Austin Air Purifier Reviews
Yes, the strength of Austin Air purifier lies in the fact that it costs lower than other premium air cleaner in the market, yet it works as well as those premium brand purifiers.
Its effectivity in purifying air has been tested by some of the world’s most respected testing labs like Battelle Laboratories and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. As a result, this company was selected by FEMA and The Red Cross to address the air quality problems post 9/11 in New York. Additionally, one of Austin Air’s patented filtering system, High Efficiency Gas Absorption (HEGA), is used by the US Army Corps to protect military personnel from toxic poison. This same technology is also used in one of their home air purifier product.
Filtration Technology of Austin Air Purifier – A Review
All Austin Air cleaners utilize a 4-stage filter as follows:
- Two prefilters to arrest big and medium size of airborne particles. That way, the more expensive HEPA filter is not clogged up prematurely, leaving it to work with fine particles.
- Medical Grade HEPA filter, which removes air contaminants sized 0.3 micron or bigger.
- Gas phase filter which is either a carbon or combination of carbon and other chemicals, depending on the air purifier series, which is effective in addressing ultra-fine particles, including gases, odor and smoke.
So how does the filtration work ?
First, air is drawn into the purifier through all sides of the air purifier. This air intake system enable the air cleaner to pass the air faster and efficiently, since most of the other air purifiers draw the air through certain opening only. Once the air is taken up, it is then passed through the 4-stage filter and clean air is subsequently released through an outlet just below the top.
This can be a blessing for asthma sufferers who want concentrated stream of pure air, but others may find it to be drafty.
Austin Air HEPA Purifier Special Features:
- Excellent buy. At under $500, Austin Air is clearly the cheapest of all premium air purifier brands on the market today. In fact, rather than buying a discount not-so-useful air purifier from the local department store, it is much better to spend $100 more and get an Austin Air cleaner instead.
- Cheap maintenance. As if it’s not enough for Austin Air to be a bargain premium air purifier, this company spoils budget-minded customers further by designing filters which have a long life. Just for comparison, most air purifiers will require changing of its air filter at least every 18 months. The discount air purifiers even need changing more frequently. Not so with Austin Air. The company states that generally, Austin Air filter does not have to be changed before 5 years. But of course this depends a lot on usage.
- Low electricity usage. At the highest setting, this machine only uses 115-135 watt, which translate to less than one penny per hour.
- Completely safe. Austin Air cleaners does not produce questionable gases, including ozone, and the material used to make the Austin Air HEPA purifier does not outgas. Just so you aware, some air purifiers in the market, especially the ionic or ozone-based ones, do release ozone into surrounding. Ozone is a harmful substance at certain concentration, and it irritates the respiratory system.
- The standard size is portable in the sense that it has casters fitted. However, it is not suitable for carrying as it weighs 35 lb. The smaller version (Jr) is definitely portable weighing only 12 lb. But it does not have caster.
- The air purifier comes with a 5 years warranty.
This is a no-frill air purifier. There is no automatic on/off sensor and there is also no filter sensor to tell you that your filter needs replacing. In addition, Austin Air purifier does not have a programmable timer.
It’s not the quietest around. The lowest setting is around 50 decibels. This means that the noise level is approximately the same as normal home conversation. It’s definitely not a choice for your bedroom air purifier for people who like a completely silent bedroom. But many people can tolerate this kind of noise and still get some sleep.
At 66 decibels at the highest setting, it’s totally comparable with other brands, and is definitely not the noisiest not the quietest air purifier around. Its noise at this level is comparable to hair dryer or vacuum cleaner.
But again, you would only need to switch the machine at this setting for heavy cleaning only. You can get away with lower setting for maintenance.
Air throughput is not established. The manufacturer claims that at the highest setting, the machine gives throughput of 400 cfm (cubic feet per minute) which is equivalent to at least 7 air changes per hour, assuming that the air cleaner is used according to the room size recommendation with the ceiling height of 8 feet. Unfortunately, this number is the theoretical value of the motor and corresponds to the air flow you would get if you switch on the air purifier without the filters on.
Assuming the filter impedes the flow by half, then the number of air change per hour is decreased to 3 air change, which is still above the air purification standard (recommended standard is 2).
While it is still a good number. it may not be enough for people with health problems. We suggest for people with health problems to use this air purifier in a space two times smaller than the manufacturer’s suggested size.
Whom is Austin Air Purifier Suitable For ?
Austin Air HEPA purifier generally removes , chemical vapors, gases (including smoke), micro-organisms (virus and bacteria) odors and other airborne particles (dust, pollen, mold, and pet dander). So Austin Air purifiers are suitable for people with allergies, respiratory disease, such as asthma and COPD, and chemical sensitivity issues.
However, there are different series of Austin Air purifier, each has its own strength. Therefore, if you wanted to buy one, make sure you get the right Austin Air home air purifier series for you. Here are the different series of Austin Air purifiers:
Austin Air Healthmate and Austin Air Healthmate Jr.
They are very good in providing all around home air purification. These air purifiers remove allergens, as well as germs, gases, smoke and odors, so they are suitable for allergy and asthma sufferers. They are also good for cleaning up rooms which have been used for occasional smoking. The Standard version can cleans up areas up to 625 sq.feet, whereas the Jr version is suitable for rooms up to 225 sq.feet.
Austin Air Healthmate Plus and Austin Air Healthmate Jr Plus
The Plus version of Austin Air Healthmate provides an even wider purification of air particles compared to its non-Plus (Standard) sibling. Inorganic chemicals and formaldehyde, two gases which are not controlled by Austin Air Healthmate, is indeed controlled by the Austin Air Healthmate Plus series. Therefore, these Austin Air purifiers are suitable for people with chemical sensitivity issues (MCS) as well as for allergy and respiratory disease sufferers.
In addition, people have used this for controlling smoke. The big brother can be used in areas up to 625 sq. feet whereas the Jr series is best to use for rooms up to 225 sq. feet.
Austin Air Allergy Machine or Austin Air HEGA and its Jr version
The allergy machine is good for controlling against allergen as well as gases, germs, and vapors. Its strength lies in the fact that this machine uses a form of carbon filter which is more effective in controling gases, including smoke. People with serious allergy and asthma, as well as heavy smoker should consider the Austin Air Allergy machine to address their issues. The standard version is capable of cleaning up areas up to 625 sq. feet whereas the Jr cleans up rooms up to 225 sq. feet.
Austin Air Baby’s Breath air purifier
This small machine is designed to protect babies from air contaminants and it indeed performs an excellent all around air cleaning. Unlike the other series, the Austin Air Baby’s Breath machine is pretty quiet at low setting and can be comfortably used in a nursery when the baby is sleeping. It’s good to use for areas up to 225 sq. fee.
Austin Air Pet Machine
This Austin Air purifier machine is basically similar to Austin Air Healthmate. However, instead of having just 15 lb of carbon for gas control, this machine contains carbon plus other chemicals specifically designed to curb odors, especially ammonia. It of course also addresses issues on allergen by its capability to capture pet dander, dust, pollen, mold, and so forth.
This is undoubtedly an ideal machine for pet owners, and can be used in rooms with areas up to 625 sq. feet.
All in all, Austin Air purifier is the one you would want to get if you don’t want to break the bank, but they do have a few small air issues to address. But I still feel they are the best value air purifiers out there today.