Does the Shark Air Purifier Have a Carbon Filter?

Air purifiers use filters to capture pollutants. A fan lets clean air out into the room after the filter traps airborne pollutants like dust. There are various filters, but people usually wonder if the Shark air purifier has a carbon filter?”

Yes, the Shark air purifier has a carbon filter. It removes 99.97% of dust, dander, allergens, smoke, and odors from the house. Compared to other air purifier filters such as HEPA, it removes contaminants uniquely.

Carbon filters hold a lot of history. In the past, carbon air filters used charcoal to trap gas molecules. Read on as I discuss carbon filters, their advantages, and how they work.

Types of Filters

  • Ionization: For these filters to work, they emit a small charge that attracts particles in the air in a magnetic-like way. Asthmatic patients may not like this type of filtration because it can make ozone gas.
  • Electrostatic: These filters trap particles by giving them a slight static charge, making them stick to the filter.
  • Ultra HEPA: These filters can catch up to 99.9% of particles that are 0.3 microns or less.
  • Electrostatic precipitators: These filters comprise metal plates charged with an opposite charge. You can rewash and reuse them.

You can choose any filter, depending on what you need to achieve. Some people need HVAC system filters to keep the air free of allergens and other pollutants. A high-efficiency and cost-effective filter is an ideal option for most houses.

What is an Activated Carbon Air Filter?

People often use carbon air filters for gas removal. They work by filtering gases through an activated carbon bed. They usually fight volatile organic compounds generated by everyday items.

Also, they remove scents from the air, such as cigarette smoke. However, they can’t remove small particles from the air, such as dust, mold, or pollen.

History of Carbon Filters

We can trace the history of activated carbon back to long ago. In the past, activated charcoal was useful for treating people with illnesses. Scheele found out about the adsorption of activated carbon in 1773.

However, Egyptians were the first to use it to eliminate smells linked to illnesses in a medical setting. When sailors went on long trips, they kept their drinking water fresh by putting it in barrels that had been covered in charcoal on the inside to keep it fresh.

How Does Carbon Become Activated?

Activated carbon keeps getting processed to improve its capacity to trap gas molecules. At first, they inject air, carbon dioxide, or steam into it.

This causes the carbon to form a lattice of tiny pores, making its surface area much more significant. It also makes carbon a better filter because it has more sites to catch molecules.

How Does a Carbon Filter Capture Pollutants?

Activated carbon air filters use adsorption to remove contaminants from the air. However, this is not the same as absorption.

The primary difference is that contaminants adhere to the exterior of the carbon during adsorption. Nonetheless, absorption involves contaminants getting soaked into the structure itself.

Carbon comprises a lattice of interconnected carbon atoms. The activation procedure is essential because it increases the surface area. When a gaseous material molecule passes through the carbon, it can cling to the bed’s surface if an open adsorption site exists.

Carbon air filters can remove gasses from the air through the adsorption process. The disadvantage of the activated carbon bed is that the gaseous contaminants fill the activated carbon’s adsorption sites. As a result, when the filter bed becomes saturated, the filter can’t capture contaminants.

Does the Shark Air Purifier Have a Carbon Filter?

The Shark Air Purifier comes with carbon to help fight odors in the home. However, an air purifier needs more than a HEPA filter to get rid of airborne pollutants and gases from the air. A deep-bed activated carbon filter with a lot of carbon must be part of a good air purifier that cleans the air.

Can Shark HEPA Filters Be Cleaned?

Yes, you can wash the Shark HEPA filters. You can wash the HEPA filter once a year, but you should wash the primary filter once a month. However, you should only use cold water to rinse them.

Guide on How to Use an Activated Carbon Filter

Airflow is essential

The air must spend as much time traveling through the carbon to do so. This is “dwell time” in the air filter industry. A filter with a thick carbon layer is much more effective than one with a thin layer of carbon.

Use enough carbon

Some filters say they have activated carbon filters, but they only use a small amount of carbon. A good activated carbon air filter should have at least five pounds of carbon. Not all carbon is the same, and some have more binding sites and capacity than others.

Change your filter

When the carbon is full, it can no longer filter the air. When this happens, you need to change the carbon filter right away with a new one. The problem is that there is no sure way to tell when carbon is full.

However, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions and change your filter every few months. Carbon filter replacement costs money, but a monthly replacement schedule is an excellent place to start.

What is the Carbon Filter Good For?

Unpleasant Odors

Mechanical air purifiers that merely filter particles are incapable of removing odors. As a result, air purifiers with carbon filters eliminate odors. However, they cannot eliminate all of them.


Carbon air filters get rid of VOCs from the air, and they can do this very well. Most other mechanical filters, such as HEPA filters, can’t handle these gaseous chemicals. You can use a carbon filter to remove some of the gasses in cigarette smoke.

Carbon filters can remove benzene, toluene, xylene, and chlorinated chemicals.

Disadvantages of Carbon Filters

Inability to Clear Particle Pollution

Carbon air filters remove many organic compounds from the air. But they can’t get rid of particulates like dust and pollen.

Filter Replacement

In the long run, replacing saturated carbon filters may be difficult and costly. It can also be hard to figure out when your carbon filter needs to be changed because there are no visible signs that it is full of carbon. In this case, you’ll have to guess or follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Is Carbon Air Filter Good for Use?

You might want to use a carbon filter to remove odors for a short time during a wildfire, but only for a short time. Perhaps you’re worried about the VOCs that come into your home when using household items.

However, a carbon filter may not be the best thing to buy in the long run. You’d have to buy one with a lot of carbon in it, keep an eye on the saturation level of the filter, and change it when it gets too full.

Since it doesn’t eliminate particulates, which are a big part of indoor air pollution, you’d only be taking care of part of the problem. So it might be better to spend money on a more long-term solution for these reasons.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Why is carbon in filters?

Carbon filters act as catalysts to change the chemical composition of things that get into the air. Carbon filters remove contaminants by adsorbing them. Adsorption means that contaminants are drawn to the surface of the activated carbon and held there.

Can we reactivate carbon filters?

Activating the carbon is possible. But it takes heating the carbon back up to the 900 degrees Celsius used in making it. When they reactivate used activated carbon, it releases all the impurities it has taken up. 

Impurities that aren’t pure can be harmful when they get hotter.

Can I rewash the carbon filter?

It is not possible to wash a carbon filter effectively. This is because carbon forms a loose chemical connection when exposed to various compounds. Water won’t remove these bound compounds.

Are carbon filters also HEPA filters?

No, they are different. People use activated charcoal to clean the air of microorganisms and other things that don’t belong. Carbon traps dirt and other things on its porous surface like HEPA filters.

Do carbon filters remove bacteria?

An activated carbon filter will not eliminate bacteria. But it is effective in removing naturally occurring odors from water. It will not be effective in removing bacteria.

How often can I replace my carbon filter?

It is necessary to replace your carbon filters after 18-24 months of constant use. Carbon filters have a lifespan of up to four years, though this may vary depending on the company’s product.

Is a carbon filter better than a HEPA filter?

Activated carbon filters are good, but they don’t compare to HEPA filters, which are better. For example, HEPA filters can remove 99% of particles in one pass, but carbon filters aren’t as good at this.

Are carbon air filters safe?

Don’t be scared of activated carbon filters in any way. It is useful for medical, environmental, and agricultural purposes, among other things. It’s safe to use an activated carbon filter for water, air, and gas purification.