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Home / Media / 2010 / The science behind the success of the MTI Air Bath.

More Than Just Bubbles!

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Air Bath in Blue(Atlanta, GA – October 14, 2010) All air baths are not created equal. Although increasing numbers of people are discovering the relaxation and wellness benefits that come from this repairing form of hydrotherapy, some consumers admit a certain amount of confusion when it comes to selecting the best air bath.

MTI is known for the superior quality of its air bath systems, in terms of engineering, cleanliness and the therapy they provide. Air bath therapy, also known as thermo-air massage, provides a light, full-body massage as millions of tiny air bubbles rise from the bottom of the bath and caress the skin, opening capillaries and increasing blood circulation. The touch is gentle and relaxing, making it particularly well-suited for the growing elderly population who may find uncomfortable the firmer massage of a whirlpool.

In order to properly select an air bath, it is important to understand how air baths work and the hidden benefits that lie just beneath the surface.

Bubble Placement is Important
Air baths use a blower that generates a multitude of tiny air bubbles released through very small holes in the bottom area of the tub. These bubbles are supposed to caress the body as they rise towards the surface of the water. The more bubbles that touch the body, the greater the therapeutic effect. Seems simple enough.

Some brands of air bath have a ring of air holes positioned along the outer perimeter of tub. This type of configuration produces bubbles only around the outer ring of the tub, completely missing the majority of the body mass of the bather inside. By contrast, the MTI air bath is designed with air holes positioned directly on the floor of the tub, allowing optimum opportunity for upward-traveling air streams to come into contact with as much of the bather’s skin as possible, thereby achieving their purpose of delivering the maximum amount of therapeutic benefit.

The Right Way to Blow Hot Air
We already know that MTI air baths have strategically positioned air jets in the bottom of the tub. Equally important is that each air jet has its own built-in check valve, which allows air to pass through the jet but prevents water from returning through the jet into the air lines. A blower generates the forced air, which is distributed through a manifold along discrete air lines to the jets. This system permits an optimum uniformity of air force to each jet. Basically, the strength of the air flow is consistent from one jet to the next, creating a uniform massage experience for the bather.

By contrast, other brands of air baths utilize something called a “channel system,” so named because air is delivered via one or more channels positioned around the perimeter of the tub. Because the blower is attached at one end of a channel, the air flow is naturally lessened as it travels through the channel, resulting in a decrease of intensity in bubbles from the holes farthest from the air’s point of origin.

Bonus Benefits
The benefits of superior design don’t stop there. MTI air baths actually operate more quietly than other styles currently on the market. Because of the floor-placed air holes and the greater contact of air bubbles with the bather, the increased deflection of the bubbles off the body reduces the concentrated turbulence at the surface of the water, resulting in an average sound level reduction of approximately 2 db. Translated, this means that the bubbling air of a channel system tub is approximately TWICE as loud as the bubbling system generated by an air bath with floor-positioned jets. The result is that the bather can enjoy a more peaceful and tranquil air bath experience.

A further benefit is that water in an MTI air bath tends to retain its temperature longer than a tub using the channel system. Because the air force of the channel system decreases as it nears the “end” of the channel, the channel air baths are generally operated at higher speeds so the holes “at the end of the line” actually put out sufficient air. This fact, plus the greater number of holes around the perimeter of the tub, means that more air is being blown into the tub, which cools the bath water faster.

You Can Never Be Too Clean
MTI has gone to great lengths to develop the most hygienic air bath system on the market. Unique plastic jet nozzles and housings prevent water and residue from reaching the fiberglass backing of the bath. The air line tubing is crafted from FDA-approved materials. Built-in check valves with stainless steel springs in each air jet are designed to allow the air produced by the blower to flow out but prevent any water from coming in. These check valves were in development for two years and tested through 200,000 cycles. This equates to using the air bath once a day, every day for 547 years! In fact, since MTI began using check valves in its air jet housings in 2003, over 400,000 check valves have been installed with no reported failures.

With MTI, good hygiene is automatic. A one-minute automatic purge cycle activates seven minutes after the water has drained from the tub. The blower turns on and blows air through the air lines, removing any water that may be in the top portion of the jet nozzle. This automatic cycle will engage even if the air bath system itself was not used during bathing. This underscores MTI’s thoroughness in producing systems that are hygienically sound.

About MTI Baths
Since 1988, MTI Baths has earned a reputation for impeccable quality, innovation and unique customizations for its expansive line of bath products. MTI offers fine products in acrylic, engineered solid-surface and wood, all manufactured with care in the USA. MTI’s Designer and Classic Series include over 100 bath models, constructed of high-quality Lucite® cross-linked cast acrylic. Most can be specified as a soaker, air bath, whirlpool or combination whirlpool / air bath, complemented by a huge range of options and accessories. MTI also offers durable acrylic shower bases, frameless glass enclosures, handcrafted bath furniture and specialty products, such as the Jentle Jet® laundry sink. MTI’s Boutique Collection of design-savvy solid-surface tubs, lavatory sinks and shower bases presents a rich resource for those looking for distinctive bath products in alternative materials. As committed as MTI is to cutting-edge design and materials, of equal importance is environmental responsibility. For the full MTI Green Story, go to Us/MTI and the Environment.

To learn more about MTI’s air bath systems, visit and click on Air Baths. You will also be able to download MTI’s white paper “Air Baths: Fact and Fiction”. Or call 800-783-8827.