2 inches away from the tip ends of the high voltage emitters.

After installation iWave is ready for work. When powered, a green LED indicator should illuminate. That means everything is ok iWave is cleaning the air.

Air Cleaning with iWave

iWave-R works in two ways: constantly or when there is airflow.

  • To make the iWave air purifier work 24/7 connect it to the power supply and let it run 24 hours per day.
  • To make it work when air is flowing you have to interlock the iWave-R with a fan.

Either way, it is recommended to let it run continuously for the first days after installation, to clean the air in the room as quickly as possible. Regarding electricity consumption, it is negligible – around 10 watts per hour.


iWave has a self-cleaning feature and by default it runs a cleaning operation every third day. Although it is possible to set up cleaning every 1, 5 or 10 days. To change the cleaning cycle you have to enter cleaning mode by pressing the button. The LED light should start flashing and you should hear the stepper motor starts the cleaning process. After that:

  • To clean iWave-R every day: press the button and hold it for three seconds.
  • To clean every 3rd day: press the button, hold it for three seconds and press it once again.
  • To clean every 5th day: press the button, hold it for three seconds and press it twice.
  • To clean every 10th day: press the button, hold it for three seconds and press it three times.

Additionally, you can wipe the ion generator with a dry cloth every 2-3 months. This ensures high performance and fresh air throughout the whole life of the iWave-R.

Other Air Purifiers from iWave

The iWave-R 4900-20, iWave-V 4900-40, iWave-M 4900-35, iWave-F 4900-30 and iWave-C 4900-10 are five versions of the iWave air purification system manufactured by Nu-Calgon. The iWave-R is a low-maintenance air purifier designed for home use. The iWave-V is a residential air cleaner that needs little maintenance. The iWave-M is a ductless and other HVAC systems’ mini flexible air purifier. The iWave-C is a low-maintenance air purifier that can be used in both commercial and residential settings.

Suitable Room Size for iWave-R

iWave-R can ionize 2400 cubic feet of air per minute. Here’s an example table of how fast the ionizer can clean air in a room of different sizes.

Room size How long does it take to clean the air ACH (What’s that?)
1500 sq. ft. 5 minutes 12
3000 sq. ft. 10 minutes 6
3750 sq. ft. 13 minutes 4.8
4500 sq. ft. 15 minutes 4
9600 sq. ft. 30 minutes 1.9
18000 sq. ft. 1 hour 1

4.8 air changes per hour are the requirement for people who suffer from any breathing conditions, including asthma and allergy. If you are suffering from these conditions, iWave will help you for sure in spaces up to 3750 square feet! Very efficient both for residential homes and commercial spaces.

If you want to check how fast iWave can clean air in your room size use our calculator.

I-Wave-R Installation Cost

Installation costs vary from state to state. The cheapest I could find was $799 including iWave-R, sales tax and installation labor.

If you are planning to buy and install it by yourself you are going to save up at least $300 – $400.

Maintenance Costs

IWave maintenance costs are almost non-existent. It adds a few bucks per year to your electricity bills but nothing more! No filters or any other additional accessory replacement ever!

Pros & Cons

The Good
  • The iWave-R is efficient in cleaning and freshening the air
  • Clears smells
  • Helps reduce asthma or allergy symptoms
  • Self-cleaning unit
  • Could be installed in residential air conditioning systems
  • Great for large rooms, offices, kitchens
  • No ozone generation
The Bad
  • Limited warranty

iWave-R vs Reme Halo

Some specs comparison:

If you don’t see the whole table, scroll it horizontally
Nu-Calgon iWave-R 4900-20
Reme Halo In-Duct Air Purifier
Max. Supported Airflow
2400 CFM
6500 CFM
1 pound
6 pounds
Dimensions (L x W x H)
6" x 4.8" x 2"
13.8" x 6.5" x 7.5"
3 years
5 years

A major difference between the iWave-R and Reme Halo air purifiers is the maximum airflow: the latter supports 2.7 times more airflow than the iWave-R! Incredible power, just incredible!

On a downside though, it releases a small amount of ozone and cannot be sold in California as it didn’t pass CARB requirements. So Reme Halo suits more for commercial and industrial use where people aren’t exposed to ozone generation 24/7.

