Have you discovered a mold problem inside your home?
In this post, we’ll share with you some important information regarding mold and your health as well as what the best air purifier for mold spores is and how it can help get rid of these toxins from your indoor air.
Use these links below to jump to a specific section of the page:
- How Mold Exposure Can Affect Your Health
- Key Features to Look for in a Mold Air Purifier
- List of the Three Best Air Purifiers for Mold (Products and Reviews)
- Other Benefits You’ll Enjoy
- Additional Information on Mold
In a hurry? Here’s a glimpse of the two best products you can get.
If you’ve got a bit more time you can find the detailed reviews and buying guide below.
How Mold Exposure Can Affect Your Health
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not everyone has a sensitivity to mold and mildew, but for those that do, the common symptoms include a stuffy nose, irritated throat, coughing, and wheezing.
However, just because you don’t have an allergic reaction to mold doesn’t mean that it’s not causing harm to your health.
In fact, being exposed to mold over a long period of time has caused many people to develop a strong allergy to it.
In 2004 the Institute of Medicine discovered that exposure to indoor mold caused upper respiratory tract problems, coughing and wheezing in otherwise healthy people. Additionally, there have been other studies that suggest a link between early mold exposure and the development of asthma in children.
Having a mold allergy is kind of like a double-edged sword. Yes, it causes a whole host of health problems, but it also makes a person more aware of its presence and can therefore quickly spot when it’s becoming a serious problem.
The U.S. Department of Health states that indoor mold and mildew produces potent toxins that not only can be absorbed by the lungs but also the skin and intestines. The long-term effects of mold exposure can have serious effects on your health including cancer, neurotoxicity, memory loss, cardiac conditions, and more.
Why Does it Become Such a Problem?
The reason why mold becomes such a big problem so fast is because it reproduces by forming millions of spores. These microscopic mold spores cannot be seen by the naked eye. And, what’s worse is that these spores are able to survive under conditions that visible mold cannot.
What this boils down to is that you may not see any physical evidence of mold or mildew in your home, but the spores are still present and have the potential of causing severe health problems and/or landing on a surface that is inhabitable that allows it to start growing again.
Another disturbing factor is that many types of mold form outside and can easily enter your home through open doors, windows and vents or hitchhike their way in on your clothing.
For these reasons, we highly suggest that you use an air purifier to control mold and mildew problems. This simple device is able to remove all kinds of mold spores and is crucial to helping you live a healthy life.
Key Features to Look for in a Mold Air Purifier
Now that you know the severity of the issue regarding mold, you may be wondering how do you find the best home air purifier for handling such an important task?
When looking for an air purifier for mold removal there are three key features you want to keep in mind. Getting a device that has all of the options listed below will ensure that your home stays free of harmful mold spores.
- True HEPA Filter
The first thing you want to make sure the room air purifier has is a True HEPA filter. This filter is essential because it is certified to capture particles as small as 0.3 microns. This includes all types of mold spores that make their way into your home. Getting a device that doesn’t have the True HEPA stamp doesn’t give you any guarantee that it will help with the problem. Stay away from air purifiers that say “HEPA-like” or “HEPA-type” as they are inferior to a True HEPA device.
- Ultraviolet Light
An Ultraviolet (UV) light is also crucial because it actually kills mold spores. It works by using a beam of light to zap the spores and destroy their DNA makeup. The UV light is located inside the air purifier and no light is released into the room. It’s a great backup system for the True HEPA filter because it kills the particles that it cannot trap.
- Activated Carbon Filter
This filter is also a must have because it picks up where the other two types leave off – it eliminates mold odor. Activated carbon is excellent at trapping toxic Volatile Organic Compounds and Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds that mold and mildew emits. Without this feature, the smell of mold will still exist.
Below, you’ll find the two best products that fit these criteria and continue to top the charts for mold removal.
The Best Air Purifiers for Mold
If you want the best air purifier for mold and mildew at the most affordable price, this is it.
This product takes care of all aspects of mold spores using the three essential filters we mentioned above: a True HEPA filter, Ultraviolet (UV) Light, and Activated Carbon filter. It also boasts a negative ion generator to help eliminate other kinds of harmful particles including pollen, pet dander, smoke, and dust.
What you’ll love most about this product is that the True HEPA filter is shaped like a cylinder. This increases the surface area by 60% compared to flat filters and is much more efficient.
Another highlight is that it can cover a very large space up to 500 square feet, making it a perfect choice for any room of the home, including the basement.
This product is your second best bet for a powerful mold air purifier and is not very expensive.
It also includes the three essential filters mentioned above but the True HEPA filter is not cylindrical like our #1 recommendation. That doesn’t matter though because this air cleaner is made for small to medium sized rooms up to 200 square feet. A standard flat filter is perfectly fine for that size space.
The vertical shape is a nice design to have since it allows you to place the air purifier practically anywhere. This device is also quite stylish compared to many other air purifiers on the market and looks great with any decor.
Our final recommendation is this unit right here.
It includes all of the same air purification features as the GermGuardian air purifier (True HEPA filter, UV Light, and Activated Carbon filter), but has a different shape and color.
Either model is a good choice for tackling mold and mildew in rooms up to 200 square feet, but you may just prefer the look (or size) of this air purifier over the previous option.
The choice is obviously yours, but either way, you’re getting the best air purifier for mold at a low price.
Other Benefits You’ll Enjoy
While you most likely came to this page because you were looking for an air purifier to get rid of a mold problem, there are some additional advantages you’ll enjoy by owning one of these devices.
