Airborne pollutants come in many forms. Some we can see like smoke from manufacturing or burning leaves, or particulate in the air from a wide range of sources. But there are many pollutants that are invisible to the naked eye but may produce strong odors some of which can be deadly in large concentrations. Odors produced outside tend to dissipate quickly and unless you are next the source you may not even notice it. On the other hand, gaseous pollutants in closed spaces can be extremely dangerous unless either properly vented or contained in a controlled environment.
Many household odors such as odors from pets, food, cooking, smoking or from various crafts, can be somewhat harmful or a strong irritant if inhaled over a long period of time. These gaseous odors are not removed with standard furnace filters, as those are primarily for capturing airborne particulate, rather you will require a material that will adsorb the gaseous particles. Typically this material is comprised of activated carbon ( charcoal ) and placed in the return air stream of the HVAC system or used in a stand-alone, fan-powered unit.
Carbon is one of the most effective media for reducing and/or removing gaseous pollutants from the air. Expanded carbon has a very high surface area and can adsorb over 100 times its own weight in gaseous pollutants. This material is often contained in a mesh type bag or cannister with perforations to allow air to pass through with minimal resistance. Carbon does have some limitations in that once the carbon has adsorbed it available capacity it will then begin to release this same odor back into the air stream. Typically this material will last 2 to 4 months for most applications before it has to be replaced.
For more information on carbon for odor removal please go to our website at: http://www.pureairsystems.com or call us on our toll-free number at: 800-869-8025.