Austin Air Purifiers: Look No Further.The Definitive Review 2016

The two Austin Air Healthmate ModelsHave you spent far too much time already on researching air purifiers?

You’ve come across references to Austin Air Purifiers and thought they’d meet your needs?

Feel you need to search further but sick of the hassle?

Search no more. You’ve come to the right place.

We’ve spent over 15 hours reading reviews and collating all you need to know to make your decision. And that’s the key. Here we don’t just list the information. Here you’ll find:

  • Answers to your questions.
  • How you benefit from a particular feature.
  • Issues you need to know.
  • How to choose the best model for you.

Let’s go.

Click an item in the table below to skip to your most pressing question, or continue reading the whole review.

If you do know which model you want, check out the competitive pricing and free shipping at Sylvane’s.

What are the different models available?

There are two size ranges (Standard and Jr.)

The Standard is the bigger, and Austin Air says it can service up to 1500 square feet. But reading the many reviews on the web suggests it’s best for an area closer to 750 sq. ft. Such as a large adjoining kitchen and family room.

The claim for the Jr. is for servicing spaces no greater than 700 square feet. It’s better though to use a size of 275 square feet. Here we’re talking about a medium size bedroom or home office/work room.

Within each range are models designed and manufactured for specific purposes.

In 2016, the Austin Air model names are almost all self-explanatory. Often the name matches the purpose.

But, in the past, they contained model numbers. And you’ll still see references to them on other websites. We have included them in the table following to save confusion.

The Austin Air Models
There are more details about each model later.

In the meantime, we need to clear up any confusion there may be about model names.

How to make sense of the model names to reduce confusion

Austin Purifier model descriptions on the web are often not just the simple model name. Sometimes it’s a shortened version of the model name. Other times there’s extra wording about the filter system. No matter.

Just be aware the Standard models all have a model number in the 400’s and the Jr. Models have numbers in the 200’s.

So if you see “Healthmate HM400” you’ll know it’s a Healthmate Standard unit.

Strange, though, the Jr. Allergy Machine and the Baby’s Breath unit have the same model number.

Talking about the filters and filter paper

The quality in any Air Purifier filter is key to its performance and durability.

And Austin Air makes a significant effort to produce quality filters. All their units use True Medical HEPA (High-efficiency Particulate Arrestance) filter paper. This type of paper removes at least 99.97% of all particles 0.3 microns and larger. It is certified by an independent testing agency.

To put this into perspective, a micron is small and most definitely invisible to the eye.

By comparison, a grain of sand can be over 800 microns. And these filters capture as little as a third of a micron.

So all the common impurities in the air are filtered by the Austin HEPA filter eg

  • Dust Mite Allergens (5–10 microns)
  • Pet Allergens (6 microns and under)
  • Mold spores (10 microns and under)
  • Pollen grains (10 – 20 microns)

But it’s not just about the filter paper: there’s the process

All the units have at least a four-stage filtration process.

Common to all are the first two pre-filter stages:

Stage 1 for large particles like dust, hair and pet dander.

Stage 2 for medium particles that include spores, pollens, and mold.

Stage 3 varies between models:

  • The Healthmate, Bedroom, Pet, and Healthmate Jr, there is Activated Carbon and Zeolite (about 15 lbs.) to remove chemicals, gasses, and odors.
  • The Healthmate Plus, and Healthmate Jr. Plus uses Activated Carbon. It is impregnated with Potassium Iodide and Zeolite (about 6 pounds). Breaks down some chemical vapors and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) like formaldehyde and ammonia.
  • The Standard Allergy Machine involves 60 sq.ft. of True Medical Grade HEPA. This removes harmful micro-organisms (e.g. bacteria and viruses)
  • 30 sq.ft. of True Medical Grade HEPA is used in the Healthmate Jr. Plus, Allergy Jr., and Baby’s Breath.

Stage 4 is also different among the models:

  • 60 sq.ft. of True Medical Grade HEPA in the Healthmate, Healthmate Plus, Bedroom, Pet. 30 sq.ft.in the Healthmate Jr.
  • Activated military carbon cloth in the Baby’s Breath, Standard, and Junior Allergy machines. Work to remove gasses, chemicals, and odors (e.g. formaldehyde and ammonia).

Stage 5 only applies to the Standard Bedroom machine:

  • It involves HEGA Carbon Cloth . This is a different type of filter. It was developed by the British Army to defend against chemical warfare.
  • HEGA is short for High-Efficiency Gas Assistance (or Absorption, or Adsorption). But ignore the technical terminology. It is super efficient, clearing the air of hazardous gaseous pollutants, chemicals, and odors.

Together the filters and the filtration process make a strong case for quality.

