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6 Best Air Purifier for VOCs and Formaldehyde In 2022

Little do we know that our own sanctuary home is filled with household chemicals that we barely even know to exist. Each chemical would cause different side effects depending on the exposure level and time. In this best air purifier for VOCs and formaldehyde post, we will learn what household chemicals are, the solutions, and who this is for. We will judge each air purifier's effectiveness based on its Smoke CADR (if available), airflow speed, activated carbon filter, and any addon chemicals specialty. At the end of the page, one of the air purifiers would be bound to your needs to reduce exposure to home chemicals.
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Who is this for?

People suffering from Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) would benefit from the list. A family that stays nearby an industrial area, factory, or place with high air quality index (AQI). Baby, children, elderly, or asthmatic people with weaker immune systems. A person staying with or close to smokers also fits into the bill. Last but not least, you can use MCS air purifiers in any house, as airborne chemicals and pollutants are everywhere.

2022 Best Air Purifier for VOCs and Formaldehyde

BEST BUDGETBEST OVERALLBEST PERFORM-ANCEPERFORMANCE
IQAir GC MultiGas Air Purifier ReviewBlueair Classic 605 Air Purifier Review
IQAir GC MultiGas Air PurifierBlueair 605 Air PurifierAustin Air HealthMate HM400 Air Purifier
Recommended Room Size
1125 sq. ft. (105 m2)775 sq. ft. (72 m2)1,500 sq. ft. (139 m2)
CADR
Dust N/A
Pollen N/A
Smoke N/A
Dust 500 cfm (849 m3/h)
Pollen 640 cfm (1087 m3/h)
Smoke 500 cfm (849 m3/h)
Dust N/A
Pollen N/A
Smoke N/A
Filtration
4-stage3-stage4-stage
Ratings
4.8out of 54.8out of 54.5out of 5
Amazon Price
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
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** MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price)/ RSP (Retail selling price) is accurate at the time of posting.
^ Annual filter cost is calculated based on filter price and 12 hours of usage. Pricing could vary depending on air quality, usage frequency, and speed.
` The indicated online price guides as follows: $ = under $50, $$ = $50-100, $$$ = $101-200, $$$$ = 201-300, $$$$$ = $301-400, $$$$$$ = 401-500, $$$$$$$ = over $500.

How Do We Measure?

Smoke CADR A good benchmark to assess the air purifier performance in removing VOS, smoke, and odors. AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) uses a standardized Clean Air Delivery Rate measured by cubic feet per minute, where cross-comparison is possible between different brands. While not all manufacturers participate in this measurement, we take CADR into serious consideration. We will evaluate it with chemical filtration, purifying coverage, and selling price.
Airflow When chemicals in smoke and odors flow rapidly into our lungs, it can cause severe, irreversible damage to our tissue and heart. What we want from the air purifier is to have a decent airflow delivery rate of at least 200 cfm. The faster the airflow speed, the more harmful chemicals will be absorbed, thus reducing exposure volume. We will judge the chemical air purifier based on the flexibility of its airflow output, applicable area, and the price category it's in. Priority will be given to models that have an exceptionally high filtration output.
Activated Carbon filter Chemicals come in different particles size, weight and some are notoriously known to be tricky to deal with. Different activated Carbon filter has different filtration grade against gas and odor particles. What we want from the air purifier is a high filtration carbon filter that would deal with household chemicals, VOCs, and cooking odors swiftly and effectively regardless of the types of chemicals. A dedicated/ standalone carbon filter would also gain bonus points in our evaluation.
Specialized chemical's air purifier/ filter Chemicals come in complex particle sizes and weights that are notorious to deal with. As such, different activated Carbon filter has different filtration grade against gas and odor particles. A higher grade carbon would not use glue or solvent to hold the filter as it might release back chemicals. That is what we want, and we will pick an air purifier that has the best carbon filter to deal with household chemicals e.g. VOCs, formaldehyde, and tobacco smoke. A dedicated/ standalone carbon filter would gain bonus points in our evaluation, while a carbon sheet will straight be disqualified.

