Areas of your home that routinely experience high temperatures and high humidity are prone to having mold problems.
And if you breathe in enough of this mold, it could lead to all sorts of short and long-term health problems.
Since mold is such a serious issue, many people wonder, “Will an air purifier help with mold?”
In this post, we’ll answer that very question so you can decide if an air purifier is a good way to keep you and your family safe from mold exposure.
We’ll start with the short answer so you know what’s ahead, then we’ll move onto a more detailed explanation.
The Short Answer:
Yes, an air purifier can remove mold spores. However, it must include a HEPA filter which traps airborne spores and prevents them from reentering the room. Two other features it must have are an Activated Carbon filter to eliminate mold odors and a germicidal UV-C light to stop spore reproduction.
If this is what you’re looking for, you can find our review of the best air purifiers for mold here.
A More Detailed Answer:
What is Mold and How Can it Affect Your Health?
Mold is a fungus that is naturally found in areas with high temperatures and humidity levels.
It’s useful outdoors because mold acts as a decomposition agent. It works to break down any dead leaves, flora, fauna, or fallen trees.
This is great for the environment, but not so great when it gets inside.
Mold reproduces by spreading microscopic spores around in the air.
These mold spores float around until they land on a damp surface. As long as this surface stays damp and provides the mold spores with something to eat, they can start to reproduce.
A few of the adverse effects mold can have on your health include:
- Allergy flares (itchy red eyes, skin rashes, runny nose, coughing)
- Asthma problems (wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing)
- Multiple chemical sensitivity flares (hives, rashes, dizziness, nausea, memory lapses, flu-like symptoms, breathing issues)
- Respiratory problems in otherwise healthy people
Long-term exposure to mold can have more severe health effects because people may not realize that they’re reacting to the mold. The long-term effects include:
- Cancer (aflatoxin best characterized as a potential human carcinogen)
- Hypersensitivity pneumonitis/pulmonary fibrosis
- Pulmonary injury/hemosiderosis (bleeding)
- Hematologic and immunologic disorders
- Hepatic, endocrine and/or renal toxicities
- Pregnancy, gastrointestinal and/or cardiac conditions
Can Air Purifier Help with Mold?
Now that you know how serious exposure to mold can be to your health, the next obvious question is “Can air purifier help with mold?”
The answer is yes and no.
An air purifier can remove the mold spores in the air and stop them from reproducing if it includes a special type of filter and germicidal technology.
This can help reduce your exposure to mold and its ill effects.
However, air purifiers don’t treat active mold growth.
If you have a serious mold problem in your home, you must fix the underlying issue to get permanent relief (i.e. high humidity or moisture problems). Otherwise, the mold may continue to spread.
If you don’t have a serious mold problem, and just want to eliminate naturally occuring mold spores from the air you breathe, an air purifier is a great choice for your general health.
To cut down on mold spores in the air, your air purifier must use a True HEPA filter.
This filtration system traps the mold spores and stops them from reentering the atmosphere.
Ideally, you also want your air purifier to have an Activated Carbon filter.
This special filter is the only type that gets rid of mold odors. A True HEPA filter can’t remove these types of smells.
A germicidal UV-C light is another top feature to look for on an air purifier because it stops mold spore reproduction.
As air passes through the air purifier, particles are exposed to the UV-C light which destroys the mold’s DNA and makes it impossible for the mold to reproduce.
Lastly, How Do You Find the Best Air Purifier for Mold?
Now that you know what an air purifier can and can’t do for you in regards to mold, you’re probably curious to find out which products are the best mold air purifiers.
To see what’s available, take a look at our detailed review of the best air purifiers for mold here.
Summary – Do Air Purifiers Remove Mold?
We’ve covered a lot of information in this post. Here’s a recap of what you learned:
- Mold is a fungus that acts as a decomposition agent.
- Mold produces a variety of short and long-term health effects including allergies and asthma flares to cancer and cardiac conditioners.
- Mold spores are microscopic and you need an air purifier with a True HEPA filter to remove them.
- An Activated Carbon filter can remove mold odors while a UV-C light can stop spore reproduction.
- An air purifier will help with mold spores but not with active growth.
Now you know the answer to the question, “Will an air purifier help with mold?”