Looking for a quality air purifier, but not sure which way to go? Here’s an Austin Air Healthmate Jr review to help you figure it out.
The Healthmate JR, also referred to as the HM200 and the A200, carries with it all the same benefits as the Standard model. Plus, it’s every bit an Austin Air product. So you can count on it being a quality piece of equipment that provides reduced allergy and asthma symptoms.
With this purifier on hand, you can expect fewer attacks and interruptions from coughing, wheezing, runny nose, dry mouth, sore throat, sneezing, and so on.
Up and Running In No Time At All
When you receive your brand new Austin Air unit, all you have to do is unbox it and find a location close to an outlet but away from the walls. Then simply plug it in and set the speed of your choice.
Chances are that you’ll find yourself snoring less and enjoying a deeper, more restorative sleep with this compact device. That in itself is a huge benefit. But there’s more to the Jr than meets the eye.
The Healthmate JR serves up cleaner, fresher air with a significant reduction in airborne particles and dangerous gasses. It is meant to be used in rooms up to 700 ft.² (according to the manufacturer).
But realistically, to achieve optimum results, I’ve discovered that these and other comparable air purification units on the market today are best suited to smaller rooms.
Ideal Room Size
In the case of the Healthmate Jr, interior spaces of anywhere from 200 to 500 ft.², seem to be ideal. It’s powerful and effective in scrubbing the air clean of virtually all problematic pollutants – and that’s no small feat.
A proven performer, the Healthmate Jr is quite a useful tool for removing dust, dust mites, pollen, smoke, bacteria and viruses in smaller areas.
In fact, that’s what it’s designed to do.
However, in larger spaces, it’s just not going to produce the same kind of results.
How Effective is The Austin Air Healthmate Jr ?
When looking at purchasing a real air purifier (not the cheap department store variety) what should be an important consideration is how often the room air changes in any given hour. That’s one of the keys to determining the real effectiveness and value of any air purifier.
By “air changes” I mean, how many times in every 60 minutes is the machine able to process polluted room air and generate fresh clean air?
The more air changes carried out – the cleaner the air is to breathe. Ahhhh… fresh air. Can you feel it?
That’s where you’ll really notice the beneficial effects of owning an Austin air purifier.
It performs day in and day out, efficiently “processing” bad air and generating safer, breathable air reasonably fast.
Test Results Revealed
In testing, the Austin Air Healthmate Jr delivered the following results in the corresponding room sizes:
750 square-foot room: Two air changes per hour
375 square-foot room: Four air changes per hour
250 square-foot room: Six air changes per hour
Essentially, the Healthmate Jr appears to be twice as effective at purifying the air in a room that’s about half the maximum size suggested by the manufacturer. No surprise there. Additionally, it seems to be about three times more effective in a room that is one-third the size of the largest recommended space.
A Budget-Friendly Option
The Austin Air Healthmate Jr makes an excellent choice for those on a tighter budget. You cannot, however, expect it to perform in larger rooms with any sort of noticeable results.
Sounds logical, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, the appeal of a lower price can at times impair the sound reasoning of logic. If you read a lot of reviews online, it’s not hard to see why some people are disappointed. But it often has little to do with the equipment itself and everything to do with how that machine is being used.
How Much Electricity Does It Use?
In terms of power consumption, the Healthmate Junior uses 80 Watts at high speed, 41 Watts at medium speed, and 25 Watts at low speed.
The Healthmate Jr PLUS model (somewhat different from the Jr) is the best choice for chemical protection against things like formaldehyde and benzene. If sensitivity to airborne chemicals is an issue – it makes sense to give serious consideration to the PLUS model. For best results, always be sure to follow our recommended room size specifications.
The Healthmate Jr comes with a 30 ft.² medical quality HEPA filter inside (exactly half of what’s contained in the Healthmate 400), and 7 pounds of granular carbon and zeolite. It’s the carbon and zeolite that helps to filter out odors, chemicals, and gasses.
Where are Austin Air Purifiers Made?
Unlike virtually every competitor, Austin Air’s purifiers are made right here at home, in the USA. The company, Austin Air, is headquartered in Buffalo, New York and have been producing quality air purifiers for a few decades now.
Among all air purifier manufacturers, Austin Air is the “most American”. It’s not an easy accomplishment to maintain a strong manufacturing operation domestically, in the age of outsourcing and a truly global economy.
