Air purifiers for the COVID-19 Virus?Air purifiers with HEPA filters like Smart Air's can filter the COVID-19 coronavirus. Learn how HEPA air purifiers filter viruses.
What is an activated carbon filter?
HEPA filters capture particles like small PM2.5 particles. Activated carbon, on the other hand, captures odours and gases like volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs include harmful gases like formaldehyde and benzene, and can cause cancer, throat irritation, dizziness, and other not-fun side effects.
The carbon filter mesh consists of many carbon granules that have been treated to become extremely porous. This means that they have huge surface areas. In fact, just one gram of activated carbon can have between 500 to 1500m2 of surface area! It is this massive surface area that allows the carbon granules to trap many harmful gas molecules, giving you that fresh odourless and chemical-free air.
The Blast carbon filter screen slots into the HEPA frame and sits between the fan and the HEPA.
Does everyone need a carbon filter?
Not necessarily. Not all homes have dangerous levels of harmful gases or VOCs that would call for a carbon filter. VOCs are more common in homes:
- with recent home renovation or repainting
- with smoke or other offensive odors
- near a source of gas pollution like a factory
If you have inflammation or asthma symptoms, you may also consider using a carbon filter.
Purifier companies have a financial incentive to convince people to buy carbon filters. They make more money if they can scare people into buying carbon. We won’t do that. Check the facts and data first before spending your money.
Does activated carbon really work?
To answer this question, we ran tests with an Industrial Scientific MX6 iBrid gas detector that can detect VOCs and many other harmful gases. In an enclosed porch, we lit three cigarettes (known to emit formaldehyde and benzene), turned on a Cannon fan with a carbon filter, and tracked VOC concentration. We also ran a control test of a fan with no carbon attached.
The blue line shows how the carbon layer effectively reduced VOC concentrations.