There’s nothing more disgusting than finding mold growing in your house. Whether it’s black spots in between bathroom tiles or white spots on the inside of kitchen cabinets, discovering mold is not a pleasant surprise. Not only does it look bad, but it represents a potentially huge health risk. And that’s just on surfaces you can see. When you consider air ducts and other nooks and crannies in your home, the places mold can grow are almost overwhelming.
Mold might not look like it travels very far, but it can launch itself into the air, settling on new surfaces. What’s worse, you can easily inhale these mold spores! These spores are well known for causing respiratory problems.
If you find mold, you will naturally clean it up. But for the mold you can’t see, there is still a way to protect yourself and your family.
Air purifiers are designed to keep the air you breathe free from pollutants like dust, dander, and certain chemical compounds. Some can also remove mold spores. Below, we will break down what you need to look for in an air purifier that can tackle mold.
Causes of Indoor Mold Growth
To treat mold, you should know how it grows in the first place. Mold is a type of fungi (yes, kind of like mushrooms). Not all fungi are harmful. However, mold spreads quickly through the air, making it a prime home invader through air intakes, open windows, door cracks, and other openings.
Mold loves moisture, so if you live in a wet climate, you have a much higher chance of finding it in your home. Even if you live in a desert, you can still be susceptible to mold. Think of all the places in your home with water. Bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and crawl spaces are just some areas that create the perfect environment for mold to grow. Keeping these areas dry and clean can really cut down on any mold.
Other ways to prevent mold growth include:
–Keep the air moving in your bathroom and laundry room.
–Fix any leaky pipes, window seals, or holes in the roof quickly.
–If you have any flooding in your home, be sure to dry it out immediately.
How Does Mold Affect Your Health?
Response to mold varies from person to person, with some people being more sensitive than others. But if you suffer from allergies, chances are good that mold will negatively impact your respiratory system.
Some symptoms are:
–Irritated or sore throat.
–Coughing or wheezing.
–Shortness of breath.
For Those With Preexisting Lung Conditions
The above symptoms can be made worse by mold. So, if you think you may have mold growing in your home, quickly take steps to eradicate it.
What Are the Benefits of an Air Purifier?
While an air purifier will not eliminate existing mold growth, it can keep mold from spreading to new areas. It will also reduce the mold spores that trigger allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions. In addition to mold, air purifiers help remove other irritants like odors, dust mites, and chemical compounds.
Other benefits include:
–Removes triggers for asthma and other respiratory conditions.
–Reduces other allergens, including dust, pollen, pet dander, and dust mites.
–Filters out smoke which can cause ear infections and other irritations.
–Decreases chemical fumes and environmental toxins.
How to Pick the Best Purifier for Mold
Air purifiers come in a wide range of sizes and shapes and offer different functions. While some features vary, there are some characteristics you should keep in mind when shopping for the right model.
A pre-filter is designed to remove larger particles that would otherwise clog the next filter. A good pre-filter will extend the life of the HEPA filter (discussed below).
Any good air purifier will have a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. This is where the air purifier does most of its work. HEPA filters are made of several layers of fine mesh designed to trap particles as small as .3 microns (that’s really small). Pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and mold spores are all trapped in this filter.
Most air purifiers will have a HEPA.
Filter Change Indicator
Filters need to be changed as they accumulate trapped particles. Most manufacturers will suggest how often you should change a filter. Of course, this depends on the number of pollutants in your home.
So, it is good to buy a model with an actual indicator that tells you when the filters have become saturated and are ready for changing. This will keep you from changing filters more often than necessary and can save you a lot of money over the life of your unit.
Air Quality Sensor
Some high-end models will actually test the air and let you know how clean it is at any given moment. These air purifiers will also adjust the fan in your unit to clean air faster until air quality returns to normal.
Best Air Purifiers for Mold
Our team has researched the best air purifiers, using manufacturer information and customer reviews and feedback. We also included any negative aspects of these top models. Here are our top four picks:
1) Hathaspace Smart Air Purifier
Best for Filters
The Hathaspace Smart Air Purifier packs five filter actions into one machine. The nano-cold catalyst filter, cellular-activated carbon filter, antibacterial filter, HEPA filter, and ionizer really do a number on airborne pollutants before releasing the air back into your space.
The Hathaspace’s auto mode scans the air continuously and adjusts its fan speed to maintain air quality.
If you need the room to be completely dark and silent to sleep, the Hathaspace’s quiet mode reduces the noise level and turns off the bright indicator lights.
The Hathaspace can cover up to 350 square feet, which is fine for a standard size room.
Why We Love It:
There is enough noise and light in our lives that we do not need another gadget adding to the cacophony. When you activate the “whisper-quiet” mode, the Hathaspace drops the noise to 18 decibels (which is pretty quiet) and turns off the indicator lights. This allows you to use it in your bedroom while you sleep soundly.
Five-In-One Purification System
Hathaspace’s five filters are what really made us notice this model.
