The 5 Best Air Purifiers for Mold and Mildew in 2019
If you’ve ever dealt with a mold problem, then you know that it is a pesky, stinky and uncomfortable situation to be in. Mold and mildew growing in your home is a nightmare and can cause tons of health issues that could affect you long term. Luckily, there are a few things you could invest in that could help out the situation.
Firstly, tackle the issue that is causing the mold to spread with a dehumidifier, then invest in an air purifier to help get rid of the mold and/or mildew.
Editors' Choice: GermGuardian 3 in 1 True HEPA Filter
The GermGuardian 3 in 1 is an all-around top choice for the best air purifier for mold in your home. The unit is fully equipped with Hepa filters, UV-C lights and carbon filter to trap all of the mold spores, odors and germs from the air in your home.
The Germ Guardian air filter is great for just about any room, including bedrooms, living rooms, and even basements. Improve the overall air quality in your home significantly by zapping about 99.97% of the allergens in the air.
GermGuardian 3-in-1 Pros
- UV-C light: Great for killing mold spores.
- Affordable: Air purifiers can be significantly pricey, but this one is under $100.
- Energy efficient: Meets the Energy Star requirements for being energy efficient
GermGuardian 3-in-1 Cons
- Small coverage area: This is ideal for a small room or bathroom, but won’t work well in larger spaces.
Best Value: Levoit LV-H132
The Levoit is a great option for small apartments and rooms with a mold issue. The compact cylindrical model fits nicely in the corner of your space easily and won’t take up too much space. Although it isn’t the biggest model, its 3 step system works hard to cleanse the air in your home. It gets rid of mold spores, smoke and pet dander just to name a few.
Overall, for the amount of money you’d spend (and it’s not a lot) the quality of the product matches up perfectly.
Levoit LV-H132 Pros
- Quiet: The machine runs quietly so you can have it on throughout the day without any disbursements.
- Three different fan speeds: You have the option of running three different fan speeds depending on how fast, high you want it to work.
- Affordable: This model runs under $100, so you can get some for multiple rooms in the house if you need.
Levoit LV-H132 Cons
- Small coverage area: The manufacturer says it will cover up to 86 sq feet, which is one of the smaller areas offered on our list.
Best for Bedrooms: Coway AP1512HH Might Air Purifier
The bedroom is one of the worst places to have a mold issue. Breathing in nasty air while you sleep is extremely bad for your health. The best air purifier for a bedroom needs to be small enough to not take up too much space, but powerful enough to trap all of the harmful particles in the air of your room.
The Coway AP1512HH is also a top choice for its sleek, aesthetically-pleasing design and the effective technology its made with. The model works with a 3 stage filtration system and removes allergens and toxic materials out of the air. This model is also deemed “high-end” because of its smart sensor which detects impurities in the air and adjusts the fans accordingly.
Coway AP1512HH Pros
- Smart Particle Sensors: The air quality indicator automatically will adjust the fans when there are more impurities.
- Small, sleek design: The Coway is beautifully designed and would look great in a bedroom.
- Great for medium spaces: The Conway is recommended for medium-sized spaces, meaning it will be effective in your larger bedroom or even a medium sized basement.
Coway AP1512HH Cons
- Has an ionizer: There is an ionizing function, which is problematic because many know that this can emit ozone.
Best for Living Room: Winix 5300-2
The Winix 5300-2 is a powerful air purifier jam-packed with several great purification features. You’ve got the quality air filtration system, including a PlasmaWave filter that doesn’t emit ozone but neutralizes odors and germs in the air.
The Winix also automatically adjusts the power when it detects a significant change in the air quality in your home. This is perfect for spaces like living rooms, where there is usually a lot of people, pets constantly moving around.
Winix 5300-2 Air Purifier Pros
- Four fan speeds: Adjust the Winix to four different speeds depending on what level you need.
- Smart Sensor: The model automatically detects when the air quality has changed and will adjust accordingly
- Gets rid of bad odors: The Plasma Wave technology filters out the bad odors in your home in addition to the germs.
