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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What kind of filter does Austin Air use?
Austin Air cleaners use a 4-stage filter containing only the best proven filter mediums for cleaning the air. In every Austin Air cleaner, you will find Medical Grade HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance) and Activated Carbon addressing the most serious household airborne contaminants. Only trusted technology used in hospitals and operating rooms will be found in Austin Air Cleaners.
What exactly is a HEPA filter?

The HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Arresting) filter was developed by the US Atomic Energy Commission to filter out sub-micron particles. All True Medical HEPA is laser-tested and must remove a minimum of 99.97% of all particulate matter greater than 0.3 microns in size. A human hair is about 300 times too large to penetrate a HEPA filter.

Pollens, pet dander, dust mites and mold spours are much larger than 0.3 microns, meaning they are no match for a True Medical HEPA air filter.

When would you recommend a Just Right unit vs. a Premium?

A Premium unit is good for a one-story house or apartment. A HealthMate JR unit would be recommended for a single room.

What is the difference between the Allergy Machine and the HealthMate?

The difference is in the filters. 

The HealthMate has a True Medical HEPA filter surrounded by a carbon/zeolite mixture which adsorbs odours and gases. The standard filter weighs approximately 21 lbs. 

The Allergy Machine has a HEGA filter. The HEGA is comprised of a True Medical HEPA filter placed outside an advanced military carbon cloth which absorbs odours and gases. The Allergy Machine filter weighs approximately 8 lbs.

Which is better for me the Allergy Machine or the HealthMate?

Both products are effective for those people with allergies and asthma. The Allergy Machine can be more effective for people who need to use the air purifier in an environment with higher than normal humidity. It is also much lighter in weight. The HealthMate products work very well for the majority of our customers and are generally more effective for those people with chemical sensitivities.

What is the difference between the HealthMate and the HealthMate + Plus?

Both have a True Medical HEPA filter and granular carbon and zeolite. The carbon in the Plus model is impregnated with potassium iodide. This makes the unit even more effective at removing formaldehyde and ammonia. Austin Air’s HealthMate + Plus is best used in places like new homes, laboratories, beauty salons, funeral homes, etc. Sources of formaldehyde in homes can be carpets, wood panel, construction materials and furniture upholstery.

Why are Austin Air’s products superior to others on the market?

Our filters make us better. Austin Air uses True Medical HEPA filter paper in all of our air cleaners (60 sq ft in the HealthMate, HealthMate + Plus and Allergy Machine and 30 sq ft in the HealthMate Jr), 15 lbs. of activated carbon to maximize surface area in the HealthMate product and an advanced military carbon cloth in the Allergy Machine placed inside the True Medical HEPA filter to capture odors and gases.

Some other companies use a carbon blanket outside the HEPA filter, which doesn’t provide much of a surface area for trapping harmful particles. Austin Air’s products are made of steel and have a powder coat paint, which is baked on, so the products do not off-gas.

Other companies have plastic products and/or use sprayed on paint, so their products can emit harmful gases. Austin Air’s products have a high-velocity airflow, which creates a clean air pocket around the user. If you turn on an Austin Air cleaner next to a competitor’s you can really feel the difference. Austin Air’s products can clean the air in most bedrooms in less than 15 minutes. 

Austin Air Cleaners use energy efficient PSC motors, running your air cleaner can use less energy than some light bulbs.

Austin Air offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, a 5-year parts and labour guarantee and a 5-year pro-rated filter guarantee. Once you experience super cleaned air, you will agree, Austin Air’s products are superior to others on the market.

How do I know Austin Air is really the best?

Austin 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. Extensive tests on flow rate, flow design, removal of vapors, gases and sub-micron particles have been performed on an Austin Air cleaner.

As result of this testing, Austin Air was chosen by the US Government to fulfill the largest deployment of air cleaners in American history and chosen by FEMA and The Red Cross to address the serious air quality concerns in post 9/11 New York.  When clean air is critical and lives depend on it, Austin Air remains the #1 choice.

What contaminants will Austin Air cleaners remove from the air?

Austin Air cleaners deliver a complete filtration solution, removing a wide variety of particles, sub-micron particles, chemicals, gases, micro-organisms and odours. This includes such things as dust, mould, pollen, tobacco smoke, chemical vapours, gases, viruses and bacteria.

Do Austin Air cleaners produce any dangerous by-products?

Unlike air cleaners that use electrostatic-precipitation or ionic generation, the Austin Air cleaners do not emit any by-products such as toxic ozone.  The Austin Air cleaner produces nothing but clean air.

How reliable is the construction?

The entire body of the air cleaner is made of solid steel, which has been welded together to prevent any rattles. The paint used is powder coating, baked at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. This process eliminates any odour or off-gas emissions while enhancing durability.

The model number on the bottom of my Austin air purifier is different from what I’ve ordered

All standard size and junior size air purifiers will indicate either “HM400” or “HM200” on the base of the unit, even if you’ve purchased an HM450 or HM250 (or another model).  This is because all 400-series and all 200-series units use the same body style, the difference is the filter that the unit contains which is labeled appropriately and corresponds to the model you’ve purchased.

Using and maintaining your Austin Air purifier

Is it complicated to operate?