The nano-cold catalyst filter handles large particles, toxic chemical compounds, and some mold spores. The cellular-activated charcoal filter absorbs smoke, gases, and odors. The antibacterial filter tackles viruses, bacteria, and mold. Next, the HEPA filter removes 99.97 percent of the remaining particles. Finally, the ionizer releases negatively charged ions which latch onto remaining pollutant molecules and cause them to settle out of the air.
Remote Control Included
This model also comes with a remote control, which allows you to activate all the features without having to walk across the room.
Keep In Mind:
Are Your Allergies Terrible?
Even with all five filters, some customers stated that this model didn’t reduce their allergy suffering. We all react differently to allergens. But it is always a good idea to hang onto your receipt while you test any air purifier for yourself.
2) Pure Enrichment Air Purifier
Most Popular Choice
The Pure Enrichment Air Purifier is a crowd favorite. Thousands of positive reviews point to this model as being a great choice. It is small and easy to move around, and it is great for tight budgets.
An easy-to-use control panel makes this unit a breeze to operate. There is also an auto timer that can run for two, four, or eight hours.
This model’s three filters utilize UV-C light, active carbon, and HEPA technology to clean your air.
Why We Love It:
The straightforward operation of this model is one of the reasons we like it so much. It only has four buttons which makes using it pretty easy. Its subtle design won’t clash with most decors. However, it does only come in one color–white.
We appreciate the overall design of this machine. From the intuitive control panel to the straightforward filtration process, it’s a simple option that still offers quality.
Pure Enrichment comes with a five-year warranty that covers any malfunction. This is much longer than many other companies offer. If you don’t like this model, you can send it back for a full refund. The customer service team is easily reachable seven days a week.
Lots of people like Pure Enrichment. Customers rave about its effectiveness and ease of use.
Keep In Mind:
Only Covers 200 Square Feet
Since this unit is smaller than many other models, it only covers roughly 200 square feet. This makes it fine for a smaller room or office space, but putting it in a larger room will diminish its effectiveness.
3) Levoit Air Purifier
Best in Portability
Weighing in at only five pounds, this model wins the portability prize. At 7.9 x 7.9 x 12.9 inches, this model is super easy to transport and move from room to room.
Its cylindrical shape allows you to put it in places that boxy machines can’t fit. Its 360-degree air intake also lets you place it anywhere in the room.
The manufacturer claims that this model uses 30 percent less electricity than other air purifiers.
The Levoit Air Purifier has three filtration stages with fan speeds comparable with other air purifiers on the market. These filters include a pre-filter, HEPA, and an activated carbon filter.
Why We Love It:
Best in Size
While it only covers 161 square feet, it weighs just five pounds, so it is easy to move around.
The Levoit Air Purifier stands out with its 360-degree air intake that gives you more placement options. The motor doesn’t have any brushes, which can wear out or overheat in time. Not relying on brushes means you should be able to use this air purifier for a long time.
Two-Year Warranty and Lifetime Support
The Levoit comes with a two-year warranty and lifetime support, which is a plus in an age where poor customer service and shoddy electrical equipment can make purchases a risk. If your Levoit stops working during the first two years, you are covered. After that, you can rely on the Levoit customer service team to help you fix the problem.
Keep In Mind:
No Filter Change Indicator
Since this unit saves weight by not having a filter change indicator, it’s up to you to remember when you need to change the filters. Levoit recommends every six months, but this could be sooner if you have poor air quality in your home.
4) Conway Mighty Air Purifier
Best for Saving Energy
The Conway Mighty Air Purifier incorporates an eco-mode that engages after 30 minutes of clean air. The machine is still turned on, but the fan will stop.
The Conway has a sleek design and comes only in black. It will stand out around lighter-colored surroundings.
It can cover a fairly large area, up to 361 square feet.
Like many other purifiers, Conway’s three fan speeds are automatically engaged based on the number of pollutants in the room. The Conway includes an auto timer and an indicator letting you know when to change your filter.
Why We Love It:
Sleek and Stylish
Though it only comes in black, Conway’s sleek shape will fit with a number of modern design schemes. It can be confused for an audio speaker due to its circular intake on the front.
Conway’s auto timer, filter life indicator, and ability to automatically switch modes make it a very convenient appliance. The timer can be set from one, four, or eight hours depending on your needs. The filter indicator tells you exactly when you need to replace them. Based on air quality, the Conway will automatically increase filtration.
Many models do not have reusable/washable pre-filters, which equals higher operating costs over the life of the machine. Conway has a washable pre-filter that saves you money. This filter catches large particles like pet hair and dust, so having a clean pre-filter really increases your air purifier’s efficiency.
Keep In Mind:
One Color Only
Conway only comes in black. While black can ‘go’ with a number of design schemes, if you need white, one of the options we review above would be a better fit.
Mold Be Gone
While air purifiers can’t stop existing mold from growing in place, they can prevent mold spores from settling on other surfaces. More importantly, air purifiers can greatly reduce the negative health effects of floating mold spores. Here, we have provided you with some characteristics to look for when shopping for an air purifier and tried to take any mystery out of the process. Our top four list should provide you with a great place to start!