The Austin Air HealthMate is a strong air purifier that costs a few hundred dollars less than the top-rated IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus (Est. $900) . Its five-year filter cuts down on the cost of ownership, requiring less frequent replacements than most models require. Some owners complain about noise, but others say it's quieter than expected.
Solid performance for the price. Reviewers agree that the Austin Air HealthMate is a powerful machine. It filters larger allergen particles such as dust, pet dander, pollen and mold spores with its HEPA filter, and Austin Air says its carbon filter captures 95 percent of the tinier particles that make up chemicals and odors in the air, down to 0.1 micron -- although the HealthMate doesn't claim to remove particles as minute as the pricey IQAir New Edition HealthPro Plus can tackle (down to 0.003 microns).
Heavy, but easy to use. Weighing 45 pounds, the boxy HealthMate is relatively heavy compared to other air purifiers, but it includes wheeled casters for easier moving. Austin Air does offer a smaller model, the Austin Air HealthMate Jr. (*Est. $340) , which is designed for smaller rooms. Austin Air doesn't make any claims about the size of the rooms these filters can handle, but experts say it's between 200 and 650 square feet for the HealthMate and 110 to 225 square feet for the HealthMate Jr. A manual control knob adjusts this unit between its three speed settings.
Mixed feedback on noise. The only real complaint we found about the HealthMate in expert and user reviews is the noise. The HealthMate registers about 50 decibels (about the same as quiet conversation) on its lowest speed, which some experts consider too loud for bedroom use, although several users say they have no problem sleeping or watching movies with the HealthMate running on low.
Long-life filters cut down on overall costs. Besides the HEPA and carbon filters, the HealthMate also uses two prefilters -- but you don't have to change one filter or another every few months, as you would with other air purifiers. All of the HealthMate's replacement filters come in one pack (Est. $195), which you change once every three to five years. Unlike those of other companies, Austin Air's five-year warranty covers not only the machine, but also the filter.
1. Allergy Buyers Club.com
AllergyBuyersClub.com editors rate the Austin Air HealthMate with 4 stars out of a possible 5, noting its permanent prefilter and true medical HEPA filter surrounded by a carbon mixture that absorbs odors, chemicals and gases. One downside is its 45-pound weight; it is equipped with casters for easier moving, however.
Review: Austin Air Healthmate Air Purifiers, Editors of AllergyBuyersClub.com, Not dated
In this review, air-purifier expert Ed Sherbenou praises the Austin Air HealthMate, saying you can't get better air filtration without spending about $400 more for an IQAir unit. Sherbenou says he particularly likes the Austin Air's 15 pounds of activated carbon with zeolite mix, effective at absorbing chemicals and odors.
Review: Austin Air Healthmate Air Purifier Review, Ed Sherbenou, Not dated
Nearly five dozen users have posted reviews on Amazon.com for the Austin Air HealthMate, about half giving it a perfect 5-star rating. Various users report that the HealthMate works well, and several say it's quieter than they expected after reading other reviews.
Review: Austin Air HealthMate HM 400, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2013