Can Air Purification Devices Remove Smoke from the Air?

If you live with a smoker or live in an area where wildfires are common, you may find yourself or others annoyed by the lingering smoke smell that stays in your home. Cigarette smoke has repeatedly been proven to be harmful for those who are not smoking in the form of second-hand smoke. Smokers may turn to air purifiers to remove some of those toxic chemicals from the air and protect those who live with them.

While there is no air purifier that is going to remove all of the chemicals in cigarette smoke — or smoke from a fireplace or stove, if that is what you are concerned with — some may remove a portion of the harmful compounds. We recommend that if you smoke, do it outside when it is possible in order to protect those around you, particularly if you live with children.

The Reality of Smoke Particles

As we said above, studies have shown that air purifiers won’t be able to catch and filter out all smoke particles, whether tobacco smoke or other types, like wildfire smoke. The best way to keep second-hand smoke particles out of others’ lungs is to smoke outside or give up the practice.
Part of the issue is that volatile organic compounds, VOCs, are small particles that may not be caught by the purifier’s filters.
Another issue is that tobacco smoke will often fall and get stuck on walls, clothes, appliances, sofas, etc. Once the soot and ash have gotten trapped, so has the smell. Plus, when the soot is irritated again, the particles will enter the air and may get breathed in.

What type of purifiers are best suited to remove smoke?

This question comes down to several factors. A purifier needs to be within its specified coverage area of the pollutant to be effective, so if smoke is frequently created in a specific room or location, place the purifier there. So, make sure to pick an air purifier with a suitable coverage area that fits your needs.

Purifiers may also come with a variety of filters. HEPA filters, designed to catch small particles, are not extremely effective at catching VOCs on their own. When combined with an activated carbon filter, though, they are better suited. A purifier with more than one filter will be able to catch a wider range of pollutants and contaminants. Purifiers with pre-filters, which catch large particles before the air is sent to the other filters, will also be more effective in neutralizing the unpleasant smell of cigarette smoke.

We do not recommend the use of ozone air purifiers for those who are concerned about their lung health. While the human body can handle ozone in small doses, the lungs of smokers and those affected by second-hand smoke are especially vulnerable and may be more sensitive to the negative effects of an ozone air purifier.

Allied Rental Has Air Purifiers To Remove Smoke

Our air purifiers at Allied Rental are equipped to remove as much smoke as possible from the air. We have some models that are available for purchase and others that may be rented, which may be particularly useful if a purifier is needed for only a short time only, like after a nearby wildfire.