Air Purifiers for Odor

Odors are regularly an issue in many homes, and there are lots of ways to go about addressing unpleasant smells. Some of the most common methods include air fresheners, opening the windows, taking out the trash, scooping the litter box or telling Uncle Brad to stop smoking indoors. Usually, it comes down to covering up or ventilating the odors. But what about removing the odors entirely?

Surprisingly, when it comes to removing odors, many people do not think of an air purifier as a solution, even though the name air purifier suggests that it might do a good job.

In fact, air purifiers can be very effective at filtering odors out of the air, and this may be exactly what you need in situations where it may not be possible to completely control the source of the odor. Sure, you may have a diaper pail or may scoop the cat litter box every day, but your diaper pail doesn’t seal in 100% of the odors, and you can’t scoop the litter box every 10 minutes. So in these situations, an air purifier is an excellent complement to the cleaning that you’re already doing.

Not All Air Purifiers Will Be Effective at Removing Odors

Just because it says it removes odors does not mean that it will.
Air purifiers work at removing odors by using one of two key methods: either adsorbing the odors or neutralizing the odors. These two key components are activated carbon or an odor neutralizing compound. In each situation, a part of your filter is slowly being used up in the process.

The HEPA layer in your air purifier is kind of like a net. Although it gets plugged up over time, it can continue to capture some particles even after it’s time to replace the filter, it will just do it less efficiently. However, the odor removal component of your filter is like a sponge or baking soda in a fridge. Once the sponge is full, or once the baking soda has fully reacted, it’s going to be completely ineffective at adsorbing or removing any more odors.

Budget Solutions Deliver Less Effective Results

Therefore, when choosing an air purifier to remove odors, you need a large volume of activated carbon or odor neutralizing compounds in order to be effective for an extended period of time. A thin activated carbon pre-filter is simply not going to have the capacity necessary to adsorb odors for very long. While your filter may be rated at 12 months, the odor removal capability may be completely gone after only 1 month if you go with a low-cost solution.

Lower cost units under $150 rarely come with a large volume of activated carbon or odor neutralizing powder in order to be effective for an extended period of time. If you have a serious odor concern, you’ll need to change your filter much more frequently or upgrade to a unit with a large capacity filter.

What Type of Odor Are You Looking to Remove?

We don’t have a “best air purifiers for odor” list where we rank the top performers. This is because the best air purifier for odor is going to depend heavily on what type of odor you are removing, and how much of it. Therefore, depending on what odor concern you have we recommend that you see the best air purifiers for that specific concern.

  • Pet Odor
    For the best air purifiers for pet odor, see the Best Air Purifiers for Pets page. Keep in mind, that you’ll want a unit that specifically states it removes pet odor. Some of these units are great for Pet allergies & dander, but may not have a significant volume of odor removal compounds.
  • Chemical Odor
    Is it chemical/cleaning products/or even cooking odor? All of these types of odor are best removed by air purifiers with large volumes of activated carbon. Learn more about air purifiers for chemicals here.
  • Smoke Odor
    Smoke odor can come from multiple sources. Cigarettes, wildfires, wood burning stoves, etc. Depending on the type of smoke, or your proximity to the source of the smoke, you may want a unit that is also going to be effective at removing the chemicals within the smoke, rather than just the ash and soot. Take a look at our solutions for cigarette smoke and wildfire smoke.
  • Diaper Odor/Body Odor
    Are you dealing with diaper odors or even body odor? Little kids and teenagers can produce all different types of unpleasant smells. See our information about the best air purifiers for kids.

Chat or Give Us a Call for Personalized Assistance

We take pride in helping our customers solve specific issues. The ins and outs of air purifiers can get very complex, very quickly. Unless you love learning the science behind how something works and why you may find this research process to be rather tedious and confusing.

If you would like to explain your situation, and have our an air quality specials ask you some specific questions about your needs/interests, we can then make several recommendations for you that work within your budget. This will give you the best opportunity for success. It’s great to have someone that knows you by name and remembers your specific concerns that you can follow up with in the future if any questions or new needs arise.