Best Air Purifier for Household Chemicals, VOCs and Cooking Odors
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Best Air Purifier for Household Chemicals, VOCs and Cooking Odors (2018 EDITION)

Little do we know that our own sanctuary home is filled with household chemicals that we barely even know it exist. Each chemical would cause different side effects and varies depending on the exposure level and period of time. In this round of best list we will learn what is household chemicals, the air purifier solutions and who is this for. We will judge each air purifier 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 purifier would definitely bound to your needs in reducing the long-term exposure against household chemicals.

What is household chemicals?

Almost all household items emit chemicals and is possible to avoid them. From our furniture, glasses, wall paint (VOCs) to consumer goods such a detergent, body wash, pest control, nail polisher, and air fresheners. Common chemicals that are emitted from household products include Ammonia, Acetone, Benzene, Formaldehyde and VOCs. While short-term exposure to above chemicals would cause minor symptoms such as coughing, nausea, headache, red eyes and wheezing, long-term high concentration exposure can lead to serious, permanent damage (skin burn, blindness, organ failure) and eventually death.

How do we measure?

Smoke CADR A good benchmark to evaluate the air purifier performance against smoke and odors, AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) uses a standardized Clean Air Delivery Rate (measured by cubic feet per minute) so cross comparison is possible between different brand. While not all manufacturers participate in this measurement, we do take into serious consideration and evaluate together with chemical filtration, purifying coverage and official selling price.
Airflow Each time we inhale indoor, tons of chemical in smokes and odors flow rapidly to our lungs that at high-exposure, it would cause severe, irreversible damage to our lungs, tissue and heart. What we want from the air purifier is to have fast enough airflow delivery rate to fully absorb the harmful chemicals found in smoke and odor thus reducing the volume of exposure. As with smoke CADR, we will judge the air purifier based on the flexibility of its airflow speed, applicable area and of course the price category it's in.
Activated Carbon filter Chemicals comes 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, cooking odors swiftly and effectively regardless of the types of chemicals. Dedicated/ standalone carbon filter would also gain bonus point in our evaluation.
Specialized chemical's air purifier/ filter Filters will chemical, VOCs, cooking odor specialty would also be given a higher notch as it is designed to combat the most foul, notorious household chemical gases and odors. The chemical specialty is usually applicable in carbon filter or as an additional standalone filter where we would also review as stated above.

Who is this for?

Firstly people that are suffering from Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) would definitely benefit from the list. Family that stays nearby industrial area, factory or places with high air quality index (AQI). Baby, children, elderly, asthmatic person that have a weaker immune system. A Person staying with or close to smokers also fit into the bill. Last but not least any indoor house as airborne chemicals and pollutants is everywhere.
For smoke air purifiers that target tobacco smoke and cigarette odors, please visit Best Air Purifier for Smoker and Cigarette Smoke Odor Removal.

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airflow
Airflow
40 - 510 cfm (68 - 866 m3/h)
carbon filter
With
GC MultiGas Cartridges
other filter
With
Specialized chemical filtration

Live nearby industrial area that is constantly polluted with unwanted chemicals and  contaminants? IQAir GC MultiGas is your answer. Apart from the strong airflow distribution and extra-wide purifying coverage, this NO1 multiple chemical sensitivities purifier features a outer layer Post-filter Sleeves that remove activated carbon and chemisorption abrasion particles via a charged fiber structure.  The inner layer GC MultiGas Cartridges would eliminate harmful household chemicals including Ammonia and Formaldehyde via oxidation process. Bundled with the allergens remover HyperHEPA Pre-Filter and industrial leading 10 years warranty, IQAir GC MultiGas is undoubtedly the best by a long stretch.

