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Do Air Purifiers Remove Carbon Dioxide? Find Out Here!

May 7, 2021

Can An Air Purifier Reduce Carbon Dioxide & Carbon Monoxide Inside?

If you are looking for ways to remove harmful gases from your home and other pollutants, you might be wondering if you can remove carbon dioxide where levels are high. 

Well, the answer to that is no, air purifiers will not be able to remove carbon dioxide, but can help with the removal of carbon monoxide, which is a dangerous gas, this is done with carbon air filters which help remove indoor pollution gases and chemicals in the air.

So as you can find out more about the type of air purifiers you need to help with air pollution and how carbon air filters work, we've put together an informative guide below that will tell you everything you need to know. 

What Is Co2? 

Carbon dioxide is a natural kind of indoor gas pollution that is not harmful in day to day life, however, this simple carbon gas can have negative side effects when concentrations inside get too high, which is often caused by the air we exhale into the house. 

Indoor air pollution from Co2 is becoming more of a problem in households due to them being airtight and fresh air not having a way to reach inside due to windows being shut, especially during the colder months. 

This can lead to levels of Co2 reaching 1,500 ppm if not ventilated correctly, we have gone into more detail about the different levels of Co2 below.

What Are The Different Levels Of Co2?

There are a few different levels of Co2, ranging from safe carbon dioxide levels to dangerous concentrations which can have negative health effects. 

  • 400 ppm - The outdoor air should contain around 400 ppm which is natural and safe for people to breathe in, hence why the fresh air is so good for you. 
  • 1000 ppm - This is the ideal level of Co2 that should be inside of your home, with windows opened regularly to maintain levels. 
  • 1500 ppm - If your indoor space reaches carbon dioxide levels of 1500 ppm, then steps must be taken to ventilate the house.
  • 2000 ppm - At 2000 ppm, negative health side effects will become more obvious such as a faster heart rate and increased sweating.

Does An Air Purifier Remove Co2?

So, if high amounts of carbon dioxide can prove to be a problem, can't an air purifier help with this? 

The answer to this is no, an air purifier does not help remove carbon dioxide as this type of gas has airborne concentrations which can only be lowered via ventilation. An air purifier however can help with airflow, which combined with ventilation might help lower carbon dioxide levels.

Other than using an air filter in your home to reduce carbon dioxide levels, you can try adding plants into your home and opening the windows often when carbon dioxide levels get too high if you have a monitor installed. 

You could also put in an extractor in your kitchen to remove Co2 when cooking and limit the number of open flames that you have inside of your house. 

Problems Of Added Co2 

As we mentioned above, when carbon dioxide levels reach over 2000 ppm in your home, you might start to experience some negative health side effects, we have listed out some common consequences of high carbon levels in your home below.

  • Restlessness. 
  • Headaches. 
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate. 
  • Sweating. 
  • Drowsiness and lowered productivity. 

Do Air Purifiers Remove Carbon Monoxide? 

If we are talking about gaseous pollutants in your home you might be wondering whether or not air purifiers can remove more harmful gases such as carbon monoxide too? 

Carbon monoxide comes under VOCS organic compounds gases so can be removed by an air purifier, but should not be relied on if carbon monoxide levels are dangerously high, in this case, it would be better to remove yourself from that space completely. 

You would also need to make sure you are using the right type of air purifier and that it is big enough for the space of air you are trying to filter the gaseous pollutants out of. Air purifiers made with carbon filters are best suited for this job in comparison to others on the market. 

What Type Of Air Filter Do I Need To Remove Carbon Monoxide?

Now, if you want your air purifier to be able to remove carbon monoxide then you will need to ensure that it uses carbon air filters to take out pollutants, other filters can not protect you from these ultrafine particles whether a carbon filter can handle this small particle size. 

An air purifier and activated carbon air filters are usually made of a charcoal substance and are combined with pre-filters and a HEPA filter which allow you to filter out other particles in the air such as traffic pollutants (if you live in the city). The porous internal surface design of carbon air filters trap gaseous pollutants well such as smoke and purify carbon for removal. 

How Does a Carbon Filter In An Air Purifier Work?

Carbon filters inside an air purifier can trap gases into the carbon surface and absorb them via the carbon pores, the efficiency of carbon granules filters have will be dependent on the size and how much carbon there is in the air, you should always remove yourself from the household if carbon monoxide levels are too high as the carbon for adsorption will be limited when the filter needs cleaning. 

