As spring nears and we turn our thoughts to emerging from our long winter spent indoors, many people begin to think about the quality of their outdoor air. Some people dread the approach of allergies that the spring brings, or the later smog and ozone alerts that come with summer’s heat waves.
Yet for all our outdoor worries, we spend up to 90 percent of our lives indoors, where pollution levels are often higher than they are outdoors. Many air filters have sought to clean the air in our homes and offices, but Texas-based Alen Corporation has taken air quality products to the next level of green by focusing on the environmental impact of the filters themselves. Founder and CEO Peter Mann discussed some of the company’s products, as well as the current direction of the air quality products industry.
How Clean is the Cleaner?
Since 2005, Alen Corporation has been producing a variety of green products such as HEPA air purifiers, portable air conditioners, dehumidifiers and environmentally friendly odor sprays. The most significant new product, though, is the Paralda HEPA Air Purifier.
It is the first home air purifier to be RoHS (Reduction of Hazardous Substances) certified and lead free. This means that at some point in the distant future (Alen products are guaranteed for life) if it must be disposed of, the filter will not release any lead into the environment.
According to Mann, the main priority in the industry has been energy efficiency and meeting Energy Star criteria. “Health conscious consumers are very interested in performance and the Energy Star requirements ensure there is a balance between performance in removing airborne particles and energy consumption.”
In addition to reducing the energy dependence of their products, Alen is also looking to close the loop on as many of their materials as possible. He explains, “Our air purifiers carry a lifetime warranty so they should never end up in a landfill; however, our focus now is on further reducing our footprint with recyclable packaging materials. Most of our packaging is cardboard and the plastic that we wrap the units in can be recycled.”
Breathing Easy is His Passion
As a parent of a severely asthmatic child, Mann understands the crucial role that clean air can play in people’s overall health, and that is what drives him to make quality products. “Ultimately, it comes down to helping people live better,” he said. “For many, relief from allergies or feeling rejuvenated from a good night’s sleep sets the tone for the whole day. The testimonials from our customers speak to the impact our products have had in their lives.”
Looking ahead, Alen plans to continue to develop products that focus on the twin goals of innovation and sustainability, and there certainly seems to be demand for both. In fact, a new line of air filters made from recycled soda bottles sold so quickly that their six-month supply was gone within two weeks of going on sale. They are currently discussing how to keep supply up, given the incredible demand.
Mann is also passionate about educating the public about indoor air quality and is looking to create a community where Alen can provide information to consumers. “Our goal would be to educate consumers, but also have a community where they can seek answers to their specific concerns.”
Since his company has the opportunity to focus on this area in particular, Mann’s favorite “R” is reuse. By guaranteeing his products for life, Alen is building a product to last. “If it can be reused, there will be no need for recycling.”