The Oransis were picked up quickly by some leading web vendors: Amazon.com, AllergyBuyersClub.com, Sylvane.com, TheSharperImage.com, Greenandmore.com, and Sears.com, to name a few.
Oransi, based in Austin, TX, is upscale-niche focused on healthy new green cleaning and environmentally-friendly products.
This is a Peter Mann company,
Oransi CEO "Pete" Mann, an engineer, was an early member of management at Alen air purifiers and Web Stores America Inc., which operates the well known Air-Purifiers-America.com website, emphasizing the Alens as the house brand.
In 2009, Mr. Mann sold his share of the first web business and started his own marketing channel and brand, the Oransi Air Purifiers, along with the health-related housewares website www.amorwares.com, where Oransi is the house brand.
Peter Mann does his homework, it looks to me like he was heavily influenced by BlueAir's designs and RabbitAir's marketing and industry-leading service.
Oransi operates lean, outsourcing manufacturing and warehousing, with management focusing on product development and customer service.
In my opinion, Oransi's strongest selling point is its sterling reputation for customer service.
I will have some criticisms of Oransi's products, but an exhaustive search found nobody badmouthing Oransi's excellent customer service.
Peter uses work-at-home moms in the Austin, Texas, area, as the foot-soldiers of customer service.
These are highly motivated, English-speaking individuals, they are NOT based in India.
Customer service responds quickly to buyer issues, responding to emails without delays, and the phone system is reported to be user friendly.
Oransi policy is to compensate its service reps based on quality and customer satisfaction, there is none of the runaround, stalling, or pressure to dismiss the customer in order to take another call which dominates the largely outsourced customer service industry.
Air purifier companies that offer good customer service, and real warranty support, MUST charge a price premium, and keep quality at decent levels or face snowballing warranty costs.
When you buy a high-service company, like Oransi and competitor RabbitAir, YOU are paying (my estimate) about $100 above the price where similar air cleaning performance is available, but with weak after-sale service and warranty support (see warranty below).
Oransi is proud to claim "All of our new products are made in the US."
Well, the new in 2013 Oransi ERICK air purifiers (starting at $1,300-ish), are made in Connecticut, USA, by a contract manufacturer.
Ironically, the new BlueAir-like Oransi Eriks appear oriented towards the booming Chinese market, where made-in-USA caries special status with the exploding (and choking) Chinese middle class.
Shipping costs to China, where buyers eagerly fork over double the American price, are so low it is cheaper to ship overseas than across the USA.
Both Oransi V-HEPAs, reviewed below (V-HEPA Max and V-HEPA Finn), the remaining members of a series of older imported models, are Made-in-China.
The China-built "legacy" models, V-HEPA Finn and V-HEPA Max, will have a certain percentage of issues.
Peter's is aggressively expanding marketing of his new line, the premium-class Oransi Eriks, in China, which now accounts for 40 percent of Oransi's sales.
Theoretically, Chinese sales of the pricey American-made Eriks could rise to the point of inducing economies of scale, which could bring costs down into the price range where competitors like IQAir reside.
So "Oransi Air Purifier Reviews" includes the older imports, ("V-Max") alongside the splashy new US-made Erik models.
Oransi machines are covered by a generous 10 year warranty, which covers electrical or mechanical issues.
For warranty claims, the purifier must hve been operated as instructed in the user manual, and replacement filters purchased at reasonable intervals directly from Oransi or an authorized dealer.
Numerous user reviews marvel at the speed with which a replacement arrived after registering their warranty claim.
There is also a 30 day return policy for purifiers purchased directly from the company.
Amazon buyers can return defective Oransis to Amazon.
Oransi headquarters is in the picturesque Zilker Park neighborhood in Austin;
1600 Barton Springs Rd
Austin, TX 78704
(888) 281-3948 (M-F 8:00-5:00PM CST)
Max has 55 amazon buyer reviews averaging 4.1 stars.
Oransi air purifiers have not been submitted for official CADR ratings, so we must rely on other data to evaluate application and room size.
Oransi V-HEPA Max is advertised for rooms up to 600 sq. ft.
Air Flow rates in cubic feet per minute (CFM) are 147cfm on speed 1, 206 cfm using speed 2, 265 cfm with speed 3 selected, and 330 cfm running speed 4.