Winix 5300-2 Air Purifier Cons
- Big, bulky design: This air purifier is particularly large and bulky, so it will be obvious in whatever room you choose.
Best for Carpet: Honeywell HPA300
Carpets are some of the biggest culprits when it comes to harboring nasty odors, pet dander, allergens, and dust mites. These particles get re-released into the air in your home after vacuuming so it can be helpful to have a powerful air purifier in the space to help out. The Honeywell HPA300 is a great choice for carpets in bedrooms and living rooms.
The Honeywell HPA300 works in 4 different modes so you can target the specific issue in your house. The shut on shut off mode is also great because it works hard during the allotted amount of hours until it cleans the air.
Honeywell HPA300 Pros
- 4 cleaning modes: You can choose between a germ, turbo, allergen and a general mode.
- Automatic Timer: Choose between a 1, 2, 4 or 8-hour timer.
HEPA filter: The HEPA filter properly filters out all of the mold spores and allergens from the air.
Honeywell HPA300 Cons
- Emits a smell: Some users report a smelly odor coming from the machine after hours of operation.
Air Purifiers Buyer’s Guide
Generally speaking, most air purifiers will remove the harmful allergens that come from mold and mildew spores. However, there are several features you should look out for when looking for an air purifier.
Air purifiers rely heavily on the filters to properly clean the air. A good rule of thumb is choosing one with at least two filter system, and always with a HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter. With both of these, you can be assured that your air purifier is removing both mold spores and the nasty odors from the room.
- True HEPA Filter– You’ll see all air purifiers with True HEPA filters listed on their product description sites, but what does this mean? A HEPA filter is the only way the unit can properly remove microscopic particles from the air. They capture mold spores that are as small as 0.3 microns from the air. Be cautious when shopping for an air purifier some of them will say HEPA-grade or HEPA-style, which isn’t actually true HEPA. We recommend the latter.
- Activated Carbon Filters- Activated carbon filters are the ones responsible for removing the bad odors from the air in your home. Mold and mildew give off a musty smell that is easy to note and hard to get rid of. The best air purifier for mold will also have the activated carbon filter to get rid of the gross stench.
Before we get into the controversy surrounding the UV lights, we’ll explain exactly why many air purifiers are made with this feature. The UV lights are there to eliminate the microbial germs and viruses that are in the air. You may see UV-C lights or UVGI (Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation) listed on the product description.
The reason why this type of light is controversial is because of the production of ozone and radiation that these lights give off. Ozone is extremely harmful and having it in the home isn’t good for many reasons. While many companies claim their units do not omit this harmful substance, some still opt to steer clear of it.
As always, do your research before committing to a purifier with UV lamps. Some of our choices for best air purifiers have Plasma Wave technology instead of UV, which doesn’t give off ozone said to be much better for the home.
Pick an air purifier that comes with at least 3 or 4 different fan speeds. These units are preferable because of the ability to adjust depending on what speed you need. Generally speaking, during the cold, wet months of the year homes become more mold and mildew prone. You’ll want to amp up the fan speed during these months so you can avoid any issues and remove any impurities from the air.
During the hotter, drier months then a lower speed, which is also energy efficient, will save you money and still work to remove any allergens that may be circulating in your home.
Just like with a dehumidifier or a tower fan, the noise levels are crucial when shopping for the perfect air purifier. The quieter machines are less detectable and won’t disturb as much as the louder machines do. If you plan to use the unit in your bedroom then investing in one that won’t wake you up is a safe bet. You can check out the individual user reviews to see what people’s experiences are with noise levels.
Each air purifier is made with a specific amount of coverage area. Some purifiers have a span of a lot more than others, so it is important to check the coverage area before buying. For smaller rooms like bedrooms or bathrooms, you won’t need that much square footage, but for big living rooms and large basements opt for more square footage.
