Let’s clear the air with Atem by IQAir!

Let’s clear the air with Atem by IQAir!
The IQAir Atem personal air purifier on a side table in the bedroom.
Credit: IQAir

Do we really even need to go over the reasons why the Atem by IQAir device exists or why you might need it? IQAir has been in the air purification business since 1963 when brothers Manfred and Klaus Hammes introduced the world’s first residential air filter. With a broad range of solutions for cleaner air at home and commercial spaces, IQAir has expanded their product lines and business with its own factory and offices in Germany, Switzerland, China, and the United States.

If you are confused about which IQAir product best fits your needs, just visit their website and click “help me choose,” where you’re guided through an interactive consultation that selects products based on your specific requirements. IQAir’s informative website also displays current air quality reports for your city. I was surprised to find current air quality reports and a forecast even for my small town of 60,000.

The IQAir Atem (USD 399) is a personal 5-in-1 air purifier designed to purify the air in your immediate space, such as a desk in your home, office, bedroom, vehicle, or hotel room. By visiting the IQAir website’s accessories page, you can purchase the appropriate configuration for your specific use case. This purifier’s brilliant design means that no matter which version of the Atem you purchase, Atem’s core purifier remains the same. Hence, the variety of Atem accessories all work together to make this a very versatile device.

For review purposes, I chose the Atem Desk configuration. Since I work from home full time and with our current lock-down status due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it made sense that I would not be doing a lot of traveling for the next six months to one year. It came packaged in its box, enclosed, and well protected in a molded and interesting recycled cardboard that almost feels like styrofoam. The purifier itself weighs about 6lbs. Atem includes a stand and adapter, along with a manual and small Quickstart guide. Assembling the Atem is relatively simple, provided you follow the step-by-step illustrated User guide. I should also mention to please pay close attention to the Bluetooth pairing code printed on the back of your manual and the box. More on that later.

And now for some science. The Atem utilizes HyperHEPA filter technology designed to remove PM2.5, TVOC, Bacteria, Viruses, and other ultrafine particles essential for superior airborne particle removal. With this filter, the purifier can effectively filter up to 99% of harmful ultrafine particles right down to 0.003 microns in size. What does this mean? Well, with the average coronavirus virion particle measuring between 0.06 and 0.14 micron, this means that the Atem is easily capable of filtering this and a lot of other harmful bacteria out of your immediate personal spaces. In its vehicle application, the HyperHEPA Plus filter goes above and beyond by removing all of the previously mentioned particles and the benzene and formaldehyde particles that may be present during travel.

The Atem air purifier on a desk next to a child who is coloring there.
Credit: IQAir

My Atem currently sits on my right about 16” away from my office chair, pointing towards me, shooting a soft and gentle breeze of purified air across my face while I work. IQAir recommends placing the Atem as close to you as possible (a maximum of 20”) for optimal results. Powering it on is as simple as touching the Atem touchpoint indicated by its logo in the center of the purifier, which responds with a polite chime. A second press will cycle it through its low, medium, and high/cooling modes, each separated by a chime and a blue indicator light that shines through the device’s diffuser.

During operation, Atem is silent and only audible on it’s highest setting. Atem’s indicator light will glow red, accompanied by a chime to indicate the filter needs to be changed. Replacement filters for the Atem are available on its very own filter page and retail for USD 69 (desk) and USD 79 (Car). IQAir says its filters will last roughly 12 months based on 8 hours per day on modes 1 and 2. Both desk and car filters are easily interchangeable depending on your current need.

Using the IQAir Atem iOS or Android app, I can not only receive push notifications for firmware updates, but I can also view useful information such as which mode the Atem Purifier is currently in, room temperature, humidity, and the filter’s remaining life cycle. Another great feature in Atem’s app is Smart On/Off, which uses your phone as a proximity sensor to power on and off whenever you enter or leave the room. 

Pairing the Atem to your phone is surprisingly simple and drama free by following the User manual and using your personal Bluetooth pairing code printed on the back of your manual or box. Once paired, registration is accomplished through the app, extending your Atem’s warranty to 3 years!

In short, given our current situation, I think everyone could use a little extra peace of mind. Whether it’s an economical personal solution like the Atem or one of IQAir’s whole-home solutions, it’s worth looking into.

Jeff McCann