1. IQAir GC MultiGas Air Purifier

IQAir GC MultiGas Air Purifier Review

Living in a nearby industrial area that is constantly polluted with unwanted chemicals and contaminants? IQAir GC MultiGas is your answer. It is the best air purifier for VOCs and Formaldehyde, with 1125 sq. ft. coverage supported by a powerful 510 cfm airflow delivery rate. Apart from the strong airflow distribution and extra-wide purifying coverage, this NO1 multiple chemical sensitivities purifier features a unique dual-layer smoke filtration. The outer layer of Post-filter Sleeves removes activated carbon and chemisorption abrasion particles via a charged fiber structure. The inner layer of GC MultiGas Cartridges eliminates harmful household chemicals from VOCs, Ammonia, and Formaldehyde via an oxidation process. There's even space for the allergens remover HyperHEPA Pre-Filter capable of trapping ultra-particles as small as 0.003 microns. Holding all of that is the study, zero-leak triple-seal body that guarantees no captured chemicals will be leaked out. Adding premium addons like remote control, advanced scheduling, and industrial leading 10 years warranty, IQAir GC MultiGas is undoubtedly the best by a long stretch.

There is a price for such greatness, and it is simply unfeasible. IQAir GC MultiGas is very expensive at more than 1000 dollars before any discount. To make matters worse, it is not carried out by most online dealers due to the limited demand. Not everyone could fork out this big chunk of cash on an air purifier, let alone the filter replacement cartridge. Another common issue with a high-performance air cleaner is the unavoidable large body and hefty weight. At 15 x 28 x 16 in dimension and 44 lb weight, moving GC MultiGas around can be challenging, even with the casters. Alternatively, you can consider IQAir HealthPro Plus as your next MCS air purifier. It is also great against volatile organic compounds but with a slightly lower base price.

What's cool:

  • The best air purifier for chemical sensitivity. Period.
  • 12 lbs (5.4 kg) V5-Cell MG granular activated carbon & impregnated alumina (AC/4 + IA/4).
  • GC MultiGas Cartridges can last up to 2.5 years.
  • PreMax pre-filter + HyperHEPA filter covers up to 1125 sq. ft. of room size.
  • Certified performance with a 6 speed airflow delivery up to 510 cfm.
  • Triple-seal, impact-resistant ABS plastic body with 320 degree airflow distribution.
  • Industrial leading 10 years warranty.

What's not:

  • The most expensive VOC air purifier to own and maintain.
  • No Auto mode or air quality indicator.
  • Very bulky and heavy to move around even with the casters. Not suitable for small spaces.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

4.8

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±1,299.00 $$$$$$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±196-390)

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2. Blueair 605 Air Purifier

Blueair Classic 605 Air Purifier Review

Blueair is another Europe made, premium brand air purifier that can remove harmful gases like VOCs. Unlike IQAir, it has a wide range of product selections, from Blueair 203 to the top-of-the-line Blueair Pro XL. What makes Blueair 605 air purifiers outstanding is the filter arrangement setup. The chemical additives SmokeStop filter will capture chemicals plus odors like Tobacco smoke, formaldehyde, radon, asbestos, pesticide, and ozone. HEPA particle filter will focus on trapping non-smoke particles (0.1 micron/ 99.97%) like dust mites, dander, and germs instead. Not forgetting the ionizer that electrostatically charges particles to fall from the increased weight. In order for everything to work, a strong 650 cfm airflow speed and wide 775 square feet purifying coverage are needed. The cleaning air delivery rate tallies with the high airflow output with official smoke-free CADR at 500 cfm. The combined filtration will make it impossible for the trapped chemicals to escape.

Bar the auto mode, Blueair 605 comes with plenty of addon practicality such as remote control, timer, and air quality indicator. Wi-Fi connectivity link with Blueair Friend App is only limited for the e series. However, there's a hefty price for everything. One of the big drawbacks of Blueair purifiers is the expensive annual filter replacement cost. The maintenance cost is even higher than the IQAir in the long run. Apart from that, bulkiness can be a big obstacle for small spaces. Consider the smaller unit e.g. 405, 205, if you want to save up some cost and space while still enjoying breathing clean air. For those that want a strong chemical filtration air purifier with one of the lowest annual filter replacement costs, see the next item in the list.

What's cool:

  • Thermally bonded high-porosity coconut carbon formulated with magnesium dioxide and copper oxide filter.
  • Very effective against VOCs and formaldehyde with smoke CADR at 500 cfm.
  • 3 speeds that deliver up to 650 cfm airflow delivery rate.
  • HEPAsilent technology that covers up to 775 sq. ft. of room size.
  • Wi-Fi ready that supports smartphone control.
  • 5 years warranty including motor parts.

