Austin Air Health Mate Review – Still Worth it in 2021?

Having been researching air purifiers for a while on the Toxic Mold and various other health groups on Facebook, one very popular air purifier was the Austin Air Purifier of which has always been very popular in the health sphere but even more recently has been selling more. Since the Covid outbreak in March last year, they’ve had a backlog of orders for their popular air purifiers. 

To buy: https://austinair.com/

Models :

Austin Air typically has 5 main models: 

  • The Bedroom Machine 
  • Healthmate Plus 
  • HealthMate 
  • Allergy Machine 
  • PetMachine 

In this review, however, we will be reviewing the HealthMate. 

Specs:

This unit features a large particle pre filter. It’s a fabric type material that wraps around the inside of the unit behind the front grill. There’s a grill on all 4 sides, and behind the grill, there’s a large particle pre filter, and behind the large particle pre filter, there’s a single combination filter that fits into the centre of the unit a cylindrical filter with filter media throughout that filter. So, outside of the combination filters there’s a medium carbon pre filter, which is another line of defence for larger particles, maybe slightly smaller particles than what’s meant to be filtered by the large filter. You have 15 pounds of carbon and zeolite, and that sits behind the carbon pre filter. There’s an actual HEPA filter, the two pre filters, the large particle pre filter, and the medium particle, and then the 15 pounds of carbon and zeolite designed for harmful gases. Behind that, you have the HEPA filters that filter out smaller particles. As air enters the unit, it enters at all 4 sides, and it then exits near the top. 

Air goes in (through all 4 sides of the unit)  >>> Past large particle pre filter (Fabric type material) l>> single combination filter that fits into the centre of the unit which contains a medium particle pre filter>>> past the activated carbon and zeolite>> behind this is an actual Hepa filter >> air exit through the top . 

Pricing

It’s important to note that for individuals living in the UK, any purchase of the Austin Air will need to be done from American sellers as there is currently (at time of writing this) no place in the UK or EU that is retailing these units, so any purchase of these units will need to come with the usual caveat of import tax and hefty shipping charges. I purchased mine on eBay from a reputable seller. Typically your best bet is to do the same because, as of time of writing this, amazon.com is currently sold out of all Austin air units. Make sure before you purchase that the store is legitimate and offers a warranty on your product and that the unit isn’t secondhand as secondhand units can be infected with mold. If they’re in particularly bad environments, this mold sticks inside the machine and can infect the house. 

Typically, including shipping, you’re looking at about £650, but some sellers might have additional sales especially in November, around Black Friday, as a lot of American companies provide crazy discounts during that time. (Black Friday is usually taken more seriously over there compared to here in the UK). 

The additional cost for the replacement filter is around £200 including shipping and taxes, but these will need to be replaced only every 5 years, so it’s not something that poses a big concern. 

To buy the full range of models + replacements: 

https://austinair.com/shop/

Features: 

  • HEPA filter that filters 0.3 pm , filtering out particles even smaller than Covid-19 (1.5pm) 

Advantages

  • A lot of power and filtration for your price – good value for money especially for Americans who don’t need to pay the import and shipping taxes that we in the UK need to. 
  • You get a 5 year warranty, which is significantly higher than almost all other units barring the IQAir. 
  • Easily mobile to move around the house due to the wheels. The wheels also come pre-attached, so you don’t need to assemble – the set up is extremely easy; just plug in and you’re good to go. 
  • No blue light being emitted. A lot of other top models in the air purifier space emit a huge amount of blue light which makes it very difficult to sleep next to the device. Austin Air has no such problems, making it easy to go to sleep next to for some people who don’t mind the loud sound. 
  • Filter needs to be replaced only every 5 years. This is a huge positive that makes this device so much easier to run in the long term compared to other brands who’s filters need replacing every 6 months to 2 years. 
  • Addition of Zeolite to the mixture which allows for gas filtration media to bond to a greater selection of chemicals. One of those chemicals is formaldehyde (which activated Carbon cannot remove) 
  • A lot of Activated Carbon – most air purifiers have one pound of activated carbon. This unit has 15 pounds, and this allows the unit to remove chemicals from the air much quicker than other units. With so much more gas filtration media, it’s going to take much longer to saturate. 
  • Made in the USA. I’m personally a big fan of air purifiers that are constructed in the US as opposed to China because I believe product control and quality are higher in the US/Europe. 
  • Strong build quality – almost entirely made out of a very durable metal. 
  • No EMF or WiFi radiation. Far too many air filters come with high tech additions like “air quality measuring” which do very little to nothing in terms of improving the product but simply add to the amount of EMF being produced, making it a hazard to stand next to or sleep in the same room as. Austin Air’s simplistic design helps it a lot in this regard as it doesn’t have any of these features, just a simple dial that you press. 

Disadvantages: 

  • You have to pay tax and large shipping fees on all the filters. Again, this is inevitable as I live in the UK. For those who live in the US reading this, you do not have to pay such expensive fees. 
  • So much air goes through a very large particle air purifier, so it requires a large amount of power to maintain the 250 CFM. The unit has to draw around 90 watts of power, around 20-30 watts higher than other units. 
  • Very heavy – at 47 pounds, this is the heaviest filter I’ve ever bought. For people who are weak, they may struggle to carry this between floors, particularly as some individuals like to purchase filters to which they move with while they switch rooms. I.e. They carry it downstairs during the day when they’re working and then upstairs for when they’re sleeping in their bedroom. 
  • Not the best looking filter on the market – yes, this shouldn’t matter to most people, but for some people in a corporate setting like an art studio or sales floor, an ugly filter can be an eyesore.
  • Extremely loud – on all three settings this thing is loud as hell. Even on its lowest setting, it’s louder than the highest of several other purifiers I’ve tested. As a person sensitive to noise, this makes it impossible for me to sleep next to. 
  • Toxic smell coming out after one days use – I hadn’t had an issue with this in air purifiers beforehand, but this suggests something deeply flawed with construction of the air purifier. Seems to be other people complaining about the off gassing too. 

Conclusion:

If you’re worried about gas filtration, the Austin Air purifier is the one for you as it’s far stronger than any other air filter we have tested so far. Particularly if you live in a heavily polluted area, we see the Austin Air purifier as being the most effective. Even though it is pricey, the filters need to be replaced far less frequently than other purifiers we’ve tested, which in the long term, 5- 10 years view, will save you money. Overall, even from a UK perspective despite the tax and import costs of the Austin Air, I still think its a must have for those looking to optimise their home air environments. What also needs to be taken into consideration is all air filters will be overpriced to some degree as all the best brands are located in the US or EU. If you’re priced out, then I’d recommend the Air Doctor as an alternative. 

7/10

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