What Are AOC Carbon Filters?

AOC carbon filters are activated carbon air filters that are sometimes used in air purifiers.

They are very effective in removing odors from the air, gases, and even humidity, but they are less effective when it comes to disinfecting the air from pathogens or other thin air pollutants.

What Are AOC Carbon Filters?

Key Takeaways

  • The porous nature of Activated carbon makes it easy for it to trap minute particles.
  • The way activated carbon removes gases from the air is called adsorption.
  • Activated carbon filters are not medical-grade.
  • Activated carbon air purifiers are among the cheapest options in air purifiers.
  • These filters are very effective in removing smell or gases from the air.

What Are Activated Carbon Filters?

What Are Activated Carbon Filters?

Activate carbon filters are very simple: they are made of a bed of carbon.

Because this is a very porous material, when the air flows through it, a lot of particles (like smells or gases) remain trapped in its pores, and they are therefore removed from the air. 

What is carbon?

Carbon is that black matter that we all associate with combustion. In the case of filters, however, we are speaking about activating carbon, so how is carbon activated? 1

Read: How Often To Change The Air Purifier Filter?

Read: Air Quality Index

How Is The Carbon Activated?

How Is The Carbon Activated

Activated carbon is just common carbon that undergoes some additional processing to make it better at trapping gas molecules.

First, it is injected with hot air, carbon dioxide, and steam so that a lattice of tiny pores in the carbon is created.

This process is capable of increasing the surface area so that there are many more places for molecules to become trapped and makes the carbon far more effective as a filter.

The Process of Absorption

The Absorption Process

The way activated carbon removes gases from the air is called adsorption.

While absorption removes the substance from another by absorbing it into the structure of the absorbent (like a sponge) with adsorption, the pollutants stick to the outside of the carbon; they are not absorbed within its structure. 2

Effectiveness Of Activated Carbon Filters

Effectiveness Of Activated Carbon Filters

Carbon filters are very effective when it comes to removing smells or gases from the air.

As we’ve mentioned, they are less effective when you need to remove small particles, like pathogens.

Activated carbon filters can’t be mounted on medical-grade air purifiers because those require that a filter is capable of removing 99.99% of particles, and a carbon filter can not. 3

Here’s what Reddit users think

How effective are carbon filters?
by u/Waftmaster in SpaceBuckets

Are Carbon Air Purifiers Worth It?

There are other options that are more effective as air purifiers. However, activated carbon air purifiers are among the cheapest options you can find.

It all depends on what you are looking for. If you need an air purifier for a kitchen, a toilet with no windows, or a room for smokers, then activated carbon air purifiers are the best option because they’d be effective and they’d make you save tons of money.

But if you have allergies, you live in a polluted area, or you are worried about bacteria or viruses, then you need another type of air purifiers like HEPA or UV purifier. 4

Read: 10 Best Lowes Air Purifier


Activated carbon has been long used as a filter, not only to purify the air.

Today, there are other more effective options, but carbon filters are still around because they are more affordable and still effective for certain purposes.

Read: What Makes A Good Air Purifier?


How to wash my AOC Carbon filter?

Not all filters are washable, but if you have one, then you should remove the filter, dust it properly and then rinse it under running water and do not use soap or detergent. Once it is thoroughly cleaned, leave it to dry completely.

What is the life span of carbon filter?

Carbon filters can last for 3-4 years but it is recommended to get them replaced after every 12-18 months for best results.

How to test if my carbon filter is working?

To check your carbon filter, remove it and hold the filter 1-3 cm away from your nose. If it smells sour or acidic, then it is time to replace your carbon filter.

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The National Planning Cycles is committed to producing high-quality content that follows industry standards. We do this by using primary sources, such as white papers and government data alongside original reporting from reputable publishers that were appropriate for the accuracy of information while still being unbiased. We have an editorial policy that includes verifiable facts with due credit given where applicable.

  1. https://www.filtrete.com/3M/en_US/filtrete/home-tips/full-story/~/how-it-works-carbon-filter/?storyid=96a8db3c-5c93-4c8a-b12c-26e632af88ff[]
  2. https://www.teqoya.com/activated-carbon-filter-a-few-basic-facts-to-sort-out-the-truth/#:~:text=How%20does%20an%20activated%20carbon,purified%20of%20these%20adsorbed%20gases.[]
  3. https://oransi.com/blogs/how-it-works/the-benefits-of-activated-carbon-filters[]
  4. https://filterking.com/hvac-filters/what-should-you-know-before-buying-a-carbon-air-filter#:~:text=It%20can%20eliminate%20toxic%20gases,are%20no%20harmful%20pollutants%20released.&text=This%20product%20is%20highly%20recommended%20for%20those%20with%20several%20chemical%20sensitivities.[]

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