Do Air Purifiers Remove Carbon Monoxide? (The Dirty Truth)

  • Author: Irene Batres
  • Date: February 20, 2023
  • Time to read: 7 min.
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Many people love air purifiers because they remove unhealthy pollutants from the air. But do air purifiers remove carbon monoxide?

I decided to look into it, and here’s what I learned:

An air purifier does work for carbon monoxide. An air purifier with an activated carbon filter removes organic compounds (VOCs). However, an air purifier should not be relied upon to remove the air of CO2 completely. While air purifiers can remove carbon monoxide within the home, a carbon monoxide monitor is necessary.

But that’s just a brief summary.

In the rest of this article, I’ll be breaking down the facts about carbon monoxide and air purifiers. Keep reading to know more!

Do Air Purifiers Remove Carbon Monoxide?

Key Takeaways:

  • Air purifiers with activated carbon filters can remove organic compounds, including carbon monoxide.
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    • Carbon monoxide is a gas and can pass through most air filters, including HEPA filters.
    • Even with an air purifier, it is essential to have a working carbon monoxide monitor in the house.
    • Air purifiers cannot detect carbon monoxide; one must purchase a carbon monoxide detector and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
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      Do Air Purifiers Remove Carbon Monoxide?

      The answer is yes, but only if they meet very specific requirements.

      Such as:

      • Medical-grade HEPA 13 filter
      • Activated carbon filter.

      For example, the volume of the room must be measured. It must be able to draw air from all room areas. It won’t be enough if the air can only be cycled once or twice per hour.

      Manufacturer marketing is another issue. Many of these air purifier makers exaggerate their product’s ability to perform.

      Although, make sure you pick an air purifier that can aid in trapping carbon monoxide. Then, either have an air purification specialist look at it for you or ask them directly for a recommendation. 

      Another thing to watch out for is micron size. Most True HEPA filters can rid the air of particles measuring .3 micrometers. 

      However, carbon monoxide is a gas, and gases are tinier than .3 micrometers.

      p>As a result, it will simply pass right through even a True HEPA filter. 

      In addition, you’ll still need a working carbon monoxide monitor in your home. Even if you purchase a high-end air filter, a monitor is necessary for your safety.

      Can Air Purifiers Emit Carbon Monoxide?

      The answer is no. CO is made when a material combusts. Homes with appliances that burn fuel or attached garages are more prone to CO issues. 

      >Here are some items in our home which are a source of CO: 

      • Fireplaces (wood and gas)
      • Clothing dryers
      • i>Water heaters
      • Motor vehicles
      • Gas ovens/Stoves
      • i>Furnaces/boilers
      • Power tools, grills, generators, lawn tractors/mowers
      • Tobacco smoke
      • i>Wood stoves
      Do HEPA Filters Remove Carbon Monoxide?

      Can Air Purifiers Detect Carbon Monoxide?

      Air purifiers do NOT detect carbon monoxide. You are going to need a carbon monoxide monitor to do that.

      You can purchase one at your favorite retailer. Some municipalities even offer free monitors at the local fire department. Purchase and read the instructions carefully for your monitor.

      Install alarms on every level of your home. Put them outside every sleeping area of your home. If possible, interconnect the alarms so that when one goes off, they all go off. 

      Ensure you follow all manufacturer instructions for the correct mounting height and placement. Test the monitors monthly and replace them per the manufacturer’s instructions. 

      Also, keep extra batteries on hand at all times. Listen carefully for the trouble signal sounds.


      eplace low batteries and contact your local fire department immediately if it still makes a sound. 

      This information was derived from the NFPA, and I highly encourage you to read this resource about CO monitors. 

      How To Remove Carbon Monoxide from The Air?

      • Carbon Monoxide ventilation system- is a popular method of removing carbon monoxide from the air, but they are primarily available for commercial applications. These are commercial systems installed by HVAC technicians.  Even so, they are not on 24/7 because they cost a lot to run. Even in places that operate such systems, monitoring equipment is still used for maximum safety.
      • Carbon monoxide scrubber- These are just as they sound. It is a device that uses a chemical to remove harmful gas from the air. They work by removing unwanted gases from the air by using chemical reactions that change the makeup of the gas to heat and water as they go through the system. 

      How Long Does It Take for Carbon Monoxide to Dissipate? 

      The half-life of carbon monoxide in the human body is five hours. This is the same half-life for a well-ventilated home.

      This means that half of the carbon monoxide will have disappeared after five hours. In five more hours, the rest will go away. This means that it can take a day or two to really dissipate. It depends on how bad the leak was.


      wever, it’s best to call a professional to test the air and remove the pollutant.

