Austin Air HealthMate Plus Jr. Air Purifier
Austin Air HealthMate Plus Jr. Air Purifier
Clean, healthy, toxin- and irritant-free air is yours for the breathing using the Austin Air HealthMate Plus Jr. Air Purifier (A250C1, A250E1, A250B1, A250A1, A250D1) in your home or office. Recommended by the New York Times best-selling author and allergy expert Dr. Doris Rapp, you can be certain that this air purifier will deliver results.
Small Yet Powerful:With an impressive 700 sq. ft. coverage area capability, you and your loved ones will be breathing fresher, cleaner air in no time at all
Four-Stage Filtration:This air purifier cleans air using a 4-stage system that filters air through both an activated carbon-zeolite filter and a True Medical HEPA filter, which removes particles as small as 0.3 microns from your air
Designed for the Chemically Sensitive:The activated carbon-zeolite filter is infused with potassium iodide, which works to target and remove gasses, chemicals, toxins and odors from the air
360° Progressive Filtering System:Air is drawn into the unit from all sides, allowing for a quicker and more efficient purification process
Three Fan Speeds:Customize the power, noise and fan speed using the easy-to-use control dial, which allows you to choose from three (3) speed options
Five Year Filter Life:You'll rarely have to worry about filter maintenance and replacement with this air purification system due to its incredible five (5) year filter life
- Model: A250C1, A250E1, A250B1, A250A1, A250D1
- Brand: Austin Air
- Medical-grade HEPA
- Activated carbon filter
- Four (4) stage filtration
- 360° air intake
- Centrifugal fan
- Made in the USA
- Filter life: 5 years
- Warranty: 5 years
- Austin Air HealthMate Air Purifier
- CSA & UL approved
- Coverage area: 700 sq. ft.
- Three (3) fan speeds
- Air flow: 200 CFM (max)
- Filters particles as small as 0.3 micron at 99.97% efficiency
- Input voltage: 120 V/60 Hz
- Weight: 18 lbs.
- Dimensions: 16.5" H x 11" W x 11" D
Why Buy An Air Purifier?
Air purifiers are crucial in maintaining clean indoor air, and they can be useful for the following reasons:
- Research done by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that indoor air can be 2-5 times more polluted than the air outdoors.
- The EPA ranked indoor air pollution as among the top five environmental dangers to the public.
- The average American spends 90% of their time indoors.
- The average American inhales approximately 2 tablespoons of airborne particles each day.
- Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to asthma, allergies, headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea and fatigue.
- Pollen, dust, mold spores, fungi spores, tobacco smoke, dust mites, pet hair and pet dander all contribute to poor indoor air quality.
- Common household furnishings such as carpet, paints, stains and furniture can product toxic fumes that can linger for a long time after application or installation.
- Children are more susceptible to the health risks of air pollution because they breathe faster and inhale 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults.
- It is estimated that more than 15 million Americans suffer from asthma, including 1 in 13 school age children.
- Your home’s walls do not prevent pollen from coming indoors.
- One ounce of dust contains approximately 40,000 living dust mites.
- Each person can shed up to 700,000 scales of skin per day.
- Heating and air conditioning ducts provide a breeding ground for mold, fungi and dust mites.
- 10% of Americans have never changed the filter on their heating and air conditioning unit.
Air Purifier Frequently Asked Questions
What is an air purifier?
An air purifier is an appliance that removes certain airborne contaminants from the air and improves the indoor air quality. They are most frequently used in homes and offices and helpful to people who suffer from allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivity and other respiratory related symptoms.
How does an air purifier work?
An air purifier draws polluted air from a given space into the unit and passes it through several layers of filtering devices. Particles, allergens and contaminates are trapped onto a filter and the clean or purified air is then recycled back into the room.
Why do I need an air purifier?
An air purifier will improve the overall indoor air quality and, in turn, improve your health. We tend to associate air pollution only with outdoor air, however the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that indoor air pollution levels can be as many as 2-5 times higher than outdoor pollutant levels. In fact, indoor air pollution is one of the top environmental concerns in the country. Many of the pollutants removed by air purifiers are known to trigger allergies and asthma; therefore an air purifier will offer relief to those suffering and lessen the possibility of a person contracting them if they don't already suffer from them. Infants and small children are especially susceptible to contracting asthma and allergies since they spend a majority of their time indoors.
What contributes to poor indoor air quality?
