Air fryers have caught the attention of a lot of home cooks and food lovers because they claim to make cooking healthier and easier.
But despite all the buzz about air fryers, some people are worried about how they affect the air quality inside. Air fryers cook food by circulating hot air at high temperatures to get the right texture and flavor. As a result, questions have been raised about the potential release of harmful substances and the contribution of air fryers to indoor air quality.
So, Do air fryers cause indoor pollution? Yes, air fryers do cause indoor pollution. In some cases, air fryers released as much as 13 times higher air pollution than deep frying.
Causes of Indoor Air Pollution
Indoor air pollution can be caused by things like poor ventilation, combustion sources (like cooking with gas stoves or burning wood), tobacco smoke, building materials and furniture that give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs), cleaning products with chemicals, mold and mildew growth, pet dander and allergens, pesticide use, radon seepage, and outdoor pollutants coming inside.
How Air Fryer Causes Indoor Air Pollution?
Air fryers pollute the air inside by releasing fine particles, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), food odors, and making the air inside more humid.
PM2.5 are particles that are smaller than 2.5 microns and can get deep into the lungs. They typically originate when things burn or when gases react with sunlight. 
Air fryers produce fine particulate matter smaller than 0.3 micrometers, while those produced by oil-based cooking methods are smaller than 0.5 micrometers. 
A recent study conducted by the Wang Jhan-Yang Social Welfare Foundation and the Taiwan Society of Indoor Environmental Air Quality examined the extent of particulate pollution resulting from cooking high-fat foods like sausages in a confined studio apartment. 
According to the study, air frying a sausage without any ventilation led to a significant spike in overall pollution from fine particulate matter, reaching levels up to 1,525 times higher than normal. 
Even when a kitchen range hood was utilized, air frying still resulted in air pollution levels 13.15 times higher compared to cooking a sausage in a frying pan, as indicated by the research. 
How to Minimize Indoor Air Pollution used due to Air Fryer?
You can do a few things to reduce the amount of indoor air pollution caused by air fryers. By doing these things, you can keep the air in your home better and still enjoy the benefits of air frying:
Proper airflow: Make sure your kitchen has enough airflow when you use an air fryer. Open the windows or turn on the vent fans to let dirty air out and fresh air in.
Choose a Well-Ventilated Area: Put your air fryer in a well-ventilated area of your kitchen, away from places like beds and living rooms, where it won’t bother anyone. This keeps smells from cooking from getting all over the house.
Clean Your Air Fryer Often: Clean your air fryer after each use to keep grease and food bits from building up. Follow the manufacturer’s advice for how to clean and take care of the device. This will help reduce smoke and odors when you use it again.
Use the Suggested Amount of Oil: Watch how much oil you put in your air fryer. More smoke and smells can come from too much oil. Follow instructions and recipes to figure out how much oil to use for your cooking food. Learn how to add oil to the air fryer. Also, you can put vegetable oil and olive oil in the air fryer.
Don’t overcook or burn food. If you overcook or burn food in the air fryer, it will make more smoke and smell bad. To avoid these problems, be careful with cooking times and temperatures.
Choose Cooking Methods That Make Less Smoke: Instead of frying at high temperatures, choose cooking methods that make less smoke, such as baking or roasting. This can help cut down on the amount of dust that gets into the air.
Maintain a Clean Cooking Space: Keep your kitchen clean and free of things that could pollute the air inside, like greasy stovetops, ovens that haven’t been cleaned, or dirty kitchen tools. Reduce the amount of pollution in the air inside by cleaning surfaces, filters, and exhaust fans on a regular basis.
Consider More Filtration: If you are worried about the air quality in your home, you can add an air filter to your kitchen’s ventilation system. Choose a cleaner with a HEPA filter to catch and get rid of airborne particles effectively.
FAQ about Air Fryer and Indoor Pollution
Q: Do air fryers release harmful gases?
Most air fryers don’t put out gases that are bad for you. Air fryers cook food by quickly moving air around and heating it up. This helps the food cook without releasing a lot of dangerous gases. But it’s important to follow the guidelines for how to use it right and not overcook or burn food, as this can lead to smoke and possibly small amounts of harmful gases.
Q: Can air fryers contribute to indoor allergies?
When used right, air fryers are not likely to cause home allergies. Air fryers use less oil than regular deep fryers, so they release less allergens like cooking oil fumes and particles. But if you have certain food allergies, it’s important to make sure the kitchen is clean and that cross-contamination doesn’t happen.
Q: Is it okay for asthmatics to use air fryers?
Air fryers are usually safe for people with asthma. When you use less oil and don’t deep fry, less of the irritants that can make asthma symptoms worse are released. Even if you don’t have asthma, it’s still important to cook in a well-ventilated area, clean up properly, and avoid burning food so that smoke or other possible triggers don’t get made.
Q: Do air fryers make less smoke than regular ways of frying?
Yes, air fryers usually make a lot less smoke than traditional ways of frying. When you only use a small amount of oil and don’t submerge food in hot oil, the oil is much less likely to hit its smoke point. But it’s important to remember that overcooking or burning food in an air fryer can still make smoke, so it’s important to use the right cooking methods and keep an eye on the food to reduce smoke.