Activated carbon filtering is an important filtration method to deal with smoke, smells, and odors. The activated carbon filter is widely used in air purifiers, as this filter is the only solution to adsorb and remove smoke and odors so you can enjoy fresh, clean air.
In practice, the activated carbon filter is never used as a stand-alone air filter in air purifiers. It must combine with other air filters to remove the tiny, microscopic airborne particles. Common air purifiers will have a three-stage air cleaning system that includes a pre-filter, an activated carbon filter, and a true HEPA filter.
At Breathe Quality, we know all about your problems with indoor air quality and air purifiers. We know that you need the best air purifier to improve your quality of life. We are the experts in the field of air purifiers, but more than that, we are just like you, a human. We also have serious problems with airborne allergies and asthma, and we know your struggle to learn how to use the air purifier and put an end to your misery. Today, you will know everything about the Activated Carbon filter in our in-depth guide.
Table of Contents
If you have concerned about other air filter types as well, we hope that the below guides can help you.
1, True HEPA filter.
I hope you are ready to know more about the Activated Carbon filter. Let’s keep reading.
What is Activated Carbon filter?
Activated Carbon filter, or charcoal filter, is a bed of activated carbon typically in granular or powdered block form, and consists of millions of tiny absorbent pores. This air filter has been treated to be extremely porous, and this is the popular filtration method against gases, chemicals, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). However, the Activated Carbon filter can’t remove fine particles like dust, dust mites, pet dander, or pollen from the air.
The Activated Carbon filter is originally called the HEGA (High Efficiency Gas Absorption) filter and was first used by the British Army in chemical warfare. It removes the gas molecules through a process of adsorption (not absorption). During adsorption, the pollutants stick to the outside of the Activated Carbon filter.
In air purifiers, the Activated Carbon filter is mostly used in conjunction with the HEPA filter to capture other tiny particles as well, like dust, lint, mold spores, pet dander, and pollen. You will find that a high-quality Activated Carbon filter has potassium permanganate or potassium iodide to remove the chemicals, formaldehyde, and wildfire smoke much better.
In our list of the best air purifiers, there are only the air purifiers with the support of Activated Carbon filter. Below are some examples.
How long does Activated Carbon last?
The Activated Carbon filter is a very important air filter in all the air purifier systems, but it can only last for a short time. A typical Activated carbon filter (or Charcoal filter) can only last between two and four weeks, then you need to vacuum or clean the air filter before using it again. The Activated Carbon filter needs to be changed every few months to be efficient. This is because of the adsorption process that increasingly fills up the pollutants inside the activated carbon bed. Once the bed is saturated, the filter can no longer be capable of taking in more pollutants.
Can Activated Carbon be reused? The simple answer is yes. Because of the porous nature of activated carbon, this air filter can be recycled by baking out the odors from it, and then you can reuse the air filter completely. However, you can only reuse the Activated Carbon filter two to a maximum of three times, then you must replace the carbon filter so it can work against the smoke, odors, and chemicals.
If your Activated Carbon filter is not specifically labeled as washable, then you can’t wash your carbon filters without damaging them. Otherwise, you can clean it without replacing it, but you need to know how to clean the air filter.
List of the best air purifiers
- 1, Best Air Purifier (Air Purifier Ranking List)
- 2, Best Air Purifier for Allergies
- 3, Best Air Purifier for Bedroom
- 4, Best Air Purifier for Baby
- 5, Best Air Purifier for Smoke
- 6, Best Air Purifier for Dust
- 7, Best Air Purifier for Mold
- 8, Best Large Room Air Purifier
- 9, Best Air Purifier for Pets
- 10, Best Air Purifier for Office
Pros & Cons of Activated Carbon filter
You have learned everything about the Activated Carbon filter, but you still don’t know if this air filter is flawless or not. Below is the pros/cons of the Activated Carbon filter.
- Can be reused
- The only air filter to remove chemicals, gases, odors and smells from pets, cooking, smoke, paints and cleaning supplies
- Needs other air filters
- Needs to be changed frequently