But that’s exactly what they’ve achieved. And the added advantage of American-made quality is something that many buyers have come to appreciate even more these days.
Battle-Tested and Ready
Austin Air purifiers have been tested by some of the world’s top laboratories and agencies, including the US Army Corps of Engineers. Many of their purification units are now being used in hospitals and surgical rooms, due to the proven results due at least in part to the medical grade HEPA filtration system inside every Austin Air product.
Austin Air systems were the natural choice of the Red Cross and FEMA in the aftermath of the 911 tragedy. When a sizable part of New York City was covered in dust from the collapsed World Trade Center towers and thousands faced a serious health risk, Austin Air purifiers answered the call.
Austin Air Purifier Warranty
All Austin purification systems come with a five-year warranty on parts and labor. It’s a strong warranty that’s better than what the majority of competitors offer. The one exception is Alen Air. That company that offers a lifetime warranty on all of their air purifiers.
Austin Air also offers a 30-day money back guarantee. Therefore, should you not be satisfied with your Austin Air Healthsmart Jr (or any other air cleaner Austin Air supplies), your total risk is the cost of shipping. That part is non-refundable – but everything else is, within the 30-day window.
Take The Long-Term View
When considering a purchase of any quality air purifier, you may find it helpful to take a look at the big picture.
Can this air cleaner serve my purposes for the office or home air purification I require, steadily and reliably for the next five years?
That’s the question you need to ponder.
Many people have had Austin Air units – even multiple units – for 10 years or more. Ideally, that’s what you want too because it means maximum value for your investment. Once you step up to something more than the basic devices sold at some of the big box stores, it does become more of an investment than an incidental purchase.
Let’s Get Serious
Serious air filtration equipment costs serious money. There’s just no getting around this fact.
It’s not just the substantial money you’ll have to fork over for any of these devices themselves, but for the replacement filters too. Filters are an ongoing but absolutely necessary cost – no matter what brand or model you settle on.
At some point, your machine is going to require a brand new filter and no filter comes cheap. Knowing this before you buy allows you to factor in the added costs, instead of being blindsided down the road when your purifier stops dong what it’s supposed to do.
What I suggest is that you plan for your purchase to serve you over the next five years. Hopefully, it will last much longer than that. But if you can enjoy the benefits of fresh clean air every day for five years, how much value and comfort would that add to your life?
Look Into The Future
When you look at your potential Austin Air purifier purchase as a five-year product, it gives you a different perspective. Since that’s the duration of your parts and labor warranty, it makes sense to look at it this way.
The machine itself is warranted for five years. Also, the expected lifespan of the Austin Air HEPA filter is five years, under normal circumstances.
Is It Worth It?
Consider this: If the purchase price of your ready-to-go unit is all you ever pay over the next five years and the purifier serves its purpose over that time, is it a worthwhile buy?
Once you have your total costs, divide that figure by 5 to determine the cost per year. Next, divide your total cost by 60. This will give you your overall cost per month. Then consider whether it makes sense to purchase or not.
There is one other cost and that is the cost to run your Austin Air purifier. Thankfully, electricity costs on these units are minimal.
It takes about the same amount of energy to run your Austin Air Healthmate Jr air purifier as it does to power up a light-bulb.
Another option is to factor in the added cost of one service call and one filter replacement.
The service call itself is covered by the warranty. But you’ll have to pay to ship your machine to the Austin Air plant in Buffalo, NY.
A Cautious Projection
If you want to be extra careful, you might assume that the filter lasts only half the recommended time. So this means you would have to replace the filter at the 2 1/2 year mark.
Now review what your approximate cost would be over five years. Then calculate costs per year. Finally, figure out what it would cost you every month. This is the price you’ll have to pay to have fresher, cleaner air, 24/7 in your designated room from this device. You can do the same with any other brand you may be considering.
Adjusted Price/ Value Comparison
Is it worth it at this “adjusted” price?
It’s interesting when you play with these numbers and you don’t automatically assume that your machine will last forever and your filter will go the distance. When you expect things to last longer and they fail prematurely – that’s causes the most frustration. That’s when any buyer is most disappointed.
I urge you to consider realistically what your monthly costs could actually be. This is the best way to avoid disappointment with any major purchase like a quality air purifier. In this case, crunch the numbers and then ask yourself – is it worth having healthy indoor air to breathe for $X monthly?
