Can Air Purifiers Remove Odours?

Woman in lounge holding nose due to smell

Dealing with unpleasant smells at home can be a real downer. Whether it’s the lingering aroma of last night’s meal, the aftermath of a pet’s playtime, or the fresh but overpowering scent of new paint, these odors can disrupt your indoor comfort.

So, can air purifiers help eliminate these unwelcome smells? The short answer is yes, but not all air purifiers are equally effective at tackling odors. The key is in the filter type. Air purifiers with activated carbon filters are especially good at removing smells. But what about HEPA filters? Let’s dive in and find out how different filters handle odors.

    HEPA Filters: The Dust Busters

    High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are stars when it comes to trapping airborne particles. From pollen to pet dander, these filters capture up to 99.97% of 0.3 micron sized particles. Impressive, right? But here's the catch: while they're great against dust and allergens, they don't have a direct impact on eliminating odours.

    Carbon Filters: Stop the Stink

    Comaprison of carbon filter with pellets and a simple sheet of carbon on a filter

    Enter activated carbon filters. These are your go-to for removing nasty smells. At a microscopic level, activated carbon is porous and has an expansive surface area, making it perfect for adsorbing odours and gaseous pollutants.

    However, not all carbon filters are created equal. To effectively tackle strong odours, your air purifier should house actual pellets of carbon. Beware of many 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 filters available in NZ, which often just have a basic sheet, lacking the same odour-fighting ability. All of our air purifiers use separate carbon filters with real pellets (optional on Blast & Blast Mini)

    The effectiveness of carbon filters is largely determined by the amount of carbon they contain. A greater weight of carbon not only enhances the filter's odour-absorbing capacity but also extends its longevity in keeping your air fresh.

    The Common Culprits of Indoor Odours

    Dogs causing people to hold their nose due to smell
    • Cigarette Smoke: For homes with smokers, an air purifier equipped with a quality carbon filter is indispensable.
    • Pets: Our furry friends bring joy, but sometimes they can also bring unwanted smells, especially from litter boxes or wet fur. Air purifiers can be a game-changer in keeping your house smelling fresh.
    • Local Smells: Those near industries or specific areas, like certain suburbs of Christchurch still dealing with the impacts of that wastewater treatment plant fire, can benefit immensely.
    • New Construction & Renovation: Fresh paint, new furniture, or even flooring, can off-gas chemicals like formaldehyde. A good air purifier can help minimize these harmful VOCs, protecting both your nose and health.

    The Invisible Threat: VOCs and Your Health

    Man with mask on to prevent construction fumes inside

    Beyond mere odours, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde can pose genuine health concerns. Commonly found after new house builds or renovations, these compounds can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, and even harm the central nervous system. An air purifier with a solid carbon filter can help keep these at bay.

    However make sure to combine this with as much ventilation as possible and consider formaldehyde cookouts.

    Given the very high levels of VOCs present in these situations, we'd recommend our Smart Air Blast Mini (Or Blast) with added Carbon Filter.

    Monitoring VOCs: Keeping Tabs on Invisible Threats

    Qingping Pro air quality monitor in kitchen

    Fortunately, there are advanced air quality monitors available that can detect and measure the concentration of VOCs in your environment. By having a reliable monitor in place, you can not only detect odours but also gauge the effectiveness of your air purifier and ventilation efforts in real-time.

    Our Qingping Pro air quality monitor, adept at detecting VOCs, seamlessly blends precision, user-friendliness, and affordability!

    Selecting the Right Odour-Combatting Air Purifier

    In addition to what we've mentioned earlier about choosing the right carbon filter, make sure to also consider the following factors:

    1. Power & Size: Ensure your air purifier matches the size of your room. One too small might not effectively clean the air, no matter how advanced the filters.
    2. Noise Levels: Especially if the purifier is for a bedroom or study, quiet operation is crucial.
    3. Price: Investing in a quality air purifier pays off in the long run, but that doesn’t mean breaking the bank. Check out our affordable range with high CADR and low noise levels

    For more detailed information, including why you shouldn't trust what manufacturers recommended room size, check out our comprehensive guide to choosing an air purifier.

    Wrapping Up: Making a Stink-Free Investment

    While HEPA filters play an important role in trapping particulates, odour removal is a job for the carbon filter. Whether you’re battling strong scents or harmful fumes, ensuring your purifier is up to the task is key.

    Our Top Picks: The Road to an Odour-Free Haven

    If you’re keen on exploring air purifiers adept at odour removal, have a look at our curated range tailored for New Zealand homes, offices and more!

    Our top picks:

    1. Blast
    2. Blast Mini
    3. SA600
    4. Sqair
    Range of Smart Air Purifiers

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