Air Purifier with Carbon Filter
Air purifiers with carbon filters offer many advantages when it comes to purifying the air. Carbon filters are excellent at removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and gaseous pollutants from the air. Fiber-based air filters can trap particles such as the particulates found in smoke, dust, allergens, bacteria, and viruses. An activated carbon filter and fibrous media filter combined into one air filtration system can remove multiple types of air pollutants.
Air purifiers often make use of a fiber-based filter, and how air filters work is very straightforward. An air filter that uses a fibrous medium traps particles when they collide with individual fibers in the filter. The particles are so small that merely coming into contact with a fiber is enough to catch them out of the air stream. This differs from air cleaner, which aim to kill or otherwise render harmless airborne pathogens. An air cleaning system is designed to try to make bacteria, viruses, and mold in the air unable to cause infections. This means that an air cleaner or air sanitizer may leave particles in the air that an air filter would remove.
The Benefits of Filtered Air
Air purifiers with carbon filters can have a variety of health benefits. For people with allergies to pet dander, air filtering can significantly reduce allergic reactions. Air filters remove pet dander, pollen, and mold from the air, three major allergens.
In addition to the specific substances that trigger allergic reactions, high amounts of particulate matter in the air have been linked to a wide range of negative health outcomes.1 Polluted air doesn’t just negatively affect the lungs. High particulate matter air has been linked with increased cardiovascular problems, meaning breathing dirty air can hurt your heart.2
Air purifiers with carbon filters have different levels of effectiveness. The High Efficiency Particulate Air filter standard (HEPA) in the United States requires at least 99.97% of particulate matter that is 0.3 microns in radius be removed. Some industrial and research applications require that the air have even lower amounts of particulate matter, and the Ultra Low Particulate Air filter standard requires 99.999% reduction in particle count. These standards not only measure much of the particulate matter is removed from the air, but also how efficiently it is done. An air filter that removes particulate matter but requires enormous amounts of energy isn’t as useful as one that does so efficiently. That is why the HEPA and ULPA standards include minimum airflow requirements.
Fiber-based filters are great at capturing small, solid particles that can be stopped by coming into contact with the filter fibers. However, some pollutants do not exist in the air as solids. They may instead be gaseous or even small droplets of liquids. Volatile organic compounds, like benzene or acetone, often present as solvents in household paints or glues, and can cause cancer or lung irritation.
Activated carbon readily absorbs these compounds from the air. Activated carbon or activated charcoal is carbon (usually charcoal) that has been processed to increase the surface area. This means that one gram of activated carbon can have a quarter acre of surface area. All that surface gives a lot of area for volatile organic compounds and other non-solid pollutants to become trapped.
Some carbon filters are designed to be reused or recycled. The process of recharging or reactivating a carbon filter releases all the captured toxins and pollutants into the air. Activated carbon recycling takes place at special recycling facilities that capture and process the pollutants into harmless compounds.3
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Yes, air purifiers are very effective at reducing the number of particles in the air. HEPA filters remove at least 99.95% of particles 0.3 microns across. In fact, HEPA filters are more efficient for particles smaller and larger than 0.3 microns, meaning that they are more than 99.95% effective for most particles.
Air purifiers that are safe to use in a residential setting are OK to leave on overnight. Air purifiers clean the air, which means by leaving an air purifier on overnight you get the benefits of clean air while you sleep.
Different carbon filters from different manufacturers need to be replaced according to different schedules. Runtime affects how quickly a carbon filter becomes ineffective. For example, the SoClean 3-Stage Air Purifier with a carbon filter needs to have the carbon filter changed every two months if the unit is run 24 hours a day, and every four months if it is only on for twelve hours a day.5
Smells can be absorbed by activated carbon. The pungent chemicals that cause bad smells are pulled out of the air when they pass over the activated carbon or charcoal. Air purifiers with carbon filters will reduce smells in a room. In addition to removing smells, air purifiers with carbon filters also remove harmful chemicals that may not have a smell.
Activated carbon can be recycled by manufacturers so that it can be used again. This should not be done in a living space, as the process of reactivated a carbon filter releases all the volatile organic compounds and toxins that the activated carbon has absorbed.
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Get cleanroom quality clean air at home with the SoClean 3-Stage Air Purifier+. The SoClean 3-Stage Air Purifier+ removes 99.99999% of airborne viruses and bacteria. The SoClean 3-Stage Air Purifier greatly outperforms HEPA standards in a portable package that can be easily moved from place to place.
Master Air Purifier Sources:
Air quality sources: Air purification/filtration process sources: HEPA, UPLA, and MERV filter sources:
Air quality sources:https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.5b01236
Air purification/filtration process sources:https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/air-purifiers/buying-guide/index.htm
HEPA, UPLA, and MERV filter sources:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16517004/