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Do Air Purifiers Remove VOCs

Do Air Purifiers Remove VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)?


Air purifiers are designed to clean the air in your home by removing things like pollution, dust, and chemicals—including VOCs.

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are not great for your health and can come from everyday items like paints, cleaners, and air fresheners. If these VOCs are released into your indoor air, they can be harmful.

To make sure you're getting the best protection from airborne contaminants and particulate matter, look for an air purifier that says it's made to tackle VOCs. These purifiers have special filters that capture these chemicals and help keep the air you breathe as clean as outdoor air.

Want to breathe easier and keep your home air fresh and clean? Read on to find out more about air purifiers that remove VOCs.

What Are Volatile Organic Compounds?

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a group of chemicals that easily evaporate into the air at room temperature. They are commonly found in many household products, building materials, and furniture.

VOCs can also be emitted from paints, solvents, and adhesives used in construction and manufacturing.

VOCs are carbon-containing chemicals that vaporize at room temperature. They can come from both natural and human-made sources.

Natural sources include trees and other vegetation, while human-made sources include paints, household products, and building materials.

Health Implications

Exposure to high levels of VOCs can cause a range of health effects, including headaches, nausea, throat irritation, and long-term health problems such as kidney damage.

Some VOCs, such as formaldehyde, are also known carcinogens and can increase the risk of cancer.

Ways To Measure and Identify VOCs in the Air

Measuring and identifying VOCs in the air can be challenging because they are often odorless and colorless. However, there are several methods available to detect and quantify VOCs in the air.

One common method is to use an air quality monitor that can detect and measure the concentration of VOCs in the air.

To reduce exposure to VOCs, it is important to improve indoor air quality by using air purifiers that can remove pollutants and chemicals from the air.

Additionally, choosing low-VOC products, improving ventilation, and reducing the use of products that emit VOCs can also help improve indoor air quality and reduce exposure to harmful chemicals.

Air Purification Technologies

When it comes to air purification technologies, there are a few different options available. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses, and it's important to understand how they work in order to choose the right one for your needs.

HEPA Filtration Efficacy

One of the most common types of air purifiers is those that use HEPA filters. These filters are designed to capture particles that are as small as 0.3 microns in size, which includes most common allergens like dust, pollen, and pet dander.

However, HEPA filters are not effective at removing gases or odors.

Activated Carbon and VOC Removal

If you're looking to remove VOCs, gases, and odors from the air, activated carbon filters are a good option.

These filters use activated carbon to adsorb these pollutants, which means that they stick to the surface of the carbon rather than passing through the filter.

This makes them an effective option for removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene.

Alternative Technologies

There are also some alternative air purification technologies available, such as photocatalytic oxidation, ionizers, and electrostatic precipitators. However, it's important to note that these technologies have some potential drawbacks.

For example, ionizers can produce ozone, which can be harmful to your health, and electrostatic precipitators can produce ozone and create a potential fire hazard.

How To Choose the Right Air Purifier To Remove VOCs From Your Home

When it comes to selecting an air purifier for VOC removal, there are several factors to consider. By taking these factors into account, you can choose an air purifier that will effectively remove VOCs from your indoor air.

Factors Influencing Performance

The performance of an air purifier is influenced by several factors, including its CADR (clean air delivery rate), room coverage, and efficiency.

The CADR is a measure of how quickly an air purifier can clean the air in a room, while room coverage refers to the maximum size of the room that the air purifier can effectively clean. Efficiency refers to how effectively the air purifier can remove VOCs from the air.

Considerations for Purchase

When purchasing an air purifier for VOC removal, you should consider several factors, including price, warranty, noise level, and aesthetics.

While price is an important consideration, you should also consider the long-term cost of owning the air purifier, including the cost of replacement filters.

The warranty is also important, as it can provide you with peace of mind in case the air purifier malfunctions.

Noise level is another important consideration, especially if you plan to use the air purifier in a bedroom or other quiet space.

Finally, aesthetics are important if you want the air purifier to blend in with your home décor.

Related article: How Do Air Purifiers Help With Mold? Tips for Prevention

Our Top Pick of Air Purifier Pick for VOC Removal

For removing VOCs in your home, you need an air purifier that's effective at removing these harmful chemicals. Our top pick is known for its ability to tackle VOCs with ease. The Austin Air Healthmate has a 4-stage filtration process that helps remove a wide range of pollutants, including those pesky VOCs.