Modern homes are built and sealed to be energy efficient and to hold air inside. While this is great for reducing your energy bills, it doesn't allow the home to breathe properly. Pollutants such as pollen, mold, dust, pet dander and tobacco smoke then become trapped in the home instead of being released outside through natural means.
How do I know what air purifier I need?
Air purifiers can vary in their effectiveness based on different problems, so you should first determine what problem you are trying to solve. Some air purifiers are better at removing particles, while others are better at getting rid of odor or removing chemicals. Once you've determined the problem, determine the best technology and choose the right model for the room size. If you have asthma or morning congestion, you would want to look at purchasing a HEPA air purifier, especially one to keep in the bedroom. If you have a moldy basement, you would require an air purifier than can remove both airborne mold spores as well as musky odors. If you have a smoker in the house, you would need an air purifier with lots of activated carbon. If your home has indoor pets, you'll need an air purifier that can get the pet dander. If you have no specific purpose other than air cleaning, then any of our air purifiers will work for you.
Are air purifiers loud?
Air purifiers are comparable to the sound of a house fan. Most air purifiers have multiple speeds, with the highest setting generally equal to the level of normal conversation. In most instances, you would only use the high setting for a quick cleaning, then turn to medium or low in order to maintain the clean air levels. The medium and low settings are usually no louder than central heating or air conditioning and similar to white noise, which is beneficial for concentration, relaxation and better sleeping.
How often should I run my air purifier?
For optimum operation, all air purifiers should be run continuously. When the air purifier is turned off, indoor air pollution returns to its pre-treatment state.
Where should I put my air purifier?
Naturally, it's best to place the air purifier in the room where you spend the most time. For most people, this is the bedroom. If you're allergic to pet dander then you may want to keep your air purifier in the room where your pets spend the most time. Also, you should not place an air purifier in the corner of a room, it should be placed at least a couple of feet away from the walls for maximum air flow.
Can I open my windows in a room where an air purifier is running?
Yes, it is perfectly fine to mix in a little fresh air while the air purifier is working.
Will an air purifier clean my whole house?
There are air cleaning systems available that can be installed to clean your entire house. However, they tend to be more expensive than a portable unit, and if an installed system is a budget constraint, portable air purifiers in key rooms is the way to go.
How do I know if my air purifier is working?
After just a few days of installing your air purifier, the room will be cleaner and no longer feel heavy. You should be able to breathe easier and morning congestion, as well as allergy symptoms, should be lessened. When you change your filter, you will visually see how dirty it has become.
How much does it cost to operate an air purifier?
There are two factors you need to take into consideration: the cost of replacement filters and the annual electricity cost. High quality air purifiers generally use minimal electricity as they are engineered to be energy-saving. You can determine the annual operating cost by adding up the annual electricity cost and the filter replacement cost.
Are there side effects to an air purifier?
Quality, non-ozone producing air purifiers improve health and pose no side effects.
What is the difference between ozone and negative ions?
Ozone is a harmful gas that can affect your health. Negative ions are believed to alleviate depression, boost our daytime energy and relieve stress by producing biochemical reactions that increase levels of serotonin.
What is a CADR rating?
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is the measurement for the volume of filtered air delivered by an air purifier. It is given in three measurements: one for pollen, one for tobacco smoke and one for dust. The higher the CADR number, the faster the unit filters the air.
What is the best air purifier for someone with asthma?
HEPA air purifiers are best for customers who suffer from asthma. Asthma sufferers should avoid ozone generators and ionic air cleaners.
Will an air purifier cure my asthma or allergies?
While an air purifier will lessen the effects that airborne pollutants have on your health and give allergy and asthma sufferers much needed relief from the symptoms, it will not cure them.
What is a HEPA filter?
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air and is type of highly efficient filtration media that removes microscopic particles from air passing through the filter. HEPA is a standard given to filters that remove at least 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.3 microns.
What is the HEPA filter made of and how does it work?
HEPA is a paper-like material made of densely spaced glass fiber. A washable pre-filter traps all larger particles then the HEPA filter removes at least 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.3 microns. Allergens such as pollen, pet dander, mold spores and dust get trapped in the dense fibers of the filter. Many HEPA air purifiers also contain a carbon filter to capture chemicals, odors and gases. Once the dirty air is purified, a fan sends it back into the room as clean air.
How often do I need to replace the filter?
