Air Cleaner FAQ

  • The HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Arresting) filter was developed by the US Atomic Energy Commission to filter out sub-micron particles. A 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 (about 3000 times smaller than a human hair!). This special paper is designed to remove microscopic particles from the air including dust mites, mold spores, pollen and pet dander. Microorganisms (bacteria, viruses) are trapped within the paper and are unable to survive without water. HEPA filters are widely used by hospitals, clean rooms and for the abatement of lead and radioactive particles.

  • Activation is a process that increases the surface area of the carbon, allowing for greater odor and gas adsorption. Austin Air uses the highest quality of activated carbon made from coconut husks.

  • 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.  Austin Air mixes in ten percent zeolite to the activated charcoal  to increase the carbons effectiveness in removing volatile organic chemicals from the air.  Mined in Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico.

  • Carbon and zeolite are used to remove over 3000 gases, odors and chemicals from the air. Both carbon and zeolite have special properties that allow them to adsorb chemicals and gaseous materials. The approximate ratio of carbon to zeolite is 10:1.

  • HEGA is unique to Austin Air and stands for High Efficiency Gas Absorption. HEGA is a special woven activated carbon cloth for gas and odor adsorption that replaces the carbon zeolite mix. The HEGA material does not release carbon dust. The Allergy Machine™, Baby’s Breath™ and Bedroom Machine™ have the HEPA medium as an outer layer of filtration. The HEPA layer removes the airborne particles before they reach the inner carbon cloth, prolonging the life of this filter. The HEGA material, which is the deepest layer on the inside, is than able to focus solely on removing smoke, odors and gases from the air. HEGA is highly efficient , which is why HEGA filters are relatively light.

  • No. Ionizers, ozone generators, electrostatic and ultraviolet units create ozone. Ozone is a known lung irritant which can exacerbate allergies and asthma. Both the EPA and The American Lung Association consider ozone to be a pollutant with potentially dangerous side affects.

  • The EPA states that levels of indoor air pollution is 2 – 5 times greater than levels of outdoor pollution! Considering that we spend as much as 90% of our time indoors, Indoor Air Pollution is a significant problem.

  • The CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) is the measurement of how much air passes through the unit. The Austin Air standard size units  move over 250 actual cubic feet of air per minute on the high setting.  The Austin Air junior size units  move over 125 actual cubic feet of air  per minute on the high setting.    

  • There are four filters. The first is Austin Air’s Permafilt™ filter. This pre-filter is a cotton fabric 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. Next, there is a medium particle filter which is the outside layer of the filter housing. In the HealthMate™ the main filter is comprised of two filter medium: activated granular carbon/zeolite mixture and True Medical HEPA medium. In the Allergy Machine™ there is the True Medical HEPA medium and the military carbon cloth filter known as HEGA.

  • Both machines have the same body and mechanical specifications. Both units have four stage filters including a Perafilt™ pre-filter. The HealthMate™ uses Carbon Zeolite on the outside with HEPA filtration on the inside and weighs 45 pounds, the HealthMate Jr.™ weighs 18 pounds. The Allergy Machine™ and Babies Breath™ use HEPA filtration on the outside and HEGA filtration (military carbon cloth)on the inside. The Allergy Machine™ weighs 35 pounds and Baby’s Breath™ weighs 12 pounds. Both machines work extremely well with people who have allergies and asthma. The HealthMate™ is more effective for people with chemical sensitivities including formaldehyde. The Allergy Machine™ works well for people who smoke or who have more contact with odors.

  • Both have a True Medical HEPA filter and granular carbon and zeolite. Both remove 99.97% of all particles larger than .3 microns and eliminate 3000 toxic gases and odors. The carbon in the HealthMate Plus model has Super Blend; carbon/zeolite enriched with potassium iodide. The HealthMate +™ is the most effective unit for removing chemicals including formaldehyde and ammonia. Austin Air’s HealthMate+™ is best used in places like new homes, artist studios, laboratories, beauty salons, funeral homes, etc. Sources of formaldehyde in homes can be carpets, wood panels, construction materials and furniture upholstery. HealthMate + is also the best choice for people with MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities).

  • No, Austin’s Air cleaners do not produce ozone, ions, or negative ions. Ozone is a known lung irritant and can aggravate respiratory problems such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis.* Additionally, Austin Air’s products are made of steel and have a powder coat paint, which is baked on, so the products do not give off gas.

  • The standard HealthMate™ or the Allergy Machine™ will clean up to 1,500 square feet and is good for a one-story house or apartment. The Junior model will clean up to 700 square feet is recommended for a single room. (assuming 8 ft. ceilings.)

  • Yes, wheels can be installed on the Junior models for an additional $42.50. Add about one week to delivery.

  • It runs on ordinary 120 volt household electricity. The maximum draw is about 135 watts on the high setting, or 1¢ per hour.

  • To calculate the true cost of an air cleaner (purchase price + replacement filter costs + energy costs = total cost). Austin Air offers the highest quality machine, with a filter life of 5 years, and low energy consumption. Other machines require as many as 20 filter changes over a 5 year period and have higher energy consumption.

  • Place an Austin Air cleaner near you. Quite magically, the filter will create a pocket of clean air around you, almost immediately! This pocket provides extra protection to the breathing zone, which is most helpful if you are struggling with respiratory problems.

  • It can be placed anywhere in a room, at least four (4)inches from the wall. The best room in the house to use a single machine is the bedroom. You will breath easier and sleep better, due to the clean air pocket.

  • Depending on the fan setting used, the noise level ranges from the sound of a whisper to the sound of a normal conversation (< 50 to 65 decibels.)

  • Monthly vacuuming of the outside of the air cleaner (use brush attachment) is the only regular maintenance required.

  • It is both the quantity and quality of carbon / zeolite and True Medical HEPA medium that establish the life of the filter. Austin Air uses the best quality of materials in generous proportions to create these filters. The permafelt pre-filter catches the large particles and saves the HEPA and carbon filters for capturing microscopic particles and volatile chemicals.

  • When the carbon in the unit is full, you will notice a large drop in airflow or you will notice a subtle odor coming from the air cleaner. These signals are no cause for alarm, merely they tell you that its time to replace the filter.  Typically Austin Air filters last 3-5 years.  Sometimes, if the air quality is challenging filters become full sooner and need more frequent replacing.

  • Yes, all Austin Air filter housings are designed to meet the same specifications. That means you can change filter types without a problem.  Any Austin Air Standard size machine will accept any of the stand sized Replacement filters.    Any Austin Air Junior will accept any of the junior sized replacement filters.

Brooklyn, NY

We had our first night with the HealthMate Plus last night. It was great! It is a really nice machine....
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We had our first night with the HealthMate Plus last night. It was great! It is a really nice machine. Not too loud, but strong ...Read More

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