You may have heard that an air purifier can help clear up the air in your home, office, or other space and make it smell better or eliminate allergens like pollen or pet dander. But what if you have carbon monoxide gas in your air? Can an air purifier remove carbon monoxide?
The short answer is no—even high-end air purifiers aren’t capable of removing this harmful gas from the air effectively enough to be considered effective at making indoor spaces safer. So it’s essential to know whether or not an air purifier can remove carbon monoxide from the air and what precautions you should take to avoid exposure to this common pollutant.
Can an Air Purifier Remove Carbon Monoxide?
An air purifier is a device that filters the air to remove dust, pollen, and pollutants. It does not release carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, making it difficult to detect. The gas can come from gas appliances such as furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, or clothes dryers that are not adequately venting outside or leaking indoors.
It may also come from generators and other fuel-burning devices if operated in a closed space, such as an attached garage or basement, without proper ventilation. If you suspect you have high levels of carbon monoxide in your home, evacuate immediately and call 911. Never use a gas stove or oven for heat while you’re away from home because the fumes could seep into your house. Hope that was helpful in answering your question Can an air purifier remove carbon monoxide?
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a toxic, colorless, and odorless gas created by the incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels such as natural gas, gasoline, and propane. Exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to headaches, dizziness, nausea, and confusion. Long-term exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide can lead to permanent brain damage or death.
The only way to tell if there’s carbon monoxide in your home is through detectors you can buy at hardware stores. If you think you’re experiencing symptoms from carbon monoxide poisoning, seek medical attention immediately. For this reason, many people have installed air purifiers in their homes to reduce their exposure to this harmful gas.
Three air purifiers are ionizers, ozone generators, and particulate filters. Ozone generators create ozone which attracts particles in the air like a magnet and then traps them with its strong oxidizing power.
Familiar sources of carbon monoxide in your home
A colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas with no warning signs, carbon monoxide is difficult to notice until it is too late. It can be emitted by heating equipment such as furnaces, boilers, wood stoves, fireplaces, and water heaters.
A carbon monoxide detector will alarm you if you’re exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in your home.
You can also check out our other related article Does Air Purifier Reduce Dust The Best Way?
Here are some tips for preventing carbon monoxide exposure:
- Install and maintain any heating equipment properly.
- Ensure any fuel-burning appliances (including those in attached garages) have functioning chimneys and vents.
- Never leave your car running inside a garage or enclosed space,
- Never use cooking appliances indoors.
- Never run generators, pressure washers, or other gasoline-powered engines inside.
- Never burn charcoal indoors.
- Keep all fuel-burning devices at least 10 feet away from an open window or door.
- Check your furnace every year to ensure it is operating correctly.
- Have your fireplace checked every year.
- Schedule regular maintenance on any other sources of carbon monoxide in your home.
There are two types of carbon monoxide sensors: the electrochemical type, which reacts with carbon monoxide and changes its voltage properties, and the photoelectric type, which senses infrared radiation emitted by the gas.
Signs you may have carbon monoxide poisoning.
Experiencing too much carbon monoxide can make you sick and even kill you. Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, confusion, dizziness, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. And prolonged exposure can be fatal. Knowing how to spot the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning is essential so that you can get out of there quickly if they arise.
If you’re unsure what your symptoms mean or don’t feel like they’re going away on their own, call poison control or go to the emergency room immediately. It would help if you also considered testing yourself for carbon monoxide levels in your blood or breath. If you want to stay safe at home, invest in a HEPA-filter air purifier.
This filter can’t remove carbon monoxide from the air but can remove other airborne particles. The filters work by trapping airborne particles such as pollen and dust, but also remove harmful substances like volatile organic compounds and other pollutants from the air and some chemicals including formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene-a chemical used in paint strippers.
How air purifiers help with carbon monoxide problems
While it is true that air purifiers can help with carbon monoxide problems, they will not remove all of them. The best way to avoid exposure to carbon monoxide is to limit your time in areas emitting high levels of CO. Close any windows and doors in the house if your detector goes off.
Air purifiers work by removing particles in the air and trapping them inside a filter until they can be collected and disposed of properly. A typical HEPA filter should trap about 99% of particles at least .3 microns (smaller than 1/10th of a millimeter).
However, because carbon monoxide is a gas and not particulate matter, it cannot be trapped this way. If you live or spend most of your time in an area with heavy carbon monoxide emissions, then an air purifier may reduce your exposure to some degree, but there’s no guarantee.
Other forms of protection, like an oxygen mask, are typically more effective in these situations. To fully protect yourself, you may want to look into indoor air quality services like filters or ventilation systems.
What type of Air Purifier can Remove Carbon Monoxide
While many types of air purifiers are available, not all can remove carbon monoxide. For example, ionic air purifiers will remove particles like dust, mold, and pet dander that may be in the air. But they don’t remove substances like carbon monoxide that are invisible to the naked eye.
A chemical adsorber or charcoal filter is the best cleaner for removing carbon monoxide. However, these only work if the source of carbon monoxide is inside your home.
If you’re worried about exposure to this toxic gas outside your home, you should install a whole-house air cleaner with a HEPA filter to remove it from the indoor and outdoor air. These devices often cost several hundred dollars and take up a lot of space, so they’re not practical for everyone.
Some frequently asked questions.
Here are some important frequently asked questions.
How long does it take for the air purifier to remove carbon monoxide from the air?
It depends on how much carbon monoxide is in your home.
What type of filter does my air purifier need to be able to remove airborne particles from my home?
The best types of filters for removing airborne particles are HEPA filters. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate arrestance, and these filters can trap up to 99% of dust, pollen, smoke, pet dander, and other microscopic airborne particles.
If you want a complete answer about what’s needed to remove this gas, please feel free to ask me any questions you may have below!
What’s the difference between ozone and carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is often called the silent killer because it has no odor or color. Carbon monoxide is a very toxic gas with no taste or smell in its purest form. It kills by binding tightly with hemoglobin molecules in red blood cells (the cells responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body). Ozone, on the other hand, smells like faint burnt matches.
After I install a HEPA air purifier, do I have to dust?
A HEPA air purifier will capture 99% of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. It will also capture allergens like dust and pollen, but it is not a vacuum cleaner and should not be used to clean up large spills.
Final thoughts on this topic
Can an air purifier remove carbon monoxide? It is hard to say whether or not an air purifier can remove carbon monoxide. The answer might depend on how much and what kind of carbon monoxide is in the air and the type of air purifier you have. Carbon monoxide can be removed from a room using an air purifier, but many variables would have to be considered.