Do Air Purifiers Help With Mold and Its Smell? 3 Powerful Ways It Helps
Is air purifier good for mold, spores and musty smell?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions, and with a good reason too. You see, in humid places such as Seattle or Cairns in Queensland, Australia, mold infestation is common.
So, do air purifiers help with mold? Mold produces spores that spread through the air and a HEPA filter air purifier can pull and trap them. The secret is to buy air purifiers for mold spores but they will not address the underlying fungus problem.
Mold is a type of fungus that grows in warm, dark and humid spaces. The infestation can start under the kitchen sink, in the closet, basement and other spaces.
You can also read: why my dehumidifier blows cold air
If you leave it unchecked, this allergen will spread fast to other parts of your house. It also has serious health effects, so the sooner that you can do it, the better.
How to remove mold spores from the air
An air purifier is going to trap mold spores and remove them from the air. However, it must be specifically designed to do that.
Why should you worry about mold spores?
- They are notorious for spreading mold infestation into other rooms
- When inhaled, they trigger asthmatic attacks
- They produce mycotoxins which can block protein synthesis
- Mold produces mycotoxins that are dangerous on skin, inhalation, mouth or other
However, please note that the air purifier just takes care of the mold spores.
It will not address the root cause of the mold problem, which is high humidity.
In a place like Florida or London in the UK that has high humidity throughout the year, you might have to run the air purifier daily if you have mold indoors.
This will translate to higher cost of electricity. It can also shorten the lifespan of your air filter appliance. The ideal thing is to use a hygrometer to find out how high your indoor humidity is.
High humidity has many effects on health. Thus, if it is higher than 55 percent, you will need to use a dehumidifier to lower it.
70 percent humidity is too high, so it will cause the development of mold. Since the main cause of mold is high humidity and warmth, rectify those conditions.
How an Air Purifier Helps with Mold: 3 Ways
An air purifier is worth it because it can help with mold spores. If you have a musty smell in your house, you have a mold infestation.
You can run a dehumidifier and an air purifier at the same time. They will both improve your indoor air quality a great deal.
How big are mold spores? The size varies depending on the type of mold. However, it is within 4 and 20 microns range.
1. Has HEPA filters to trap impurities as small as 0.3 microns
A HEPA filter comes with lesser microns so it can trap almost all of the mold spores that go through it.
But first, you have to understand how a HEPA filter works. First, such filters are made of meshed fabric that traps particles that try to pass through.
Your air purifier pulls air inside through the filters. The filters then remove impurities such as dust, pollen, pet dander, dust mites and mold spores. The now purified air is them pumped back into the room.
Also read: Honeywell air purifier keeps shutting off
But for the HEPA filters to capture something that is as minute as a mold spore, it has to be smaller than the spores.
Remember, we said that the spore sizes vary between 4 and 20 microns in size and the HEPA filters are designed to capture impurities that are as small as 0.3 microns, you can see why it will capture all mold spores.
To keep the HEPA filters as effective as they should be, replace them as frequently as you should. For instance, if you have a big mold problem in your house, replacing the filters every few weeks can help.
Washing the reusable filters might compromise their operation since they are made of fabric, which can spread out when you wash it.
2. Some HEPA filters can kill mold spores
You can get an air purifier that kills mold spores.
Not only will some HEPA filters capture mold spores, but they will also kill them. The mold spore removal filters come with UV-C light that kills the spores.
To kill the spores, they have to be exposed long enough under the UV-C rays. If you buy the air purifier with a UV light, it will kill them.
You have to be careful though because appliances that emit UV light also emit ozone gas. Ozone causes chest pains, lung damage and other side effects when you inhale it.
To control the ozone release into your indoor air, get an air purifier that has an on/off feature for the UV-C light. That way, you only get to turn the light on when you need it.
3. Some HEPA filters have antimicrobial layer to kill mold
You could also get a HEPA filter for mold remediation that has an antimicrobial layer to kill mold spores and other microbes. This can prevent you from experiencing mold toxicity signs.
The problem with regular types of HEPA filters is that when they remove mold spores from air, they do not kill them.
Thus, the mold starts to grow on the filters. Keep checking the filters and replace them if need be. Clean them in vinegar or bleach to kill the mold spores.
How an air purifier helps with musty smell
A big mold infestation is going to cause a musty smell in your house. However, you can also get an air purifier that kills mold and removes the musty smell as well.
Even if your house has a formaldehyde smell, the air filter is going to remove it and make your indoor space more enjoyable.
A plain HEPA air purifier is not going to help with the musty smell from mold. What you need is a HEPA filter with activated charcoal or carbon.
Through a process called adsorption, the activated charcoal absorbs odors from your indoor air. However, you should know that such a filter will not capture the mold spores since it is specifically designed to absorb odors.
You can read here to know everything about the process of adsorption.
Can Air Purifier Help With Mold Spores FAQ
To reiterate, an air purifier can definitely help with mold spores. However, it cannot remove the mold from your home.
To clarify how the air purifier for mold helps, see the frequently asked questions here:
Do air purifiers kill mold and mildew?
Air purifiers for mold can kill mold spores if they have a UV-C light feature. This is a kind of UV rays that kills mold spores. Trapping the fungus on the HEPA filters does not mean they are dead, so they can continue growing and spreading.
Do air purifiers take mold out of the air?
They do not remove the mold from your home, but they remove the mold spores from your indoor air but fumigation can help with the mold. It does not spread too fast to other parts of your house.
If your air in the basement, attic, bathroom or closet has a musty odor, you have mold.
Does the Dyson Air Purifier detect mold?
Since the Dyson Pure Cool air purifier comes with HEPA filters, it is able to capture small airborne contaminants that are as small as 0.3 microns.
This is far smaller than the size of the mold spores that range from 4 to 20 microns. Thus, this air purifier effectively captures the spores.
How do you get rid of mold spores in the air?
The best way to get mold spores out of your air is to place a HEPA air purifier for mold in the room that has the infestation. It will capture most of the spores before they spread out to the rest of the rooms.
Will a dehumidifier get rid of mold?
A dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the indoor air, lowering the relative humidity to the 30 to 50 percent range.
By doing this, it addresses the root cause of fungus in your home – high humidity. So yes, a dehumidifier can help you get rid of mold from your home by denying this indoor allergen its nutrients.
Will a HEPA filter remove mold spores?
A HEPA filter can be very effective at removing and killing most of the mold spores. They measure 4 microns and bigger. The filters are designed to capture airborne contaminants that are as little as 0.3 microns.
How long do mold spores stay airborne?
They can stay airborne for a long time. Eventually, if they are not removed using a HEPA air purifier for mold, they can sit in a spot and grow more mold. Ignoring mold spores will spread the fungus problem to different rooms in your home.
Final Thoughts on How an Air Purifier Helps with Mold Spores
Most people ask: How do you tell if there are mold spores in the air? The telltale signs include a musty smell from some rooms in your home.
The musty smell can also be present on your leather items in the closet. Keep checking. If need be, you can also buy a small cordless dehumidifier.
You can also experience allergic reactions and for family members who have asthma, it can trigger asthmatic attacks.
Other mold sickness symptoms include itching, tearing eyes, poor protein synthesis and many more.
Even as you run your dehumidifier to lower humidity, also run the air purifier with HEPA filters for mold to remove the spores from your air.
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