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Air Purifier Filters

Air purifiers can only do their magic, ridding your home of harmful dust, pollen, mold, and bacteria, by using a filter. And different kinds do different jobs to help you breathe cleaner air. 

What Is an Air Filter? 

An air filter is made from fibrous materials, and fits inside an air purifier to catch solid particulates like dust, pollen bacteria, and mold, from the air. 

What Types of Air Purifier Filters Are There? 

There are two main types of air purifier filters, which usually work hand-in-hand. 

A carbon filter contains an absorbent substance, like charcoal, and it is best used to remove odours, pollutants, and gases from the air. 

A High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter, meanwhile, can capture small, airborne particles that are as little as a fraction of a micron, like bacteria, pet dander, and debris from dust mites. 

What Is the Best Air Filter? 

Ideally, for a home, you’ll want an air filter that contains both a carbon and a HEPA filter layer. And most do. The HEPA filter grabs those tiny particles that are circulating in the air, while the carbon layer takes care of odours caused by things like smoke or chemicals. 

A carbon-only filter might suffice if you are only looking to rid the air of odours, like in a basement while you’re renovating and/or using heavy-smelling chemicals, or in a home where someone smokes. 

But for the general cleaning of household air, a HEPA filter is ideal; a purifier that contains both layers is the best option. 

Are There Filters for Specific Purposes? 

Most air filters are designed to fit specific brand and/or models of air purifiers.

If you’re looking for an air filter to help someone with severe allergies, certification by the Asthma Society of Canada is a good indication that it will do its job. 

Some purifiers can also function as fans, to simultaneously keep the air cool in the summer or warm in the winter, thus helping you save on heating/AC bills. 

Are you particularly environmental conscious? Seek out ones that are recyclable, and anti-bacterial, without the use of chemicals. You can even find ones that are completely biodegradable, non-toxic, and fragrance-free. 

If you have pets, look into adding a pre-filter that can capture larger particles like pet hair and lint. These can also help extend the life of the main filter. 

How Often Do You Need to Replace an Air Purifier Filter and Why? 

Those tiny particles add up. And over time, like any other type of filter, air filters get dirty as the particles accumulate. So eventually, you’ll have to get a new one. Many air purifier filters only need to be changed annually, or maybe bi-annually if you keep them running 24/7. Others need to be changed more frequently. In those cases, the filters are likely available in multi-packs. 

Some optional pre-filters, meanwhile, can be re-used by simply removing and vacuuming them, or popping them into a washing machine.