There is a price for such greatness, IQAir GC MultiGas is very expensive that is not even carried by some of the online dealers. Not everyone could afford to fork out this big chunk of cash on an air purifier let alone the filter replacement cartridge. Another common issue with high performance air purifier is the unavoidable large body and hefty weight. Alternatively consider IQAir HealthPro Plus as it is also a very similar choice at a slightly lower base price.
MRSP/ RSP**
+- 1299
 Annual filter ($)^ 
+- 196 - 390
Online price*
    Latest Amazon price    
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Smoke CADR
Smoke CADR
300 cfm (510 m3/h)
carbon filter
With
Blueair Classic 400 Series SmokeStop Filter
other filter
With
Specialized chemical filtration

Blueair is another premium brand air purifier that unlike IQAir, it has wide range of product selection from the lower end Blueair 203 to the top-of-the-line Blueair Pro XL. What makes Blueair purifier exceptionally outstanding and in this case Blueair 405 filter arrangement setup. Chemicals, allergens and odors that is captured by the air purifier would first have to go through the ionizer, HEPA filter and only SmokeStop filter making it impossible for any of the chemicals from releasing back out. Along with the swift purification via its strong airflow and wide purifying coverage, Blueair 405 also comes with plenty of addon practicality such as  remote control, air quality indicator and Wi-Fi connectivity link with Blueair Friend App.

One of the big drawback in Blueair purifier is the expensive annual filter replacement cost that in long-run would cost even more than IQAir. If you want a strong  chemical filtration air purifier with one of the lowest annual filter replacement cost, see the next item in the list.
MRSP/ RSP**
+- 549.99
 Annual filter ($)^ 
+- 180 - 360
Online price*
    Latest Amazon price    
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airflow
Airflow
72-400 cfm (122-680 m3/h)
carbon filter
With
15 lbs. Impregnated Carbon and Zeolite Mixture
other filter
With
Specialized chemical filtration

Austin Air HealthMate Plus is incredible in many ways. It has complete chemicals and odors filtration, it's dead easy to use and it has one of the lowest annual filter replacement cost in the segment. The strong chemicals filtration is made possible simply due to generous airflow, broad purifying coverage and the main contributor: 15 lbs. Impregnated Carbon and Zeolite Mixture filter.  Fantastic against household chemicals such as VOCS, Ammonia and Formaldehyde, other airborne particles that is traveling with the chemicals would also be captured by the multi-stage pre-filter, medium filter or 60 ft HEPA filter.

What's not so good about Austin Air HM Plus is the plain vanilla set that lacks any features including our favorite Auto mode and timer. It empty features is not something you can part with, consider the well-equipped AIRMEGA 300S.
MRSP/ RSP**
+- 649
 Annual filter ($)^ 
+- 65
Online price*
    Latest Amazon price    
Check Amazon price
Smoke CADR
Smoke CADR
260 cfm (442 m3/h)
carbon filter
With
Max2 (Activated carbon filter)
other filter
With
Specialized chemical filtration

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 definitely be inside your bucket list. With airflow coming from both side and purifying coverage of 1256 sq. ft. (2 air charges hourly), 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. Other notable features includes Wi-Fi connectivity with smartphone pairing, front display air quality indicator and filter life timer.

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. If you want to save up more, consider the Wi-Fi less AIRMEGA 300 or the next item in the list.
MRSP/ RSP**
+- 749
 Annual filter ($)^ 
+- 100
Online price*
    Latest Amazon price    
Check Amazon price
Smoke CADR
Smoke CADR
220 cfm (374 m3/h)
airflow
Airflow
110-231 cfm (187-392 m3/h)
carbon filter
With
HEPA-FreshPlus filter
other filter
With
Specialized chemical filtration

While any version of the BreatheSmart air purifier will do, Alen  BreatheSmart Fit50 is "The balanced one" between value and filtration performance providing you opt for HEPA-FreshPlus filter upgrade pack. With the filter upgrade pack, BreatheSmart Fit50 strong airflow will effectively eliminate all chemicals, cooking odors and smoke link contaminants including VOCs. Other than the cosmetic customizable front panel, Alen BreatheSmart Fit50 also comes with many practical features to better manage your chemicals situation including the ever useful Auto mode, air quality indicator, timer and remote control and lifetime warranty. The longer than average filter lifespan is also a welcome features that would save you money and time in dealing with household pollutants.