This is strong airflow, from which I estimate Max to merit approximately a "300 CADR."
Testers at Allergy Buyers Club recommended the Oransi Max for 413 sq. ft., suggesting this would provide 6 air changes/hr when left running on high speed.
But most users will NOT run the Oransi Max on louder full speed, some never will.
I recommend V-HEPA Max for 325 square feet at most, still a good-sized room.
Max's bright blue Pre-Filter retains dust and larger fragments to protect the V-HEPA.
The prefiltrer is not washable, but can be vacuumed or wiped with cloth.
Pre-Filter life is projected at 12 months.
After run time of 3,000 hours, 125 days continuous operation, the Max's maintenance indicator comes on, suggesting a filter check.
Despite being advertised as "HEPA Filters" having "high-end air purifier performance," and "98% HEPA filtration," V-HEPA is NOT a HEPA filter.
Many consumers will not realize that "up to 98% of mold, pollen, dust, pet dander...down to .3 microns" does not qualify for the HEPA name.
In reading a couple hundred user reviews of the V-HEPA Max, I find that a significant number of buyers thought they had purchased "the same filters as high priced air purifiers."
Despite this sleight-of-hand, V-Hepas are pretty good at particle filtration.
AllergyBuyersClub testing of the Oransi V-HEPA Max showed a filtration efficiency of 96% at 0.3 microns on silent (low) speed setting, not really that bad, as many true-HEPA purifiers are less efficient than 96%, due to loose-fitting filters that allow bypassing.
Higher speeds are likely a bit less efficient.
Oransi V-HEPAs have a "V-Seal" around filter media to reduce bypassing.
Max's V-HEPA filter life is projected at 12 months, with a color chart to suggest replacement when the filter reaches a certain shade of gray.
While this is better than a timer - at least the grayed-out filter is actually dirty - I must remind users that a particle filter is expended when clogged and air flow restricted, not when discolored or timed out.
When there is soot from indoor burning (cigarettes, incense, fireplace...) or nearby diesel truck traffic, these filters may darken in as little as 6 months.
Behind the V-hepa is the activated carbon mesh filter, about 1-inch thick, for moderate odor control.
Users with more than light odor and chemical issues will be replacing V-HEPA Max carbon filters before the rest of the filters.
Oransi V-HEPA Max Replacement Filter Pack, containing all three filters, is $89.00.
Users cannot order the filters individually.
Last in the Max filter train is the "Anion" (negative ion only) emitter.
Falsely terrorized by media descriptions of all ionizers as dangerous, many buyers shy away from anything with the word ionizer, so many marketing departments will sugar-coat it.
No need for fear, Oransi's "ozone-safe" ionizer emits no detectable ozone, and has an on/off button on the front to control the ionizer.
Four fan speeds, Silent, Middle, Strong, and Turbo, are accompanied by colored lights on the power button: green, blue, orange and red.
Dual sensors, for particles and gas, operate the Max when Auto Mode is selected.
Max's round Air Quality Monitor displays current air quality with the same colors as fan speed, red represents dirty air, with orange, blue, and green showing more favorable readings.
One Amazon user review of the Oransi Max reported using a Dylos Air Quality Monitor (laser particle counter) to evaluate the V-HEPA Max's particle sensor, saying the correlation to actual room particulate was mediocre.
I see additional user reviews saying the sensors aren't working or are inconsistent - be aware that Oransi Max's sensors take as long as ten minutes to warm up and set baselines.
A valuable feature allows users to select Auto Mode with the Max running on other than lowest speed, defaulting to that speed on fallback.
My major gripe with automated air cleaners is the tendency to lull owners into a false sense of complacency by idling quietly and showing "green" air while true pollutant levels remain elevated.
Another cause of user gripes concerning Auto Mode is probably failure to vacuum the dust sensor port whenever the prefilter is cleaned.
User reviews suggest the Max's sensor is geared mostly towards odors.
I am on the record as warning buyers NOT to rely exclusively on Auto Mode, ALL air purifiers should be run on highest speed a percentage of the day.
Oransi V-Hepa Max isn't too loud, with sound emissions of: 34dB on Silent, 41 dB on Middle, 47 on Strong, and 53 on Turbo.
