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November 2020 Update:
Ideal for chemically-sensitive individuals. Highly effective at removing formaldehyde. The Austin Air HealthMate Plus is the #1 recommended air purifier for airborne mold, dust, pollen, VOCs, and wood smoke.
The HealthMate Plus is a cleaning powerhouse that is quiet and virtually maintenance-free for up to 5 years. It has the highest quality HEPA filter + Carbon & Zeolite impregnated with Potassium Iodide for improved chemical adsorption.
The design makes it especially effective at removing formaldehyde and benzene, the two most common household VOCs.
Independent testing consistently ranks Austin Air Purifiers at the top of all air cleaners. All Austin Air Purifiers are manufactured in the United States.
Austin Air Purifiers are the most economical purifiers to own. The filter has a 5-year pro-rated guarantee. Compare that to most other purifiers that require costly filter changes every 6-12 months!
The Standard size cleans up to 1500 sq. ft.
At the time of the sale, we price match all competitors, so if you find a lower price call us at 800-221-5109 or email us. We'll match the price and provide unmatched customer service.
FREE Shipping within US contiguous 48 via UPS ground. Ships from NY usually same business day with a 2-7 business day transit time.
Contact us for shipping rates to Canada, Hawaii or Alaska or for expedited shipping at 800-221-5109.
Deciding on an air purifier is a big decision, so you’ll need reliable information. You need the facts because you don’t want to buy an inferior product that won’t work as advertised. You also don’t want to spend a small fortune maintaining your purifier. Sadly, many purifiers end up costing more to maintain over five years than the original cost!
In this article, you’ll learn a few critical facts about indoor air pollutants, how air purifiers work and which is the best air purifier.
So whether you’re looking for the best air purifier for smoke, mold, VOCs, pet dander, allergies, dust or asthma, this is your best air purifier buying guide. By the time you finish this article, you should know which air purifier you’re going to buy.
Indoor air pollutants fall into two categories. For your health, it is important to control both types. And, it’s good to remember, indoor air is 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air (EPA.GOV).
Results from research show that VOCs from materials and finishes, cleaning products, personal care products and other consumer products result in increased risk of asthma, pulmonary infections, and allergies (Mendell 2007). Some chemicals may have health impacts at extremely low levels; studies have found that exposure to very small traces of VOCs in homes and schools can disrupt the endocrine system (hormones), gene activation, and brain development.
The best air purifiers reduce PM and VOCs. Reducing these in your home is important to your health.
You’re probably thinking that your HVAC system has air filters that you change every 1-3 months, so aren’t they filtering your indoor air?
While it is true that your HVAC has in-line air filters, these filters were really designed to protect your furnace and air conditioning system from dust and other large airborne particles. They will not remove fine PM or VOCs.
The best solution for removing indoor PM is a HEPA filter. In order to trap the finer, more dangerous particles that can travel deep into the lungs and cause health problems, you need a filter that incorporates a High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) filter. True HEPA medical filters remove at least 99.97% of all airborne particles 0.3 microns in diameter or greater.
When buying an air purifier look for true HEPA medical filters. If the description doesn’t say HEPA medical filter, don’t buy it. Pay attention to the number of sq. ft. of HEPA medical filter. The higher the sq. footage of filter, the longer the filter will last and the higher the value to you.
VOCs are generally so small they cannot be removed by HEPA filters. To remove these pollutants, you need a material called a “sorbent” which is a highly porous substance that can adsorb or bind with VOCs on a molecular basis across a large internal surface area.
The most common adsorbent (not a typo – there really is a word adsorbent) material used in air filters is activated carbon. One pound of activated carbon has a surface area equal to about 125 acres. Another adsorbent is the alumino-silicate crystal structure known as “zeolite”.
Activated carbon and zeolite have different pore sizes and structures, and when used together, they can adsorb a greater range of chemicals. Finally there are “chemisorbents” that are designed to remove specific chemicals and impregnated into the filter.
When evaluating air purifiers, pay special attention to the adsorbents. Adsorbent materials have a finite capacity, so the more activated carbon and/or zeolite present in your filter, the greater the capacity to remove VOCs and the longer the life of the filter.