What's not:

  • Very expensive at around $1000. The same goes for the filter replacement cost.
  • No integrated sensors for Auto mode and air quality monitoring.
  • The galvanized steel body pushes the weight to 35 lb or 15.9 kg.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

4.8

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±829.99 $$$$$$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±230-460)

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3. Austin Air HealthMate HM400 Air Purifier

Austin Air HealthMate Plus is an incredible formaldehyde air purifier in many ways. It has complete chemicals and odor filtration to protect you from VOCs, plus other chemicals. It's dead easy to use and has one of the segment's lowest annual filter replacement costs. The strong chemical filtration is made possible by generous airflow and broad purifying coverage. At max speed, HealthMate 400 cfm airflow output can cover up to 1500 square feet of room space. It can clean the air of an entire apartment or floor with doors open. The main contributor to chemical removal is the 15 lbs Impregnated Carbon and Zeolite Mixture filter. The filter is fantastic against household chemicals such as VOCs, Ammonia, and Formaldehyde. Other airborne particles traveling with the chemicals will be captured by the multi-stage pre-filter, medium filter, or 60 ft HEPA filter.

A VOCs air purifier can help you with your headache, breathing discomfort, nausea, eye, nose, or throat irritation at home. Austin Air HealthMate Plus is exactly that and so much more. What's not so good about Austin Air HM Plus is the plain vanilla setup that lacks any features like our favorite Auto mode and timer. It this also very boxy, and despite the inclusion of casters, we have a hard time moving it from room to room. Pricing-wise, it is on the high side unless you are for the smaller Junior version. Either way, you will enjoy a meager filter replacement cost due to the long 5 years filter lifespan. Its empty features are not something you can part with; consider the well-equipped AIRMEGA 300S.

What's cool:

  • The best chemical air purifier that has been used during a wildfire disaster.
  • 15 lbs. Activated carbon zeolite filter with the additional additive potassium iodide.
  • Long-lasting all-in-one filter that has an average 5 years lifespan.
  • Pre-filter, medium particle filter, and 60 sq. ft. True Medical Grade HEPA filter.
  • Up to 400 cfm airflow delivery rate with a wide 1500 square feet coverage.
  • Comprehensive 5 years warranty from Austin Air.
  • Durable powdered coated steel housing with multiple color options.

What's not:

  • One of the heaviest air purifiers on the market.
  • No auto mode, sleep mode, timer, or air quality indicator.
  • A rather noisy operation. Running at the lowest speed is a must for night use.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

4.5

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±539 $$$$$$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±43)

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4. Coway Airmega 300S Air Purifier

Coway Airmega 300 Review

One of the best air purifier for VOCs and MCS. Solely based on AIRMEGA 300S exterior design would be a good enough reason to own this magnificent unit. If you include the dual pre-filter and Max2 filter (Green True HEPA filter + activated carbon filter), this air purifier should be on your bucket list. Let's focus back on filtration. Airflow will be coming from both sides, and the dual pre-filter with block dust, hair the other large particles from traveling further. With most PM10 particles filtered out, the HEPA filter will focus on removing tiny particles as small as 0.3 microns with an efficiency of 99.97%. Finally, the activated carbon filter reduces more than 99% of fumes and odors in the air, including household chemicals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), cooking odors, NH3, and CH3CHO. Adding the impressive CADR at 260 cfm and wide purifying coverage of 1256 sq. ft. (2 air changes hourly), you no longer have a fear of breathing into toxin chemicals in your home.

Other notable features in Airmega 300S include Wi-Fi connectivity with smartphone pairing (Only available in 400S). Auto mode, sleep mode, front display air quality indicator, and filter life timer are also bundled in the package. With so many pros on AIRMEGA 300S, what's stopping most people from owning one? The expensive price tag is one thing, subsequent annual filter replacement cost is also another big factor. At 13.6 x 21.2 x 13.6 in dimension and 21.4lb weight, there are much smaller MCS air purifiers on the list. If you want to save up more, consider the Wi-Fi less AIRMEGA 300 or the next item on the list.

What's cool:

  • Best air purifier for MCS with JEM 1467:2013 standard Activated Carbon Filter.
  • 260 cfm CADR with a wide 1256 square feet coverage.
  • Max2 filtration includes a Pre-filter and True HEPA filter.
  • Wi-Fi enabled that supports the IoCare app and Amazon Alexa.
  • Smart mode with real-time air quality display indicator and adjustable sensitivity.
  • 5 years warranty.

