What is Activated Carbon Filter? Pros & Cons of Activated Carbon Filter

Activated Carbon Filter

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When it comes to choosing the right air purifier, people often look for those who have an activated carbon air filter. But what is an activated carbon air filter exactly? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

What is an Activated Carbon Air Filter?

This filter uses little chunks of activated carbon with a sponge-like texture, as the name suggests, and uses it to clean the air. This specific cellular texture is essential in the entire process since that’s precisely what’s responsible for filtering the most toxins out of the air. Therefore, the more cavernous, the more particles your filter can catch in general!

Moreover, an activated carbon air filter is a specific filter that’s often used in air purifiers because of its effectiveness. However, it’s important to note that this filter isn’t designed to filter out minuscule particles in the air. Instead, it mostly focuses on gases and getting certain unpleasant smells out of your home.

How Does an Activated Carbon Air Filter Work?

How Does an Activated Carbon Air Filter Work?

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An activated carbon air filter thus works on the base of chemical adsorption to clean the air. More concretely, toxins react chemically to the activated carbon, and that makes them gravitate towards the surface of that carbon. These contaminants then stick to the outside of that carbon and that’s basically how your air gets clean!

On a more basic level, the activated carbon, whether it’s in the form of a granular substance or powder, goes inside your air purifier. Then, you place it inside your home and you’ll find that through adsorption; the filter gets rid of organic compounds and unpleasant smells among other things!

Are All Activated Carbon Air Filters the Same?

Are Activated Carbon Filter Same

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Just like with any other product, some activated carbon air filters are fundamentally better than others. So, all they are definitely all not the same!

A first discrepancy is one that has to do with the filter’s durability. Some filters, you can do a long time with, while others need to be replaced almost immediately, so that’s something to remember!

Furthermore, not every filter contains the same amount of activated carbon. As a rule of thumb, it’s so that the more activated carbon, the more effective, and the quicker the chemical adsorption process will be!

Lastly, the size of the carbon units is also a decisive factor! Namely, the best air purifiers use tiny units, since that’s generally the best way to get clean air!

Pros and cons of Activated Carbon Air Filters

1. Pros:

Wide Reach: With just one gram of carbon, you can reach up to 2000 square meters of surface!

Eliminating Smells: An activated carbon filter is extremely effective when it comes to eliminating bad smells such as those radiating from pets or smoke!

Clear Air: When you use this filter, you’ll find it’ll do wonders for your air quality! It can get rid of Volatile Organic Compounds, gases, and other contaminants!

Healthy: Additionally, because of the filter’s ability to filter out hazardous compounds, this automatically eliminates health risks associated with those toxins!

2. Cons:

Small particles: If you want to filter out small particles like dust, you’ll have to use the activated carbon air filter together with a HEPA filter for example.

Not durable: The lifetime of an activated carbon air filter isn’t very long. Concretely, you can generally last about 1.5 to 2 years tops with it, but it’s best to replace your filter after a year already to get the most optimal results. Long story short, this can get expensive!

How to Use an Activated Carbon Air Filter Effectively

When using an activated carbon air filter, there are some things you need to keep in mind!

Firstly, as mentioned, the filter’s durability isn’t endless. So, when you notice signs that your air purifier isn’t working as it used to it might be time to replace the filter! You’ll often know that it’s the right time when the filter starts to smell strange. Anyway, smell or not, it’s something that needs to be done frequently!

Moreover, make sure that your filter meets all the requirements. Thus, you need to ensure that your filter contains enough activated carbon to be productive and that it’s capable of maintaining high airflow. Otherwise, you won’t be able to enjoy your air purifier to the fullest!


Now, you might be wondering whether purchasing an activated carbon air filter is the best choice for you.

Well, while this filter has many advantages and could really prove to be an asset, it definitely isn’t cheap. Therefore, it’s recommended to only purchase this filter when you can easily afford it or when you genuinely need it.

For example, if you’re struggling with a terrible smell in your house, whether it’s from pets or something else, consider purchasing an activated carbon air filter. The same goes for when you or someone else in your home is a heavy smoker since this filter is very powerful when it comes to making sure your air is smoke-free!

Read More: The Best Air Purifiers for Smoke

Lastly, when you’re suffering from allergies of any kind, buying this filter could also be a great investment and could really help you out healthwise!