I chose to update this review as Austin Air were one of the first big companies on the scene and deserve a little respect for that. The first time around, we didn’t really like this purifier. However as many other reviewers note, it is specifically designed to help pet owners avoid odors and allergies which is obviously very useful to many of us.
So I think we should take another look at this device, and approach our review solely from the eyes of those looking to specifically deal with their pet issues.
If you’re thinking of buying a pet and even if you know you’re not allergic – it’s still a good idea to research pet-oriented purifiers. Friends and relatives might be allergic to cats and dogs but also, animals in your home can whip up a lot of harmful particulate into the air.In fact, we even made a full buyers guide on air purifiers for pets which is worth a read.
This unit comes with a 4-stage filtration system. It also services rather large areas up to 1,500 square feet.
I was a bit put off by the design of the air purifier as it looks very dated these days. In 2020, I’m amazed that Austin haven’t thought about updating the design a little.
Let’s take a fresh look at whether this air purifier is worth the money the manufacturer is asking for it.
Pet dander, odor, and hair are hard to deal with. So in order to do a good job, an air purifier in this category must have a superb filtration system. Even though this unit has four filters, they don’t seem to be much different from what the other air purifiers offer.
Large particle Permafilt Pre-Filter – This filter catches large particles, hair, dust, lint, etc. It helps the main filter work longer. This filter doesn’t need to be replaced too often. All you have to do is vacuum it on a monthly basis (or more frequently depending on how heavily you use the unit). However, annual replacement is recommended. The price tag is around $40.
Medium Particle Pre-Filter – One more pre-filter works on the particles, which its Permafilt friend failed to catch. This particular filter needs to be replaced once a year. I haven’t found a place where it would be sold separately. Having two separate pre filters makes sense when you think about it from a pet ownership. Lots of large particles like dander and hair that could clog up the fine particle filters, requiring you to replace them sooner.
Proprietary Carbon/Zeolite Blend filter – This filter takes care of the pet odors and is supposedly very good if you listen to the amazon user reviews. It needs to be replaced about once a year. Not sold separately.
TrueHEPA filter – This medical-grade HEPA filter takes care of 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in size. It also removes 95% of particles 0.1 in size. This is a standard HEPA filter and doesn’t seem to stand out from the rest in any way. Does what it should though.
The last three filters are not sold separately. But they come in a convenient pack with an astonishing price tag of about $300!
When we add $40 for the large particle filter, we get $340 yearly maintenance expense, which is excessively high for this kind of purifier.
Austin Air offers some deals for its customers to help cut the filter expenses. But they work only for the first 5 years after the purchase and decrease after each year of use.
Actually, the manufacturer claims that the filters can last for 5 years without replacement, but since I know a lot about filters, I think I am qualified enough to say that is simply not true. If you want proper results, you need to replace these filters on a yearly basis.
There aren’t any filter replacement indicators, so it’s up to the owner to remember when the filters need to be changed.
As I mentioned earlier, when it comes to the design, I think Austin Air didn’t do too good of a job. This large boxy unit looks like it was designed in the 1980’s without much care. Whats more amazing is that they haven’t bothered to update the design at all since it first came out.
The manual controller on the front makes looks and feels cheap and clunky.
I guess others may have a different opinion – but you should note that it’s rather big and heavy too. The sizes are 14.5 x 14.5 x 23 inches. The air purifier weighs 45 pounds, making it rather hard to move between floors. Thankfully, it has caster wheels, so you don’t need to lift it.
The air purifier comes in five colors: black, silver, sandstone, midnight blue, and white. I think the midnight blue model looks the best, but it still looks clunky whatever color you choose!
The air purifier is easy to use. You just plug it in, choose the fan speed, and let it do its job. You have to be careful not to place the unit against the wall since it has 360° air circulation system. Ideally, the unit should be placed in the middle of the room. But I doubt it’s a possibility in most households and even then – would you want this eyesore in the middle of your room?
Smart Options and Sensors
This one came as a surprise to me. This air purifier doesn’t have any smart options. Zero. Zilch. Nada. No sensors, no indication lights, nothing. For the air purifier, which comes with such a crazy price tag, the absence of smart options is surprising, to say the least. Once again, like the design – you would expect Austin air to have modified it over the years, but sadly not.
Nowadays, we are used to smart devices giving us a variety of information. So I view the lack of smart options as a downside. On the other hand, this type of equipment usually lasts longer because there isn’t anything there to break down.
I’ve read hundreds of reviews about this air purifier and most of them report that this unit is incredibly noisy. The manufacturer shares the following numbers:
- High speed – 66 dB
- Medium speed – 55 dB
- Low speed – 50 dB
This means that at its highest speed the air purifier is louder than a humidifier purifier, which is ok. In most households, the highest speed is rarely needed. However, the low speed is not quiet at all. 50dB is comparable to a quiet conversation. Meaning, if you are a light sleeper like me, you won’t be able to use this air purifier in your bedroom. So I concur, it’s a loud air purifier.
If this worries you too, then checkout our guide on quiet air purifiers for the bedroom.
The manufacturer claims that the air purifier can service an area of up to 1,500 square feet.
Unfortunately, I was unable to find CADR ratings for this particular model. I believe this model just hasn’t been tested for CADR numbers. Perhaps the air purifier doesn’t have an AHAM seal at all.
I’m a bit bothered by that. 1500 square feet is a big space for any air purifier to adequately clean. Not eve the Alen breathesmart or IQ Air Healthmate can handle that size of space. Also based on other unlikelyhoods they tell, like their filters lasting 5 years – I have to conclude that this air purifier can’t actually handle 1,500 sq feet.
This air purifier has one of the most formidable warranties I’ve ever seen.
5-Year Mechanical Warranty – The manufacturer offers a 5-year mechanical warranty. Meaning if you use the air purifier according to the instructions and some part breaks down, you can get it fixed for free.
5-Year Filter Warranty – The manufacturer claims that the filter should last for 5 years and if it doesn’t, Austin Air offers a discount system for each year. As I mentioned before, no one invented a trueHEPA filter yet, which can last for 5 years, so be ready to take advantage of the discounts.
30-day Satisfaction Guarantee Warranty – If you are not happy with the air purifier, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund.Pros:
- Long warranty
- Caster wheels for easy transportation
- High-quality materials
- 4-stage filtration system
- High price tag + expensive filter replacement
- No CADR ratings
- Large and heavy
- No smart sensors
Pet Machine HealthMate 410 Air Purifier Review Conclusion
After spending many hours reviewing this incarnation of the Austin Air Healthmate, unfortunately, I can’t recommend it. Not even for pet owners. Even though it does a good job filtering the air, you can find better and far less expensive models, which do the same. Especially when you factor in the cost of replacing the filters. How on earth Austin air can justify $340 to change all the filters is beyond me.
This air purifier has a bulky build, high price tag, no smart options, and expensive filter replacement. I would recommend checking out other options.
This article was written by Julia Montague – check out her author bio here
Austin Air Healthmate 410s
- Final Rating: - 69%69%
Whilst the Austin Air Healthmate 410s does a good job of air purification, it simply doesn’t do enough to justify the large price tag. Especially when the replaceable filters cost so much too.