Best Air Purifier for Odors
Indoor air quality is about more than just removing dust and pollen. Almost every homeowner has, at some point, sniffed something in their home they don’t like, or they were concerned how others would smell bad odor in their home. And even after you’ve cleaned up the initial mess, the smell can linger. Many unpleasant odors can occur from your day-to-day life, including:
- Strong cooking smells
- Pet dander
- Cleaning chemicals
- VOCs such as hairspray and paint
- Mold and mildew
- Bathroom accidents
- Musty odors
An air purifier is one way to remove these pungent scents. Air Health has looked at some of the most common air filters to see what the best air purifier for odors is.
The HEPA filter has long been a good way to remove large contaminants such as dust and pollen from the air. However, they are not effective against gases, VOCs and can be less effective against smaller particles that create odors in your home. This makes them largely useless in the fight against odors. In some cases, HEPA filters create odors, since mold and bacteria are trapped on the filters and will grow if not replaced. In order to keep the home smelling good, the filters need to be replaced often which can tend to be quite expensive. By just using a HEPA filter machine, you are not getting the best air purifier for odors that is available to you.
Ionic Air Purifiers
Both air ionizers and electrostatic precipitators use negatively charged ions to remove unwanted particles from the air. Since they can capture smaller particles than HEPA filters (0.1 microns vs. 0.3 microns), they are able to neutralize some scent contaminants. They are a somewhat effective air purifier for pet odor and smoke but are not effective against smells caused by VOCs (such as cooking and cleaning odors). Moreover, some ionic purifiers release small amounts of ozone, which could potentially irritate the lungs.
An air filter with activated carbon/charcoal is a common weapon against odors and gases. They use a process called adsorption” where molecules attach to the outside of the surface. The more carbon is in the filter and the more porous it is, the more contaminants it traps. Activated carbon filters are generally the best air purifier for cooking odors, bathroom odors, mildew and other smells created by VOCs.
Many HEPA air purifiers also have a carbon filter; this two-stage system combats both allergens and odors. The one drawback is that when the filter gets saturated or is disturbed by sudden temperature/humidity changes, it can release VOCs back into the air. Therefore, promptly changing the filter is important.
Some systems use ultraviolet-C (UVC) light as an air purifier odor remover. UVC is a type of light that makes it impossible for micro-organisms to reproduce, thus reducing them from the air. Having a UVC lamp in your purifier can reduce mold spores, mildew, and bacteria — and the odors that come with them. As we mentioned earlier, mold and bacteria can get trapped on the HEPA filter and by exposing the filter to UVC light, these odor causing micro-organisms don't have an opportunity to grow. The Skye Air Purifier utilizes both a HEPA filter and UVC light, providing you this extra odor eliminating solution for your home. Many restoration contractors also use UV-C purifiers for fire and smoke remediation. UVC lamps are increasing in use especially in healthcare settings and hospitals, providing additional protection against these irritants.
Air Health PRO-Cell Filters
Both the Air Health SKYE Portable Air Filter and Haven Plus In-Duct Air Purifier use our patent-pending PRO-Cell filtration technology to fight chemical odors. Each purifier has a titanium oxide metal mesh layer that reacts with the UVC germicidal light. When odors, VOCs and gases contact the PRO-Cell surface, this reaction converts them to harmless water and carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, the UVC lamp does its own work against mold spores, fungi, and bacteria. Finally, add in the carbon filter and it’s a powerful 1-2-3 combination that makes it the best air purifier for odor elimination for homeowners and small businesses.