Austin Air cleaners are extremely easy to use.  Every Austin Air cleaner features a 3-speed centrifugal fan offering a low, medium or high speed setting.

How many filters are inside the Austin Air cleaner?

There are three filters. The first filter is a pre-filter (known as Permafilt) which is a cotton cloth that lines the inside wall of the unit. The purpose of the pre-filter is to stop hair or large dust particles from clogging the HEPA filter. In the HealthMate the main filter is comprised of two filter medium: activated granular carbon/zeolite mixture and True Medical HEPA paper. In the Allergy Machine there is the True Medical HEPA and the military carbon cloth filter known as HEGA.

How do I maintain my Austin Air cleaner?

The only maintenance required will be to occasionally vacuum the 4 sides of the air cleaner to remove larger dust particles.  Austin Air filters are designed to last up to 5-years under normal residential use, so you won’t be bothered with frequent filter replacements.

Where should I place my Austin Air cleaner for maximum effectiveness?

We recommend that your Austin Air cleaner be placed in your bedroom.  As we sleep our body regenerates.  To do this, our immune system must eliminate all the contaminants we were exposed to the previous day, while also handling the added airborne impurities in the bedroom.  By having the air cleaner in the bedroom as you sleep, you remove this extra burden on your immune system, giving your body a chance to completely repair itself.  Furthermore, it just makes sense as the average person will spend up to 30% of their life in the bedroom.

How do I know when the filter is full and should be replaced?

There are two ways to know. First, if you smell an unpleasant odor coming from the unit, the carbon is probably full. Second, if you notice a significantly reduced airflow, it is probably time to replace your filter.  In a residential setting, the filters are designed to last up to five years.

What would cause a filter to fill up in less than 5 years?

Using the air cleaner in an area having many pets, new carpeting, paint fumes, heavy smoking, urban pollution, photo studio, etc will diminish the filter’s life.

How should my Austin Air cleaner be positioned in a room?

The Austin Air cleaner should be placed at least 4 inches from the wall, allowing air to be freely drawn into all sides of the air cleaner.  This will ensure maximum efficiency and performance.

Is the air cleaner noisy to operate?

Depending on the fan setting used, the noise level ranges from less than 50 to 65 decibels, or from the sound of a whisper to the sound of a normal conversation.

Does the unit produce any harmful substances?

No. Austin’s Air cleaners do not produce ozone, ions, or negative ions. Ozone is active oxygen and can be dangerous to people’s health. This is especially true for people with respiratory problems such as asthma emphysema, and bronchitis.

Does the Austin Air cleaner require any special maintenance?

Periodic (once a month) vacuuming of the four sides of the outside screen with the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner is the only regular maintenance required for the air cleaner.

Can Austin Air cleaners be left on all the time?

Yes, Austin Air cleaners were designed and built for continuous use.  In fact, Austin Air encourages customers to leave their air cleaner on at all times to achieve the healthiest living environment possible.

Technical Questions

How many square feet of HEPA does each unit have?

The Allergy Machine, HealthMate and HealthMate + Plus (HM400 series models) have 60 Sq. Ft. The HealthMate Jr Model (HM200 series models) has 30 Sq. Ft.

How much space do Austin Air cleaners effectively clean?

The standard size unit will clean up to 1,500 square feet or an average size bedroom in approximately 15 – 20 minutes.

The junior size unit will clean up to 700 square feet or an average size bedroom in approximately 30 – 40 minutes.

(All estimates assume 8 ft. ceilings with the door closed).

What is the CFM rate?

The CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) is the measurement of how much air passes through the unit. For the standard, the HealthMate + Plus, and the Allergy Machine the fan CFM is 400 cfm on high and 75 cfm on low. The HealthMate Jr is 200 cfm on high and 50 cfm on low.

What is the CAD rate? (Clean Air Delivery Rate)

Austin Air does not believe in the CAD rate because it does not measure how clean the air is.  This CAD rate is the airflow times filtration efficiency, a unit that has a flow rate of 200 cfm and a 50% efficient filter has a CAD rate of 100. A unit that has a flow rate of 100 cfm and a filter efficiency of 100% will also have a CAD rate of 100. While both machines have the same CAD rate, the second one is the better air cleaner.

What is Zeolite?

Zeolite is a natural mineral that has the distinct capability of adsorbing certain gas molecules. Zeolite is particularly effective in adsorbing formaldehyde, ammonia and carbon monoxide.

What is activated carbon?

Activated carbon is effective at removing gas molecules and odours. Activated carbon is the most common element in military gas masks. The most common method of activating carbon is a two-stage steaming process, which enlarges the carbon’s surface pore size. This in turn produces a more accessible internal surface area allowing for greater odour and gas adsorption.

What are the carbon and zeolite used for?

Carbon and zeolite are used to remove gases, odours and chemicals. Both have properties that allow them to adsorb chemicals and gaseous materials.

What is the pre-filter made of?

The pre-filter or Permafilt is made of a cotton and polyester blend.

How much electricity do Austin Air cleaners consume?

The Austin Air cleaner will cost less than a penny (0.7 cents) per hour on average. The maximum draw is 135 watts on the highest setting and uses an ordinary 120-volt outlet.

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