Monday, December 03, 2012

FAQ: Activated Carbon in Home Air Purifiers for Chemicals and Odors

Although carbon purification has been used for thousands of years, most people unfamiliar with air filtration are surprised to see activated carbon filters when beginning their research on air purifiers. Activated carbon, also known as activated charcoal, is an important level in the filtration process that removes airborne chemicals, gases and odors.  When paired with a good quality particle filter, air purifiers with activated carbon filters remove a much wider range of contaminants than a standard HEPA-only dust cleaner.

What is Activated Carbon?
Carbon which is “activated” has undergone a process to open up millions of tiny pores and fissures. The surface area created by the activation is so extensive that if you could spread out all of the microscopic openings found in one teaspoon of carbon, it would cover an entire football field.  This gives the activated carbon its impressive adsorption qualities. The word adsorption should not be confused with absorption.  Adsorption describes how molecules or particles bind to the carbon. The huge surface area of activated carbon gives pollutants many bonding sites. When used in air purifiers, chemicals, gases and odors drawn into the unit will attach to the carbon and be trapped. 

About Carbon for Air Purifiers 
Activated carbon is made from a variety of substances that have naturally high carbon contents such as coal, wood and coconut shells. The raw material used will have a different impact on the performance of the air filter and which pollutants it can effectively remove. In some air purifiers, activated carbon is mixed with other minerals or impregnated with additional compounds to better attract and remove specific airborne chemicals and odors including pet urine, cat litter odor, formaldehyde, fragrances and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s).
AllerAir is an industry leader in customizable carbon air purifiers and have over 40 blends of activated carbon to address a wide range of air quality problems. A customized option is ideal for those with significant chemical, gas and odor issues as well as those who suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS).

The Most Effective Activated Carbon Air Purifiers
There are a wide variety of air purifiers that claim to contain “odor” removing filters. The quality and effectiveness of these air purifiers depends on what’s inside the filters. Some air purifiers only contain thin mesh filters with activated carbon dust sprayed on. These filters will very quickly become saturated with pollutants and must be changed often to be effective. Air purifiers with many pounds of activated carbon can last from 2 to 5 years depending on the level of airborne pollutants.
The depth of the filter is also important. Air purifiers with thicker carbon filters will remove more chemicals and odors with each pass of air as there will be more carbon for the pollutants to travel through and more opportunities to be trapped.
To learn more about AllerAir's activated carbon air purifiers contact an AllerAir air quality expert today at 1-888-852-8247 or connect via live chat, or Twitter.

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