But before you clean out your wallet in the hope of cleaning your air let’s expose the dirt on one common claim: Odor and chemical control.
In particular, let’s reveal the dirty little secret behind home air cleaners that use activated carbon filter pads.
You Know Your Air Cleaner is of Questionable Parentage When:
Air purification is suddenly a very big business. The demand for air purification has exploded the number of companies offering home air cleaners.
However, many of these companies are consumer product sales organizations. Their business is blanketing the market with today’s hot seller, not designing and building the best home air cleaner they can.
Never slow to seek a leg up in the market, they hype “multistage” air cleaners that presumably control every imaginable form of air pollution, including chemicals, odors and gases.
Activated carbon filter pads are the heart and soul of the odor removing stage in these air cleaners. They typically are a foam mesh impregnated with a few token ounces of activated carbon.
Is this really good enough to effectively control odors and chemicals? Are these companies being honest with you?
Four Odor Control Questions You Need Answered
First, let’s question the capacity of the activated carbon. Depending on how it’s produced the surface area available to adsorb pollutants can vary from 400 sq. meters per gram to over 1500 sq. meters per gram. The best home air cleaners will use carbon that maximizes capacity. Coconut shell derived carbon is common to many better quality air purifiers.
Second, activated carbon will remove some of most chemicals. However, it may not be very effective against many common pollutants without a little help from its friends. That’s why the best home air cleaners use activated carbon impregnated with catalysts and chemisorbers. These enhance chemical and odor control.
Third, how much can the few ounces of activated carbon on a filter pad really adsorb? Activated carbon adsorbs up to 60 percent of its weight in pollutants. But it needs “dwell time” or time spent in contact with the pollutants. A thin pad cannot supply much dwell time. This is why the best home air cleaners include a deep carbon bed that weighs many pounds.
Fourth, a decision that defies common sense is including scent cartridges in air purifiers with activated carbon. Since activated carbon removes odors from the air, why is chemical fragrance included? Because the scent masks odors that the air cleaner isn’t removing and leads you to believe the air purifier is doing a good job.
Key Features of the Best Home Air Cleaner
If you need serious odor and chemical control then the best home air cleaner for you is one with a deep activated carbon bed.
Look for information about added catalysts and which particular chemicals these catalysts help remove. Whether it’s volatile organic compounds or urine, there are a wide variety of carbon blends specially suited to your needs.
Remember, too, no quality air cleaner fakes performance by using masking fragrances. You need clean air, not another petroleum derivative wafting about.
Activated carbon filter pads are a cheap trick of marketing companies. These sales organizations are only interested in grabbing a piece of the air purifier market, not helping you to live a healthier life. They rely on lack of consumer education about air purification to succeed.
You can make a much better choice.
J Alan Rodgers is an independent web author and site developer providing well researched and useful information in predominantly health related subjects.
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