If you are buying a HEPA air purifier, don't forget to check how much the replacement filters will cost. If your unit includes both a HEPA filter and a carbon filter or other combinations, they will most likely need to be replaced separately and may last for different periods of time. Generally pre-filters need to be changed every 4 to 5 months and HEPA filters every 2 to 4 years. Home environment factors such as indoor pets, tobacco smoke, a fireplace or someone with moderate or severe allergies or asthma can play a big role in how often the filters need to be replaced. Some brands have electronic indicators and others have a manufacturer designated time period that the filters should last.
What is the outdoor Air Quality Index (AQI) and what do each of the colors mean?
The Air Quality Index is the system used to warn the public when the air pollution is dangerous. The AQI is divided into six color code categories and advice to go along with it:
- GREEN: Good; no advisories.
- YELLOW: Moderate; unusually sensitive individuals should consider limited prolonged outdoor exertion.
- ORANGE: Unhealthy for sensitive groups; children, active adults and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.
- RED: Unhealthy; children, active adults and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion; everyone else should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.
- PURPLE: Very Unhealthy; children, active adults and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should avoid outdoor exertion; everyone else should limit outdoor exertion.
- MAROON: Hazardous; everyone should avoid all physical activity outdoors.
Activated Carbon is a highly absorbent powdered carbon that purifies by adsorption. It is made by burning carbon-based materials at very high temperatures to create a porous internal structure that provides a huge surface area that is ideal for removing odorous compounds and gases.
Airborne refers to particles that float in the air. Air filters are used to catch these particles and clean the air.
ACH (Air Changes Per Hour)
Air Changes Per Hour measures the amount of times an air purifier cleans and re-circulates all of the air in a given room during one hour. The more changes per hour the more effective the filter is.
An air purifier is a device that removes contaminants such as viruses, microscopic organisms, pet dander, dust and allergens from the air. Purifiers are especially beneficial to people who suffer from allergies and asthmatics. They also help to reduce and eliminate odors from pets, tobacco smoke, and gasses.
AQI (Air Quality Index)
The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality. There are six categories each assigned a specific color to make it easier for people to understand the air pollution and associated health concerns for their community.
An allergen is a substance that causes an allergic reaction in a person's immune system. Although the list is long, the most common allergens are pet dander, smoke and pollen.
Bacteria are microscopic, single-celled organisms that have no easily identifiable nucleus and inhabit virtually all environments. While some bacteria can be harmful, most types are harmless to humans and many can even be beneficial.
A biohazard describes biological waste that is often contaminated in some way.
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR)
The CADR indicates the total volume of air that a specific air purifier cleans of a particular pollutant in one minute. CADR delivers test results for three main pollutants: tobacco smoke, pollen and dust. The higher the numbers, the faster the unit filters the air.
Cleanrooms are environments that have a low level of environmental pollutants. They are 10,000 times cleaner than a hospital operating room and are often used for scientific research and manufacturing. Air entering a cleanroom from outside is filtered to exclude dust and the air inside is constantly re-circulated through HEPA filters at about 10 times per minute to remove internally-generated contaminants.
CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute)
Cubic Feet per Minute measures how much air passes through a stationary point in one minute. A higher CFM means that the air passes through the air purifier at a higher rate.
Energy Star is a program that was developed in 1992 by the EPA to identify and promote products that are energy efficient. Devices carrying the Energy Star rating are generally 20-30% more efficient than non-rated models, which save the consumer money and help protect the environment.
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
The EPA, an acronym for the US Environmental Protection Agency, is responsible for implementing laws that promote public health by protecting our air, water and soil from harmful pollution.
HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air)
HEPA is the acronym for high efficiency particulate air. It is a type of air filter that must meet the standard of trapping at least 99.97 percent of all particles larger than 0.3 microns. A HEPA filter is widely regarded as the ultimate filter.
Indoor air pollution describes the contaminants inside of a building. It is often ignored, but can actually be worse than outdoor air pollution due to poor ventilation. Sources of indoor pollution include tobacco smoke, pet dander, dust mites, mold, pollen, pesticides and gases such as radon and carbon monoxide.
IAQ (Indoor Air Quality)
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a term referring to the air quality within a confined space, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of the occupants. It can be affected by such things as mold, bacteria and gases and is becoming an increasingly concerning health hazard than outdoor air. The IAQ is measured according to guidelines set by the government and is used to measure the efficiency of air purification and filtration systems.
Ionizers use high voltage electricity to electrically charge air molecules and create negative electrons. The negative ions charge small particles that clump together and become too heavy to remain airborne, and the particles end up sticking to any surface available. This process often creates ozone as a dangerous byproduct.
