Air Purifier Removes Odors

Comparing air purifiers can become a daunting task. For over 30 years, I've been involved with air purifiers and have helped make recommendations for thousands of people. The following information is designed to shorten your learning curve to find the right air purifier for you.




Which is best? The air purifier removes odors all depends on which odor problem you have. There are six (of ten) available technologies used in air purifiers that are effective for killing or eliminating odors. Of those ozone is the fastest air purifier odor killer , but unfortunately also the one technology that can harm the lungs of people and pets. But depending on your odor problem there are 5 other possibilities.

On this page we will:

1) Review these 6 technologies and how each treats odors

2) Compare the pro's and con's of each

3) List which air purifier best odor technology works by problem (pets, smoke, etc.) 4) Offer some suggestions, which may include several of these technologies.

Air Purifier Best Odor Killers

Ozone - Extremely effective for killing odors, ozone is a highly unstable substance which attaches itself easily to gas particles. (see the pro's and con's for the dangers of ozone).

Carbon - activated carbon, or charcoal, is a natural mineral that has millions of tiny pores. When odor passes around carbon it is easily attracted to and gets caught within the tiny pores within carbon. Once these pores are filled then the carbon must be replaced.

Zeolite- Similar to carbon zeolite is a naturally occurring substance which has millions of tiny pores and microscopic crevices. Often used in cat litter zeolite is a natural volcanic compound. However for some reason (which I don't understand) zeolite is not used in many air purifiers.

Electrostatic - If you've seen the infomercials for Oreck then you know about the "washable truman cell". This is nothing special in the air purifier world and is also called electrostatic plates or grids. These charged plates can often kill gases and odors as they pass through the electrical field created across the plates.

UVC light- UV isn't so much of an air purifier best odor killer, but because it can inhibit mold and mildew I mention it here.

Negative Ion- A negative ion machine creates ion particles that go out into the room that are effective in killing odors.

Ozone Pros & Cons


1 - Great for smoke odor

2 - Good for pet odors

3 - Great for killing mold and mildew in the room

4 - Great for killing kitchen odors


1 - Too much ozone can harm the lungs

2 - Does not help with dust or pollen

3 - Can irritate animals (it can kill birds)

Carbon Pros & Cons


1 - Great for smoke

2 - Great for kitchen odors

3 - Great for pet odors

4 - Great for chemical fumes and odors


1 - Has to be replaced periodically

2 - Most carbon filters are overpriced

Carbon is the air purifier best odor absorber.

Zeolite Pros & Cons


1 - Great for new car smells

2 - Great for kitchen odors

3 - Great for pet odors

4 - Great for chemical fumes and odors

5 - Can be re-used by putting it in the sun Cons

1 - Hard to find in it's pure form

2 - Not available for most air purifiers

Electrostatic Pros & Cons


1 - Good for smoke

2 - Good for kitchen odors

3 - OK for pet odors

4 - Fair for chemical fumes and odors

5 - Washable


1 - Doesn't help with dust

2 - Won't do much for mold/mildew

UV light Pros & Cons


1 - Kills mold, germs, bacteria


1 - Will not kill many odors

Negative Ion Pros & Cons


1 - Inexpensive

2 - Kills mold and mildew

3 - Good for general odors (cooking, etc.)

4 - Safe (and in fact improves the health of lungs)

5 - Good for smoke

6 - Good for pet odors


1 - Not as effective as the first 3 technologies

2 - Relatively passive

Air Purifier Best Odor Killer - By Problem

Pet Odors- Carbon and/or Zeolite. Then electrostatic. A combination of carbon and electrostatic is ideal, with negative ion to kill odor and create healthier air for the pets.

Kitchen Odors - Carbon and/or Zeolite. Then electrostatic.

Smoke- Ozone (just not with you in the room). Then Carbon and/or Zeolite. Then electrostatic.

Chemicals- Carbon and/or Zeolite. You want to absorb the chemical fumes as much as possible.

Mold and Mildew - Ozone - without you being in the room. Treat the room with Ozone. Once the mold is gone then maintain with negative ions. UV light can also help, but not for big mold problems.

Conclusion & Suggestions

Here are my suggestions:

1) Because most air purifier manufacturers overcharge for carbon filter replacement filters look carefully at the air purifier comparison chart (see link below) for carbon based purifiers.

2) Sometimes cat litter can be used if it is high in zeolite for problem conditions.

3) Using an ozone air purifier to "treat" a room (leave the room to do this, and air the room out for several hours afterward) is an effective way to eliminate odors of all kinds. Since Ozone purifiers can be expensive negative ions and carbon might be a more affordable (and safer) alternative.

Air Purifier Removes Odors - Comparisons

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