HEPA filters are known for their ability to remove larger physical particles such as pollen, dust mites, mold, and other allergens from the air. On the other hand, carbon filters are more effective in eliminating odors, smoke, and other gaseous particles. Many air purifier brands offer a combination of HEPA and carbon filters, although they tend to be more expensive. Generally speaking, activated carbon is of higher quality than regular carbon. Activated carbon can be used as a filter, but it is always preferable to not filter water at all.
Companies sell activated carbon filters (also known as “carbon filters”) to remove chemicals such as formaldehyde and benzene, but do they really work? The Smart Air laboratory conducted tests on real-world carbon filters and the results showed that activated carbon filters were more effective in removing VOC gases than just a fan. All activated carbon filters are more efficient in removing contaminants from the air than regular carbon filters, but there are some differences between them. If you or someone in your home smokes, using an activated carbon filter in your air purification system can provide great benefits for your respiratory health. I also conducted tests with an IQ Air Health Pro Plus (with the filters removed) and (with the pre-filter only as additional control tests). Odors are another type of airborne pollutant that activated carbon filters can help eliminate from indoor spaces.
When it comes to selecting different air purification technologies for use in an indoor environment, the best options for consumers include carbon filters, ozone generators, HEPA filtration, and ionizing filters. Typically, activated carbon has a positive charge and is designed to attract negatively charged contaminants in the air. Adsorption is a separate process in which organic compounds in air or water react chemically with activated carbon, causing them to stick to the filter. All activated carbon filters remove significantly more contaminants from the air than regular carbon filters, however, there are some distinctions. Only an activated carbon filter can trap and neutralize odors and gases in the air of your home. Some carbon filters are made with pure carbon, while others (the vast majority of carbon filters) are constructed with the addition of chemical additives that make the filter media larger and more porous to contain and trap contaminants in the carbon media.
Ion filters work by sending negatively charged ions that bind to positively charged contaminants in the air. Some filters that are simply labeled “carbon” are made with blocks of compressed and heated carbon dust that create the filter. This is why carbon filters are the ideal choice for removing odors and odors from the air. The good news is that you can find these types of air purifiers online through manufacturers such as Filterbuy. Based on their observations on isopropanol filtration (another VOC present in gasoline and hydroalcoholic gel), CAF filters were 26.8% less efficient than GAC filters.
As chemical contaminants are released back into the indoor air, the carbon filter, once collected, can cause a toxic environment once again.