What's not:

  • Expensive to own and maintain.
  • Most functions are only available through the apps.
  • No built-in light sensor and ionizer.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

4.5

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±749.00 $$$$$$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±100)

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5. Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 Air Purifier

Alen BreatheSmart FIT50

Any version of the BreatheSmart air purifier will be a good VOCs and formaldehyde air purifier. In this post, we pick Alen BreatheSmart Fit50 as "The balanced one" between value and filtration performance. It is cheaper than classic BreatheSmart yet still packed with identical features. The only criteria are the must-have HEPA-FreshPlus filter upgrade pack. The all-in-one filter comes with a pre-filter and enhanced HEPA-FreshPlus filter to target smoke and non-smoke particles. With the filter upgrade pack, Fit50 will effectively remove all chemicals, cooking odors, and allergens in the area. Perfect for a hyper allergic person sensitive to chemicals, odor, dust, mold, or pet dander. As for the airflow performance, you'll get a mandatory high 900 square feet coverage, up to 231 cfm airflow at max speed, and 220 cfm smoke CADR. Other than the cosmetic customizable front panel, Alen BreatheSmart Fit50 has many practical features to help better manage your chemical situation. Ever useful features like Auto mode, air quality indicator, timer, and remote control are all-inclusive. Being an Alen air purifier, there is a lifetime warranty on the motor and parts for future peace of mind ownership. The longer than average filter lifespan is welcome. It would save you money and time in dealing with household pollutants.

One of the main challenges of owning Fit50 as your chemical air purifier is the cost. While it is not the costliest on this list, you could go with a cheaper air purifier from Winix with a comprehensive 5-stage filtration. The noise level is slightly loud at high speed but still manageable. Nevertheless, the invaluable lifetime warranty and longer filter lifespan could work in BreatheSmart Fit50 favor in the long run.

What's cool:

  • MCS air purifier with the 1 BF35-VOC Activated Carbon layer HEPA-FreshPlus filter.
  • 110-231 cfm airflow delivery rate with up to 900 square feet coverage.
  • 4 fan speeds with advanced SmartSensor, timer, and auto mode.
  • All-in-one HEPA filter that can last up to 18 months.
  • Many variations and interchangeable panels to go for.
  • Lifetime limited warranty excluding filter.

What's not:

  • Audible noise level at max speed.
  • The default HEPA-pure filter lacks the odor filtration needed to remove VOCs and chemical gases.
  • Can be costly if you include the filter upgrade and optional designer panel.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

4.2

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±588.00 $$$$$$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±53-158)

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6. Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier

Winix 5500-2 Review

In today's standard home, there are many chemicals in the indoor air that we might not even notice. Exposure to the toxin gases can lead to unwanted allergic reactions such as headache, dyspnea, nose, and throat irritation. If you are on a tight budget yet need a reputable air purifier to clear off chemicals like VOCs, Formaldehyde, Ammonia, and Radon in your home, look no further. Firstly, Winix 5500-2 costs half of the other chemical air purifiers here, with a little compromise on performance. Secondly, it has a dedicated Advanced Granular Carbon Filter that works great against household chemicals and cooking odors. Supporting the AOC filter is a pre-filter and HEPA filter that can trap large to microscopic particles. PlasmaWave technology is also here to help with the air cleaning process. Adding the high smoke-free 232 cfm CADR and 360 sq. ft. purifying coverage into the equation, there is no better budget-friendly air purifier to stand beside you against this never-ending battle.

Despite coming at an attractive price point, you will get an air quality indicator, 4 speed with auto mode, and sleep mode as standard. There is even a remote control thrown in for added convenience. As mentioned earlier, there is a dip in airflow performance and quality of the filtration when compared with the premium model. Filter cost is not the lowest, but it is expected for a chemical air purifier. Take nothing away from the air purifier's capability to remove VOCs and formaldehyde. Considering the price and addon features you will get, Winix PlasmaWave 5500-2 would not disappoint you.

What's cool:

  • Washable AOC Carbon Filter with activated carbon granules are great at removing the pungent smell.
  • Less than 200 yet comes with Auto/ Sleep mode, timer, remote control, and AQ indicator.
  • 4-stage PlasmaWave filtration with a decent 360 sq. ft. coverage and 232 cfm smoke free CADR.
  • Classic permanent pre-filter + True HEPA filter.
  • "Only" 2 years warranty while a newer model comes with 5 years.

What's not:

  • Performance and filtration are not the best, but suitable against household chemicals.
  • Filter replacement cost is slightly on the higher side.

Build Quality

Features

Coverage

Particle Filtration

Smoke Filtration

Price

Filter Cost

4.5

OUT OF 5

online price (US)** Sales Tag
±249.99 $$$/ 7

(annual filter cost ±80)

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Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.

 

What is Household Chemicals?

