Carbon Air Filters

Written by Norene Anderson
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Carbon air filters are used to capture and remove gas molecules from the air as it is circulated through the heating and air conditioning system or the room-size air purifier. This works through a process of adsorption (adhering to the surface) as the gases pass through the filtering system. Carbon attracts the various types of gas and the molecules are adsorbed by the porous granules of the carbon.

The amount of carbon varies according to the environment for cleaning. A commercial application may require a filter several feet thick while an adequate residential carbon air filter may be one inch thick. Some filters are made with carbon infused into the media, but this type does not capture the typical amount of gases found in the average home.

Carbon Air Filters Remove Air Gases

There are dozens of gases in the air. Many of these cannot be detected by smell. The residue from aerosol sprays and cleaners can build up in a home without the proper ventilation or air filtering system. Placing a pre-filter to capture dust and other such particulates will keep the carbon clean longer. This gives more surface area in the tiny porous surface of the carbon for gas adherence.

Clean air is essential to good respiratory health. When contaminants are inhaled, the entire respiratory system must work harder to remove the toxins from the body. Any irritation in the nasal passageway or the lungs will inhibit the body's natural defense system. As the nasal passage becomes irritated, the hair follicles intended to capture intruding particles lose the ability to work properly. This allows contaminants to enter the bronchial tubes and lungs. Continual use of properly maintained air filters are a great defense for any allergy sufferer.


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