Thursday, November 25, 2010

Air Purifier Reviews: Why Choose an Air Purifier with an Activated Carbon Filter?

As air purification technologies have developed, more manufacturers are incorporating an activated carbon filter in addition to the standard HEPA filter.

This extra level of filtration is proving to be a vital component for maintaining good air quality.

According to an extensive study of the air in nearly 50,000 American homes, 70% were found to have high levels of airborne chemical pollutants.

Exposure to chemical pollutants has been associated with a range of symptoms and health issues including:

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Nose and throat irritation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration
  • Rashes
  • Digestive problems
  • Chemical sensitivity
  • Sick building syndrome
Some indoor air pollutants, particularly formaldehyde, benzene and radon (a naturally occurring radioactive gas), are known to cause cancer.

An activated carbon filter is one of the only safe and proven filtration methods for removing airborne chemicals, gases and odors. Carbon that is “activated’ undergoes a process which opens up millions of pores and fissures that attract and trap airborne pollutants.

A deep-bed activated carbon filter has an incredibly large surface area which gives it amazing adsorption capabilities. One pound of activated carbon can adsorb about 20% to 50% of its own weight in pollutants. As a result, carbon filters are widely used by the military, hospitals and industry to maintain good air quality.

AllerAir's Activated Carbon Filter
To be effective, an activated carbon filter should be several inches thick and use granular activated carbon.

The AllerAir 5000 Exec for general air filtration features 18 lbs. of granular activated carbon in a 2.5” filter, in addition to medical-grade HEPA filter for particles.

Be wary of any air cleaner that uses a mesh-style activated carbon filter. This type of activated carbon filter is generally impregnated with carbon dust and does not have the adsorption capacity required to efficiently remove airborne chemicals and odors.

A deep-bed activated carbon filter, like those used by AllerAir, can remove airborne pollutants for up to five years in an average home environment.