Household chemicals are common non-food chemical contaminants found in every household. You can find household chemicals in various sources, including furniture, glasses, paints, hygiene, and consumer goods such as detergent, body wash, pest control, nail polisher, air fresheners. As all household items emit chemicals, it is impossible to avoid them. Common chemicals emitted from household products include Ammonia, Acetone, Benzene, Formaldehyde, and VOCs. Living in an unhealthy environment with a high degree of chemical exposure is hazardous to our health. Depending on how harmful and frequent you are in contact with the chemicals present in the air, short-term exposure includes mild symptoms such as itchy eyes, coughing, nausea, headache, red eyes, and wheezing. Long-term exposure can lead to severe and permanent damage (skin burns, blindness, organ failure) and death.

There are many types of air purifiers in the market that may or may not help with indoor chemical fumes. Look into each one carefully and choose the one that fits your bill.

  • Filtered air purifier - The safest and most recommended type of air purifier to tackle airborne chemicals. Most models come with a pre-filter, True HEPA filter, and a deodorizing activated carbon filter (must-have) that remove particulates effectively without adding more harmful back to the air.
  • Ionizer - Create an electrical field of negative ions that attract positive ions pollutants in the air. The contaminants will fall from the increased weight and adhere to the surface ground. An electrostatic precipitator works like an ionizer but comes with an additional collector plate to capture the contaminants. Both are not effective against smoke particles.
  • UV/ PCO air purifier - Uses a safe wavelength of UV-C light and/ or titanium dioxide to kill microorganisms permanently. Like ionization, it is not effective against chemical fumes.
  • Ozone generator - The worst option that no one should consider picking. Instead of removing VOCs and formaldehyde, it releases even more harmful ozone gases that will form newer chemicals to make matter worst.

What Are VOCs And Why Are They Dangerous?

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are a group of organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at room temperature. The chemicals are colorless, sometimes odorless, depending on the mixed products. VOCs can be found in a wide array of household products, such as paints, varnishes, caulks, adhesives, vinyl flooring, foam, and composite wood products. Home & personal care products include wax, perfume, air fresheners, cleaning/ disinfecting products, cosmetics, fuel oil, gasoline, carpet, upholstery, and furniture. Activities such as smoking, cooking, dry cleaning, photocopiers, remodeling, painting, hobbies, or burning wood will also off-gas VOCs. There are three groups of VOCs assigned by the boiling point of each chemical: Vry Volatile Organic Compounds (VVOCs), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and Semi Volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs). Common VOCs that can be found in our daily lives include formaldehyde, benzene, ethylene glycol, methylene chloride, tetrachloroethylene, toluene, xylene, and 1,3-butadiene.

VOCs are dangerous that can pose huge health problems when inhaled. During inhalation, VOC molecules will travel into our lungs, spread through the bloodstream, and the body’s soft tissues. Every chemical in VOCs has a different level of toxicity with adverse health effects. Children and elderly are at a higher risk due to their weakened immune systems. VOCs also contribute to the formation of Tropospheric ozone and smog. Tropospheric ozone is a reaction between nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the atmosphere. During the winter season, VOCs are responsible for causing smog formation due to temperature inversion.

Can VOCs Make You Sick?

Breathing in VOCs can make you sick, particularly in people with asthma or Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) disease. Acute/short-term exposures to VOCs can cause breathing difficulty, headache, nausea, dizziness, loss of coordination, aggravating asthma, eyes, nose, and throat irritation. Chronic/long-term exposure to VOCs arises to health effects from cancer to the liver, kidney, and central nervous system damage. As Volatile organic compounds can easily become gases or vapors, the health effects risk varies depending on the type of chemicals, exposures, and the volume in the air. Since VOCs may or may not be odorless, you should not use the smell as a health risk indicator.

What Level Of VOC Is Dangerous?

Less than 0.3 mg/m3 of TVOC concentration level is considered safe. TVOC concentration level between 0.3 to 0.5 mg/m3 is acceptable.TVOC level between 0.5 to 1 mg/m3 is considerably high and TVOC concentration level from 1 mg/m3 onwards is very dangerous and should cause concern. TVOC stands for total VOC or total volatile organic compounds. It is a common reporting term for grouping multiple organic chemical compounds present in the air or emissions. TVOC is measured in micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3), milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3), parts per million (ppm) or parts per billion (ppb).

How To Remove VOCs And Formaldehyde From Indoor Air

As VOCs will start off-gassing in a product for an estimated 10-20 years, you will need to act quickly to reduce the exposure to the chemicals. Here are ways you can swiftly remove VOCs from indoor air.

  • Install an air purifier with a carbon filter in every room.
  • Increase room ventilation by opening windows and HVAC system.
  • Place air-filtering, potted plants around the house.
  • Use natural household cleaning products.
  • Never smoke indoor.
  • Never use an ozone generator.
  • Replace the plastic product, ceiling board, wallpaper or paint with low VOC alternatives.
  • Hire professionally cleaner to clean the house.

