Austin Air Pet Machine Air Purifier Review: Does it clean your Air?
You love your pets don’t you?
But they spend lots of time outside. They’re exposed to dust, dirt, pollens, molds, and spores. Nasties that come inside with them.
You wash them as often as you can but there’s the inevitable dander and smells the deodorizer can’t get rid of.
What to do?
You love them to bits. But you don’t want the nasties or the odors.
Time to buy an air purifier? But not just any. What about one designed for pets?
Here’s where we review the Austin Air Pet Machine Air Purifier. We examine whether it clears your indoor air of the nasties and odors so you get to enjoy time with your cuddly one.
If you’ve already decided on the Baby’s Breath, find it here at Sylvane.
Otherwise, read on or click in the following table to answer your pressing questions.
What type of filter?
The air purifier filter system attacks air contamination caused by pets in the house. It doesn't matter whether it's a dog, cat, rabbit, parrot or any other pet. It removes particles, gasses, and chemicals created by their presence or from other sources.
The system has four stages:
- Large Particle Permafilt Pre-Filter. This is the first barrier that removes particles you can see, like hair, airborne dust, and dander.
- Medium Particle Pre-Filter. This is another particle remover that operates to capture small to medium size particles. Here we’re talking about pollen, spores, and mold.
- Activated Carbon (approximately 15 lbs.) and Zeolite. Now the system is working on absorbing chemicals, gasses, and odors.
- True Medical Grade HEPA (60 sq. ft.). Finally, the HEPA removes particles, microparticles in particular. Tested to meet DOE standards it captures 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.3 microns.
The activated carbon is a unique proprietary blend. It targets and absorbs ammonia-based pet odors. Hence the branding of this purifier as “The Pet Machine.” It’s what distinguishes this model from others on the market.
The dual pre-filters are standard across all Austin Purifiers. They are particularly relevant in a pet household because of the extra airborne pet debris and particles.
And the system doesn’t produce any ozone.
What room size is best?
The Austin Pet has three speeds.
The rated airflow in Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) for each speed is:
- Low - 75 CFM
- Medium - 200 CFM
- High - 400 CFM
But it’s the air exchange per hour that has greater meaning.
Look at the various results we’ve found in our research:
1500 sq. ft. (1 change per hour)
875 sq. ft. (2 changes per hour)
600 sq. ft. (3 changes per hour)
465 sq. ft. (4 changes per hour)
375 sq. ft. (5 changes per hour)
315 sq. ft. (6 changes per hour)
1500 sq. ft. (2 changes per hour)
875 sq. ft. (4 changes per hour)
500 sq. ft. (6 changes per hour)
938 sq. ft. (2 changes per hour)
313 sq. ft. (6 changes per hour)
The Pet is advertised as cleaning 1500 sq.ft. efficiently.
This only means 1-2 air exchanges per hour, depending on which testing results you choose. The benchmark recommended for allergy sufferers is four exchanges per hour. 1-2 is not enough.
The results of 4 changes per hour vary from 465 to 875 sq. ft. Our recommendation is that it is best for a room size of 400-500 sq. ft. Remember too it all depends on how many pets live in your home. The more there are, the smaller the room coverage.
Is noise a problem?
The noise becomes louder as you turn up the speed. That’s no different to all fan based purifiers.
At low speed, it’s hard to notice. Medium speed it becomes a white noise that doesn’t disturb. That background noise may even help improve your sleeping if you move it into the bedroom at night.
It is loud on high speed and likely to keep you awake. Not a problem if you have it running in the pet area with a closed door that is away from your bedroom.
What is the filter replacement cycle?
The manufacturer rates the replacement cycle as:
- Every five years for the integrated medium pre-filter, carbon/zeolite blend, and HEPA pack.
- Yearly for the large particle pre-filter.