I also recommend checking my Reme Halo review.

iWave-R vs iWave-C

Specs to compare both units made by Nu-Calgon:

If you don’t see the whole table, scroll it horizontally
Nu-Calgon iWave-R 4900-20
Nu-Calgon iWave-C 4900-10
Max. Supported Airflow
2400 CFM
4800 CFM
Ion Output
160 mil ions/cc per polarity (320 million total ions/cc)
200 millions ions/cc per polarity (400 million total ions/cc)
1 pound
3 pounds
Dimensions (L x W x H)
6" x 4.8" x 2"
7" x 4" x 7"

Apart from a 100% increase in airflow, the iWave-C 4900-10 air purifier is also waterproof, it’s rated NEMA 4X. All devices rated NEMA 4X ensure they are protected against splashing, corrosion and hose-directed water, rain and ice.

The commercial model of the iWave air purifier also releases ozone, so it’s more suitable for commercial use. As with the Reme Halo case, it doesn’t meet CARD requirements of ozone production.


Does iWave-R produce ozone?

No, it does not.

I have a lot of dust, will it remove it?

Definitely! The iWave is very effective in collecting dust, you may have to change the filters of your air conditioning system more frequently after installing this ion generator.

Does it kill mold?

It can be effective in reducing mold spores, but it mostly depends on humidity levels in a place where you are planning to install iWave-R.

Does iWave-R kill coronavirus?

To put it in a nutshell, iWave reduces bacteria and dangerous pathogens present in the air. Cleaner air means better health, which in turn reduces the chances of getting Covid-19. So no, iWave-R does not directly kills coronavirus.

According to FDA, UV-C lamps are effective in the inactivation of the Coronavirus and other viruses. This air cleaning technology has been used for decades now: Ultraviolet germicidal radiation is used in medical facilities to disinfect the air.

Several companies offer high-quality air cleaners with UV-lamps, one of them is Tracs. They come not just with UV-C lamps for air disinfection but also employ sealed medical grade HEPA H13 air filter which is certified for use in hospitals.

iWave vs UV Light: What’s better?

If your concern is more about killing viruses then UV-C Light is better. Just make sure it doesn’t release ozone – I recommend using UV Tracs air purifiers, the link I provided above. If you are more concerned with VOCs, odors, gases, dust and all this kind of stuff just the iWave ionizer should be enough. After all, it’s cheaper and doesn’t require maintenance.

iWave vs air scrubber: what’s the difference?

iWave uses ions to purify the air whereas air scrubbers usually use a powerful fan and filters to clean the air indoors.

Can I wire iWave-R and plug it to AC outlet?

Yes, you can wire and plug into an AC outlet.

If I buy from Amazon, am I eligible for the warranty?


Does iWave-R generate airflow?

No, it doesn’t. You must have a fan (furnace fan works great) to generate airflow.

Does iWave-R really work?

Yes, it is! Check these iWave-R purifier reviews and see what people have to say.

Do I have to buy an air filter for iWave?

No! iWave ionizer is filterless, you don’t have to buy any filter every 3, 6 or so months for it to work.

How much does the iWave air purifier cost?

It depends on the iWave model you want to buy. The lowest price I found is under $400 for Nu-Calgon iWave-R (check availability), above $200 for 4900-35 iWave-M (see details) and under $600 for 4900-10 iWave-C (see full price).


iWave-R definitely works and cleans the air by generating ions that clean air and deal with bacteria and viruses. It comes in a small, handy package and can be installed either by a technician or yourself (and there are plenty of videos on how to do it).

iWave-R is a bit pricier than other generic ion generators, but they either aren’t powerful enough or have a short lifespan of 1 or 2 years. IWave-R can work for years without any hassle making it worth every penny. Must buy if you already have a HVAC system installed and you want to breathe fresh air all day!

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9 thoughts on “Nu-Calgon 4900-20 iWave-R Ductwork Air Purifier Review in 2023


  2. when you say reme halo has more airflow, I am confused. Both iwave and reme halo utilize furnance fan to flow air. So, the quantity of air flows would be the same, Am I wrong?
    I have 4 ton unit and am debating if I should get iwave or reme halo but if it means reme halo can treat more air, I may go with reme halo…can you clarify?

  3. I’m trying to decide between Reme Halo and I-wave.
    For sinus sufferers with allergies, which would you recommend?

  4. I the iWave-R is installed on the switched terminals with the blower. So power to the device is on with the blower on and off when it is off, does it restart its cleaning cycle counter or remember it?

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