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In my early twenties, I was diagnosed with lung disease. I quickly learned the importance of indoor air quality – something many of us are now exploring, in our efforts to combat COVID.

I needed something that would not only take the particles that irritated my lungs out of the air, but would continuously keep my lungs clear. I needed the best air purifier on the market. I was therefore a long-time customer of Austin Air before I ever thought of working there.

With no harsh pollen, dander or other irritants in my house or lungs, life was so much easier, so much more enjoyable. In a nutshell, Austin Air Canada made it easier for me to recover from upper respiratory infections, such as pneumonia.

The Austin Air design is a four- to five-stage filtration system. The most crucial filtration step during these COVID times is our 60 sq. ft. of certified medical-grade MERV 17 HEPA.

In lay person’s terms, the MERV filtration scale runs from one to 20. We have all become aware of how effective N95 masks are at filtrating tiny particles, such as COVID. Well, N95 masks sit at a MERV 13, so that gives some context for the effectiveness of our system.

The same HEPA we use is also used in surgical suites, where our air cleaners filter 99.97% of airborne particles down to 0.3 microns and larger, and 95% of particles down to .1 microns and larger.

The filter is encased in a 23-gage round steel drum. I’ve learned that it’s designed this way so the HEPA is never exposed when changing the filter. This is extremely important within situations involving COVID or asbestos because we never want to touch or disturb those dangerous particles and risk their re-entry into our air.

On the outside of the drum is our pre-filter, which removes particles easily seen by the eye such as dust, hair or pet dander. Then a Medium Particle Pre-filter removes small to medium size particles. Surrounding the HEPA is 15 lbs. of Activated Carbon and Zeolite, which removes chemicals, gases, and odours. The final piece in our process: our medical-grade MERV 17 HEPA.

Our constant drive for air excellence started over 30 years ago, in Waterloo Region, when Richard Taylor invented Austin Air for his wife Joyce, who had breathing issues.

In the 1990s, with a surge of demand coming from the US, Richard moved our manufacturing to a 480,000 sq. ft. plant in Buffalo, New York. Our Canadian headquarters remain in Waterloo Region and our company is still run by family, Richard’s nephew, Alex Taylor.

While a pandemic may be new to all of us, mass deployment of units is not new to Austin Air. Immediately after 9/11, we deployed over 14,000 units to First Responders and medical staff in lower Manhattan. We later deployed units for the largest natural gas leak in US history, as well as for Hurricane Katrina. Events such as these caught the attention of large universities such as Brown and Johns Hopkins, as well as the US military. All have completed case studies on our products and their effects.

These are some of the reasons so many private medical practices, schools, hospitals, restaurants and individuals trust us to keep their air clean during this pandemic.

And the best news? We are working on bringing manufacturing for our Canadian side back to Ontario!

Stay safe and breathe easy.

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