The main challenge of owning Alen BreatheSmart Fit50 as your chemical air purifier is definitely the cost. While is not the costliest in this list, you could go with air purifier like Winix HR1000 that is cheaper and comes with 5-stage filtration. Nevertheless the invaluable lifetime warranty and longer filter lifespan could work in BreatheSmart Fit50 favor in long-run.
MRSP/ RSP**
+- 499
 Annual filter ($)^ 
+- 53 - 158
Online price*
    Latest Amazon price    
Check Amazon price
Smoke CADR
Smoke CADR
301 cfm (511 m3/h)
airflow
Airflow
56.5-286 cfm (96-486 m3/h)
carbon filter
With
Coated Deodorization (CD) Carbon Filter
other filter
With
Specialized chemical filtration

Featured multiple times in our "Best list" collection, Winix HR1000 is the perfect new-age representative of air purifier that standout in design, features and filtration performance. Its 400 sq. ft. purifying coverage is great for most places and the robust 286 cfm airflow speed is no pushover either. Filtration wise Winix HR1000 is also on track with the 5-stage filtration including dedicated Coated Deodorization (CD) carbon filter that works wonderfully well with HEPA filter and PlasmaWave. Combining the clean and modern exterior with front air quality indicator light and Wi-Fi support, Chemicals/ cooking odors such as VOCs, plastic off-gassing, tobacco smoke will not bypass against Winix HR1000 filtration.

If you do not need or have not use of the Wi-Fi support (Winix Smart app), there is Winix HR950. For a slimmer tower profile air purifier, consider Winix NK105 (Wi-Fi enabled) or Winix NK100. Otherwise Winix 5500-2 would also do a bang up job at a much cheaper price point against chemicals and odors filtration.
MRSP/ RSP**
+- 379.99
 Annual filter ($)^ 
+- 100
Online price*
    Latest Amazon price    
Check Amazon price
Smoke CADR
Smoke CADR
246 cfm (418 m3/h)
airflow
Airflow
53 - 226 cfm (90 - 384 m3/h)
carbon filter
With
AOC Advanced Granular Carbon Filter
other filter
With
Specialized chemical filtration

In today standard home, there is a reasonable percentage of chemicals in our indoor air that we might not even notice its existence. If you are tight on budget yet would need a reputable air purifier to clear some of the chemicals such as VOCs, look no further. First off, Winix 5500-2 cost at least half less than other chemical air purifiers with minimal compromisation on performance. Secondly it has a dedicated Advanced Granular Carbon Filter (AOC) that works great against household chemicals and cooking odors. Add the reasonably high CADR and purifying coverage into equation, there is no better budget-friendly air purifier to stand beside you against this never-ending clean air battle.

As mentioned earlier, there is a dip in airflow performance and quality of the filtration but considering the price and addon features (timer, remote control), Winix PlasmaWave 5500-2 would not disappoint you.
MRSP/ RSP**
+- 249.99
 Annual filter ($)^ 
+- 80
Online price*
    Latest Amazon price    
Check Amazon price

Honorable mention

They are not many air purifiers in the market designed with household chemicals and odors in mind. Here is few more honorable mention that is worthy of your consideration.
  • A far more reachable and rational choice in our book, IQAir HealthPro Plus V5-Cell Gas & Odor Filter would have no issue tackling any stubborn household chemicals.
  • Airgle air purifiers would fit the bill well with its enhanced special blend carbon filter.
  • Blueair Pro series is yet another excellent but expensive chemical remover air purifier.
  • Rabbit Air air purifiers with its Charcoal-Based filter is also worthy of second look.

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