Housewares Design Awards

2010 Best in Category: Home Environment Electrics

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AirTamer Air Purifier A710

When FilterStream engineers went to the drawing board with the AirTamer concept, according to Rudy Vandenbelt, FilterStream cofounder, and Matthew Bailey, product manager for the project, there were several key elements that were integral to the design of the air purifier.

Bringing those elements— small physical footprint, filter flexibility, low energy use and an elegant design that could stand the test of time and rigorous use— were key to the construction of the AirTamer 710.

“We built this product to last as long as the user would expect it to last,” said Vandenbelt. He continued that the company wanted to create a product that would be energy-efficient, have a long filter life and not end up in a landfill. To accomplish this, components in the AirTamer were carefully analyzed and configured so they would last 25 to 30 years without needing replacement.

In addition to creating a long-lasting product, the company was looking to create a product that was attractive and convenient for the consumer as well as designed to provide maximum air cleaning capabilities in a minimal space. With these factors in mind, the AirTamer was created with a flat-panel design and utilizes standard-size filters that can be replaced with any standard furnace filter.

The AirTamer filter designed for the unit is what is known as a “Very Near HEPA” filter, according to the company. And because the unit uses a low-pressure environment to move air through a large filter area, the filter in the AirTamer cleans the air as effectively as a HEPA filter, according to Vandenbelt. This is accomplished by moving air into the unit through six fans instead of one. “Air moves through our filter more slowly than it does through other types of purifiers,” said Vandenbelt. “It’s easier to catch a slow-moving particle through a large filter,” he added.

The company’s goal with the AirTamer was “environmental management,” according to Vandenbelt, which is why, in addition to creating what the company deemed “the world’s thinnest, most efficient air purifier,” FilterStream employed Rachel Herz, an aromacology— the psychology of scent— expert, to help the company create aroma cartridges that could release feel-good scents into the surrounding environment. “The whole scent business is more important than creating smells in your environment,” Vandenbelt noted. “The scents need to create a better feeling all around,” he added, which was the goal of the grapefruit, citrus and lavender scent cartridges developed with the help of Herz to create the industry’s first aromatherapy air purifier.

“Our target consumer,” he said, “is somebody who is environmentally conscious, is looking for clean air and looking for good design.” Vandenbelt is confident that the company has hit that target.

?—By Diane Falvey

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