Best Air Purifiers for Mold and Mildew in 2020
Do you have a mold problem or bad air in your home? If so, you need one of the best air purifiers.
A mold problem is a pesky, uncomfortable situation. Mold and mildew growing in your home can cause tons of health issues that could affect you long term. Likewise, bad air quality can make you ill.
Luckily, there are a few things to invest in that can help 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 mildew.
See the best air purifiers for mold on the market and how they can help.
Editors' Choice: GermGuardian 3-in-1 True HEPA Filter
The GermGuardian 3-in-1 is an all-around top choice for the air purifier for mold in your home.
The unit has Hepa filters, UV-C lights, and a carbon filter to trap all of the mold spores, odors, and germs from the air in your home.
The Germ Guardian air filter is perfect for almost 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
- Affordable price: Air purifiers can be significantly pricey, but this one is under $100.
- Energy efficient: This purifier meets the Energy Star requirements.
- UV-C light: This feature is excellent for killing mold spores.
GermGuardian 3-in-1 Cons
- Small coverage area: This is ideal for a small room or bathroom, but it won’t work well in larger spaces.
Best Value: Levoit LV-H132
The Levoit is an excellent option for small apartments and rooms with a mold issue.
The compact cylindrical model fits nicely in the corner and won’t take up too much space. Although it isn’t the biggest model, its three-step system works hard to cleanse the air in your home. It gets rid of mold spores, smoke, and pet dander.
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
- Affordable price: This model runs under $100, so you can get some for multiple rooms in the house if you need.
- Quiet motor: The machine runs quietly so that you can have it on throughout the day without any disturbances.
- Three fan speeds: You have the option of running three fan speeds depending on how fast and high you want it to work.
Levoit LV-H132 Cons
- Small coverage area: The manufacturer says it will cover up to 86 square 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 option for a bedroom needs to be small enough not to 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 useful technology.
The model works with a three-stage filtration system and removes allergens and toxic materials out of the air.
This model is also deemed high-end because of the smart sensor, which detects impurities in the air and adjusts the fans accordingly.
Coway AP1512HH Pros
- Sized for medium spaces: The Conway is best for medium areas, meaning it will be useful in your larger bedroom or even a medium-sized basement.
- Sleek design: The Coway is beautifully and would look great in a bedroom.
- Smart particle sensors: The air quality indicator automatically will adjust the fans when there are more impurities.
Coway AP1512HH Cons
- Ionizer function: There is an ionizing function, which is problematic because it can emit ozone.
Best for Living Rooms: Winix 5300-2
The Winix 5300-2 is a powerful air purifier jam-packed with several purification features.
You’ll get 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 are usually a lot of people and pets moving around.
Winix 5300-2 Air Purifier Pros
- Odor removal: The Plasma Wave technology filters out the bad odors and musty smells in your home along with the germs.
- Four fan speeds: Choose which of the four speeds will be best for your home.
- Smart sensor: The model automatically detects when the air quality has changed and will adjust accordingly
Winix 5300-2 Air Purifier Cons
- Bulky design: This air purifier is particularly large and bulky, so it will be obvious in whatever room you choose.
Best for Carpets: 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 top pick for carpets in bedrooms and living rooms.
The Honeywell HPA300 has four modes so that you can target the specific issue in your house. The shut-on/shut-off mode 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 general modes.
- Automatic Timer: Choose between a 1, 2, 4, or 8-hour timer.
- HEPA filter: The HEPA filter removes all of the mold spores and allergens from the air.
Honeywell HPA300 Cons
- Machine odor: 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, not all air purifiers are the same. Get to know air purifier features so that you know which ones you would like to have.
Cleaning and Maintenance
All air purifiers work with a filtration system, so you need to replace the filters every so often.
Every filter has a specific life span that will be on the product descriptions. The typical lifespan for the HEPA filter and carbon filter is generally around three months, but some companies may last longer.
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 whenever you dust your home or at least when you replace the filters. That way, the air won’t be recontaminated by the dust collection.
Each air purifier has a specific coverage area.
Some purifiers can cover much larger spaces than others, so check the specifications before you buy one of these devices.
Smaller rooms like bedrooms or bathrooms don’t have much square footage. You can get by with a purifier with a smaller coverage area. However, big living rooms and large basements will need an air purifier that is strong enough for that space.
Placing an air purifier in a room bigger than the coverage area will result in poor performance.