Can HEPA filter Remove VOCs or Formaldehyde?

A HEPA filter cannot remove VOCs, Formaldehyde, or any gaseous pollutants. It is designed to remove non-smoke particles like airborne dust, mold, pollen, pet dander, and germs that pass through the filter. A True HEPA filter can capture 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns; chemical gaseous is around 1000 times smaller than what a HEPA filter can capture. HEPA filter also does not use adsorption technology; therefore, VOCs or smoke particles will not stick to the filter. Instead, you will need an activated carbon or granulated carbon filter to capture VOCs and prevent off-gassing.

Can Activated Carbon Filters Remove VOCs and Formaldehyde?

An activated carbon filter can remove VOCs and other gaseous from the air through adsorption. Adsorption is not the same as absorption. Do not be confused by it. Pollutants are chemically bonded to the tiny carbon particles on the outer surface bed during adsorption. Because carbon filters consist of many carbons or charcoals, there will be plenty of hollow holes for the gaseous to stick to chemically. As for absorption, the gaseous pollutants are trapped inside the carbon filter structure, just like a sponge. With absorption, it is still possible for the VOCs and Formaldehyde gases to release back into the air as it is less secure.

Most carbon filters can remove smoke particle sizes between 0.5 to 50 micrometers. The longer the air purifier runs, the more chemical particles and odors are trapped by the carbon filter. The efficiency of the carbon filters depends on the filter's lifespan, humidity, and ambient temperature. Most activated carbon filters need to be replaced quarterly or yearly to prevent off-gassing. It is because the surface area of the activated carbon filter will be filled up until there is no space for the filter to capture the VOCs. High humidity can also decrease the filter lifespan as the water molecules will take up the space that is supposed to mean for chemical gases. Last but not least, high room temperature may cause the trapped VOCs and Formaldehyde to be released back out. We may have inhaled the chemical gases before the air purifier has a chance to recapture the pollutants.

How To Select An Air Purifier For VOCs And Formaldehyde

Picking the best air purifier for formaldehyde and VOCs can be a little bit tricky if you are a first-time purchaser. There are less known VOCs air purifiers in the market compared with a HEPA air purifier. To help you choose the already limited option out there, here are some of the features you should look into when purchasing an air purifier for chemicals.

  • Room size coverage - A good VOCs air purifier will need a strong smoke CADR of at least 200 cfm to cover a large living room, master bedroom, basement, or garage. If you intend to neutralize VOCs and odor in a specific place, calculate the room size, including ceiling height. Pick an air purifier that can support that with at least 2 air changes per hour.
  • Activated carbon filter - The most important filter for a chemical air purifier. Only go with a carbon filter designed for chemical adsorption to remove VOCs and smoke particles effectively. Research and compare what absorbent media is used in the carbon filter. Addictives like impregnation, zeolite pellet, alumina, potassium, coconut shells, or coal can increase the filter effectiveness against smoke particles. Never go with a carbon pre-filter that uses a thin carbon sheet, sponge type, or baking soda.
  • HEPA filter - Having a reliable HEPA filter will complement well with an activated carbon filter. Even though a True HEPA filter cannot remove smoke particles, it will capture 99.97% of the airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. With a HEPA filter, inflow air filled with mold, pollen, dust mites, pet dander, bacteria, and viruses will be purified before it reaches the carbon filter.
  • Other filtration technology - Pre-filter, PCO, Ionizer, and UV-light also play a role in improving indoor air quality. By neutralizing VOCs and odors carrying contaminants, it prevents the chemicals from spreading into the air. It also protects and reduces the workload of the activated carbon filter.
  • VOC sensor - Some air purifiers come with a built-in VOC or odor sensor to monitor surrounding VOCs and gases. Paired with an Auto mode, the air purifier will automatically adjust the fan speed based on the volume of chemicals in the air. Alternatively, you can purchase a separate TVOC and Formaldehyde sensor to monitor and detect VOCs in the room.
  • Noise level and power - A factor that can be critical for some people. Some air purifiers generate more noise than others due to their high airflow output. If you plan to use the air purifier throughout the night, go with a model with a noise output of less than 30 dB at low speed. The power consumption impact is not as great as the noise level. As sensitive people with leave the air purifier on 24x7, a non-energy efficiency will drive up the electricity bill slightly. So pick a model with an Auto mode that can better manage the air purifier energy usage.
  • Never purchase an Ozone Generator - For no reason you should purchase one. Not only the ozone generator will not remove VOCs, the unstable ozone molecules generated can react badly with VOCs. It will cause damage to your lung tissue cells and worsen asthma symptoms.
  • Warranty - Electronic devices will break down especially if you use them on a regular basis. The longer the warranty period, the better assurance you will get on the product's durability. The 1-year warranty is standard, and most air purifiers now come with a 2-5 years warranty. Brands like Alen air purifiers even offered a lifetime warranty for parts and labor. Look into the details on what the warranty covers, is there a 1-to-1 exchange, and where the service center is.