Best case on the integrated version, you’ll get five years. As with all purifiers though, this cycle is shorter if you run it 24/7. Of greater impact is your pet population. The life of the filter will vary because of:
- How many you have
- What type
- How long they’re inside
If it’s any comfort, apart from changing, there is little else to do:
- vacuum the large pre-filter across the outside of the grill every three months
- clean the rest of the unit with a soft dampened cloth, when needed.
- The filter is an integrated unit. This means you must replace the whole unit when one or other of the Carbon Cloth or HEPA become saturated. A 5-year prorated guarantee eases the cost.
- No filter change indicator. So, you must keep track of your buy date and the 5-year anniversary.
- No indicator showing the level of saturation. The manual says “you should replace your filter once your Austin air cleaner ceases to emit clean, odorless air. If the odor of the highly concentrated contaminant is present exiting the Air Output Vent, then it is time to replace your filter.”
It’s important to run the purifier on the High (III) setting for at least the first hour of use. This applies for first-time use or anytime you change the HEPA pack. Turn the Speed Control Setting to your desired level when that time is complete.
There are filter accessories you can buy.
Click here to buy the Replacement Large Particle Pre-Filter at Sylvane. Use the Black replacement for the Black, Silver and Midnight Blue colored models. And use the White replacement for the White and Sandstone versions.
How easy is it to operate?
The answer is - easy.
It has one knob with three fan speed settings and nothing else.
Is replacing the filter easy?
Replacing the integrated version takes some time. It’s a ten-step process. You need to turn the unit upside down and remove 4 screws from the bottom cover. At least you only do this once every five years.
You should take the same approach with the pre-filter. And that applies to cleaning it as well. Taking it out ensures a thorough clean. If money's no object, it’ll be less time consuming to replace rather than clean each year.
What are the dimensions?
W 14.5” x D 14.5” x H 23”
With a weight of 47 lbs., this is not a unit you’d want to lift far, if at all. Thankfully, it comes supplied with pre-fitted, smooth-roll casters. So, you can push it from room to room on the same level. What if your pets venture upstairs or down to the basement? You might need to consider buying another unit.
Where is the Pet Purifier made?
At Austin’s factory in Buffalo, New York.
They are one of the few air purifier companies still manufacturing in the U.S.
The Pet Machine is built on the same lines as all their other models. Reliable with quality and durability as the key factors:
- All-steel outer body to withstand any hard knocks.
- Baked-on powder coat finish so there is no possibility of damaging odors or off-gas emissions coming off the paint.
- The finish also prevents rust leading to years of use.
- Powerful centrifugal fan that blows air to all parts of the room.
- Long-life Permanent-Split Capacitor (PSC) motor rated for continuous use at high RPMs.
- Shock absorbers that minimize noise.
- Gaskets around each end of the filter seal the system, so there is no mixing of dirty and clean air or escaping partially cleaned air.
Note that Austin has chosen not to submit their purifiers for Clean Air Density Rate (CADR) testing with the AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.)
Instead, Austin use two independent organizations to certify their models as meeting safety and performance standards: UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and CSA (Canadian Standards Association).
How does the manufacturer, its warranty, and return policy stand up?
Austin Air started in 1990. Since then it has established a solid reputation. It matches how they make their purifiers.
The warranties are the same as for every purifier in their range:
- 5-year mechanical warranty on parts and labor and
- A 5-year prorated guarantee on their filters.
The warranties come with the usual proviso. The unit must operate under normal residential conditions. And to qualify you must complete your warranty registration with Austin Air Systems. So, when you’re running the purifier on High for the first hour, hop online to register.
The unit has a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied. Returns need no explanation, but you do have to pay shipping fees.
Any missing features?
The design has simplicity in mind. This means the unit doesn’t have all the electronic bells and whistles you see in most purifiers. There are no features like:
- ControlOperating Light.
- Night Light.
- Wi-Fi Capability.
Keep in mind these are convenience features. The focus is on producing a quality purifier. It means you enjoy the company of your pets indoors without any smelly or other downsides.
What are the health benefits?
