Filter Queen Company Info (HMI Industries)
Founded in 1928, HMI Industries, Inc., has been providing surface cleaning technology such as vacuum cleaners and air filtration products including the Majestic 360° surface cleaner and Defender 360°room air cleaner. With distributorships in over 40 countries, the Health-Mor division of HMI — located in Cleveland, Ohio — has promoted their products through independant distributors that use door-to-door demonstration marketing techniques.
The retail price varies greatly, depending on if the air cleaner is purchased with the surface cleaner.
FilterQueen Defender Air Cleaner
The FilterQueen® Defender® Room Air Cleaner is a 24-hour indoor room air pollution filter that is classified as an FDA Class II Medical Device in the USA. Advertised as a quiet, energy efficient unit with a 3-speed programmable motor, the FilterQueen® Defender® Room Air Cleaner is manufactured by Lydall Technical Media which issues a FGI certification with each filter. Tests are conducted on the media filter cartridge by Nelson Laboratories.
Test results show the filter cartridge to have an efficiency rating of 99.999 percent for particulate removal, and Intertek Testing Services determined that the Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) performance was up to standards. Tests conducted at Indoor Air Solutions found that the filters capture dust, smoke, pollen, dust mites, mold spores and allergens associated with pets and insects such as cockroaches.
FilterQueen Air Purification Technology
An additional feature on the FilterQueen® Defender® Room Air Cleaner is the Enviropure Charcoal Filter® that cleans tobacco smoke from the air. The University of Tulsa’s Center For Environmental Research and Technology determined that the charcoal filter was twice as effective at cleaning tobacco smoke from a room as the next closest test subject, which is not identified in the literature.
The air filters used in the FilterQueen® Defender® Room Air Cleaner technology do not produce ozone like many other air filters. The filter status is on a timer and a”change filter indicator light” alerts the owner each month to change the filter. The Secure Seal Technology™ and Pure Top Release™ construction claim to ensure that particulate matter does not escape the unit while operating or during routine maintenance.
Criticisms of the company’s marketing techniques include claims that the in-home high-pressure sales strategies can drag on for hours and show that there is a significant markup on these products because stubborn customers are offered incredible discounts. The practice of offering sweepstakes, contests, prizes and combination deals are used to generate leads for the in-home demonstrations.
Another misleading tactic that critics point out is the “Better-than-HEPA filtration” claim, because it does not make it clear that most HEPA filters will actually capture particles as small as 0.1 micron, and that 0.3 microns is only used as an industry standard. It is also not make clear that neither the carbon or the fiberglass pleated HEPA filter is washable or renewable. The fact that the unit does not contain an ionizer to produce ozone is advertised as an advantage because they claim it “may be problematic to your health,” whereas many air filtration products use ionization to effectively reduce the count of the airborne particulates.