In the air purifier industry, it’s been assumed that less than 20% of people replace their filters as they should, which can dramatically impact effectiveness, as well as allow microscopic particles like mold to grow. In contrast, the Molekule technology, called Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO), destroys pollutants through a catalytic reaction on the filter surface, and changing filters on time will offer peak efficiency. Molekule made sure from the start to make it worry-free for customers to get clean Molekule filters.
Molekule’s filtration system
Original Molekule Air purifier: The original Molekule Air comes with an air purification process that begins with a 360° air intake at the bottom of the device. A powerful fan blows contaminated air upward into the first filtration step, the Pre-Filter. The air then travels up into Molekule’s proprietary PECO-Filter where pollutants are destroyed, and finally exits clean and contaminant-free out the top of the device.
Molekule Air Mini: This process is similar but slightly different for the Molekule Air Mini. For this device, Molekule Air Mini takes in the surrounding air from every angle, and air flows through high efficiency outer filter layers of one integrated PECO-Filter. During the PECO process, pollutants are destroyed and Molekule releases harmless molecules that are meant to be in the air, reducing the presence of harmful pollutants.
First phase: Pre-Filter for the original Molekule Air
When contaminated air first passes through the Pre-Filter, very large particles are halted and removed from the air, therefore preventing them from passing further.
Large particles removed by the Pre-Filter typically include:
- Grains of pollen
- Strands of pet fur
- Long fibers from clothing or bedding
You will see this kind of material accumulate over time if you check the Pre-Filter. Like other air purifiers that have a type of pre-filter to protect their primary filter, this accumulation can affect airflow into the unit and reduce cleaning efficiency after a few months.
Molekule’s Editor’s Note: Molekule Air Mini has an integrated filter system and does not have a dual-phase filter setup like the original Molekule Air. Molekule Air Mini contains 1 integrated PECO-Filter.
Next phase: PECO-Filter
In the original Molekule Air, after the large particles are removed from the air, any smaller particles that have passed through the Pre-Filter, or have detached from the material it has trapped, will enter the second phase: the PECO-Filter. Many of the tiniest pollutants are the most harmful. They include pollutants like airborne chemicals, ozone, or the allergy-producing proteins on pollen grains and pet dander, which will pass through the Pre-Filter and enter the PECO-Filter, where they are destroyed.
Conversely, in Molekule Air Mini, large particles like dust and dander are immediately halted from the air by the outer, high-efficiency layers of the integrated PECO filter, while smaller pollutants like airborne chemicals are broken down into their basic components, leaving clean air in its place.
Some of the pollutants destroyed by the PECO-Filter include:
- Mold spores
- Pollen and other allergens like dust mite particles or pet dander
- Airborne chemicals (volatile organic compounds, or VOCs)
- Bioaerosols like bacteria and viruses
During the Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) process, light activates a catalytic reaction to break down pollutants at a molecular level. The PECO-Filter is coated with a proprietary catalyst that react to light inside the unit. The light activates this catalyst, initiating a chemical reaction that converts toxic pollutants into safe substances in the air like carbon dioxide and water vapor.
How dirty filters can affect performance
When carbon-based pollutants are destroyed by the PECO-Filter, they are converted into carbon dioxide, water vapor and other trace gases that float away and become natural components of the atmosphere. Many pollutants are carbon-based, such as VOCs, allergens and disease-causing microbes, and will be broken down into these natural components by the PECO process.
It is also possible that some non-carbon based, solid particles will pass through the Pre-Filter and begin to accumulate as a very fine layer of dust on the PECO-Filter. If you do notice a layer of dust on the PECO-Filter after about 6 months, this may begin to dim some of the light from the top of the device. After this time, you may notice the air is not quite as fresh. For the original Molekule Air, we recommend you replace your PECO-filter on time (after 6 months of usage) to maintain peak efficiency. For the Molekule Air Mini, we have the same recommendation of replacing your two-in-one PECO-Filter every 6 months. You can also refer to this page here for more guidance on filter replacement frequencies.
Role of Pre-Filter in the original Molekule Air
The Pre-Filter ultimately removes large particles and dust from the air, a critical step in the process of cleaning the air in your home. Dust and large particles will accumulate on the Pre-Filter regardless of where you live or how clean you keep your home.
