|Frank Hammes |
Air quality instruments
IQAir is a Swiss and U.S. based company that specializes in technology solutions that help protect people from airborne pollutants. IQAir implements this technology in residential, commercial and public buildings. IQAir also engages in international projects that create ultra-clean living and working environments.
The company's history goes back to 1963, when brothers Manfred and Klaus Hammes introduced an air filter system for residential coal ovens in Germany. The product was initially sold to help reduce the black dust build-up on the walls behind ovens. Soon though, Manfred Hammes, a lifelong asthma sufferer, noticed that the filter reduced his flare-ups during the winter months.
Klaus Hammes continued through the 1960s and ’70s to adapt the air filter for other heating systems such as radiators, baseboard heating and forced-air heating and cooling systems. In 1982, Klaus Hammes relocated the company headquarters to Switzerland.
In the early ’90s, Frank Hammes, Klaus' oldest son, joined the family business. After promoting an after-market cabin air filter the company had developed for Mercedes-Benz automobiles, Frank Hammes turned his attention to portable room air cleaners. Dissatisfied with existing products, he set out to build a line of portable air purifiers with medical grade air cleaning performance. Frank Hammes and a small team of Swiss and German engineers worked for four years on the project. In the spring of 1998, IQAir shipped its first HealthPro air purifier from its Swiss factory. IQAir air purifiers were initially available only in Europe and Asia, but became available in the United States in 2000. In 2001, Klaus Hammes' second son, Jens Hammes, joined the business and helped the expansion of IQAir in Asia and the Middle East.
IQAir currently has products that fall into four product categories:
1. Portable room air purifiers
First introduced in 1998, the modular design of its portable room air purifiers allowed IQAir to create different models with optimized air filtration technology for the removal of specific groups of air pollutants. One of IQAir’s most popular models is the IQAir HealthPro Plus (HealthPro 250 outside North America), which uses three separate filter stages that are arranged in a modular tower design. In August 2012, the company announced a major overhaul of its portable room air purifiers with the designation "New Edition" or "NE." The new air cleaners have improved airflow, filter life and reduced sound levels.
2. Large commercial air cleaning systems
In July 2013, IQAir introduced on its website two new commercial air cleaning systems: the CleanZone SL and CleanZone 5000. These two systems are intended for larger commercial spaces such as open plan offices, hospitals and classrooms. The CleanZone SL is a slim, wall-mounted air cleaning system for particularly noise-sensitive indoor environments. The CleanZone 5000 is a large, mobile air cleaning system that is available in various configurations to address specific groups of particulate and gaseous air pollutants.
3. HVAC-based air cleaning
In 2006, IQAir introduced its first air cleaning system to work in conjunction with ducted forced-air heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. The Perfect 16 derives its name from being the first independently tested residential and commercial air cleaning system for HVAC systems to achieve the highest minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV 16) under the ASHRAE 52.2 test format. Other characteristics of the system include very low pressure drop and a filter life of up to 3 years.
4. Air Quality Monitoring
In 2000, IQAir introduced a line of hand-held optical particle counters, to measure airborne particle concentrations.
In 2017, IQAir added AirVisual products to its product line. The AirVisual Pro is a low-cost air quality monitoring station that can be used to sense air quality indoors and outdoors. Air quality is transmitted to the AirVisual air quality data platform and made available through the AirVisual App and website. The free AirVisual App visualizes global and hyper-local air quality, and has been downloaded well over 1,000,000 times from the Google store.
IQAir's portable air purifiers have been recognized for best-in-class performance and have received a number of awards:
- Stiftung Warentest (Germany) "Best Air Purifier" 1998
- Apartment Therapy (USA) "Best Product" 2008
- Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (Finland) "Best Air Purifier" 2012
- Reviewboard Magazine (USA) "Best Buy" 2012
- Parent Tested/Parent Approved (USA) "Award Winning Product" 2013
- ConsumerSearch (USA) "Best Overall Air Purifier" Award 2011, 2013
- The Gadgeteer (USA) "Best Gadget of the Year" Award 2017, 2017
- International Housewares Association Global Innovation "Award for Product Design Personal Care" 2019,
- TWICE VIP (USA) "Award for Home Care Devices" 2019,
- Evening Standard (UK) "Best Air Purifier 2019" 2019,
IQAir offers a variety of services for residential, commercial and institutional customers:
- On-site air quality evaluations
- Installation services for its air cleaning products
- Air cleaning verification and monitoring
- Filter replacement and on-site maintenance
IQAir has Swiss, U.S. and China-based installation teams that carry out large clean air projects throughout the world. IQAir calls this operation "Clean Air Team." During the Beijing Olympics, an IQAir Clean Air Team carried out air-filtration installations for the U.S. Olympic Committee in U.S. athletes’ living and training quarters.
IQAir has headquarters in Switzerland, California, Germany and China. Product development and manufacturing is based in Switzerland, Germany and the U.S. Field support and installation teams in Switzerland, the U.S. and China support customers and authorized dealers throughout the world.
