Three Things to Know about Air Purifiers for Smokers

Cigarette odor, meet your match.

Smoke on black background.
Smoke seeps into every surface—but it doesn’t have to.Skyler Ewing, Pexels

Cigarette smoke can be one of the most pesky scents to remove from indoor air, so you need an air purifier with a filter system that’s strong enough. On their own, HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters can remove 99.97 percent of all particles that are 0.3 microns in diameter, and they can also extinguish the physical element of smoke from the air, but they can’t do much about the stench. To retain all the benefits of a HEPA filter and get rid of the overpowering smell of tobacco, you’ll need a multi-filter system that includes both a HEPA filter and an activated charcoal filter (also known as an activated carbon filter).

Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier for home 3 Stage with Washable Pre-Filter, Particle, Carbon Filter, Captures Allergens, Viruses, Odors, Smoke, Mold, Dust, Germs, Pets, Smokers, Small Room
It’s designed for small rooms between 100 and 175 square meters, and its 360-degree design means it filters air more effectively on all sides.Blueair

Since the human body is most vulnerable to particles that are under 0.5 microns in diameter, HEPA filters are highly recommended for people who suffer from allergies. Pollen, mold, pet dander, dust mites and bacteria are no match for HEPA filters because they are all large enough to be trapped by them. Most fumes, however, have microns that are smaller than 0.3 microns, so an air purifier needs an activated charcoal or carbon filter as backup.

LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home with H13 True HEPA Filter Cleaner for Allergies and Pets, Smokers, Mold, Pollen, Dust, Quiet Odor Eliminators for Bedroom, Vital 100, 1-Pack, White
This model can cover 500 square feet in 30 minutes and 300 square feet in 18 minutes.LEVOIT

Activated charcoal and carbon filters contain small absorbent pores that react chemically to pollutants that go through it. The bonding action traps the pollutants, clearing odors, chemicals, smoke and gases from the indoor air we breathe. Good as they are at kicking out unwanted scents, they are rarely used on their own to purify air and generally work in tandem with other kinds of filters.

Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier with HEPA and Carbon Filters for Large Room and Home, Quiet Bedroom Air Cleaner for Allergies, Pets, Dust, Dander, Pollen, Smoke, Odors, Auto Mode, 2768A, White/Grey
It has a rear storage area for cord concealment and can be used in a 1,000-square-foot room.Bissell

Unless they are damaged, permanent filters don’t need to be replaced, but they must be cleaned every three months or so, depending on usage. The life cycle of replacement filters, on the other hand, varies. Most activated charcoal filters should be changed after 3,000 hours - or 125 days - of use, but if you cook and fry often, you might need to replace them after three or four months. When used in homes, HEPA filters can last up to two years, but may need to be changed twice a year. It’s best to follow what your instructions recommend. For those who have trouble keeping track of time, some devices will warn you when it’s time to replace a filter.

Also Consider

Hathaspace Smart True HEPA Air Purifier for Home, 5-in-1 Large Room Air Cleaner for Allergies, Pets, Asthma, Smokers – Filters 99.97% of Allergens, Dust, Pet Hair, Pollen, Smoke, Odors - HSP001
When it’s in auto mode, a sensor detects pollutants and makes necessary adjustments to the fan speed.Hathaspace
LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Allergies Pets Hair Smokers in Bedroom, H13 True HEPA Air Purifiers Filter, 24db Quiet Air Cleaner, Remove 99.97% Smoke Dust Mold Pollen for Large Room, Core 300, White
It can cover rooms up to 219 square feet, and in quiet mode, it operates at 24 decibels, which is about as loud as the sound of a whisper or rustling leaves.LEVOIT
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