In addition, the Pre-Filter is vital to the Photo Electrochemical Oxidation (PECO) process because it prevents larger particles, which may block the light within the device, from reaching the PECO-Filter.
This aspect of the Pre-Filter is performed by the two-in-one, integrated PECO filter in the Molekule Air Mini.
Why changing frequency is important for the original Molekule Air’s Pre-Filter
Because the Pre-Filter is where large particles are removed from the air, it will become dirty faster and we recommend replacing it every 3 months. The PECO-Filter has a longer lifespan of 6 months; any accumulation of dust on the surface of the PECO-Filter will be much slower because air must first pass through the Pre-Filter.
To make it easy for our customers to receive filter replacements, our auto-refills model is based on this timeline of providing fresh Pre-Filters every 3 months, and a new PECO-Filter every 6 months. The filter life status indicator (found in your Molekule mobile app or the touch screen of your device) can help keep you on track as an additional reminder to replace your filters. The filter status indicator will show a 0% or exclamation mark for each filter when it comes time for replacement. The status indicator counts down from 90 days (3 months) for the Pre-Filter and 180 days (6 months) for the PECO-Filter.
You may see visible signs when it is time to change your Pre-Filter. Depending on environmental conditions (some of which are discussed below), you may find the Pre-Filter saturated with dust, pet hair and other larger particles. In this case, we would recommend replacing your Pre-Filter based on these signs.
How frequently should you change your Molekule filters
To keep your Molekule air purifier at peak performance, filters should be replaced on time. Our data indicates what a viable cycle would look like for average conditions, and we recommend the following filter replacement schedule:
- Replace your Pre-Filter every 3 months to avoid overloading it with large particles
- Replace your PECO-Filter every 6 months to maintain the highest efficiency
Molekule Air Mini:
- Replace your PECO-Filter every 6 months to maintain the highest efficiency
We recommend running your unit 24 hours a day to experience the cleanest air, and the above general schedule is based on this continuous usage time.
When would your filters need early filter replacement
The presence of pollutants can vary according to your home’s location and conditions, and the filters in your device may require replacement at different rates. The filter replacement schedule above is the best cycle for keeping your unit running at peak efficiency under average conditions.
If you run your Molekule in a place where there is a larger-than-average volume of particles, then you may need to replace your filter sooner.
Some scenarios that may require early filter replacement include:
- Multiple furry pets in your home
- A kitchen that is perpetually in use
- Living near a freeway, parking lot or factory
If you experience these types of scenarios, you can check your filters (mainly the Pre-Filter for the Molekule Air) to see if it has become full of visible particles that are preventing airflow. Sometimes, the particles that block the light on the PECO-Filter will be too small to see, and so a visual inspection is not quite good enough, and it is recommended to change it on schedule instead of delaying replacement. We do not recommend vacuuming or washing the Pre-Filter or PECO-Filter for your Molekule air purifiers. Vacuuming can release and re-introduce pollutants back into your air, while washing the filters could potentially cause mold to grow if the filters are not dried fully. Check out our Filters page here in our Help Center to learn more.
If you would like to purchase additional filters for your Molekule, please go to https://molekule.com/shop.
How our filters are constantly improving
The PECO technology has been independently tested and confirmed to destroy pollutants like airborne chemicals, mold, bacteria and viruses. Because the scientific process is very important to us, as a company we continue to develop and further the science behind the technology, and fresh filters that we mail customers incorporate the most recent advancements and technology that science has to offer.
Molekule filter auto-refills
To prevent it from becoming burdensome for Molekule customers to order new filters, we created a filter delivery model so that Molekule filter replacements arrive at your doorstep.
For Molekule Air: These filter auto-refills will ensure you have a fresh PECO-Filter when it comes time to replace it every 6 months, and a fresh Pre-Filter every 3 months. The auto-refill shipments include a set of 2 Pre-Filters and 1 PECO-Filter that will arrive every 6 months, so you will have fresh filters when it comes time to replace them.
For Molekule Air Mini: Filter auto-refills will ensure you have a fresh PECO-Filter to replace every 6 months. One filter refill pack includes a year’s supply with 2 PECO-Filters.
Regularly replacing your filters can help prevent your Molekule from running on dirty filters. We encourage you to keep the Molekule technology working at its best with fresh filters to maintain clean air in your home. Our technology is always improving and so are the Molekule filters, ensuring the benefits of clean air for you and your family.