Frank Hammes is the CEO of IQAir AG.
Glory Dolphin-Hammes is the CEO of IQAir North America, Inc.
Jens Hammes is CEO of Incen AG, which handles international sales in Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia.
The IQAir Science and Technology Team provides technical support to academic researchers from around the world conducting health and environmental intervention studies.
In a peer-reviewed 2015 study funded by CARB (California Air Resources Board), researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health found that an IQAir school bus air purification system was able to reduce harmful air pollutants by 88 percent.
In a peer-reviewed 2015 passenger vehicle study funded by CARB, researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health found that an IQAir high-efficiency cabin air filtration was able to reduce ultra-fine particle exposure by 93% while keeping carbon dioxide concentrations in the range of 620-930 ppm.
A CARB funded study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory investigating reducing in-home exposure to air pollution, found that IQAir MERV16 filtration on a supply system provided the greatest reductions in outdoor pollutant levels with indoor time-averaged concentrations that were lower than corresponding outdoor levels by 97– 98% for PM2.5, 97–99% for UFP, and at least 84–92% for BC and at least 97% for ozone.
A two-year study conducted by UC Davis and funded by CARB, focused on households with asthmatic children finds that the use of high-efficiency filtration improves indoor air quality. Installation of IQAir stand-alone air cleaners and high-efficiency filters in central air conditioning systems, were shown to improve indoor air quality across all particle size fractions, with the greatest improvement in the smaller size fractions. The study also found that while participants did not report reduced asthma symptoms, they did have fewer visits to doctor's offices and hospitals for asthma care and slept better if they also kept their bedroom door closed.
IQAir products are used in hospitals around the world for infection control. The Hong Kong Hospital Authority selected IQAir portable air purifiers to help against the spread of SARS. A study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection reported that an IQAir Cleanroom H13 air purifier reduced Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) contamination in hospital isolation rooms. The researchers concluded: "This portable HEPA-filtration unit can significantly reduce MRSA environmental contamination within patient isolation rooms, and this may prove to be a useful addition to existing MRSA infection control measures." Another study conducted at Singapore General Hospital and published in the American Journal of Infection Control in 2010 found that the use of IQAir portable air purifiers with HyperHEPA filtration reduced the spread of invasive aspergillosis (IA) by 50%. The researchers concluded: "The cost of widespread portable HEPA filtration in hospitals will be more than offset by the decreases in nosocomial infections in general and in IA in particular."
Air purification for Team USA
IQAir provided air purification to Team USA during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The U.S. Olympic Committee was concerned about the impact of local air pollution on athlete performance, and asked IQAir to provide air cleaning to U.S. athletes living quarters in the Olympic Village and at the main training facility in China. IQAir also provided air purification to the USA Cycling team headquarters during the Olympics.
Air purification at the Los Angeles Zoo
The IQAir Clean Air Team assisted the LA Zoo to create a pressurized clean air cage for Minyak, a rare Bornean orangutan with a long history of respiratory problems. Minyak recovered and became a successful member of the zoo's breeding program.
Air purification for schools
IQAir was selected by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and other air quality agencies to provide high-performance air filtration for classrooms in schools close to major outdoor air pollution sources. As of June 2013, IQAir's air filtration technologies were installed in more than 1000 classrooms in California. A study published in 2012 in INDOOR AIR reports that IQAir air cleaning technology is able to protect classrooms from up to 96% of outdoor diesel soot, PM 2.5 and ultrafine particles.
When natural gas began leaking from a deep well in Porter Ranch, California, in late 2015, residents began complaining of nausea, dizziness and other symptoms. The local gas company turned to IQAir to help provide thousands of residents with air purifiers to filter the mercaptans that are a component of natural gas and suspected of causing the symptoms. IQAir was selected based on the recommendation of the state's Air Resources Board.
Mira Loma Village in Southern California suffers from some of the highest levels of air pollution in the United States. The Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice (CCAEJ), a leading environmental justice advocacy group, took action by filing a lawsuit against the county, the city and local developers. In early 2013, a settlement was reached that provided funding to help residents of Mira Loma Village breathe cleaner air. As part of the settlement, IQAir provided stand-alone air purifiers to 90 Mira Loma homes. IQAir was selected based on its previous partnership with CAAEJ to provide clean-air technologies for schools and community buildings in nearby San Bernardino, California.
IQAir was honored by the Chinese government in 2015 with the “Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Contribution Award” at an official government procurement summit in Zhuhai. The award was presented in recognition of the advanced technology and superior performance of the IQAir HealthPro Plus. During the summit, IQAir was invited to make the keynote speech, during which IQAir representatives spoke about the impact of indoor and outdoor air pollution on health.
EU Green Week
In 2013, IQAir supported the European Commission, by producing a series of scanning electron microscope images of diesel soot, mold spores and other airborne particulates. The images were displayed at the Green Week 2013 Conference in Brussels.
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