If you plan to use your air purifier in different rooms, opt for a device that covers up to about 500 square feet. Note that air purifiers with larger areas will need more power consumption.
Large, industrial-style machines can cover about 1,000 feet. They are more expensive, but you might want one of these if you have a larger home and want to avoid moving the purifier or buying multiples.
Pick an air purifier that comes with at least three or four fan speeds. These units can adjust depending on what speed you need.
During the cold, wet months of the year, most homes become more prone to mold and mildew. You’ll want to amp up the fan speed during these months to avoid issues and remove impurities from the air.
During the hotter, drier months, low, energy-efficient speeds will save you money and still work to remove any allergens.
Air purifiers rely on the filters to clean the air.
Choose an air purifier with at least a two-filter system: a HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter.
- Activated carbon filters: Activated carbon filters are responsible for removing the bad odors from the air. Mold and mildew give off a musty smell that is hard to remove. The activated carbon filters get rid of the stench.
- True HEPA filter: A true HEPA allergen remover is the only way the unit can remove microscopic particles from the air. These filters capture mold spores as small as 0.3 microns. Don’t get a purifier that says HEPA-grade or HEPA-style. Those don’t work as well as true HEPA filters.
With these filters, your air purifier will remove both mold spores and nasty odors from the room. They can also help if you have a pet allergy.
Like with a dehumidifier or a tower fan, you need to get a machine with a quiet motor.
If you plan to use the unit in your bedroom or a living room, you need an air purifier that won’t wake you up or get in the way of conversations.
Check out the user reviews on websites like Amazon to see what people’s experiences are with noise levels.
UV lights are controversial, but they’re a common air purifier feature for a reason.
The UV lights eliminate the microbial germs and viruses 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. Ozone is harmful, and having it in the home isn’t ideal for many reasons.
While many companies claim their units do not omit this harmful substance, some still opt to steer clear of it.
Do your research before committing to a purifier with UV lamps.
Some of our top picks for air purifiers have Plasma Wave technology instead of UV, which doesn’t give off ozone.
Check the warranty time on your air purifier. 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. Some even offer a lifetime warranty.
What Is Mold?
Most people may not know that mold spores can be anywhere.
Mold is lots of small organisms. It comes in several colors like black, white, orange, green, and purple. Mold does well in moist, damp places with poor ventilation.
The mold in your home releases spores in the air, which you inhale. Inhaling mold has many adverse effects on the body.
There are two main types of molds that affect your body:
- Allergenic: Allergenic mold 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 can cause human infections. These are dangerous when ingested into the human body.
Learn more about common types of mold in homes.
3 Ways Mold Can Affect Your Health
Exposure to mold isn’t healthy. The extent of how bad it is depends on the person and their health history.
If a person has a mold allergy or a lung disease, 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 at risk when exposed to mold are young children and elderly people. Their immune systems are much weaker.
However, mold can affect healthy adults as bad too. Here are three problems mold can cause.
1. Allergic Reactions
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, inspect for mold.
If your home has humid rooms, increase the ventilation and air quality with a dehumidifier and an air purifier.
2. Weakened Immune System
If you or someone in your family suffers from an immune system disease, avoid mold spores at all costs.
Prolonged exposure to mold spores causes the immune system to worsen. It can also cause lung infections.
Even if you aren’t suffering from an immune system disease, your immune system will weaken over time after continuous exposure. Young children and elderly people are most likely to have their immune systems weaken.
3. Cancer and Other Long-Term Effects
Cancer may seem like an extreme health effect, but long-term exposure has connections to serious health issues.
The risk of getting cancer or cardiac or pulmonary diseases multiplies when dealing with children or older people.
Tackle mold head-on when you first see it. Get an air purifier to improve the air quality.
How a Purifier Gets Rid of Mold
How does an air purifier get rid of mold?
The truth is, if you have a mold infestation, you will need more than an air purifier.
Purifiers get rid of the mold spores that are in the air. You will need to remove the mold on the surface or get a professional to do it for you.
Air purifiers pull in the gross mold spores and other germs in the air through the HEPA and active carbon filters. The air purifier then releases the clean, dry air back into the atmosphere.
Air purifiers are excellent for mold prevention or to clean the air after a mold infestation.
If you think your home harbors a lot of trapped humid air and is mold-prone, 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.
Use our top picks and our buyer’s guide to help you find the right air purifier for your home.Read More