As we noted above, the True HEPA filter captures the tiniest particles possible from the air. Not only does this mean that you’ll trap mold spores, but it will also help to get rid of other airborne particulates that cause health and/or breathing problems. This includes things like dust, pollen, and common allergens.
The Ultraviolet (UV) light will also take care of airborne viruses and bacteria that may be present inside home or area you place the air purifier in. This will help sterilize the environment and keep it free from toxins that tend to make a person sick.
An added advantage of the Activated Carbon Filter is that it too eliminates more than just the odor produced by mold and mildew. As air is sucked in and passes through this filter, it will trap particulates that are the root cause of other smells inside your home. Common odors you’ll find reduced by the devices listed above include those from pets, cleaning supplies, cooking and some types of smoke.
An Air Purifier for Mold is a Great Investment
Often, once a person realizes that these mold air purifiers are also capable of tackling other indoor air quality issues, they move the device into a more centralized location or specific room that is in need of purification after the mold or mildew problem is taken care of.
As with all air purification devices, the end goal is to produce a clean, fresh environment that’s healthy for you to breathe. Yes, mold is a common problem in many homes, but so are these other things mentioned above too. Being able to purify the air from other contaminants is an added benefit you’ll get from these products.
Information on Other Air Purification Technologies
These days, air purifiers come with a variety of features and rarely ever include just one type of air purification technology.
Therefore, it’s good for you to know what some of these other popular technologies do so you can ensure you’re getting the best air purifier that removes mold.
- Ionizers – Some air purifiers are solely ionizers while others include this as an added function. What an ionizer does is sends out negatively charged ions into the air to latch onto positively charged particles like mold. These new clumps become too heavy to remain in the air and fall to the ground. While the mold spores are technically out of the air you breathe, they do still exist on the floor and surrounding surfaces which is what you want to avoid. An ionizer does nothing to destroy mold spores, it just removes them from the air faster.
- PECO – This stands for Photo Electrochemical Oxidation and produces a reaction that takes place on the surface of a nano-coated filter which leads to the oxidation of organic matter such as mold. The advantage of PECO over a True HEPA filter is that it can destroy particulate matter as small as 0.1 nanometers. HEPA filters can only capture mold spores, not kill them. The only issue with PECO is that it’s a patented technology in Molekule air purifiers. So, you’ll have to invest in that brand if you want to have PECO air purification and their devices are quite expensive (around $799).
- PCO – This stands for Photocatalytic Oxidation and is the more widespread variation of PECO. The difference is that it uses a combination of Ultraviolet light and a Titanium Oxide in the form of a TiO2-coated filter. The downside to PCO is that it produces trace amounts of ozone (0.01 – 0.04 ppm range) which may concern you. However, keep in mind that 0.05 ppm is the maximum level allowed by federal law for medical devices.
The Most Common Indoor Areas for Mold Growth
There are many areas of the home that mold and mildew can grow undetected. Below are the most common locations.
- Behind or below refrigerators
- Below kitchen and bathroom sinks
- Inside toilets
- Inside basements or cellars that don’t have proper ventilation
- Behind and around leaky windows
- Behind drywall in where plumbing lines are located
- Behind drywall that has been affected by flooding
- Inside ventilation ducts
- Under carpeting that was extremely damp or wet at one time (i.e. carpet cleaning or flooding)
- Beneath stacks of newspapers and cardboard
How to Test the Air for Mold
While air purifiers are excellent devices for removing mold spores from indoor air, you may want to find out just how much mold is in the air you breathe.
To do that, you can easily purchase a home mold testing kit.
The most common versions of these kits include a glass petri dish that you leave exposed to the air for about 48 hours. Other kits actually include an air sample pump for collecting a measurable quantity of air to test for mold.
With petri dish kits, you let the dish sit for a few days to see if there are any signs of mold growth inside the dish. If there is, then you likey have mold in the air.
With an air pump kit, you take a sample of air and must send it into an AIHA Accredited laboratory to get the results. This includes additional fees.
Something to keep in mind regarding mold testing kits is that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doesn’t recommend or support any kind of do-it-yourself mold test kit. The EPA states that sampling for mold should always be conducted by professionals who are trained in sampling protocols and interpretation.
Simple Tips for Preventing Mold
If you want to eliminate mold spores from the air you breathe, an air purifier is a good first step. However, there are some additional things you can do to stop or minimize the existence of mold.
- Ensure that each room of your home is well ventilated. Mold and mildew need moisture to survive and rooms that have a high level of humidity usually have the worst problems with mold growth.
- Keep your house cool. Most types of mold need a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) or higher for mold to thrive. Use air conditioners to regulate the temperature inside your entire home or target a specific room to prevent mold and mildew from growing.
- Use a dehumidifier in areas where dampness is an issue. Places like basements are notorious for having moisture issues. If that’s the case inside your house, use a dehumidifier to lower the moisture content level. This can offset the conditions that mold likes to grow in.
- Keep all surfaces dry. This includes walls, floors, and ceilings.
- Routinely clean bathrooms and kitchens. These areas are the most likely places for mold and mildew to start. So, do a deep cleaning in and around sinks, toilets, bathtubs, refrigerators and other areas that stay damp or dark.
- Routinely inspect windows. Leaky windows are a common place for mold to start growing. Take a look at each window of your home to ensure that a water leak hasn’t started or mold is not already multiplying in that area.
Enjoy Your New Air Purifier
We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to find the best air purifier for mold and mildew. By following the recommendations outlined above for which features to look for in an air purifier for this purpose, you can’t go wrong getting a high-quality product that will meet your needs.
And, if you combine your new mold air purifier with the previous tips on mold prevention, you should have all of your basis covered for keeping mold out of your indoor air.