In fact, there are many examples where Austin Air Purifiers have been selected for emergencies:
Austin Air Purifiers in Action

  • The methane gas link at Porter Ranch in California October 23, 2015.
  • The pollutants from the burning oil wells in Kuwait during the Gulf War.
  • Requests from the Red Cross, FEMA, and the EPA to cope with the after-effects of 9/11.
  • Custom units for the residents of Anniston, Alabama. During the destruction of chemical weapons as part of the Geneva SALT II agreement.

Great for emergencies but how long do the filters last?

The warranty on Austin Air Filters is five years. Regular residential use is assumed, and you need to have activated the warranty. So Austin Air themselves expect the filters to last that long.

Austin Air is almost unique in offering a pro-rated warranty. Rebates vary by age and as a percentage of the filter’s retail cost plus shipping. The percentages are as follows:

  • 60% for Years 1 and 2.
  • Year 3 it’s 40%.
  • And in the final year, it’s 10%.

Be aware, though.

What if usage is not standard?

What if there are high levels of contamination? What if there is an overgrowth of mold? Or significant fire damage, or high exposure to VOC’s, or prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke?

Reviews talk about the unit not purifying the air as expected. And this is where the expectation is too high. Any air purifier will struggle to remove elevated levels of contamination.

You should expect other clean-up actions to remove the massive damage. Even in these situations, Austin units are reported to be effective. What it usually means is the filter does not last the warranted five year period.

How do I know when to replace the filter?

There is no filter monitor in any of the units. This has long been an irritation to users.

You either have to guess if the filter is close to requiring replacement. Or wait until the unit starts giving off odors. Which means it’s time to change. The filter is saturated.

When there’s an odor you know a replacement is required. Other companies have monitors that are time-based. This drives premature and unnecessary replacement resulting in a higher lifetime cost. And more frequent filter change hassle.

More to the quality story

Looking at the technical specifications of every Austin model.

Additional features add to the quality claim by the company:

  • The company makes solid steel bodies welded together. The company makes solid steel frames welded together. And they pump out purified air at a rate of knots. But there is no chance of any irritating rattles. Especially if you are using the Bedroom units and trying to sleep. Or you don’t want your little one to wake up while the Baby’s Breath is on.
  • The steel body will not rust away. It has a finish that is powder coated and baked on at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s going to last for a long time. There is no possibility of odors or off-gas emissions coming off the paint.Contrast this with companies in the market who use plastic in their construction, Or spray paint their units. Using these materials leads to the emission of harmful gasses.
  • The air purification process operates in a sealed mode. You can be sure of no air leaks or polluted air mixing with good.
  • The perforated steel intake housing or filter deck has a 360-degree intake. Air is drawn in from all around the unit with no chance of less than 100% air purification. The airflow generated is high velocity creating a clean air environment within minutes.

But it’s not all rosy

  • Some reviews report units delivered with damage.

Always hard to prove if this occurs during transit or when it left the factory or warehouse. In any event, there is a 30-Day, No-Questions-Asked Money-Back Guarantee. It means you can return it within 30 days without having to explain why. Of course, if you still want the unit but an undamaged version you can request a replacement.

  • Reviewers also complain about the noise, especially when using the high fan setting.

This is true, but you should only need to use this setting when you want to clean a room as quick as possible. Best to use it at high speed when you are away from the room. The noise at the medium setting is acceptable if you’re in the room. Even more so, if there is already background noise. The low setting is fine for sleeping.

  • The Standard unit has casters. But it could be difficult for older people and the infirm to push the unit around with ease on the same level.

For sure they would not be able to carry it upstairs. Even for able-bodied people it could be a problem. Consider buying a second unit if the need is there.

And other features make your life easier and hassle free:

  • Access to the filter is simple. Just remove the bottom plate.
  • The Standard unit weighs 45 lbs which make it too hard to lift. But fitted smooth rolling casters do make it easy to push from room to room.
  • The weight of the Junior units range from 12 – 18 pounds; not too heavy to lift without strain.
  • The PSC motors are energy efficient and use less energy than some light bulbs.
  • The controls are simple; choose one of the three-speed settings to get it going. Low, medium, or high. That’s all.
  • The filters are designed to last five years, so frequent filter changes are not required. It’s wise to vacuum the four sides every couple of months to get rid of the larger dust particles.
  • They are designed for continuous running. And can be left on for long periods of time without the worry of breaking down.
  • When it arrives, no assembly is required. Just unpack, turn it on and forget.

Where are Austin Air Purifiers made?

Made in the USA
In a word, USA.

Austin Air has a large manufacturing plant in Buffalo, New York. The company claims that at 480,000 square feet it is the largest air cleaner factory in the world.
They build everything, including the filters, pressing the metal housing, and applying the paint.