Don’t Overlook The Objective Of Fresh Indoor Air
Remember, this is only an estimate. But it’s something that gives you a buffer. And don’t forget how important it is to breathe healthy air.
Another advantage Austin Air offers is their prorated filter warranty. I don’t see any other manufacturer offering anything comparable. Then again, no other filters in this class are this expensive either.
There’s no question that they have the best quality filters that are designed to operate effectively under normal conditions for five years.
However, if your filter does not last five years, Austin Air will take this into account when you order a replacement and this will save some money. It’s not the full amount many people expect, but it does get you a replacement filter at a nice discount.
How To Use Your Austin Air Purifier
Many people get the most benefit by having an Austin Air Healthmate purifier in their bedroom. Breathing clean air at night helps to strengthen the immune system, giving you a more restful and rejuvenating sleep.
With cleaner air, it’s less taxing on the immune system, allowing the body a chance to easily rest, restore, and repair itself while you are sleeping.
The thing to remember is to confine your Healthmate Jr to a single room. That is all it’s designed to handle and the Jr is meant for smaller rooms as a rule.
Also, be sure to allow adequate space on all sides. This means having a minimum of 6 to 10 inches of space on all sides. When you first unleash this mini beast in a particular room, turn it to “high” and close the door. Allow Austin Air’s engineering to do its work for a couple of hours and then check back and notice the improvement in the air quality.
At least 30% of your time is spent sleeping or working. So it makes sense to give yourself the best possible conditions in these environments.
A Solution For Home and Office
At the office, you can place your Austin Air device – or whatever quality air purifier you decide on – anywhere you like. But locating it close to any problem sources should give you better results. You could place it next to any workstation, as long as you remember to leave adequate space around the device.
Airflow is important for the machine to attain maximum efficiency. You want it to be able to draw air in from all sides. That’s how it’s able to process air quickly and get rid of any impurities.
All Austin Air devices are designed to run twenty-four hours a day. Continuous use can make a world of difference to the quality of your air.
It’s easy to adjust the fan speed to suit. At top speed, it’s noisy. But most buyers have no problem with the noise generated at the lower two speeds. For best results and to create the healthiest indoor environment, keep your device running all the time if you can.
What Results Can You Expect?
It all depends on the conditions and symptoms you’re experiencing. You also need to take into account the current quality of air in the room and outside too since that air eventually comes inside. If dust and pollen are major concerns, you would benefit by replacing the pre-filter often. It’s an inexpensive way to get the best performance out of your Healthmate Jr purifier.
How To Get the Most Out of Any Austin Air Purifier
Vacuum outside and inside the housing frequently. This alone can extend the life of your purifier. Just be sure to do so with a HEPA vacuum cleaner. Otherwise, you may be defeating the purpose and spewing more pollutants back into the air.
It’s easy to take apart and replace the filters and pre-filter on any Austin Air Healthmate. I recommend changing the pre-filter every year and then setting the date you do this in your personal calendar so you don’t forget.
Clean and replace the pre-filter as needed. This is a foam filter, so after vacuuming, you can rinse it. Just be sure to dry it completely before putting it back into place. Do this often and you will more than likely get more years of service out of your machine.
Check The Air
Monitor the air quality to detect when the main filter unit requires a change and do so without any unnecessary delay. If the filter is saturated with pollutants – it can’t be doing you much good.
Filter life is affected by the relative cleanliness of the room air and the speed level to which you have set your purifier. Don’t be surprised to see caked-on dust in and around the pre-filter. That’s a strong indicator that your Austin Healthmate is working well.
Always double-check to make sure to install the replacement filters correctly. If you don’t, it cannot trap pollutants effectively and this means the same harmful elements will get pumped right back into the room.
What’s The Verdict on the Austin Air Healthmate Jr?
Air purifiers are numerous. But high-quality machines made for small to medium-sized rooms are not so common. For small to average size rooms – that’s where this air cleaner really shines.
As discussed throughout this Austin Air Healthmate Jr Review, this model uses the exact same technology that’s built into every Austin Air system. But it does so on a smaller scale. This includes the 4-step filtration process featuring a medical grade HEPA filter, designed to last longer than competing brands.
If you’re looking for a solid, dependable air purification system for smaller areas, this one just might be your best bet. For solid value at a decent price and a 5-year warranty, the Healthmate Jr should at least warrant your serious consideration as your room purifier of choice.