Some common household items carbon monoxide can be emitted from are - 

  • Tobacco smoke. 
  • Fireplaces. 
  • Power tools. 
  • Gas ovens. 
  • Clothing dryers. 
  • Water heaters. 
  • Cars.

What To Look For In a Carbon Filter For An Air Purifier 

To make sure your carbon filter in your air purifier for gas is suitable, you will need to consider its size, common air purifiers should be able to clean your room in just 10-15 minutes, and expert air purifiers might even be able to do this more quickly. 

Make sure that your ACH (air changer per hour) level air purifier is enough for your room, the level should be no less than four if you are looking to filter out hazardous air pollutants such as carbon monoxide. 

For your air cleaning technology to work properly you also need to ensure that you are cleaning it well so as it can not build up with hazardous pollutants, you will need to follow the air cleaning schedule according to your air purifier manufacturers suggestion for the best result from your carbon air filters. 

What Are The Pros & Cons Of a Carbon Filter For Removing Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon filters are great technology solutions because they can filter out air pollution in your home which has smaller particles size and trap types of pollutants that are too fine for other filters to get rid of. These carbon air filters can additionally be reused, cleaned, and work for purifying the air from solid particles too.

Negatives of carbon air filters have to be the fact they need to be changed often to prevent the build-up of indoor gases, if you don't change the carbon air filter frequently then the gas removal technology will be poor. 

You will also need to combine the carbon air filter with a HEPA filter and a pre - filter to trap excess particles which are larger such as common particles like dust and allergens, most of these types of filters are available on the air purifier market.

Should I Choose a Hepa Filter Or a Carbon Filter? 

You might have heard us mention Hepa filters a few times in conjunction with carbon filters and wondered whether or not these types of filters can also trap indoor gases as well as carbon air filters. 

Well, HEPA filters can help filter out harmful substances in the air but are too big to filter out the small particles of gas molecules, they have a limit of 0.3 microns in size for an effective molecule filtration. 

HEPA filters are needed on an air purifier for filtering out pollutant molecules such as dust, mould, allergens, mites and pollen, these filters are found in vacuums as well as air purifiers. 

Carbon filters are best for filtering out gas molecules like smoke and carbon, due to the porous type of technology which essentially absorbs gas-particle buildup over time. 

Frequently Asked Questions About If Air Purifiers Can Remove Carbon Dioxide

Is carbon dioxide a safe type of pollutants to have in the home? 

Carbon dioxide is a range of carbon that is safe to breathe in at moderate levels, when carbon compounds get too high and concentrated, however, this substance can have some negative health side effects such as headaches and drowsiness. 

How can I naturally get rid of carbon dioxide concentration? 

Naturally, you can try incorporating more plants into your household, opening windows and using air purifiers and fans to help airflow with lowering carbon production, you will never be able to eliminate carbon dioxide from the air, however.

Can UV light get rid of air pollutants in air purifiers? 

UV light air purifiers can help get rid of solid particles such as mould and dust while killing virus size particles in the air but aren't that effective in trapping gases in comparison to carbon air filters. 

Do all air purifiers trap gases? 

No, some standard air purifiers that just come with a pre - filter and HEPA filter are not effective for trapping gases or vapour molecules, these are only efficient particle filters when it comes to removing small solid particles from the air as allergens

Is fresh paint smell toxic to have in the home? 

Paint chemicals in concentration are an airborne chemical when drying do contain organic compounds known as VOCs which can have negative health side effects when breathed in large amounts for a long time, as long as your air purifier has a carbon and HEPA filter, you should be able to get rid of these fumes.  

You can always buy nontoxic paint as an alternative if you want to eliminate these fumes in your home.

Can traffic pollution get inside your home? 

Outdoor pollution such as traffic pollution toxic gases can enter your home in ultrafine particles if you live in the city, this is where a specialist air purifier would be helpful to have rather than basic air purifiers to reduce traffic combustion pollutants.

Final Words 

To conclude, carbon air filters in air purifiers are effective at removing carbon monoxide and other VOC organic compounds gases from the air, you can never remove carbon dioxide from the air, but an air purifier can help with the airflow. 

So as you can reduce the carbon dioxide pollution inside of your home, you can open the windows more often and encourage airflow inside.

Kirsten Carter
Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she's not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.

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