Compare the number of pounds of activated carbon in air purifier filters. Determine if the filter has added adsorbents and chemisorbents. The best air purifiers have many pounds of activated carbon along with adsorbents and chemisorbents.
The CADR is flawed. CADR measures (1) an air filter’s effectiveness at removing specific particles-dust, pollen, and smoke; and (2) the volume of air cleaned during a 20-minute test.
Sounds great, right? Well, there’s more to the story.
There are good reasons to look beyond these numbers when deciding which air filter to buy. First, the CADR standard only tests for particle filtration and does not consider VOC removal which is critical for clean air.
Second, the range of particles tested is from 0.1 to 11.0 microns, but it does not specify results at removing smaller particles vs. larger particles, just overall removal.And, we know that the Fine PM is the most damaging to our health, it is important to know the air filters efficiency at removing these finer particles.
So, when comparing air purifiers, don’t bother using the CADR to decide. Why? Because an air purifier could have a very good CADR, but it could be failing to remove the most dangerous contaminants like Fine PM and VOCs.
CFM is a measure of how many cubic feet/minute the air purifier handles. The higher the CFM, the more air changes per hour and the cleaner your air.
Here’s the formula to understand how many times an hour your air is changed/cleaned based on the air purifier’s CFM cleaning rate:
(CFM x 60 min) / (room height x width x length in feet)
Example: (400 CFM x 60 min) / (9′ x 40′ x 30′) = 2.2 changes/hour
Compare a lower CFM rating of 250:
(250 x 60) / (9′ x 40′ x 30′) = 1.4 changes/hour
The higher CFM rating of 400, cleans the air 36% more often than the lower rated version.
The air purifier you buy should have a high CFM to be most effective at cleaning your air.
We searched the marketplace for air purifiers that could effectively remove PM and VOCs. We scoured the spec sheets on literally dozens of air filters and spoke with the manufacturers. We also looked at a lot of “best rated air filters” web sites (most are pushing one particular brand, certainly not the best). What we found was just a lot of plain old bad or misleading information.
Most of the companies that claimed their filters removed VOC’s were actually using filters “impregnated” with activated carbon and not a true carbon filter.
Kind of disappointing, right?
If you are serious about removing VOC’s and gases from your indoor air, you’ll want an air filter that measures their activated carbon in pounds, not ounces.
Ultimately, we found only a handful of companies that were making air purifiers that used significant amounts of both true HEPA medical filters and activated carbon in their filters. We included those in the final air cleaner rankings and reviews listed below.
Look at the Five Year Filter Costs
If you bought a Blueair 503 with SmokeStop, you’d pay a whopping $1490 in filters over five years. Compare that to the Austin Air Healthmate Plus at a fraction of the cost ($360).
Clearly, in terms of performance and long-term value, no other air cleaner manufacturer really comes close to Austin Air. As you can see from the chart above, the Austin Air Cleaners are ranked at the top in size of HEPA filter, number of pounds of Activated Carbon, added Chemisorbents, amount of air cleaned per minute (CFM), filter life and total five-year cost of ownership.
In fact, the Austin Air machines are the only ones who have a five-year filter cost LESS than the initial purchase price. That means the disparity in the total cost of owning those other machines is only going to INCREASE the longer you own them!
The more closely you look at Austin Air Cleaners, the more impressed you will become. In addition to having a large HEPA filter, pounds of Activated Carbon, additional VOC/gases removal capability, great air cleaning power and the lowest cost of ownership, the other benefits include:
Let's be honest. You've got other choices when it comes to buying an Austin Air Cleaner, so why should you buy from us? Because we have unmatched customer service. If there's any problem, we will resolve it to your satisfaction. Period. Here's what our customers have to say about our service.
"THANK YOU, THANK YOU for ALL of your help, Carol!! You have been a blessing and a God-send. Thank you for taking the time to share with me your knowledge and resources. I very much appreciate you!!" Alyssa, Texas
"Thank you SO much for taking care of this so promptly and with such consideration for our health situation. I chose to purchase from your company because Carol was so empathetic, patient and helpful on the phone when I had questions about which units to buy. Now I'm even more glad I did - kudos for amazing customer service :-) " Jeri, Texas
Love it or return it in the original packaging within 30 days for a refund less return shipping costs.