Molds are microscopic organisms that are present virtually everywhere. They aid in the breakdown of dead material and recycle nutrients in the environment. Mold will grow and multiply with sufficient moisture. It can be a concern in the home and exposure can cause health effects.
MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity)
Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is an unusually severe sensitivity to many different pollutants including solvents, VOCs, perfumes, diesel, smoke and chemicals in general. MCS is different from true allergies because it has no known cause and its processes are not fully understood. Studies show that MCS is more common in women than men and most often in younger adults between the ages of 30 and 50.
Negative ions are invisible molecules that are odorless and tasteless. We inhale them in abundance while in certain environments such as mountains, waterfalls and beaches. They are believed to produce biochemical reactions that help alleviate depression, relieve stress and boost our energy. Unfortunately modern homes and offices seal out negative ions and most appliances and modern building materials produce an excess of positive ions which contribute to decreased energy, fatigue and depression. Negative ions work to clean the air by attaching to positively charged particles and weighing them down, until they drop out of the air.
Natural ventilation is the process of supplying and removing outdoor air through an indoor space by natural means such as windows, doors and cracks in the home.
Negative pressure is a condition that exists when less an enclosed area has lower pressure than the area surrounding it.
Ozone (O3) is a tri-atomic molecule that consists of three oxygen atoms. It is highly unstable and reacts with airborne particles by launching the third oxygen atom at anything near it. When this oxygen atom reacts with the airborne particle, a tiny explosion occurs and destroys the particle. Ozone purifiers are highly effective against both dust and microscopic organisms, but can be unhealthy when exposed to large quantities.
Off-Gassing is the evaporation of volatile chemicals in non-metallic materials at normal atmospheric pressure. Materials such as paints, stains, and varnishes can produce significant off-gassing in your home or office. The off-gassing of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) seriously affect the quality of air indoors.
Pet dander is a collection of tiny scales of an animal’s dead skin that is shed. Pet dander can float in the air for a long time before sticking to a surface, allowing it to be spread widely around a home.
VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds)
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are gases emitted by a wide range of products found around the home such as paints and lacquers, cleaning supplies, pesticides and building materials, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper, graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers, and photographic solutions. Pollution indoors can be up to five times worse than pollution outdoors, due to high levels of VOCs.
Air Purifier Technology
High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) is a technology that is used to filter particles. All HEPA filters must meet a rigorous standard of trapping at least 99.97% of all particles larger than 0.3 microns. These particles caught in the HEPA filter, such as bacteria and viruses, cannot be seen by the human eye as visible particles are larger than 10 microns. These filters are able to trap mold and bacteria and do not generate ozone or harmful byproducts, so they create a more sanitary environment.
HEPA filters are made of a very fine fiber-like material that has been folded back and forth to create the shape of an accordion. This accordion-like shape creates a maze of randomly arranged fibers and presents a very large surface for air to be pushed through by the air purifier fan. Airflow must have an opportunity to pass through the filter in order for it to be cleaned. The more times airflow passes through the filter, the cleaner the air will become. As the HEPA filter becomes full, air flow will no longer be able to pass through and a new filter will be needed; however a HEPA filter will typically last 2-4 years.
Large particles will not be able to pass through the openings of the fibers and will immediately be caught in the filter. Smaller particles will get caught by one of three processes. The first is when particles come within one radius of a fiber and stick to it, which is called interception. The second process, called impaction, is when larger particles collide with fibers and embed into them. Finally, the smallest particles get caught by a process called diffusion, which is when those particles collide with gas molecules.
HEPA air purifier filters are the most effective at trapping airborne particles; however they do not remove odors, chemicals or gasses. Therefore, most HEPA air purifiers have some level of activated carbon based material to absorb odors and chemicals not caught by the HEPA filter.
Activated Carbon Technology
Activated carbon is a form of carbon that has been processed to be extremely porous and to give it a large surface area for adsorption. They are comprised of many molecular sized pores that have high adsorbent ability and chemical bonding. These properties make them a very effective tool for capturing pollutants such as chemical emissions, gasses, tobacco smoke, and odors. Once these pollutants are captured, they are not released back into the air, which helps to eliminate air recontamination.
Air purifiers with activated carbon filters are particularly helpful to people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), because they absorb formaldehyde which can be found in carpet, wood paneling, and furniture upholstery. Perfumes – as well as chemicals in household cleaning items – are also removed to make the environment much more breathable, especially for asthma sufferers, babies, children, and the elderly.