It works in several steps to clean the air, making sure your home is a healthier place to breathe and live. If you want to clear out VOCs and other contaminants from your indoor air, this air purifier is a solid choice.

Also read our guide: How Many Air Purifiers Do I Need? (Guide for Family Homes)

How To Maintain Indoor Air Quality

Regular Air Purifier Maintenance

To ensure that your air purifier is functioning properly and effectively removing VOCs and other pollutants from your indoor air, you need to perform regular maintenance. This includes:

  • Replacing filters: HEPA filters and activated carbon filters should be replaced according to the manufacturer's recommendations, usually every 6-12 months. Pre-filters may need to be replaced more frequently, depending on the level of pollutants in your indoor air.

  • Cleaning the unit: Dust and other particles can accumulate on the outside of your air purifier, reducing its efficiency. Clean the exterior of the unit regularly with a damp cloth or sponge.

  • Checking the air flow: Make sure that the air purifier is positioned in a way that allows for proper air flow. Avoid placing it in areas where it may be blocked by furniture or other objects.

Additional Strategies

In addition to using an air purifier, there are other strategies you can use to maintain clean indoor air and reduce the amount of VOCs and other pollutants in your home. These include:

  • Using natural cleaning products: Many household cleaning products contain VOCs and other harmful chemicals. Switch to natural cleaning products or make your own using simple ingredients like vinegar and baking soda.

  • Properly ventilating your home: Open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate throughout your home. Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to remove moisture and pollutants.

  • Avoiding smoking indoors: Cigarette smoke is a major source of VOCs and other pollutants. If you smoke, do so outdoors.

  • Choosing low VOC products: When shopping for household products, look for those that are labeled as low VOC. These products contain fewer volatile organic compounds than traditional products.


Using the right air purifier can help remove harmful VOCs from your home. These emissions come from everyday products and can affect your health. A good purifier will use both HEPA filters for dust and activated carbon for gases. 

Our top air purifier choice has a 4-stage system that's great for getting rid of VOCs and keeps the air clean. Keeping up with filter changes and cleaning the unit are important for long-term air quality.

Check out Carbon Wellness for air purifiers and filters designed to tackle VOCs and dust.

Frequently Asked Questions on Air Purifiers & VOCs

What type of filter is most effective for removing VOCs in air purifiers?

Activated carbon filters are the most effective filters for removing VOCs in air purifiers. These filters use a process called adsorption to trap and remove VOCs from the air. The activated carbon has a large surface area that attracts and holds VOC molecules, effectively removing them from the air.

Can air purifiers with HEPA filters also eliminate VOCs?

HEPA filters are not designed to remove VOCs from the air. HEPA filters are designed to remove particles such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. While some air purifiers with HEPA filters may have a carbon pre-filter that can capture some VOCs, they are not as effective as air purifiers with activated carbon filters.

What are the best air purifiers for reducing VOC levels in the home?

The best air purifiers for reducing VOC levels in the home are those that use activated carbon filters. Some of the top-rated air purifiers for VOC removal include Air Healthmate, Blueair Classic 605, and Medify MA-112. These air purifiers use a combination of activated carbon and other filtration technologies to effectively remove VOCs from the air.

Are there specific air purifier technologies that target VOC and formaldehyde removal?

Yes, some air purifiers use specific technologies to target VOC and formaldehyde removal. These technologies include activated carbon filters, photocatalytic oxidation, and ionizers. However, some of these technologies may produce harmful byproducts, so be cautious when using them.

How can I effectively reduce VOCs in my house without an air purifier?

There are several ways to effectively reduce VOCs in your house without an air purifier. These include using low-VOC or VOC-free products, increasing ventilation, and keeping indoor humidity levels below 60%. Additionally, you can use indoor plants that have been shown to absorb VOCs, such as spider plants, peace lilies, and Boston ferns.

Do activated carbon filters in air purifiers remove VOCs efficiently?

Activated carbon filters are highly efficient at removing VOCs from the air. However, the effectiveness of the filter can depend on the amount of activated carbon used and the size of the filter.

Make sure to choose an air purifier with a sufficient amount of activated carbon to effectively remove VOCs from the air.

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