While this is a decent noise profile for a fairly strong blower, some user reviews say "NOT as quiet as I expected".
Max is a Chinese export, with many of the issues that implies.
But, in my opinion, the imported Oransis (V-Hepas Max and Finn) are superior in quality to the majority of air purifiers "Made in China," very few of which carry any meaningful warranty.
Multiple user reviews complain of "chemical" break-in odors.
Others say their Max eventually developed "worn bearing" sounds.
And there are gripes about the musical chimes and lights staying on at night.
The Oransi user manual offers this tidbit: "by pressing the Power button for 3 seconds you can turn off the light around the power button."
A few user reviewers report no-starts when new or with filter replacements.
Many of these are caused by improperly seated front covers and/or filters.
Sometimes the loose cover/filter was caused during shipping.
V-Hepa Max is 2 feet tall, 6-8 inches deep, and 18 inches wide, a mid-sized air cleaner.
A weight of 18.5 pounds makes Max a middle weight machine, portable for all but the aged or infirm.
Many buyers are confused by Oransi's recommended placement two feet above the floor, but flush against the wall.
I think the two feet height is intended to improve ionizer performance (negative ions flocculate particles, causing the clumps to fall to the floor).
Drawing a maximum of 90 watts (115V, 60Hz USA current ONLY), Max would qualify for an EnergyStar rating if submitted to CADR tests.
Shoppers may browse the
Oransi V-HEPA Max at Amazon.com
And/or at Sylvane.com:
Oransi V-HEPA MAx Air Purifier at Sylvane.com
The entry level product, Oransi V-HEPA Finn, is a small tower-design air cleaner with an elegant, modern appearance, a green pedigree, and a $329.00 MSRP.
Oransi upgraded the original V-Hepa tower to the V-Hepa Plus, and eventually, in the fall of 2011, to the "Finn.".
There are 132 customer reviews of the V-HEPA Finn at Amazon, averaging 4.1 stars.
Negative one and two stars reviews account for 16% of the Oransi Finn's total.
Photos of the V-Hepa Finn from Oransi make it appear larger than 17 by 16 by 6 inches.
There are three manually switched fan speeds. digital control panel. Use the push buttons to choose one of three purification speeds
Like the other Oransis, Finn is not AHAM Clean Air Delivery Rate certified.
Air Flow is published, in cubic feet per minute (cfm): speed 1 - 60 cfm, speed 2 - 90 cfm, and speed 3 - 140 cfm.
I estimate a 145 CADR for the Vhepa, slightly more than one sq. ft. per estimated CADR.
This is a bit low powered for the price range - again, buyers are getting Oransi support and warranty.
Oransi advertises this machine for rooms to 400 square feet.
Like most vendor's room size recommendations, this is way too high.
Allergy Buyers Club recommends the V-hepa Finn Oransi for rooms up to 240 sq. ft., to provide 5 air changes per hour.
For those purchasing a premium product line like the Oransis, I suggest a minimum of 6 ACH.
To deliver six air changes an hour with 140 cfm, the maximum room size would need to be 1400 cubic feet (140 cubic feet per minute x 10 minutes, one-sixth of an hour).
Assuming a standard 8 foot ceiling, I get 175 square feet (140 cubic feet divided by 8).
That still makes the Oransi V-hepa a modestly powered air purifier.
I recommend the Oransi V-HEPA Finn for a maximum of 130 square feet, a modest-sized bedroom.
Oransi V-Hepa Finn's filter train consists of a prefilter, a Hepa-Type Filter, an ultraviolet lamp (UV), and a negative ion emitter.
The little Oransi features a washable carbon pre-filter, suitable for light odor situations.
Prefilter life is predicted as "up to 8 months."
Smoking and pet households will use additional prefilters.
Two extra pre-filters are packaged with the initial purchase.
The "V-HEPA" label obscures the fact that Oransi Finn does NOT have a True-HEPA filter.
Many buyers will read right through a "98% efficient" filter without noticing the discrepancy.
But Allergybuyersclub testing, using a laser particle counter, showed a respectable 98% reduction in airborne particles on the first pass, consistent with Oransi's claims.
The Oransi filter is secured by a unique and innovative "V-lock" magnet system, which creates a strong seal around the air filter and also holds the cover on.
Hepa-type filter life is projected at one to two years.
