Are Air Purifiers with Carbon Vapor Filters Worth the Cost?
Air purifiers are becoming more and more popular, and with all the different options out there, it can be hard to decide which one is best for you. However, one particular type tends to pop up in conversation more than others: ones with carbon vapor filters. But what exactly are they, and are they worth the sometimes high price point? This article is here to answer those questions.
What Carbon Vapor Filters Are
Carbon vapor filters, also known as activated carbon or activated charcoal filters, are a special kind of filter some air purifiers use. The claim is that they help remove odors and pollutants that normal filters can’t. These include substances known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These are harmful chemicals and vapors such as formaldehyde, benzene, and ethylene glycol, among others.
Carbon vapor filters use what’s known as activated carbon to filter these out of the air. Because of this, they’re especially useful for removing the chemical odor of paint or the smell of cigarette smoke. However, carbon filters are less effective at capturing particles such as mold, dust, or pollen. Instead, they focus on the removal of harmful gases and odors.
The Pros and Cons of Activated Carbon Filters
As of right now, there is no conclusive evidence that states that carbon vapor filters are better at cleaning the air than other types of filters. They simply specialize in a different area. Because of this, the decision of which air purifier is best for you is dependent on your lifestyle and your needs. Some pros of carbon filters are:
- They remove odor—something that standard filters can’t do as effectively.
- They’re very effective against substances like cigarette smoke or chemical fumes.
However, these are not a perfect solution. Some cons of carbon filters include:
- They cannot effectively remove particulate matter like mold, dust, pollen, etc.
- Depending on how saturated the air is with pollutants, they may fill up very quickly and require frequent replacement, which can be both annoying and expensive.
- It’s not always easy to tell when these filters are full because they give no obvious sign, and once they fill up, they could start releasing the contaminants they collected back into the air. This leads to a guessing game of when to replace the filter.
Final Thoughts on the Utility of Carbon Air Filters
Overall, carbon can have some great effects on the quality of the air inside your home. However, for the average consumer, they are probably not necessary and may even be the opposite of what you need. They will be the most effective for consumers with air that is highly contaminated with VOCs like smoke or chemical fumes.
For those consumers, the best option would be to purchase an air purifier that contains both a carbon filter and a particulate matter filter. With this combination, you can get the odor-removing benefits of carbon and the allergen-removing benefits of another kind of filter.
Ultimately, however, it’s up to you. We hope that this article has helped you decide whether a carbon air filter is right for you.