If you plan to use your air purifier in various rooms, a good rule of thumb is to opt for one that covers more area, up to about 500 square feet. There are always large, industrial-style machines available that cover about 1,000 feet as well, they just tend to be a bit pricier. Placing an air purifier in a room bigger than the coverage area will result in poor performance.
Cleaning and Maintenance
All air purifiers work with a filtration system, so they will need to be replaced every so often. Every filter has a specific life span that will be listed on the product descriptions. The normal lifespan for the HEPA filter and carbon filter is generally around 3 months, though some companies may last longer.
It is imperative to clean and replace the filters within the allotted time. Forgetting to clean or replace them will mean the machine isn’t working properly, and you run the risk of damaging it. Another great rule of thumb is to dust the vents as well so that the air isn’t being recontaminated by the dust collection.
Make sure you check the warranty time on your air purifier. You want to be sure that if there are any issues, the company will replace or repair it with no additional cost to you. You can expect at least one year of warranty with most air purifiers, but some manufacturers offer more.
What is a Mold?
Most people may not know that mold spores can be found literally anywhere. The fungus is made up of small organisms and comes in several different colors like black, white, orange and green or purple. Mold does well in moist, damp places with poor ventilation. So in your home, if it catches on to a surface that has high moisture, this causes it to grow.
The mold in your home causes releases spores in the air which you easily inhale. Mold has many adverse effects on the body, but there are two different main types when talking about the air you breathe.
- Allergenic– Allergenic mold refers to the type of mold that causes an allergic reaction when inhaled, usually in the form of normal allergy symptoms. These symptoms include coughing, itchy throat, watery eyes, and stuffy or runny nose.
- Pathogenic– Pathogenic molds are the ones that can cause human infections. These are usually the ones you need to watch out for, as they are dangerous when ingested into the human body.
3 Ways Mold Can Affect Your Health
Exposure to mold obviously affects your health adversely. The extent of how bad it is depends on the person and their health history. If a person has a particular mold allergy or a lung disease then some of the symptoms will hit them differently. They may suffer stronger effects compared to someone who doesn’t have these health issues.
Other groups that are very at-risk when exposed to mold are young children and elderly people. Their immune systems are much weaker so they should avoid mold-susceptible areas. Either way, mold can affect healthy adults just as bad as anyone else. Here are some of the many consequences of being exposed to mold.
Exposure to allergenic mold can cause you to experience the normal range of allergy symptoms. If you find yourself sneezing, coughing, tearing up or with a tight chest when at home then inspect for mold. Homes with humid rooms should invest in proper ventilation with a dehumidifier and an air purifier.
If you or someone in your family suffers from an immune system disease then you should avoid mold spores at all costs. Prolonged exposure to mold spores will cause the immune system to worsen and could cause infections in the lungs.
Even if you aren’t suffering from an immune system disease, your immune system will weaken over time after continuous exposure. As mentioned above, this is extremely true for young children and elderly people.
Cancer and Other Long-term Effects
Cancer may seem like an extreme health effect but long term exposure has been proven to be linked to serious health issues. The risk of getting cancer and/or cardiac or pulmonary diseases multiplies when dealing with children or elderly people. It is always best to tackled mold head on when you first see it and get an air purifier to improve the air quality.
How a Purifier Gets Rid of Mold
So how does an air purifier actually get rid of mold? The truth is, if you have a mold infestation then you will need more than just an air purifier. What purifiers do is get rid of the mold spores that are released in the air. The actual mold on the surface will need to be removed either professionally or by you.
Air purifiers pull in the gross mold spores and other germs in the air through the HEPA and active carbon filters. The air is then released, clean and dry, back into the atmosphere. Air purifiers are great for mold prevention or even to clean the air after a mold infestation.
Overall, if you think your home harbors a lot of trapped humid air and is mold-prone, then invest in one of the best air purifiers for mold. These devices will help you breathe in quality air in your home, improve your health and get rid of nasty odors for you. Our top choices are affordable and effective for mold prevention and air purification.Read More