Furnace filters work to remove harsh impurities from your indoor air supply. These substances include foreign particulates and undesirable airborne pathogens. While there is a wide range of air filters with various ranges of filtration capacity, oftentimes these filters only remove contaminants on a particulate level. This means that undesirable odors, vapors, and gases can still seep into your indoor air supply. Carbon air filters are a special kind of furnace filter that works on a molecular level to help reduce the severity of unwanted odors in your home’s air supply.
How Do They Work?
What separates your regular air filters from carbon air filters? The answer is activated carbon. Carbon acts as a natural filtration mineral because of its ability to capture and hold foreign particulates in its crevices. For our carbon air filters, the activated carbon is super-heated to open up the cracks in the carbon. This gives the carbon an exponentially increased amount of surface area which allows it to capture and hold more foreign substances in your indoor air supply. The carbon material is then ground down into a finepowder and applied across the filter media. Because the carbon is held by a molecular bond to the filter fiber, you don’t have to worry about the carbon shedding into your air ducts.
The activated carbon filter media works at a molecular level to block odors and vapors through valence electrons. Whereas regular filter media simply holds onto foreign particulate entering the airstream, carbon air filters bond at a molecular level to odors, vapors, and gases to prevent them from continuing on through your air ducts. The activated carbon media acts as a sponge for harmful vapors that can bypass the body’s natural defenses. Vapors are harder to capture than other particulate and can typically enter the lungs and bloodstream easier. This can cause potential respiratory problems if left unchecked.
What’s the Advantage?
If you’re trying to decide whether or not a carbon air filter is right for you, here are a few things to consider. The increased surface area of the activated carbon allows for the filter media of a single filter to have approximately the same surface area of an entire football field. Not only can this capture more substances, but the activated carbon creates molecular bonds that capture unwanted substances on a molecular level rather than just on the filter media surface. The carbon used in our manufacturing process is derived from a coconut shell-based material rather than a coal-based carbon. This means that our carbon air filters have a higher activity rating than their coal-based counterparts.
Other companies may assemble their carbon air filters by using a glue or adhesive to attach the carbon to the filter media. This can cause blockages in air flow and decrease the efficacy of the carbon. Our carbon is distributed evenly across the air filter media and then pulled through naturally with air flow. The amount of carbon used on each filter is designed to meet the maximum level of dust capacity for air filters (2-3 months) and filters at a level equal to a MERV 8 rating furnace filter. If you are worried about being unable to find the correct-sized filter – don’t worry. We are able to design a filter to meet your specifications. Simply fill out our custom-sized air filter request form.
So is a carbon air filter right for you? That’s up for you to decide. If you live in an environment that encounters a variety of different smells and odors, perhaps a carbon air filter is right for you. Our carbon air filters filter at a MERV 8 filtration rating, which removes a significant amount of foreign particulate from indoor air. Experience the difference of activated carbon by purchasing a carbon air filter replacement today!
13 thoughts on “Everything You Need to Know About Carbon Air Filters”
I live with a portrait painter so even though she uses odorless thinners the fine airborne particles we don’t smell or see from oil paints and pastels can still be harmful. Carbon filters will give me the confidence that we’re doing as much as we can for the health and wellbeing of our entire household – pets included!
Is the measurment the same as a regular filter and how often must they be changed
Carbon Filters follow the same measurement standards as our other air filters. The carbon material spread across the filter media is designed to accommodate for your air ducts maximum dust capacity which equals out to about every 2-3 months. This is a similar recommendation to our other filters as well.
Which filter goes first, the HEPA first, then the carbon on the outside, or the other way around?
Does a carbon filter have less air flow than a regular filter with the same MERV rating?
Yes, the airflow should be the same based on the MERV rating.
I need 12” x 24” filters. I use two at a time. How much are they?
Hey Linda! Input your dimensions here and you can view all filter options that we have with our great prices: https://www.discountfilters.com/air-filters/ I hope this helps!
I’m looking for some 25x25x5 carbon air filters but 4” will work can you send pricing please if you have these filters and non carbon will work also if need be .
Hey Roy! This is size is a custom-sized air filter. You can see pricing and filter options by clicking this link and inputting your dimensions: https://www.discountfilters.com/custom-sized-air-filters/
Please let us know if you have any other questions. Have a great day!
I have 2 dogs, and I was thinking of getting a carbon filter to make sure my house always smelled nice. But I’ve seen way too many reviews online about the reduced airflow and how they end up freezing up the AC, resulting in costly repairs. Too bad. Sounded like a good idea.
Hey Valentina! This is certainly a valid concern that many people have. If your HVAC system is older or is already strained as it is, I would agree that the reduced airflow may be an issue. If you have a newer HVAC system that can provide great airflow, then the carbon air filters make much more sense. At the end of the day, it comes down to each individual and what they feel is best for their system and home. Thanks for sharing!
Can these be used in place of the standard filter used on our condo HVAc ?
Will it reduce air flow a lot?
Thinking to leave present standard ones in place and clip the carbon type to the actual intake grating to test out to reduce wood burning smoke from adjacent property.