The Oransi Finn's user manual recommends using the brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner to clean the V-hepa filter.
Oransi uses a color swatch chart to signal filter age.
When the filter begins to blacken, Oransi recommends replacement.
The user manual states that a filter which remains white, need not be replaced.
This is a departure from the typical manufacturer's demand for new filter purchase after some arbitrary time interval elapses.
Finns have a germicidal quartz UV lamp which draws 5 Watts, about consistent with the Finn's overall power profile.
UV lamp life is projected at 12-15 months, replacements go for $29 and require removal and replacement of two screws.
With any mercury-vapor UV lamp, it is important not to fingerprint or break the glass.
Oransi's Finn user manual suggests wearing rubber gloves whie changing the UV lamp.
A modern "nano piezoelectric ion generator" (as opposed to metal pin corona discharge ionizers still used in some cheaper air cleaners) creates a high negative ion concentration with negligible ozone emissions.
The box it says it emits "safe" ozone, and Finns are certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
However, the CARB compliance standard is quite liberal at 50 parts ozone per billion, we are not told the Oransi tower's actual ozone production.
Exhaust airflow exits sideways and left from the front of the Finn, user reviews differ on the desirability of this feature.
Oransi V-Hepa Finn is made in China, with the occasional quality issues we have come to expect.
User reviews mention some chemical break in odors plus a few UV lamp and/or ionizer operational scents.
Numerous buyers are returning Finns for what they believe are electronic faults, many of these are caused by filters not carefully installed so as to trip the child-safety switch.
The V-Hepa Finn makes some noise: 40dB on speed 1, 49dB on speed 2, and 60dB running on high fan setting.
This is a bit noisy for the estimated power, 140 CADR.
User reviews cite low speed as quiet, but hear enough noise on high to prefer medium for bedtime use.
Many user reviews mention covering the bright night light with tape for bedroom use.
At just seven inches deep and 22 inches tall, the entry level Oransi V-Hepa Finn doesn't take up a lot of floor space and can be used as a desk-top.
Weighing just 10 pounds, it is easily portable using the carrying handle at the back.
V-hepa Finns consume 55 watts on high speed.
While widely advertised as Energy Star qualified, it is not listed on the EPA EnergyStar website, which requires CADR ratings.
But the EnergyStar threshold is 2.0 Dust CADR per Watt, and we have estimated a 145 CADR, yielding a 2.6 CADR/Watt ratio, well within the EnergyStar specification.
Oransi Finn is about $330 at Amazon:
Oransi V-HEPA Finn at Amazon.com
Oransi V-HEPA Finn Air Purifier at Sylvane.com
Oransi Finn Replacement Filter Set, with three Pre-Filters and one "Hepa," is around $72.10:
Oransi Replacement Pre-Filter (3), HEPA (1) for Finn at Amazon.com
I've been writing air purifier reviews for over a decade now, watching as the fledgling industry struggled to define itself.
The first success came to marketers who mislead millions of naive buyers into buying electrostatic-type air cleaners with washable filters.
These were sold through infomercial channels and easy-credit ripoff deals.
When these models were finally revealed to be quite ineffective and dangerous (ozone and fire hazards), the next wave was offshore manufacturing.
Hey, I remember when "Chinese Junk" was a kind of ship.
Tough times to be promoting air purifiers, at least with the integrity air-purifier-power.com is known for.
I have a fantasy about the air purifier business, relevant to this Oransi Eric review, I call it "Henry Ford of the Air Purifier Industry."
Why couldn't an American company rise up and design a new purifier that would be so obviously superior to imported models that U.S. buyers would be willing to pay extra for the quality and durability?
This manufacturer would use modern computer-controlled mass production machinery similar to that used by leading automobile builders like Toyota and BMW.
In high contrast to imported models, the factory would produce few defects and quality would be near perfect.
There would be no unbalanced wobbly fans, no dragging ball bearings, no cheap electronic gizmos to fail repeatedly, and no plasticizers to outgas.
My ideal design would use standardized filters from an established American supplier, to avoid the filter shortages common with many one-off designs.
The prototype would be a strong particle collector, have Clean Air Delivery Rates (CADR) above 400.
It would have to be quiet, commensurate with performance (no 400 CADR purifier is ever "silent").
