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The Fascinating History of Air Purifiers

Administration Staff

History-Of-Air-Purifiers-Image-Clean Air PlusA common misconception is that air purification is a newfangled development. Funny enough, it has been worked toward – to one degree or another – for over 200 years. Figuring out that smoke, smog and soot make breathing difficult isn’t hard. The coughing and sputtering that they cause prompted people back in the early 1800s to find ways to protect against their effects. Advancements in technology – and increasing awareness about the dangers of less obvious forms of pollution – eventually gave rise to the precursors to the modern air purifiers that so many of us rely on these days.

The Early Days of Air Purification

The Industrial Revolution was a dramatic turning point in the history of mankind; unfortunately, it also introduced serious pollution to many major cities. In response, John and Charles Dean developed a mask in 1823 to cope with the problem. Close on their heels, John Stenhouse invented a superior mask in 1854 for coal miners and divers. This one was charcoal based; the charcoal pulled impurities from the air that people breathed, and is quite similar to the activated carbon filters still relied on and used today. In 1871, John Tyndall added a respirator to Stenhouse’s design, and the precursor of the modern gas mask was born.

Necessity: The Mother of Invention – and HEPA Technology

World War II was a very important historical event on many different levels. The Atomic Energy Commission engaged in the Manhattan Project during this era, trying to find a way to end the war once and for all. Unfortunately, radioactive particles posed a very real and dangerous threat for everyone involved in the project. In response, a top secret invention was made: the HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. This new technology was capable of pulling 99.97% of impurities from the air; down to as small as 0.3 microns.

HEPA Filters Go Mainstream

In 1963, two important events occurred in the history of air purifiers: the Clean Air Act and an invention by Klaus and Manfred Hammes in Germany. The Clean Air Act increased awareness about the importance of clean air, while the Hammes brothers invention – an air filtration system – made the technology more accessible than ever before. These two events converged to create a huge boom in the popularity of air purification that lasted through the 1970s and the 1980s.

HEPA Air Purifiers Enter the Scene

The Hammes brothers never stopped working on air purifier systems, and eventually ended up founding IQAir – a company which continues to provide top notch air purifiers to this day. IQAir held the distinction of offering the first air purification system that used a HEPA air filter as a part of its construction. In the early 1990s, another major player entered the air purification arena: Austin Air. This company, founded by Richard Taylor, has become the largest air purifier manufacturer in the world and is responsible for inventing a 360-degree air intake system that takes the best advantage of what HEPA technology has to offer.

Many other companies have joined the air purification scene since its earliest days, and consumers have more options than ever before to take advantage of what HEPA technology has to offer. In addition to providing clean, healthy air, todays’ high quality HEPA air purifiers offer unparalleled asthma, sinus and allergy relief for many people prone to those types of chronic conditions. People who use air purifiers regularly report that they sleep much more soundly at night and generally just feel better and healthier overall. Millions of people take advantage of the technology every single day.

Clean Air Plus: Dedicated to Bringing You the Best Air Purifiers

At Clean Air Plus, we are proud to offer a comprehensive line of the best air purifiers available today. We only sell products with a proven track record of taking advantage of everything the history of air purification has brought to bear. Our goal is to make healthy, breathable air attainable for absolutely anyone. 

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Clean Air Plus is a veteran and family owned small business. We represent the leading manufacturers in HEPA filtration including Austin Air, IQAir, Amaircare, Oransi and Airpura. Shop online or call one of our friendly experts. We'll be happy to help.


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