Photo of an Activated Carbon Charcoal Air FilterOne of the least understood filters on an air purifier is the Activated Carbon filter (also referred to as Activated Charcoal air filter.)

The reason being is that most manufacturers of air purifying products don’t highlight this feature up front.

What companies like to do instead, is showcase the most marketable feature of a product.

That includes things like a True HEPA filter or Ionic generator because these are the two terms that most consumers have come to understand.

Activated Carbon filters often take a back seat.

However, an Activated Charcoal air purifier is actually a very powerful product and it’s worth understanding how it works.


Because it does what no other type of filter can do.

In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about Activated Carbon (or Charcoal) and how it relates to air purifying devices.

By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know exactly why this feature is so important and why most of the top air purifiers available include it.

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What is Activated Carbon or Charcoal?

As we mentioned previously, Activated Carbon is also known as Activated Charcoal.

The terms go hand in hand.

What makes carbon or charcoal “activated” is the fact that it has been specially treated with oxygen in order to open up the pores of the carbon atoms.

What this does is increases the surface area of the charcoal and makes it very porous, allowing it to do a better job at absorbing certain types of airborne particles.

Most notably, this type of filter is excellent at absorbing odors and gases. This includes odors from smoke, pets, chemicals, mold, cooking, etc.

Once these particles flow through the charcoal, they become attached to the surface and trapped, unable to return back into the air. This results in cleaner, fresher smelling air.

Why Should You Look for an Activated Charcoal Air Filter?

When searching for an air purifier for your home, it’s important that you look for a product that contains an Activated Charcoal air filter.

Doing so will be a better investment than a device that doesn’t include it.

What you’ll find is that an Activated Carbon filter picks up where other air purifying filters leave off by getting rid of odors.

Other types of air purification technologies such as HEPA filters and Ionizers are not capable of removing smells from a room.

That’s because their filtering type is not equipped to do so.

If you want to remove odors and smells from a room, an Activated Charcoal air purifier filter is the only way to do it.

In fact, the best baby air purifier is one with a high-quality filter such as this to capture odor particles from the diaper pail.

The best air purifier for cigar smoke models includes it as well.

What’s also great about this Activated Carbon Filters is the fact that they are washable and reusable up to a certain point.

This allows you to reap the benefits of the odor-reducing power without having to pay for a replacement as often as you would for a degradable HEPA filter.

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About David Morrison

David is an Air Quality & Comfort Technician. He has expert knowledge on the technology and design of air purification, air conditioning, and heating systems. His main role is to write content that helps people get the most value out of their air purifiers, air conditioners, and heating units. (See Full Bio)