      You will need to stay away from home until it is deemed safe. You will also need time to address whatever caused the leak. 

      Will Opening Windows Reduce Carbon Monoxide?

      Yes, but not enough to be safe. If your carbon monoxide monitor goes off, you must exit the home immediately and contact the fire department immediately.


      ening the windows will not be adequate for your and your family’s safety. 

      The carbon monoxide must then be removed. You will then need to have an air quality professional come in and test the home.

      The item that caused the carbon monoxide leak must be addressed or removed. 

      lass="wp-block-heading">Conclusion: Do HEPA Filters Remove Carbon Monoxide?

      Unfortunately, HEPA filters do not get rid of carbon monoxide. A HEPA filter is built to national standards. One criterion is that it can remove 99.97% of all particles at a size of .3 microns. 

      So, a HEPA filter can remove some pollutants from the air. More specifically, those of the PM2.5 pollutant variety. This includes brake and tire dust. It also includes some vehicle emissions too.

      But HEPA filters cannot remove VOCs. (Volatile Organic Compounds) They cannot remove other gaseous pollutants like sulfur dioxide or nitrous oxide.


      on monoxide cannot be removed, either. It should also be noted that HEPA filters must be replaced regularly. They do, after all, get clogged with particles. 

      Carbon monoxide is no joke and must be taken seriously.

      Check the monitors in your home regularly, and always have extra batteries on hand.

      We ho

      pe this article has been helpful to you. And it fully answered the question: Do air purifiers help with carbon Monoxide? 

      Air Purifier Remove C02 FAQ

      Will an Air Purifier Trap Carbon Monoxide?

      What Is Carbon Monoxide?

      Did you know that burning stuff like gas, wood, propane, charcoal, or other fuels might release a deadly gas called carbon monoxide (CO)?

      It’s totally colorless and odorless, which makes it extra sneaky. CO is made when fuels don’t burn all the way, and it can be hiding out in things like exhaust fumes and busted heaters.

      If you

      breathe in too much CO, you could get sick or even die if you don’t get help immediately. That is why it is essential to use a CO detector because carbon monoxide is odorless, and you can not see it. (1.)(2.)(3.)

      Tips For Protecting Yourself Against Carbon Monoxide

      Install carbon monoxide detectors: Put a detector on each level of your home and near your sleeping area to get alerted if CO levels become too high.

      Keep fuel-burning appliances maintained: Inspect appliances like furnaces, water heaters, and gas stoves regularly to ensure they’re not leaking dangerous amounts of CO.

      g>Avoid running engines in enclosed spaces: Never run generators, cars, or other fuel-burning equipment in a closed garage or enclosed area, as this can quickly lead to deadly levels of CO.

      Improve ventilation: Open windows and doors and use exhaust fans when using fuel-burning appliances indoors. This will help prevent CO buildup in your home.

      Know the symptoms: Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, like headaches, dizziness, nausea, and confusion. If you start experiencing these symptoms, get some fresh air and immediately seek medical attention.


      tips will help you significantly reduce your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Don’t forget to replace your detector batteries every six months and keep your fireplace clean and well-ventilated. Stay safe out there!

      What Are The Symptoms Of Carbon Dioxide Poisoning?

      Getting poisoned by carbon monoxide is no joke!

      The symptoms can be confusing, so knowing what to look for is essential. If you breathe in too much CO, you might feel like your head is splitting or you’re dizzy and weak. Your stomach might get all upset, and you could end up vomiting. Chest pain and confusion can also happen, which can be really scary.

      The tr

      icky thing about carbon monoxide is that it’s totally invisible and has no taste or smell. That means you have to keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms if you want to avoid getting poisoned. Don’t mess around with this stuff.


      Can An Air Purifier Be Used As A Replacement For A Carbon Monoxide Detector?

      You can’t use an air purifier instead of a carbon monoxide detector. While air purifiers are great at eliminating pollutants and allergens from your home’s air, they can’t detect carbon monoxide. Only carbon monoxide detectors are specifically designed to monitor the air for CO levels and alert you with an alarm when the levels are hazardous.


      gh some air purifiers can eliminate carbon monoxide from the air, not all have an activated carbon filter needed for this purpose. It’s worth noting that carbon monoxide detectors are not air purifiers and can’t remove CO from the air.

      Looking For Air Purifier Guides?

      If you’re looking for more air purifier resources, consider checking out our other posts on air purifiers.

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      irene mills author of freshairdevices


      Irene Batres is eager to help others create an indoor allergen-free home. She has years of experience testing out air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and other products designed to help with indoor air quality. Learn more about me.