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Air Purifiers For VOCs/ Formaldehyde

There are many benefits of getting a VOCs/ Formaldehyde oriented air purifier. However, before you invest in one, here are some drawbacks that you should also be made aware of.

Pros

  • Remove gaseous pollutants - An air purifier can help remove toxic fumes from building materials, like cracked walls, tiles, pipes, carpets, paints, and insulation boards. This includes volatile organic compounds (VOCs), radon, Asbestos, Formaldehyde, Nitrogen dioxide, lead, and other smoke particles that are dangerous to our health.
  • Cleaner air - Besides gaseous contaminants, an air purifier will also remove dust, allergens, and other microscopic particles deem harmful to inhale. It circulates clean, fresh air and helps maintain indoor air quality at a healthy level.
  • Improve your health significantly - Not just physically but mentally as well. As concluded by scientific studies, an air purifier helps can free the air from mood-affecting irritants, so you feel more relaxed, happy, and productive every day. Give it a shot.
  • Improved sleep quality - Rather than having you sleep through the toxic fumes exhaled from building materials, an air purifier can protect you during your sleep, so you are at less risk of inhaling them. No more waking up middle of the night due to night cough, post-nasal drip, itchiness, or inflammation.
  • Easy to use - Most air purifiers for VOCs and Formaldehyde will work straight out of the box without requiring any complicated setup, wall-hacking, etc. A quick setup that literally takes minutes to get started.

Cons

  • Expensive - Air purifiers for VOCs and Formaldehyde are much more costly than regular HEPA air purifiers. They require a better activated carbon filter to deal with the endless round of smoke and chemical fumes. You will also have to fork out a higher filter replacement cost for the carbon filter.
  • Limited capacity - While an air purifier can contain most VOCs, Formaldehyde from spreading, some will escape and travel into our lungs. Hence, you will still need to deal with the sources of the pollution for a long-term solution.

Is VOCs/ Formaldehyde Air Purifier Safe?

Air purifiers that use an activated carbon filter to remove chemicals like VOCs, Formaldehyde are safe for home use. It is certified safe by CARN to be ozone-free and will not release additional toxic byproducts.

How Much Energy Does an Air Purifier For VOCs/ Formaldehyde?

A VOCs air purifier with a carbon filter uses a low 30-45 watts of electricity that will not burden your utility bill. The monthly electrical cost will be between $5-6, depending on the fan speed and operational hours. For comparison, an air conditioner will easily hit 3500 watts of electricity.

How To Use An Air Purifier For VOCs And Formaldehyde Effectively?

An air purifier is an effective device for removing harsh chemicals and improving indoor air quality. For those that already have one, here are a few proven steps on using a V.O.C.s/ Formaldehyde air purifier to get the best out of it.

  • Run continuously without shutting it off - An operational air purifier will ensure indoor air quality remains V.O.C.s/ Formaldehyde free, even when you are not at home.
  • Change all filters - The activated carbon filter is the key for chemical fumes neutralization and needs replacing every 6-12 months. If you notice the indoor air quality deteriorates quickly or the filter indicator light is up, change them A.S.A.P.
  • Close to the pollution sources - An excellent place to start is the basement, as that is usually where the chemicals are exhaled. As a rule of thumb, leave a few feet of space for the air ventilation to work and avoid placing it under direct sunlight, as it can damage the air purifier.
  • Close all windows/ doors - Even though it might be better to air out the chemical fumes, an air purifier will only work in an enclosed area. It stops airborne pollutants from creeping inside, and clean air will continue circulating in a room.

How Long Do Air Purifiers For Chemicals Last?

Depending on how well the chemical air purifiers are maintained, it will typically last 5-10 years. Most HEPA and carbon air filters will last 6-12 months before the need for change.

Is It OK To Leave A Chemical Air Purifier On All Night?

