Do Air Purifiers Help With Mold? (Understanding The Science)


Areas exposed to high levels of humidity will inevitably end up with mold. Places such as the corners of a room (if the building is not properly insulated), a closet or a basement can experience moldy issues with time. You might be surprised to find some of your clothes covered in mold, not to mention that stingy smell that you simply cannot get rid of.

When around, mold will also get into your airways. Normally, if there is no movement or activity around, it will lay down and come up with a dusty appearance. When shaken or when moved, it will go into the air. This is when you inhale it and you end up with a series of problems. Now, the good news is you do have a few options out there.

Some people assume that a dehumidifier will get the job done. Indeed, it can and will help. It will remove the moisture from your air and can prevent the mold from kicking in. But an air purifier might be better from a healthy point of view. It removes all allergens and bacteria from the air, which is great for air quality. Now, the question is – Do air purifiers help with mold?


Harsh effects of overlooking mold

Buying an air mold purifier will prevent and tackle a series of problems associated with it. Some of the most popular symptoms of regular mold exposure are relatively easy to notice:

  • Runny or stuffed nose
  • Regular cough
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Throat irritation

Some people are also more sensitive than others. You may experience mild symptoms regardless of how healthy you are. Then, people like babies, elders, those with respiratory or skin problems, and those with a low immune system are more likely to be affected.

Mold will generally cause allergies. With time, a regular exposure to it will lead to a sensitivity, so you may get stuck with these allergies for the rest of your life. If you already suffer from respiratory problems like asthma, mold will cause more regular and intense asthma attacks.

At the end of the day, mold is a type of fungus. Air purifiers tend to remove lots of things from the air, including allergens and fungi. It makes sense that mold spores would be dragged in for your air to clear. Even if you are not suffering from any affections whatsoever, it still pays off preventing potentially lifelong allergies.

As if all these were not enough, mold will also tackle your belongings. Clothes can get moldy very easily. Some of them can be saved, depending on how severe the infestation is. Some others can go straight into the bin, as they are no longer wearable.

Simply put, an air dehumidifier or an air purifier for mold is not a nice thing to have, but a priority if you have high levels of humidity. Which one is better though? Dehumidifiers will clearly get the problem done, but air purifiers can eliminate allergens, fungi, bacteria and dust for a healthier air.

Do air purifiers help with mold? Is it worth investing in one? Does it make a good middle choice?

How air purifiers for mold work

An air purifier is designed to remove all particles from your air. In other words, it will work against most allergens, fungi, bacteria, particles and dust – including particles that you cannot really see floating in the air.

Air purifiers are ideal for those who suffer from various respiratory conditions, as they require clean air to prevent allergies and attacks. For instance, asthma attacks can be quite harmful and aggressive when the air is too polluted.

Mold spores are tiny particles that many air purifiers can clear out. When floating in the air, an air purifier will draw these spores in and clear the air. Simply put, air purifiers treat the effects of mold. Most of them clear out mold spores, but if the humidity is still high, they will not treat the cause, so mold will always be an issue.

Not all air purifiers can eliminate mold though. For your purifier to be efficient against mold spores (and other tiny particles), it should use a true HEPA filter, so this is the first requirement to look for when about to buy an appliance.

This kind of filter traps mold spores as the air goes into the appliance. Once released back into the room, the air is clear of spores. For even more efficiency, you also want an air purifier with an activated carbon filter. This is currently the only filter on the market that can remove those stingy smells of mold. While mold spores can be cleared out with a true HEPA filter, the activated carbon will eliminate odors as well.

The HEPA filter will remove particles down to 0 3 microns in size. To help you understand, a particle measuring 0 3 microns is invisible to the human eye, but your system will be affected once you breathe it in.

On a different note, some air purifiers boost the air quality with different technologies. For example, a germicidal UV C light could be a great option to achieve the best air for your lungs. While it is not as efficient against clearing out the mold, it is helpful in preventing the harmful reproduction of mold spores. In other words, the problem is difficult to deal with. Apart from working on the result, you also have to prevent the multiplication of mold for quality air in your home.

How does this light work? Easy. As the air is sucked into the purifier, all the particles are exposed to a powerful UV C light. Some of them will not be affected, such as dust or pollution. But mold spores are practically living organisms and they can reproduce. The exposure to UV C light affects and usually destroys the DNA of the mold, so it can no longer reproduce.

When air purifiers cannot remove mold

Now you know what kind of air purifier to get in order to remove mold. You know the type of filters and technologies required to annihilate those harmful particles. Obviously, missing on these features will bring you an inefficient purifier against mold.

Do not get the wrong idea though. Air purifiers will still purify the air and clear out particles and pollutions, as well as dust. But then, the above mentioned technologies are mandatory to also handle the mold infestation, which is harmful to both healthy and already suffering individuals.

Now, when do air purifiers fail to remove mold? Are there other situations? The answer is yes.

It is worth knowing that an air purifier cannot treat active mold growth. What does it mean? If the mold situation in your house is severe, you must treat the cause as well. Sure, occasional mold may appear anywhere, even if the humidity seems to be under control. But when the problem is serious, you must work on the underlying issue. In other words, you have to consider moisture and humidity problems – whether you choose to insulate the house or affected room or you also invest in a dehumidifier.

Otherwise, mold is likely to keep spreading. The bad news is mold spreads extremely fast and it targets areas that you may not even be thinking about. For instance, you can find some of your coats covered in mold, while the rest of the closet is clear.

To prevent mold from spreading, you can also invest in basic mold removal kits. These are only some moisture attracting dehumidifiers. They are not actual appliances. Instead, you have a recipient with some moisture attracting elements that can be left in exposed areas, such as your closet. They are inexpensive and can be found in most home improvement stores.

These are only some extra ideas to prevent the mold from growing, but they cannot remove mold spores from the air.

Molds Inside Our Room

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few questions you may ask yourself in the process of buying a purifier.

What air purifier is best for mold?

Make sure you have a true HEPA filter, activated charcoal and even UV light for maximum efficiency against mold and spores.

How do you kill mold spores in the air naturally?

The air purifier is a natural way to kill mold spores. White distilled vinegar mixed with water and sprayed around is a common homemade solution too.

Do dehumidifiers help with mold?

Yes, but indirectly. They eliminate the cause, but the already existing mold may still bother you, so you also have to purify your air.

Does Dyson Air Purifier remove mold spores?

Dyson is one of the top brands on the market and it relies on mold removal technologies. If you opt for this brand, get a unit suitable for the size of your room.

Final Words

As a short final conclusion, choosing the best air purifier depends on your actual necessities. Even if you do not have any major or visible problems, but you only want fresh air, a complete air purifier is better than a basic solution. The more particles, fungi, bacteria and pollution it can remove, the better.

The problem is that many of these particles will negatively affect your body in the long run. Unless you face a harsh mold infection, chances are you cannot even tell that you feel worse than normally, as effects are mild. They do, however, aggravate overtime.

An air purifier will eliminate mold spores and treat the effect of excessive moisture or humidity or a poor insulation. But then, you must pick the best unit, so pay attention to the filters it has and the technologies it employs. For instance, a HEPA like filter is not the same thing as a true HEPA filter.

Furthermore, this option is great if you have an occasional mold problem, like most people experience now and then. If your problem is severe, you might need to invest in additional appliances to target the cause too, such as a dehumidifier.

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