Do Air Purifiers Remove Smells & Odours In The Air?

May 7, 2021

Can An Air Purifier Help Me Get Rid Bad Smells In My Home?

Everyone knows an air purifier is great for filtering airborne chemicals out of the air and improving indoor air quality, but can these air fresheners also get rid of unwanted smells in our home? 

An air purifier can help you get rid of unpleasant odours in your home, as long as you have an air purifier that contains a carbon filter to get rid of organic compound gases in the air, this is due to the filtration pores in the filter which adsorb the particles.

However, not all unpleasant odours can be eliminated by an air purifier, so we have composed an info guide below, that will tell you all the unpleasant odours your air purifier can get rid of and which kind of type of filter you need to get the best air cleaning technologies. 

So without further chat, let's get rid of those nasty odours!

What Causes Bad Odors?

Offensive odours are essentially airborne pollutants and airborne bacteria, which are around in every day life. Some of these volatilized organic compounds can be removed by cleaning, but most are aromatic compounds, which is why your kitchen might still smell of last nights dinner even though you've cleaned it all away. 

Some VOCs can be a harmful pollutant if breathed in and many fragranced products will have aroma compounds, some dangerous chemical fumes can't be smelt in the air and are harmful too. 

Many of these smelly particles are not picked up by our noses, due to us getting used to thousands of scents every day, however, a strong scent such as a smoke scent or animal smell might be prominent than others.

Air purification products can help you tackle airborne particles causing nasty smells, but only some quality air purifier models are the best at getting rid of foul odours, as they need to have an effective filtration system to catch the small-sized particles in the airborne chemicals. 

Some everyday VOCs which can cause common odours in your home are - 

  • Types of air cleaners. 
  • Scented products. 
  • Fuel. 
  • Cooking. 
  • Smoking. 
  • Paints. 
  • Carpets. 
  • Solvents.

What Type Of Air Purifier Gets Rid Of Bad Smells?

Not every kind of air filter system will help you get rid of an unpleasant smell, only air purifiers with an activated carbon filtration system can catch the chemical compounds and adsorb them due to their small particle size. 

The carbon pores on these filters allow you to trap the gas due to chemical reaction, and combined with a HEPA filter, you can eliminate not only foul odours but mould and allergens which put you at a health risk too, carbon filters are the best option for odours, not larger particles such as bacteria mould or dust mites. 

What Does Adosorbtion VS Absorbption Mean?

Carbon filters are made of many carbon granules which trap airborne particles and pronounced smells in the air, which in other words mean 'adsorbing them', a carbon filter does not absorb these pollutants like a sponge as it traps them instead, which is why they have to replaced so often, to be effective in removing the offensive odours. 

The large the carbon filter on your air purifier, then the more microns in size it can trap, allowing you to get rid of more indoor odours, so ensure that your filter is right for the size of your room. 

Types Of Smells Your Air Purifier Can Remove 

Using an air purifier is not only beneficial to your health but also for trapping airborne particles which cause bad odour, we have listed out some typical airborne chemicals which people often smell and want to avoid in their home, so as you can see what your air purifier can or cannot remove from your home. 

Musty Smell Of Mould

First off, if your home is pretty old, you might notice strong musty odours in the air, as these moulds develop in your home, they release a wide variety of strong odours and the mould spores become toxic, luckily, these types of odours can be eliminated by an air purifier with a carbon filter. 

Once you smell musty indoor odours, you can track the mould and remove it as soon as possible; carpets, furniture and damp places can all grow their types of mould and are an option for odours if you are noticing bothersome odours coming from under your kitchen sink.  

Pet Odor 

Your pet can release airborne chemicals which are smelly through their skin bacteria, this skin sheds of your pet and is called dander, this dander contains a fair amount of protein and oils which contribute to indoor odours and be irritating to people who have allergies towards pets and their hair. 

A trusty air purifier will luckily be able to filter these unwanted scents from your pet away when used correctly, and even the tiniest particles can be trapped.

Cigarette Smoke 

Cigarette smoke has a distinct scent that is bad for human health when breathed in, not only are its aroma compounds strong, but the airborne contaminants can cause an issue from person to person, increasing cancer risks from second-hand smoking, as well as the particles of contaminants clinging to furniture around your home, making items smell. 

Smoke airborne contaminants are by no means easy to remove, but one of the safest methods to help you get rid of the strong smells caused by smoke is by using carbon air filters.

Food Odors 

If you like to cook, then it's likely there is always a strong kitchen odour coming from your home, these unwanted odours can be more pungent after cooking food such as fish or other fragrant cuisine and linger around in your home for up to a day after you cook. 

Luckily, pungent cooking smells will get adsorbed by carbon air filters with ease and help you get rid of even minute food particles which are lingering in the air. This air purification technology is great to have if you have a shared kitchen with your roommates or family. 

Rubbish Smell 

Even if you take your bins out with regular cleaning, the smell of trash can stay for hours afterwards due to the gaseous pollutants emitted from the rubbish. 

A carbon air filter can help you rid of this airborne bacteria, which is not only beneficial smell wise but also for your health, as some of these airborne bacteria types produced by rubbish can be toxic when breathed in.

General Indoor Odors 

From general odours of fragranced products to a natural smell of flowers, a smell cleaner air purification solution can get rid of all kinds of smells, and allergen issue for people in an office whether there is a large mix of air odours. 

Can a HEPA Filter Remove Bad Smells From The Air? 

Unfortunately, only a carbon filter can help you get rid of bad smells in the air that cause adverse health effects, HEPA filters can not filtrate these small air particles and are the types of purifiers that are best for getting rid of large-sized particles such as dust or other allergens in the air. 

HEPA filters alone will not be able to eliminate unwanted odours and need to be used in combination with a carbon filter for effective removal of odours. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Air Purifiers & Bad Smells 300

How much does a carbon air purifier cost? 

This depends on the brand and size of the model you get, however, carbon air purifiers can start at £50 and go all the way up to £300 or more.

Can air purifiers help with the removal of smoke? 

Air filters in purifiers can help your remove smoke and its odour from the air but might leave some smell/particles due to it being very hard to filtrate, this all depends on the quality of the carbon filter on your model and how much smoke in the air there is.

Can an air purifier be able to remove a combination of odours without a carbon filter? 

No, an air purifier will have to have a layer of carbon filter activation for it to be able to get rid of smells and gases in the air.

How can I help my air purificator get rid of bad smells? 

Even though air purifiers can try their best at eliminating bad odours from around your home, you can implement a few tips and tricks to help with the process, such as; changing the filter often in your model, using your vacuum, ventilating your house often and keeping it clean.

Are VOCs in the home dangerous?

Most days to day VOCs in your home are okay to be exposed to at moderate levels, however when these gases become excess, they can lead to negative health effects, increasing respiratory problems in people, throat irritations, headaches and more. 

Last Words 

Overall, to conclude, air purifiers can help to remove bad smells and odours from your home as long as they contain a carbon filter inside which adsorbs gases and traps them, helping not only to remove the airborne chemical but the bad smell too. 

HEPA filters cannot remove odour and must be used in conjunction with carbon air filters if you want to clean and purify the air in your home properly.

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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