Yes, it is safe to leave a chemical air purifier on all night to deal with VOCs and Formaldehyde. It will continuously remove toxic fumes, making the air safe and breathable. Turning off the device will allow the chemical fumes to build up and greatly deteriorate indoor air quality. If you are planning on running the air purifier 24/ 7, make sure the HEPA and activated carbon filter are in tip-top condition.

Compare Best Air Purifier for VOCs and Formaldehyde

NoImageAir PurifierOnline Price (Amazon)ScoreFiltrationCoverageFan
Speed
DimensionWeightDust CADRPollen CADRSmoke CADRPre-filterHEPA filterCarbon filterIonizerUV lightOther filterAll-in-one filterNoise levelPower outputTimer/ SchedulerSensorsWarrantyAuto modeRemote controlChild lockENERGY STARWi-Fi/ BTBluetoothAQIFilter indicator
1IQAir GC MultiGas Air Purifier ReviewIQAir GC MultiGas Air Purifier

$$$$$$$

CHECK PRICE
4.84-stage1125 sq. ft. (105 m2)6
15 x 28 x 16 in
(38.1 x 71.1 x 40.6 cm)
44 lb (20 kg)N/AN/AN/A
HyperHEPA Pre-Filter H11
1 year
+- 78
-
GC MultiGas Cartridges (12 lbs granular activated carbon & impregnated alumina)
2.5 years
+- 295
-
-
-
25 - 69 dB(A)27-135 WTime x Week x Speed10 years
2Blueair Classic 605 Air Purifier ReviewBlueair 605 Air Purifier

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4.83-stage775 sq. ft. (72 m2)3
20 x 26 x 13 in
(50.8 x 66 x 33 cm)
35 lb (15.9 kg)500 cfm (849 m3/h)640 cfm (1087 m3/h)500 cfm (849 m3/h)
-
Blueair Classic 500/600 Series Particle Filter
6 - 12 months
+- 79.95
Blueair Classic 500/600 Series SmokeStop Filter
6 - 12 months
+- 149.95
HEPASilent Technology
-
-
-
32 - 62 dB(A)15 - 100 WVia App5 years
3Austin Air HealthMate HM400 Air Purifier

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4.54-stage1,500 sq. ft. (139 m2)3
14.5 x 23 x 14.5 in
(36.8 x 58.4 x 36.8 cm)
47 lb (21.3 kg)N/AN/AN/A
Large Particle Pre-filter
5 years
60 sq.ft. True Medical Grade HEPA
5 years
15 lbs. Activated Carbon and Zeolite
5 years
-
Medium Particle Pre-filter
5 years
Austin Air HealthMate Filter
5 years
+- 215
40-65 dB132 W5 years
4Coway Airmega 300 ReviewCoway Airmega 300S Air Purifier

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4.54-stage1,256 sq. ft. (117 m2)3
13.6 x 21.2 x 13.6 in
(34.5 x 53.8 x 34.5 cm)
21.4 lb (9.7 kg)260 cfm (442 m3/h)260 cfm (442 m3/h)260 cfm (442 m3/h)
Pre-filter (2 pack)
Permanent
+- 25
Max2 (Green True HEPA filter)
1 year
Max2 (Activated carbon filter)
1 year
-
-
Max2 Filter
1 year
+- 99.99
22 - 52 dB6 -57 W1, 2, 4, 8 hours (App), SchedulerPollution sensor5 years
5Alen BreatheSmart FIT50Alen BreatheSmart FIT50 Air Purifier

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4.23-stage900 sq. ft. (84 m2)4
16.8 x 22.3 x 10 in
(42.7 x 56.6 x 25.4 cm)
16 lb (7.3 kg)220 cfm (374 m3/h)220 cfm (374 m3/h)220 cfm (374 m3/h)
Washable Pre-filter (with HEPA filter)
6 - 18 months
HEPA-Pure Filter FF50
6 - 18 months
+- 79
-
Ionizer
-
-
-
32 - 49 dB60 W2, 4, 12 hoursSmartSensorLifetime Limited Warranty
6Winix 5500-2 ReviewWinix 5500-2 Air Purifier

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CHECK PRICE
4.54-stage360 sq. ft. (33 m2)4
15 x 23.6 x 8.2 in
(38.1 x 59.9 x 20.8 cm)
15.4 lb (7 kg)243 cfm (413 m3/h)246 cfm (418 m3/h)232 cfm (394 m3/h)
Pre-filter
Permanent
True HEPA filter
1 year
AOC Advanced Granular Carbon Filter
1 year
PlasmaWave Technology
-
-
Filter H 116130
1 year
+- 79.99
26.6-60+ dB5 - 90 W1, 4, 8 hoursVOC sensors (Air quality)2 years