Blueair particles and carbon filter with particles and matter
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At home
February 23, 2023

The magic of

activated carbon

in air purifiers:

How it works and it's benefits

The quality of the air we breathe has a direct impact on our health and well-being. However, indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air, mainly due to various normal activities like cooking or cleaning which may produce some pollutants such as gases, dust, and allergens. As a result, many people are turning to air purifiers to improve their indoor air quality.  


One of the most effective types of air filters are the ones which have activated carbon in combination with particle air filtration, which can remove a wide range of pollutants from the air. This type of air purifier filter utilizes the power of activated carbon to clean the air from gaseous pollutants in your home. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of activated carbon air filters, how they work, and their applications.

How activated carbon filters work

Blueair a room with an air purifier and red smoke

Activated carbon is a porous material which is made from coconuts shells, coal, wood, etc. The characteristic of the activated carbon which makes it special is the highly porosity that has a large surface area, making ideal for capturing and removing gas pollutants. Thus, the purifier uses a filter filled with activated carbon, also known as activated charcoal. 


When air passes through the filter, gas pollutants are attracted to the surface of the activated carbon and then are trapped, the process is called adsorption. This is because activated carbon has a strong attraction to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), odours, and gases produced by combustion, for example sulfur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).

Some of the common pollutants that activated carbon air purifiers can remove include cigarette smoke gas, cooking odours, and chemical fumes. (Cigarette smoke contains both particles and gases.)

Blueair Illustration of how particles and gas is trapped in active carbon + particle filter

The benefits of using activated carbon in air purifiers

  • Improved Indoor Air Quality: Activated carbon filters in air purifiers helps to improve the indoor air quality by removing harmful gaseous pollutants, VOCs, and odours. This leads to a cleaner and healthier living environment, especially for people with allergies or respiratory issues. 


  • Removes Unpleasant Odours: Activated carbon filters are highly effective in removing unpleasant odours from the air. This includes cooking odours, pet odours, and cigarette smoke gas. 


  • Helps to Remove Smoke and Chemical Fumes: Air purifiers with activated carbon filters are excellent at removing smoke and chemical fumes, making them ideal for use in homes, offices, and other indoor spaces. 


  • Long-lasting: Activated carbon air purifier filters have a long lifespan, which means that you won't need to replace the filter as frequently as you would with other types of air purifiers. In our blog article Give your air purifier new lungs, you can read more about the benefits of changing filters regularly. 


How does Blueair Particle + Carbon filters work? 

When used as part of our HEPASilent™ filtration process, the Particle + Carbon filter provides protection against odors, chemicals, gases and 99.97% of airborne pollen, dust and germs. Read more about our active carbon air filters in Filters and accessories.

Want to know more about Particulate Matter? Read our blog article "The air we breathe - Particulate Matter (PM)".

Can air purifiers with activated carbon filters remove mold and mildew? 

Activated carbon air purifiers are not designed to remove mold and mildew, but they can help to reduce the odors associated with these pollutants. 


Are activated carbon filters in air purifiers effective for removing VOCs? 

Yes, using activated carbon in air purifiers is highly effective for removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. 


Are air purifiers with activated carbon filters noisy? 

No, activated carbon air purifiers* are typically quiet and won't disturb your daily activities. 


How and why is carbon by weight considered in Blueair filters? 

Often, the weight of carbon in a filter is considered when evaluating an air purifier’s ability to remove smoke-related pollutants from the air. While the presence of activated carbon is important to neutralizing odour, the efficiency and airflow of the air purifier should also be considered. This is because smoke from tobacco, wildfires and other sources contains fine particles, harmful chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOC), as well as annoying odours. 



In conclusion, activated carbon air purifiers* are a highly effective solution for improving indoor air quality and removing pollutants, VOCs, and odours. With their long lifespan, they are a cost-effective option for ensuring clean air in your home or office.

Whether you have allergies, respiratory issues, or just want to ensure the air you breathe is pure and clean, an activated carbon air purifier* is an investment that you won't regret. So, if you're looking for a way to improve the air quality in your home, consider the benefits of an activated carbon air purifier. 


*When speaking about "activated carbon air purifiers" it is referred to air purifiers with activated carbon in the filters. 

Read more about Blueair air purifier filters in our blog article Give your air purifier new lungs.

You can also find more information here about our HEPASilent™ technology.

Ready to start your clean air journey?

Blueair air purifiers are simple to use and have something special: We are the only major air purifier brand to verify 100% of our models for performance for Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR).

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