IQAir Company Information and History

"My father and his brother started our family company in Germany. They introduced the world's first home air cleaner in 1963. The history of room air cleaning begins with IQAir," says Frank Hammes, son of Klaus Hammes and President of IQAir North America.

As the developer of the first residential air purifier, IQAir continues to impress consumers. IQAir has the experience, resources, and commitment to produce air cleaners of the highest caliber. With over 40 years of experience in the air purifier industry, IQAir has demonstrated that they take air cleaning to the highest level, often surpassing consumer expectations.

As a child in Germany, Manfred Hammes suffered from chronic asthma and allergies, leading him to join with his brother Klaus to create a simple yet effective air filter system. With the use of a filter pad with small magnets attached to an air outlet of residential coal ovens, the Hammes brothers filtered dust from heated air, thus creating the first air filter for household use.

After 1963, the company went through many changes, including incorporation under the name of Incen AG, still an industry leader throughout Europe. In 1991, Frank Hammes established National Environmental Control, Inc in Pasadena, CA. There, National Environmental Control joined with Mercedes-Benz to distribute cabin air filters as add-on accessories for the Mercedes-Benz luxury automobile line. The aftermarket product became so popular that Mercedes-Benz and Volvo began manufacturing the filters created by National Environmental Control.

After four years of research, the first advanced IQAir air purifier was introduced to the European marketplace in 1998. IQAir quickly gained a reputation for world-class performance and Swiss precision. Rated "Best Air Cleaner" in 1998 by Europe's leading product testing organization, Stiftung Warentest, the IQAir filtration units represent the best in modern technology.

"For over 40 years we've maintained the commitment to build the very best air cleaning systems in the world. With IQAir, we have created the most advanced room air cleaners available today," says IQAir President Frank Hammes.

Due to the success of the first advanced IQAir air cleaner, IQAir introduced a revolutionary, modular air filter housing design to the United States in 2000. The IQAir air purifier instantly became the best selling high-end room air purifier. Two years later, IQAir became the first and only room air purifier to incorporate H13 class certified HEPA filters. H13 HEPA certification verifies that IQAir air purifiers capture up to 100 times more particles than any other conventional HEPA air purifier.

The IQAir HealthPro exceeds the HEPA standard. The IQAir HealthPro air purifier is the only air cleaner to pass the world's most advanced and stringent HEPA filter test, the EN 1822. This test certifies a filter's absolute minimum efficiency for all sizes of particles. Traditionally, the HEPA filter's efficiency had been measured at 0.3 microns, but over 90% of airborne pollutants found in homes and offices are smaller.

However, based on technology that IQAir developed for hospitals and multi-million-dollar clean rooms, the IQAir HyperHEPA filter has been EN 1822 tested and certified to filter down to 0.003 microns with a guaranteed minimum efficiency of over 99.5%. The IQAir HyperHEPA filter is now incorporated into every IQAir HealthPro series air purifier to ensure that every household has the best home air cleaning system.

In October of 2003, the Hong Kong Hospital Authority (HKHA) selected IQAir's advanced air filtration systems as control measures to fight the SARS virus. After weeks of intensive testing by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) of the HKHA using a sophisticated laser particle counter on the HVAC system and room air cleaners, the EMSD determined that IQAir air filtration system was the only system that could remove the tiniest airborne particles, including the SARS virus, from the air. IQAir's four-stage filtration process reduces the risk of contamination and spread of the infectious SARS virus.

"This is true prevention," says Frank Hammes, "Hong Kong is breaking new ground in infection control." In addition to Hong Kong, IQAir advanced air systems are used by hospitals and critical environments worldwide.

The IQAir HealthPro series is specifically designed to remove solid and liquid airborne particles and aerosols including mold spores, pet dander, dust mite, pollen, bacteria, and infectious microorganisms. With the use of IQ Air's patented HyperHEPA filter and super efficient pre-filter, the IQAir HealthPro air purifier is the most efficient and effective air purifier on the market today.

In 2004, the IQAir HealthPro Plus air purifier and the IQAir GC Multigas air purifier were selected by Reviewboard Magazine to receive the Editor's Choice Award for Best Air Filtration System: "So if you are looking for the best air filtration systems for your home then the folks at IQAir have what you are looking for. The IQAir Health Pro Plus will filter your air, control the mold, pet dander, dust mites, pollen, lite tobacco and general air pollution."

IQAir has committed their resources to raising awareness about indoor air quality issues by forming a partnership with the American Lung Association (ALA). "IQAir brings many outstanding elements to the relationship," says John L. Kirkwood, President and CEO of the American Lung Association, "including a clear commitment to the importance of protecting the public from air pollution indoors, which can often be two or five times more concentrated than outdoor air."

"We are honored to partner with the American Lung Association (ALA)," says Frank Hammes. "They are the world's most reputable organization committed to lung health. We share a common vision of providing superior scientific information on creating healthier indoor environments." The ALA's partnership with IQAir will combine IQAir's 45-year commitment to air cleaning quality with the ALA's 100-year commitment to preventing lung disease and promoting a cleaner environment. This partnership demonstrates IQAir's dedication to providing the public with accurate and useful information and effective air purification systems.

The IQAir advanced air purifier systems have also been featured on the popular reality television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for a young girl who recently had a lung transplant. The system was so effective that IQAir was asked to by the show's design team to create a high performance air cleaning system for families with HIV, cancer, and other life threatening illnesses. "We have taken our decades of experience and expertise to develop the perfect home," says Frank Hammes.

The unique design of the IQAir HealthPro air purifier prevents shortcutting, which reduces the effectives of most air purifiers when the air outlet and air intake are positioned too close to one another. Shortcutting allows the newly filtered air from the air purifier to be re-filtered, which wastes air cleaning capacity on already filtered air. With its air intake and air outlet at opposite ends, the IQAir HealthPro efficiently cleans the polluted air in the room.

With independent filter stages, the modular design of the IQAir HealthPro air purifier allows each filter type to be replaced individually, instead of using time and money to replace a whole cartridge when only one filter needs to be replaced. For example, while the HyperHEPA air filter will last between two to five years with normal usage, the pre-filters need to be changed more frequently-every six to eighteen months. The IQAir HealthPro air cleaner also offers an Intelligent Filter Life Monitor, which calculates the life of each filter based on actual usage and ensures a long life for each filter.

With more clean air and less noise than standard HEPA air purifiers, IQAir air purifiers are perfect for homes, offices, pharmaceutical laboratories, production and research areas, hospitals, and medical and dental offices. The IQAir fan motor sits in the center of the filters, which absorb the motor's noise. With a unique, double-walled housing design, the IQAir air purifier has eight shock absorbers, which hold the fan to ensure that the vibration is not transmitted to the outside environment.

As a Consumers Digest Best Buy, featured in the December 2004 issue, Consumers Digest found the IQAir HealthPro Plus air purifier to be "ideal for allergy sufferers." IQAir air cleaning systems aren't just for people who have asthma or allergies, but for anyone who wants clean air for their families. "We are honored by this recognition," says Frank Hammes. "With so many air purifiers to choose from-this award helps consumers who are looking for the very best air cleaning."

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