Most people want to keep their houses spick and span, but sometimes, a pesky component of natural elements, like mold, can be tough to handle. Mold can grow in any damp location, and it is often invisible, making it hard to detect. However, breathing in mold spores consistently can cause health problems, like respiratory issues and allergies.
One of the most common methods of mold removal currently is using an air purifier. While a lot of air purifiers are labeled as “mold removers” or Mold air purifiers”, it’s essential to find out if they truly do the job of tackling this mold problem in your home.
What is mold?
Molds are diverse types of fungi that grow in and outdoors. They grow best in warm, moist, and humid environments. They spread by reproducing reproductive cells that travel through the air. One of the most common species is black mold, which is most common in households and a cause of concern for numerous people.
Can an air purifier tackle mold?
The answer is yes! Air purifiers contain filters that help remove mold spores from the air, primarily if they have True HEPA filters. These filters trap 99.97% of particles from the air that passes through them, which includes mold spores.
Moreover, air purifiers contain additional features that enhance their capability to filter and capture mold spores. For instance, some air purifiers feature carbon filters, UV-C light technology, and ionizers. These features help to reduce some of the airborne particles that slip away through filters, although they can’t precisely target all mold spores.
How do air purifiers work?
Air purifiers work by filtering pollutants and particles from the air through a combination of technologies. The primary function of any air purifier is cleaning the air by removing contaminants, allergens, and particles such as dust, dander, and mold spores.
Most air purifiers feature a pre-filter, which catches the larger particles, followed by HEPA filters, which target any small particles that pass through the pre-filter. The HEPA filter can also trap mold, which has a more extensive particle size than other allergens.
In addition to these primary filtering mechanisms, air purifiers could have different methods integrated into their features, like the ones mentioned above, to help further battle mold spores.
Can air purifiers entirely remove mold?
No, air purifiers can’t entirely remove mold because mold grows in damp environments and releases spores. When using an air purifier, you’ll need to perform other activities like cleaning, sealing the problem areas such as windows, doors, and repair leaks to prevent the mold from recurring.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing an Air Purifier for Mold:
While buying air purifiers, you need to consider the following factors:
Ensure that the air purifier has a True HEPA filter as they can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns. Additionally, the filters should also be easily replaceable.
Buy an air purifier with a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) that suits your room size. A too-small purifier will not be effective, while a too-large one will just cost you more without any benefits.
Other models have additional features like multiple fan speeds, automated sensors, and remote controls or digital controls.
Air purifiers come with varying features and costs. Ensure that the functionality offered matches the price paid.
The Most Popular Air Purifiers for Mold:
Here are the best air purifiers for mold:
|Air Purifier||Filter Quality||Room Size||Extra features||Price*|
|RabbitAir Minus A2||True HEPA||Up to 700 sq ft||Customizable filters||Expensive|
|Honeywell HPA200||True HEPA||Up to 310 sq ft||Multiple fan speeds||Average|
|Levoit LV-PUR131||True HEPA||Up to 322 sq ft||Smart sensors and night mode||Average|
|Austin Air Healthmate HM400||HEPA-like||Up to 1500 sq ft||Powerful odor control||Expensive|
Additional Tips to Prevent Mold:
Mold thrives in a damp environment, therefore, controlling moisture is the key to preventing mold spores growth. Here are a few tips on how to prevent mold:
Mold loves high humidity, hence it is essential to ensure the humidity of the house is reduced to below 60%. You can use dehumidifiers or your air conditioner to help in reducing humidity.
Ensure you wipe the sink, shower, toilets, and any frequently damp areas regularly to keep them dry and prevent mold growth.
Ventilate bathrooms, laundry rooms, and the kitchen with an exhaust fan to assist in removing the moist air.
The Pros and Cons of Using an Air Purifier for Mold:
- Air purifiers help reduce allergens, improving air quality.
- Air purifiers combat mold spores, reducing the likelihood of mold growth and related health effects.
- The purifiers feature advanced filters that can reduce the humidity within the house.
- Some air purifiers come with additional features like dehumidifiers, or you can purchase other advanced purifiers that feature all-in-one solutions.
- Air purifiers require additional maintenance like changing filters as prescribed by the manufacturer.
- Air purifiers can only filter the air within the room that they are placed in and cannot help in rooms that are closed or do not have purifiers.
- Most air purifiers are quite expensive, and additional features may increase the price tag.
FAQs About Air Purifiers for Mold:
- Does an air purifier remove the odor of mold? Yes, air purifiers can remove most of the musty smells caused by mold. However, you need to have a purifier with an activated carbon filter to remove the strong smell that accompanies mold.
- Do I need to remove mold before using an air purifier? Yes, you’ll have to remove the mold by cleaning the affected area and getting rid of the source of moisture to prevent mold from recurring.
- Will an air purifier eliminate all mold spores? No, air purifiers capture some of the mold spores present in the air, but they can’t entirely remove mold growth in moist areas.
- Can I sleep with my air purifier on at night? Yes, most air purifiers are quiet and come with a sleep mode feature, making it comfortable to use them throughout the night.
As you can see, air purifiers play a crucial role in eliminating mold from your home. However, it’s worth noting that air purifiers won’t eliminate mold entirely but help immensely in fighting against mold spores. Remember to choose a model that suits your needs according to the room size, filter quality, and any additional features needed.
If you have respiratory illnesses or allergies, it’s worth investing in an air purifier as it will help to combat mold spores and other allergens in the house. Always ensure you maintain and clean the purifier according to the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure it runs efficiently for longer periods.
Do you have any other question about air purifiers and mold? Let us know in the comments!
- National Capital Poison Center. (2018). Mold, mildew, and dampness in your home. https://www.poison.org/articles/2018-may/mold-mildew-and-dampness-in-your-home
- StanfordChildren’s. (n.d). Mold Allergy. https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=mold-allergy-90-P02527
- US Environmental Protection Agency. (2020). A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-10/documents/moldguide12.pdf