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The company’s history goes back to 1963, when German brothers Manfred and Klaus Hammes introduced an air filter system for residential coal ovens in Germany. The product was initially sold to help reduce the black dust build-up on the walls behind ovens. Soon though, Manfred Hammes, a lifelong asthma sufferer, noticed that the filter reduced his flare-ups during the winter months.
Klaus Hammes continued through the 1960s and ’70s to adapt the air filter for other heating systems such as radiators, baseboard heating and forced-air heating and cooling systems. In 1982, Klaus Hammes relocated the company headquarters to Switzerland, from which the company continued to expand.
In the early ’90s, Frank Hammes, Klaus' oldest son, joined the family business. After promoting an after-market cabin air filter the company had developed for Mercedes-Benz automobiles, Frank Hammes turned his attention to portable room air cleaners. Dissatisfied with existing products, he set out to build a line of portable air purifiers with medical grade air cleaning performance. Frank Hammes and a small team of Swiss and German engineers worked for four years on the project. In the spring of 1998, IQAir shipped its first HealthPro air purifier from its Swiss factory. IQAir air purifiers were initially available only in Europe and Asia, but became available in the United States in 2000. In 2001, Klaus Hammes' second son, Jens Hammes, joined the business and helped the expansion of IQAir in Asia and the Middle East.