Does Activated Carbon Clean Indoor Air?

December 20, 2019 6:06 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Activated carbon is frequently touted as the next great thing in indoor air quality. It is likely you will buy air purification systems that include an air filter with carbon in Aspen, CO. However, many people read about this gimmick and wonder if it actually works. Here is everything you need to know about air filters with carbon and how they operate.

What is an activated carbon filter?

Activated carbon filters use a bed of carbon to clean indoor air. The carbon may be granular or powdered and it contains millions of absorbent pores. These pores absorb gases, chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are present in indoor air. In other words, yes—activated carbon cleans indoor air.

However, activated carbon cannot act as a standalone filter. While it works great with these noxious elements, it does not work with common home particles like dust, lint, mold spores, dander and pollen. For that reason, activated carbon must be paired with other types of filters to ensure complete air cleaning.

How long does activated carbon last?

Depending on the conditions at home, the filter system lasts anywhere from two to four weeks. After that time, you need to remove it from your air purifier and vacuum it. Once it’s clean, you can reinstall it.

Every few months, the filter must be completely replaced. Eventually, it will fill up and work less efficiently. You will notice a difference in odors and air quality if it gets to this stage, so the need for replacement will be difficult to overlook.

This sounds wasteful. Can activated carbon filters be recycled?

Yes! There are alternatives to complete replacement. Due to the porous nature of activated carbon, you can remove it from the filter and replace it. This allows you to only dispose of the organic elements and reuse the bigger waste element, the filter housing. Eventually, you will need to replace it, but you can refill it up to three times before that occurs. That at least reduces waste.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of activated carbon filters?

Carbon filters can be reused several times before you’ll need to completely replace them. It is also the only type of filter that removes odors, gases, chemicals and smoke. If you frequently use strong-smelling cleaning supplies or other chemicals, activated carbon filters are ideal for your home.

However, they are also incomplete. If your household members have allergies or sensitivities, the filter will not remove elements like dust and pet hair. It also needs to be cleaned frequently, and if you skip these tasks, it will not work as well, and eventually, cleaning will not be enough to restore its function. However, many people consider the maintenance required to be well worth it for the benefits.

HealthSafe Inspections Inc. knows that with indoor-only weather on the way, many homeowners wish for better air quality inside. If you want to be sure your purifier with the activated carbon air filter in Aspen, CO works properly, call us today for indoor air testing. We also offer remediation services if pollution is caused by radon, asbestos or mold.

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