And they make every model at the plant.

So let’s look at each one in more detail. From the perspective of health benefits and who it best suits.

The Austin Air Healthmate Range

The four Healthmate models are general purpose air purifiers for everyday use.

You’ll get sounder sleep, a reduced level of snoring, less coughing, sneezing, and wheezing. Nighttime allergies and asthma attacks will lessen, and you won’t have a dry mouth or a runny nose.

The standard units are excellent for people who have a slight sensitivity to airborne particles and gasses. And those who just want to be sure they are breathing clean, fresh air in the home or small office. And strengthening your immune system.

Click here for more details on the two standard units at Sylvane’s.

The two Plus units have activated carbon impregnated with potassium iodide. The carbon provides added protection. It cleans benzene (from car exhausts and products found in the home) and wood smoke. Also, attacks formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) in the air. Aimed especially at helping people with many chemical sensitivities. Or pre-existing health issues. Or generally, those who live in areas where there is a high level of particle and gas contamination.

Learn more about the Healthmate Plus units at Sylvane’s.

The Allergy Machines

The Austin Allergy MachinesThe Allergy machines are built for allergy and asthma sufferers.

The activated military carbon cloth removes allergens, chemicals, and gasses from the air. Anyone who is reactive to dust, pollens and other allergies benefit.

There is all-year-round protection with particular effect when the seasons change. The sneezing, coughing and stuffy noses that occur disappear in next to no time.

Austin Air units are unique in reducing asthma and respiratory problems during medical and hospital clinical trials.

Click here to buy the Allergy air purifier that’s best for you. Free shipping at Sylvane.

The Bedroom Machine

This unit is only available in the Standard range.

It’s aimed at those folks who want to improve the quality of their sleep.

It provides all the common benefits of an Austin machine. And has the extra protection of HEGA carbon cloth which is the most efficient material available to eliminate chemicals and gasses.

Buy the Bedroom Machine here at Sylvane’s.

Pet Machine

This standard unit is for the pet owner.

Pets bring joy to their owners, but they also spawn odors, dander and animal allergens in the home.

This unit attacks all those unwanted extras. Leaves the air fresh and clean.

Is the Pet Machine for you? Click here to buy at Sylvane – the right price and free shipping.

Baby’s Breath

Austin Baby's Breath Air Purifier - Pink
A specialty unit in the Junior range.

It’s about protecting your young child or grandchild in the nursery.

Removes all the contaminants, dust and pollen particles, gasses and odors. Leaving a safe air environment.

Click here to buy the Baby’s Breath with free shipping at Sylvane.

Not ready to buy? Click here to find out more.

Which Austin Air Purifier should you buy?

Like all things to buy it’s what is best and most suitable to your situation.

Answer three simple questions and you’ll know which unit to buy.

The first question revolves around size.

  • With a larger room(s)/area size of 750 sq.ft. choose a Standard model.
  • If the area is more in the region of 275 square feet, go with the Jr. Models.

The second question is about purpose.

What air purity problem or concern do you have?

This is when you consider the machine best for you:

  • Just want clean air without any real health or extreme air quality issues. The Austin Air Healthmate is the best.
  • Have chemical sensitivities, health issues or live in a high contamination area? Buy the Healthmate Plus.
  • The Allergy Machine is for you if you suffer from allergies and asthma.
  • Mainly worried about the quality of air where you sleep each night? Go for the Bedroom Machine.
  • It’s a no brainer if you have pets; buy the Pet Machine.
  • And finally, for your new-born, it’s the Baby’s Breath.

Answering the third and final question may not so easy for some smile . Pick a color.

  • There are only two colors available for the Austin Baby’s Breath, Baby Blue and Pink.
  • With the other machines choose between White, Black, Sandstone, Silver, and Midnight Blue.

What about price?

First up, you may suffer a little “price sticker shock”.

Compared to other similar rating air purifiers the up-front cost is higher. But, you don’t have the cost of filter replacement every 3, 6 or 12 months, and running costs are cheap.

When you sit down and calculate the lifetime cost over five years, you’ll find them comparable.

So there you have it.

You came looking to find out more about Austin Air Purifiers.

It’s our expectation you’ve now found what you needed to know.

You know you can choose from a range of Austin Air Purifiers:

  • Designed and manufactured in the US for purposes that suit your needs.
  • Where Quality is built in at every stage.
  • There is next to no ongoing maintenance.
  • Filters are rated to last five years under normal use.
  • And finally, you’ll be getting a “no frills”, reliable, set and forget machine that is economical.

Make a knowledgeable and fact-based decision on which Austin machine to buy.

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