Activated carbon air filters can be a great asset in certain situations, especially when it comes to filtering volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. Mechanical filters such as HEPA filters are not able to do this. Whole-house air filters with charcoal are also available. If you need to remove allergens, dust, dandruff, odors, VOCs, and gases from the air, you should look for a filter with a MERV rating.
For example, Filterbuy's odor eliminating pleated air filter has a MERV 8 rating and can last up to three months. German researchers at Stiftung Warentest* have tested air purifiers with filters (Philips, Dyson, Soehnle, Rowenta) and found that activated carbons capture very little formaldehyde. Some manufacturers differentiate between the two types of filters simply because of the way the carbon is used inside the filter. A recent study has revealed that the efficiency of an activated carbon filter may decrease after a few weeks of use. Particulate filters are very effective at cleaning cabin air, but activated carbon filters do even more.
For instance, they absorb carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, both of which are hazardous to health. Activated carbon filters work by using valence electrons to block odors and vapors at the molecular level. Carbon has been used for air filtration since World War I when gas masks were used to protect against lethal chemicals. According to a study on the filtration of isopropanol (a VOC present in gasoline and hydroalcoholic gel), CAF filters were 26.8% less efficient than GAC filters. Activated carbon filters are used by some air purifier manufacturers to trap VOCs and molecules responsible for odors, as well as some substances recognized as important indoor air pollutants. They were designed for the carbon filtration process which involves passing gases through a bed of activated carbon. So, are activated carbon filters really worth it? The answer is yes! Activated carbon filters are highly effective at removing VOCs and other pollutants from the air.
They can also help reduce odors and improve indoor air quality. However, it is important to note that their efficiency may decrease over time, so it is important to replace them regularly.