Smart Air’s real-world tests show that carbon filters are great tools to remove formaldehyde from the air. However, in rooms with high formaldehyde levels, it can take 2-3 years for all the formaldehyde to burn off and collect in the filter.
Luckily, there is another method to help quickly remove formaldehyde from a new furniture purchase or a recent renovation. In this article, we explore this method, called a formaldehyde cookout. We run real-world tests that show it is the most effective method for formaldehyde removal.
What is a Formaldehyde Cookout & How Well Does it Remove Formaldehyde?
Formaldehyde cookouts remove formaldehyde because formaldehyde is more volatile under higher temperatures and humid conditions. Therefore, heating up a room that has high-formaldehyde materials such as plywood, paints, carpets, and furniture can help reduce formaldehyde levels. Once the formaldehyde is in the room’s air, it can be more easily removed by ventilating out the space.
Learn more: 5 Steps to Running a Formaldehyde Cookout
Formaldehyde Cookout Lowered Formaldehyde by 67% Within Hours
Smart Air performed a series of formaldehyde cookouts in its newly renovated Beijing office to remove formaldehyde before moving in. We used a portable heater to increase the indoor temperature, and used formaldehyde (VOC) detectors to measure the formaldehyde levels.
The indoor temperature increased 3 degrees Celsius throughout the cookout, from 25 degrees to 28 degrees.
Before the cookout, ambient formaldehyde in the office were approximately 0.3 PPM. We then closed the windows and turned up the temperature. As a result, formaldehyde rose as formaldehyde began to off-gas faster from the wooden furniture in our office.
Formaldehyde peaked at 0.8 PPM, until the windows were opened, and the aircon was turned off. Thereafter, formaldehyde levels declined rapidly to 0.1 PPM, which is a third of original ambient formaldehyde levels before the cookout.
Smart Air’s experiment showed the effectiveness of ‘cookouts’ as a tool to remove formaldehyde. Turning on the heat for a couple of hours can reduce formaldehyde levels drastically. Our cookout caused ambient formaldehyde levels to reduce 67% from 0.30 to 0.10 PPM. Interested in running your own formaldehyde cookout? Check out our step-by-step guide to running a formaldehyde cookout.
Remove Formaldehyde With Carbon Filters
Although a cookout can remove significant amounts of formaldehyde, levels can still remain dangerous even after a large reduction. If running the cookout tests over and over is not realistic, use an air purifier with a carbon filter for further protection. We at Smart Air ran tests on carbon filters to show their effectiveness in removing formaldehyde from the air.
Cookouts Are Harmful When People Are in The Room
Although the benefits of cookouts are evident, they are harmful if people are in the room. Specifically, the greater formaldehyde levels generated during the cookout can impact the health of those in close proximity. Thus, when conducting cookouts, ensure that the room is vacated.
Conversely, if vacating the room is not an option, use a carbon filter instead.
Bottom Line: Cookouts are Effective to Quickly Remove Formaldehyde
Formaldehyde is an issue for 2-3 years in newly renovated flats. Cookouts are more effective than carbon filters at removing large amounts of formaldehyde quickly and efficiently – with data showing a 67% reduction in ambient formaldehyde after 1 cookout. However, if people cannot vacate the room during cookouts, carbon filters are a better option, although they may need frequent replacing.
BONUS: Want Smart Air Professionals to Help You?
Smart Air can help you with formaldehyde removal and air quality testing. Smart Air is a certified B Corp started by University of Chicago Professor Thomas Talhelm to combat the myths big companies use to inflate the price of clean air.
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