The IQ air purifier story is a rare example of dedication and passion for a product.
So many products in the market today are offered in response to consumer demand or to provide a product that mimics and competes with those offered by another company.
When the use of air purifiers to clean the air in homes became popular in recent years, new brand names seemed to appear almost monthly. From TV infomercials to full page magazine ads, catchy names and flashy prices were used to sell air purifiers. Well known manufacturers quickly bought up or re-tooled to produce their own branded air cleaner line.
IQ air purifiers were developed forty years ago and have progressed from a simple filter meant to reduce coal dust in the home to a sophisticated group of air cleaning products that have gained international renown for quality.
The IQ air purifier began as a family business in 1963 when brother Manfred and Klaus Hammes produced a simple filter for residential customers in Germany. A filter pad was attached with small magnets to the outlet of coal furnaces.
The product was advertised as a way to reduce the black coal dust that built up on walls and other surfaces in homes using coal for heating purposes.
Before long, Manfred Hammes noticed when he used the filter in his own home his asthma attacks occurred less frequently throughout the winter. Customers who bought the initial filter “system” reported fewer allergy attacks and lessened asthma attacks as well.
The Hammes had a passion for clean air. When Klaus’ son, Frank, joined the business he promoted a filtering system used in Mercedes-Benz vehicles in North America. Frank then went on to focus on creating air cleaners powered by fans.
When he looked at available products he was surprised to find huge variances in the quality of cleaning systems offered for residential and commercial use.
The small room air purifiers did little to filter the contaminants from the indoor home environment while commercial air units were truly effective in air filtration. The commercial units were, however, very large in size and quite expensive.
In 1994, Frank began research to develop and build a highly effective home air purifier that would be compact in size and priced well for the homeowner. He was joined by a full team of engineers from Germany and Switzerland. The new product that resulted was introduced in 198 as the first IQAir system. It was sold in Europe only and was named the HealthPro Plus.
IQAir air purifiers began sales to the U.S. in 2000. Allergy and asthma sufferers quickly made these products best sellers in the States. IQAir began rapid expansion in 2001 when the second son of Klaus (Jens) joined the family firm and expanded sales into Asia.
A Health Crisis Catapults this Company to the Top
The SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) epidemic in early 2003 was highly visible in the news media. The rapid spread of this new virus was frightening to the public as there was no antiviral to treat the disease.
Testing in Hong Kong focused on finding suitable room air cleaners that would help control the spread of SARS. After week of tests, most systems could not meet the requirements of removing the SARS virus from the air. IQAir was the exception and immediately began supplying room air cleaners to over one hundred fifty hospitals in Hong Kong.
The widely publicized results from the SARS air quality testing in 2003 and the recognition awarded to IQAir for the quality of its air purifying system led to an explosion in reputation and business for the company.
The American Lung Assn selected IQAir in 2004 as a partner on the topic of indoor air quality. The initial campaign was focused on ozone-producing room air purifiers and the potential problems they might cause. Consumers Digest Magazine, Reviewboard Magazine, Allergy Buyers’ Club and Consumer Search all recommended the IQ Air Purifier in 2004.
IQAir was asked to help the popular TV show Extreme Makeover Home Edition on ABC when the show focused an episode on creating a healthy home for a family with a child recovering from a heart transplant. The show was honored by the American Lung Association and led to further partnerships of future episodes by the TV show and IQAir.
Moving Forward at IQAir
Perhaps one of the most impressive aspects of IQ air purifiers is the company’s constant search for bigger and better ways to improve the air quality in our homes.
Even as the accolades were pouring in throughout 2004, Frank Hammes was working to develop air cleaners that would be whole house systems. He found the products currently available for use as whole-house or furnace mounted air cleaners were inadequate to the task.
Frank Hammes developed the Perfect 16 and in 2005 an IQ air purifier line of whole house air cleaners was launched. These products left other whole house cleaning systems in the dust – literally. Like the room air purifiers before them, the IQAir whole house systems have received multiple awards and are the top recommended products of many consumer groups and health organizations.
Models and Prices
IQ air purifiers are not cheap and you will pay as high as $940 for a room air unit. These are the highest qualify air cleaners to be found. If you suffer from asthma or allergies the improved air quality provided by IQAir is definitely worth the price you will pay.
This is a super high efficiency air purifying system that has been shown in independent tests to removed as much as 100 times the pollutants removed by other commonly sold air cleaners.
The IQAir HealthPro Plus is the first air purifier that has achieved a zero reading on a particle counter test. If you need and want clean air in your home, IQAir products will provide that.
It is unusual to find a family run business on a global scale that has remained in the family since the 1960s. In these days of mergers and acquisitions, IQAir is run by the sons of the company’s founders with the same focus and attention to quality that were the original cornerstones of the IQ air purifier.