No sleep-robbing decorative lights would adorn the exterior, showing that the engineers listened to user issues with other designs.
This revolutionary product would be constructed of metal, with a fan and motor so durable that the seller could offer a long warranty and stand behind the product without a tidal wave of warranty claims.
Responsible, transparent marketing, environmentally responsible design (not just a "green" paint job), and a socially involved corporate leadership genuinely striving to be a force for good, would be nice extras.
Eventually the new purifier's quality would be recognized in markets around the world, allowing my imaginary "Henry Ford of the Air Purifier Industry" to expand production, realize economies of scale, allowing lower pricing, and take a majority market share, standardizing this chaotic business.
Maybe I wished for too much?
Well, Peter Mann must have been reading my mail, because his new design, Oransi Erik, fulfills many of my "fantasy" criteria.
Except for the price, Eriks run $1300 to $1500, a bit steep for U.S. buyers.
Vendors have also been skeptical about the Eriks' price point, but my affiliate Sylvane.com has picked up the Oransi Erick line.
The Erick engineering team was obviously influenced by the BlueAir brand, with its metal cabinets and very strong motors.
Erik has not been submitted for Clean Air Delivery Rate tests, but a manufacturer-claimed airflow of 413 cubic feet per minute places it in the upper echelon.
I estimate about a 400 CADR for the Eriks.
Erik is quiet for the power, with a variable speed controller which allows users to select the best speed/airflow combination for each daily activity.
One of the issues with modern mass produced electronic gadgets is faulty chips.
Even the most minute contamination in the wafer making process can induce faults which often escape detection in rudimentary quality control testing of offshored electronics.
Peter has wisely avoided this problem by having no superfluous electronic gimmicks in the manually-controlled Erik design.
A Connecticut contract manufacturer builds the Eriks, using American-sourced parts except for the motor-fan assembly, which is a sophisticated German design.
It is very important that an air purifier's motor and fan be designed as an integrated, balanced unit.
Erik's motor is electronically commutated, using direct current EC-DC (sometimes called brushless DC), which I consider a key sign of quality.
AC (alternating current) is technically inferior, emits unhealthy electromagnetic fields (EMFs), creates unbalanced forces which shorten product life, overheats, and wastes energy.
Oransi likes to claim that the energy savings, with just 20 Watts burned on low, will offset some of the initial price, which is true, but I'd stop short of saying "pays for itself."
Erik uses 178 Watts on high, which would qualify for an EnergyStar Rating based on my estimated CADR (cutoff is 2.0 Dust CADR, 400 divide 178 equals about 2.25 CADR/Watt).
The lowest setting puts out a whisper quiet 19 dB, which smoothly increases to 69dB, a mild roar, on max power.
Consistent with the green image, Oransi has eliminated ozone, night lights, and cheap chemicals that outgas from the Erik picture.
Built to last with a heavy steel and aluminum housing, Erik weighs 78 (not a typo) pounds, and seriously needs the molded-in carry handle and casters.
I know some shoppers are thinking of choosing one Erik as opposed to several cheaper models, then moving the Erik from room to room.
I like the choose-quality-over-quantity strategy, but moving an Erik will be real work.
It looks to me like the made-in-USA Erik filters are Flanders SF24's sourced from:
531 Flanders Filters Road
Washington, NC 27889
By choosing an established domestic filter builder, Oransi has satisfied my number one requirement for a new premium air cleaner - replacement filters must be available for the entire 15-year working life of the product.
Current replacement filters are a Tower of Babel, even some very credible manufacturers have failed to support their products with filters.
SF25 filters in the Erik Ultra models are huge, with 195 square feet (prior to pleating) of media.
Erik's filters alone weigh more than a majority of air purifiers on the market.
These filters exceed the HEPA filter standard (99.97% of .3 micron particulate), and are certified to retain 99.99% at 0.3 microns.
Secured by rubber seals to prevent bypassing, the main filter is scheduled for replacement after two to three years.
As with any premium air purifier, replacement filters are NOT CHEAP:
Erik Ultra Series Main Filter runs $295.00, and Erik Carbon Pre-Filter an additional $79.00.
Notice that chemical/odor removal is not Erik's emphasis, and that if the Multi-Carbon filter package is installed, the main HEPA filter is removed.