For many people, particulates such as dust, pollen or pet dander are the main irritants, with odor and chemical adsorption being less important. For those who need a high degree of both, it is best to look at the higher caliber room air purifiers which offer outstanding particle, odor and chemical removal. VOCs (volatile organic compounds), smog, ozone, fumes from cooking, pets, or tobacco can be unhealthy or irritating for anyone, and not just for those who suffer from allergies and asthma.
Carbon air filters help a great deal in reducing the contamination of the air in our rooms; however they do have a lower efficiency level in removing allergens and airborne particles. They also have limitations in eliminating contaminants that are far away and not forced through the filter.
Electronic air purifiers use an advanced and effective type of technology to absorb contaminants in the air. The process used to trap charged particles is called electrostatic attraction, and it is utilized when air is drawn through an ionization section where particles obtain an electrical charge. These charged particles then accumulate on an oppositely-charged collector instead of staying airborne. This is an effective cleaning method because charged particles stick better than those that are merely absorbed, and it is because of this that electronic air purifiers are at least 95% effective at picking up contaminants in the air.
Electronic air purifiers use either a one- or two-stage system to remove airborne particles. Both systems are equally effective and require very low maintenance. In a one-stage system, the particles are charged as they enter the purifier and they stick to the collector. As air enters a two stage system, the particles are charged using high voltage wires, then the charged particles stick to an oppositely-charged collector. Electronic air purifiers have no filters to change and only require you to wipe down the collector with a damp cloth as build up develops. This will keep your air purifier running effectively and efficiently.
Electronic air purifiers use a technology that makes them one of the most effective types on the market for removing odors, gases and particles from the air. Their effectiveness combined with their low maintenance make them a popular and convenient way to clean the air.
UV technology is most often used in conjunction with particulate filter systems since it doesn't really get rid of airborne particles. It is however, an excellent method to kill germs such as bacteria and viruses. Air purifiers using this technology have a UV lamp installed, and as microorganisms pass by the UV rays radiated from the lamp, cellular or genetic damage aids in destroying the microorganism.
A UV air purifier can convert molecules of oxygen and water found in your air into ozone and hydroxyl. The active molecules react with the air pollutants and destroy them into harmless components like water and carbon dioxide. Ozone is not needed for cleaning and, since it can be a harmful pollutant, a good UV air purifier should minimize or eliminate ozone. The effectiveness of a UV air purifier is dependent upon the wattage of the light and the time of exposure to the light. UV air purifiers do not have filters unless combined with a filter system, and the UV lamp should be monitored and replaced according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
Although UV technology is effective at killing viruses and bacteria, it is best used with a filter system ahead of the lamps. Without a filter system, too many microorganisms get shaded from the light by particulates. Therefore, most air purifiers that employ UV start by filtering the air with HEPA and activated carbon and use the UV as a final stage of filtration.
Negative ion air purifiers manually create negative ions to help clean the air. This is done by taking oxygen atoms and chemically injecting them with an electron. These atoms then magnetically attract enough airborne particles (like pollen and dust) to become too heavy to remain airborne. Because of this, the particles drop and attach themselves to other solid items in the room, such as walls or windows.
While this technology may seem advanced, it has proven to be less effective than other air purifier technologies. Negative ion purifiers merely mask the polluted air as opposed to actually cleaning it, because they do not have the ability to absorb or dispose of the harmful containments in the air. When they are stuck to walls and other surfaces, they have the ability to become loose and re-circulate themselves back into the air. Therefore, the negative ion air purifier has not cleaned and eliminated these particles, but has instead let them sit in other places waiting for a chance to re-contaminate the air.
Ozone air purifiers intentionally produce gas ozone to inhibit the growth of biological agents. However, many health professionals have refuted the claims that these ozone air purifiers are safe and effective, and no government agency has approved these devices for use. Exposure to ozone is claimed to ignite asthma symptoms, while a high exposure level can eventually scar the lungs.
Many brands of ozone air purifiers exist on the market, each of them varied in the amounts of ozone they produce. Many of the chemicals found in indoor environments can take months or years to be depleted by ozone, making the reaction time virtually nonexistent and the purifier ineffective. In addition, ozone does not remove particles such as dust and pollen, so many purifiers also include negative ion technology, which proves to just mask the air instead of clean it. Ozone air purifiers are unlikely to fully clean the air unless the concentrations were significantly higher than public health standards.
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