The granular carbon is a proprietary blend. This is a unique addition to combating pet air contamination.
It means the machine removes:
- Dog Dander.
- Bird Feather.
- Cat Allergens.
- Triggering Irritants.
- Germs, Viruses, and Bacteria.
- Most Pet Odors.
- Chemicals and Gasses.
Removing these contaminants see noticeable benefits like:
- Higher quality sleep.
- Reduced Snoring.
- Goodbye to Sneezing.
- Less nighttime allergies & asthma attacks.
- Decreased coughing and wheezing.
- No more dry mouth and runny nose.
What do customers think?
Those with many pets report positive results using the Pet Machine. And it's not just one or two:
- “12 special needs dogs.”
- “Three cats.”
- “13 parrots housed in my bird aviaries.”
- “2 dogs and 2 cats.”
- “3 large dogs.”
- “5 dogs and 6 cats.”
- “2 parrots (African Gray & Patagonian Conure) and two Chihuahuas.”
- “Five Cats and a Dog"
And the results reported include:
- “house not smelling doggy.”
- “no longer smell the litter and whole basement smells fresh!”
- “Highly recommend this machine for dusty areas.”
- “Takes all the odor out of a room with 5 litter boxes.”
- “Pet dander is literally gone.”
- “works very well for removing pet odors.”
- “use it to remove doggy smell. does the job!”
- “The product has relieved my son's asthma and pet allergy symptoms. As an added bonus, the air in our home smells clean, fresh, and crisp and we also feel better when we wake up after getting more restful sleep at night.”
But not all reviews are rosy:
- Noise is an issue. Some reviewers found the noise intolerable. Even to the extent “it drove one of my three dogs under the bed for 3 days.” Others commented on the noise at high speed and said they only use it at this speed when out of the room.
- Other reviewers say the unit is heavy to lift. Note though the casters to move the unit around. One reviewer said, “it is light enough for my middle school age son to carry up and down the stairs.” Our suggestion is to take care. Follow the recommendations for lifting objects. Don’t lift if you suffer from back or other physical problems.
Key Features at a Glance
Austin Baby's Breath
Activated Carbon (Odors etc.) & HEPA (Particles)
300-500 sq. ft. (approx. 4 Air Exchanges per hr.)
Pros & Cons
- No Ozone.
- Dual pre-filters for the extra pet debris and particles.
- Uniquely blended carbon enhanced to absorb ammonia-based pet odors.
- Long lasting filters and minimal maintenance.
- Steel construction with a baked-on powder coat finish that has no off-gassing unlike plastic body machines.
- Long established company that will be around to honor its 5-year warranties.
- Made in the USA.
- Built-in quality and easy to use.
- Casters for comfortable movement
- Noisy on high speed (not unusual for purifiers.)
- Coverage overstated but sufficient for the right area.
- No filter change indicator.
- Filter replacement takes time but only required every 5 years.
- Lacks convenient electronic features but no impact on effectiveness
What do you need to pay?
This quality purifier comes with a 5-year warranty. Paying for that quality comes at an upfront cost that will shock some folks. The discounted price at Sylvane is close to $499.
Look past the initial price. You’ll find the lifetime cost to be comparable with low-cost units. The complete filter only needs replacing every five years. And the energy-saving motor reduces operating costs.
It will be running just as efficiently after 5 years as it was on Day One.
The Austin Air Pet Machine is an all-round purifier. It will clean the air of particles, gasses, and chemicals. But more than that it has unique features suited for those folks who have pets in the home.
First, is the dual filters that capture the hair and dander particles unique to animals. Second, the specially treated carbon granules absorb the ammonia odors that are ever present. The result is cleaner, fresher indoor air that enhances your enjoyment of having pets. And, as a bonus, you and your family enjoy reduced pet allergies.
The long filter life and minimal maintenance give you the time to focus on your pets and your family. And with the built-in quality, you’ll have a long-lasting purifier.