So, you’ve taken the next proactive step in protecting your health and brought an air purifier into the home. Wise move! But now, you’re wondering exactly what it’s capable of filtering from the air. In particular, do air purifiers help with carbon monoxide? Let’s explore!
Wait, What is Carbon Monoxide?
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, carbon monoxide is a colorless, (almost) odorless, tasteless gas. It’s formed by the incomplete combustion of fuels.
Where does it come from? There are a number of sources of carbon monoxide. It can leak into your home or office through:
- Unvented space heaters.
- Chimneys and furnaces.
- Water heaters.
- Wood and gas stoves.
- Clothes dryers.
- Tobacco smoke.
- Power tools.
- Lawn equipment.
- Other gasoline-powered equipment.
- Vehicle exhaust.
What Makes Carbon Monoxide So Dangerous?
You might not see, hear, smell, or taste it, but carbon monoxide can be a silent killer.
When your body is exposed to this gas, its molecules will displace the oxygen in your body. And this can lead to poisoning. At lower concentrations, it can cause fatigue for healthy people and chest pains for anyone experiencing heart disease. At higher concentrations, it can lead to a number of scary side effects, including:
- Flu-like symptoms (which is why people sometimes ignore the warning signs of a carbon monoxide leak).
- Impaired vision.
- Poor coordination.
- Reduced brain functions.
So, ensuring that your indoor space stays carbon monoxide-free is vital to your health and safety. Some people make a point of getting a carbon monoxide detector, which is always a smart move! However, this alerts you when it picks up the gas in your home.
Is there anything you can do to remove the carbon monoxide from your breathing air?
Will an Air Purifier Trap Carbon Monoxide?
The short answer is yes, an air purifier can capture the carbon monoxide in your home. The longer answer is that in order for this to work, you need a specific kind of air purifier. In particular, you need to look for an air purifier that has both a:
- Medical-grade HEPA 13 filter.
- Activated carbon filter.
Here’s why these two things matter.
Medical-Grade HEPA 13 Filter
HEPA: “High-efficiency particulate air.” These powerful filters can remove at least 99.97% of particles as tiny as 0.3 microns. And they can capture 99.95% of particles as small as 0.1 microns. This means that a HEPA 13 filter can easily trap pollutants like dust, pet hair, and dander.
But wait, what does this have to do with carbon monoxide?
Well, in order for the activated carbon filter to do its job (more on that in a minute), your air purifier needs to trap larger particles first. So, with Sans, for instance, we have both a pre-filter and a HEPA 13 filter. By the time carbon monoxide hits the activated carbon filter, the purifier is ready to take action.
And speaking of…
Activated Carbon Filter
This is the layer that stops carbon monoxide in its tracks. While the first two layers capture solids, this one focuses on harmful chemicals that are floating around as gasses — like carbon monoxide. The activated carbon filter neutralizes volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other dangerous, gaseous compounds. This includes anything coming from your cleaning products (which might be toxic, surprisingly), personal care products, fabrics, and furniture.
That’s the power of an activated carbon filter. So, with the right air purifier, yes, it can help protect you and your loved ones against carbon monoxide poisoning. Just remember that the types of filters an air purifier uses matter.
3 Other Tips for Protecting Yourself Against Carbon Monoxide
In addition to having an air purifier and carbon monoxide detector in your home, here are three other things you can do.
1. Make Sure Any Fuel-Burning Appliances Vent to the Outside
Yearly, get these appliances — like your furnace — checked to ensure you’re properly maintaining them. If you notice any of the following, they might need to be looked at:
- Rust on pipes.
- Moisture/condensation on windows or walls.
- No upward draft in your chimney.
- Soot around the appliances.
- Orange/yellow flames in any combustion appliances. (These should be blue!)
Along the lines of ventilation, never let your car run in your garage, and don’t use anything indoors that’s meant to be used outdoors.
2. Keep All Vents and Flues Free of Debris
Debris can block the ventilation, which means that carbon monoxide can end up backing up into your home. This will be particularly important if you use a fireplace a lot. Get these things checked yearly, if not more frequently. And always remember to open the flue if you light a fire in your chimney!
3. Know the Warning Signs
While it’s not always easy to determine if you’re experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning or something less severe, there are a few strong indicators:
- You feel better when you’re not in the home/office.
- Your pets are sick.
- Everyone in your home gets sick at the same time.
- The people who spend the most time there are the sickest.
- Your symptoms decrease when you’re further away from an appliance.
If you start to notice any of these warning signs, leave the home immediately and call 911 or a health professional.
While it sounds scary (and it is), rest assured that there are many things you can do to protect your breathing air against carbon monoxide. Take action for your health and bring an air purifier into your home. Shop with Sans today.
Sans Air Purifier
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