Air Purifiers Are the ANSWER to Removing Bad Smell and Odor

Josh Mitchell

Written By

Josh Mitchell

Expert Reviewed By

Holly Curell

Last Updated On

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Key Takeaways

  • Air purifiers filter out air and can thus help in eliminating unpleasant smells and odors.
  • It is recommended to get a unit with HEPA filter at the minimum. Optionally, units with UV-C light and activated carbon air filter as an addition can work wonders.
  • Air purifiers can remove smells ranging from tobacco smoke, food and cooking all the way to bathroom and garbage.

I’ve come across some pretty unpleasant smells over the years working with air purifiers. Of course, no one wants to deal with unpleasant odors in their home, but not everyone knows the best way to get rid of them.

Fortunately, there’s a solution to remove odors that doesn’t involve lighting 100 candles or opening all your windows in the middle of winter. Air purifiers are a promising option to eliminate indoor air pollutants and create a fresher indoor environment.

Below, I’ve put together a guide this will explain which air purifiers remove odors and what factors you should consider before purchasing.

How Do Air Purifiers Help With Household Smells?

Most air purifiers I deal with use mechanical filtration to remove odor molecules from the air and destroy them. Air purifiers are designed to remove various indoor air pollutants, including odors, using one or more filters. Some purifiers use newer technologies to capture and eliminate the odor molecules in the air.

However, not all air purifiers remove foul odors the same (or at all), and some may be better suited for specific types of odors or sources of odors. Therefore, choosing an air purifier with the right type of filter and technology is essential to effectively remove the specific odors you’re dealing with.

HEPA Filters

HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters remove large airborne particles from the air, like pet dander, dust, pollen, and other allergens. However, they are not specifically designed to remove bad smells, chemicals, or gases from the air.

However, some HEPA air filters may have additional features or be combined with other technologies like activated carbon, which can help to remove odors and chemicals from the air. These filters can effectively remove certain odors and chemical pollutants from the air.

HEPA Filters With UV-C Light

UV-C filters are primarily used to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that can cause illness or infections. However, they are not effective at removing particulate matter or volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are the primary sources of indoor odors.

While UV-C filters are effective at killing microorganisms, they are not designed to remove odors from the air. Their effectiveness against odors is heavily debated.

Carbon Air Filters

Carbon air filters effectively absorb chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause odors and smells. High-quality activated carbon filters have a higher carbon count, which means they can absorb more pollutants and odors from the air, making them more effective at trapping smells.

Certain odors, such as those from mold spores. bacteria, and chemically reactive gases may require additional technologies such as UV-C light or HEPA air filters to effectively eliminate them from the air.

How To Choose An Air Purifier For Removing Odors

Filter Type & Quality

Getting the right filter type and quality in your home is essential for tackling smells. To trap the odors, a HEPA air filter paired with an activated carbon filter is best for fresh air.

Coverage Size

Choosing the right size filter is crucial for improving indoor air quality and reducing bad smells. Make sure to carefully read the filter’s description and measure the square footage of your space before purchasing an air purifier to ensure it can handle the size of the room effectively.

CADR Rating & AHAM Clarification

Air purifier filters are rated based on their Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR), which indicates their performance in cubic feet per meter. A general rule of thumb is to choose an air purifier with a CADR greater than two-thirds of the room’s square footage.

Some of my favorite brands include –

Common Odors Found In The Home

Smells in the home can be a source of discomfort for many people (including your AC technician). From cigarette smoke to pet odors, cooking smells to garbage, countless odor sources can leave your home smelling unpleasant. Here are some tips for dealing with common household smells using air purifiers:

  • Tobacco Smoke:
    Clear the unpleasant cigarette smoke smell from your home with an air purifier with a HEPA air filter and activated carbon filter.
  • Pet Odor:
    Minimize unpleasant pet smells with a HEPA air purifier with an activated carbon filter.
  • Food & Cooking Smells:
    Remove cooking smells with an air purifier that has a high CADR rating and activated carbon filter.
  • Garbage Smell:
    Get rid of garbage smells with an air purifier that has an activated carbon filter and pre-filter.
  • Bathroom/Urine:
    Improve your home and overall quality of life by removing bathroom smells with an air purifier with a high CADR rating, HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter.
  • Mold & Mildew:
    Tackle musty smells caused by mold and mildew with an air purifier with a HEPA filter and activated carbon filter.

Removing pollutants and bad smells from your home is crucial for your health and well-being. Poor air quality can worsen conditions like asthma, making daily routines challenging.

In addition to using an air cleaner to remove bad smells, you can:

  • Open a window
  • Use air fresheners
  • Turn on the extractor fan
  • Clean your home weekly
  • Smoke outside
  • Switch to natural cleaning products and plants

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How long does it take for an air purifier to remove bad odors?

How long it takes for an air purifier to remove odors depends on the air purifier, the size of your space, and the strength of the odors. It could take anywhere from 10 minutes to a few hours.

Does vinegar get rid of smells?

Vinegar can get rid of bad smells. Boiling vinegar in water or leaving it in bowls in where the smells are can help remove odors. You will smell the vinegar itself for a while, but that will dissipate over time.

How do I keep my house smelling good all the time?

You can keep your house smelling good all of the time by using an air purifier with an activated carbon filter. You can also ensure proper ventilation, and use air fresheners.


I can’t recommend air purifiers enough when it comes to eliminating odors. Just remember that not all are designed to eliminate offensive odors, and you’ll need one with a carbon or molecule filter.

My favorite purifiers combine HEPA and activated carbon filters to remove odors and pollutants. In addition to getting a purifier, be sure you also regularly clean and ventilate your home to stay on top of any smells.

Following these tips can help create a healthy and pleasant living space free of foul smells.

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Josh Mitchell


Josh Mitchell
My name is Josh and I am obsessed with home appliances. From portable AC units to heaters and air purifiers, I enjoy testing, learning and using these devices to improve the air quality inside my family home.

My Favorite Home Appliance?

Midea U Shaped Window Air Conditioner

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