Air intake is at the top, with exhaust air flowing out the bottom.
In what seems to me a supreme irony, Peter is able to move his exceptional new air cleaners more effectively in China than at home.
With the heavy flow of imported goods coming into the US, empty seagoing shipping containers pile up in American ports, begging for a return cargo going West.
This makes it cheaper for Oransi to ship Eriks to China than to Chicago.
Now in China two trends have developed:
1.) a boom in air purifiers, as everybody knows the air quality is life-threatening, and
2.) a rising middle class that perceives domestic Chinese products as inferior and craves the status symbols of premium products imported from America.
So Eriks sell in Beijing for almost double the price Americans balk at paying.
Oransi joins other US/Euro premium air purifier makers in a land rush to China, with BlueAir also developing very powerful expensive new models which appear targeted to the mainland.
The result, from an air purifier review standpoint, is slow US sales and few independent buyer reviews, badly needed to establish a product as pricey as the Erik air purifier.
Mr. Mann is right to push into China, though the risks there are high, because I don't think the US air purifier market is ready for an over-$1,000 air cleaner yet.
I estimate about $400 of the initial US purchase price goes for the industry leading customer service and warranty support Oransi has proven in the marketplace.
So, I think the Oransi Eriks represent a very exciting new concept, but the price needs to be lowered about $400 without cutting corners.
I hope Peter Mann can sell enough volume in the China, and rising India (also horrible pollution), markets to realize economies of scale and lower price on the Eriks sold here in the states.
All the above American-made goodies need to come at a price under $1,000 to be competitive with industry-leading Euro Zone manufacturers like IQAir and BlueAir.
For now, I recommend the Oransi Eriks to prior Oransi owners who loved Oransi's customer service and/or warranty execution, these people are naturals to move up to the Erik.
And, folks who absolutely know they will never again buy low priced goods from questionable vendors could include the Erik on their short list of premium products.
At a $1,495.00 USA MRSP, Erik Ultra-Plus is the highest-priced of the Eriks.
One very common email inquiry at air-purifier-power concerns recommended air cleaners for large suites or open-plan homes.
Oransi advertises the Ultra-Plus, with the Erik's strong maximum air flow of 413 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM), for room spaces up to 1,700 square feet.
While this room size inflation is extremely common in air cleaner marketing, this is a preposterous claim.
Even for buyers who are willing to endure some serious noise in exchange for good air quality, I recommend installing Erik Ultra-Plus in a maximum of 425 sq. ft.
And while I do agree with Oransi that running an Erik in a large open plan space will lower particle counts in adjacent areas, the overall effect will be to raise particle counts as compared to running the same purifier in a closed confined space.
Air entering at the top of the Ultra Plus penetrates a permanent, vacuumable foam pre-filter.
Ultra Plus' carbon pleated pre-filter is 4" deep, with a carbon coating to adsorb gases, chemicals, and odors.
Oransi predicts 6-9 months of life for the pre-filter.
Rated at MERV-8 efficiency, the carbon pre-filter captures over 85% of 3 micron and larger particles.
Next comes the 12-inch-thick "Main HEPA" Filter.
195 square feet of superior HEPA filter material.
High Efficiency Particulate Air filters (HEPA), are required to capture 99.97% of microscopic airborne particles measuring 0.3 microns.
Erik Ultra Plus HEPA filter removes 99.999% of particles larger than 0.3 microns.
A variable speed knob dials in the precise air flow.
Erik Ultra Plus Air Purifier at
Oransi Erik Ultra Plus Air Purifier at Amazon.com.
For a mere $1,400 you can get the Oransi Erik Multi-Carbon.
There are no Oransi Erik Multi-Carbon buyer reviews at Amazon.
Multi-Carbon is the penultimate Oransi, with 14 lbs. of carbon designed for ODOR Capture, with one Amazon.com smoker review claiming very good results.
One commercial review, at Sylvane.com, says ERIC Multi-Carbon has really cut down Beauty Shop odor intrusions at his business.
With the Multi-Carbon, the extra carbon displaces most of the HEPA material, making it specific for high airborne fumes (smoking, pets...).
Honest vendors list the main filter as "Non-HEPA."
Erik Multi-Carbon Air Purifier at
Oransi Erik Multi-Carbon Air Purifier at Amazon.com.