Mold in the house is always a big problem. Mold spores not only can damage your house but can be very dangerous for your physical health.
Many people get air purifiers to combat mold in their homes, so we put together this guide on air purifiers and mold.
Why Do I Have Mold in My House?
Damp, poorly ventilated home conditions cause mold and mildew. Moisture in these environments allows organic life to thrive, resulting in mold and mildew.
- Mold spores.
Mold grows by creating spores that seed onto other surfaces and continue to expand. Thus, you can bring mold into your home by bringing in spores.
Mold thrives wherever there is moisture. Moisture in the atmosphere allows organic life to grow, which results in mold, bacteria, and other creatures.
- Food source.
Mold may also grow because of a nearby food source, such as cellulose or other organic material. Mold can destroy wood because it eats the sugars and starches that make up cellulose.
- Lack of sunlight.
Mold can grow in sunlight, but it tends to grow faster in dark spaces such as basements. This is because lack of sunlight keeps moisture levels high, which is ideal growing conditions for mold.
- Optimal temperature.
Mold flourishes in warm and humid environments. As such, mold onset might be more common during the warmer months of spring and summer.
Common Symptoms of Mold Allergies
Many people suffer from mold allergies. The most common signs and symptoms of mold allergies include:
- Runny nose
- Itchy or sore throat
- Watery and red eyes
- Dry, irritated skin
Mold allergies can also trigger asthma symptoms which can lead to coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightening of the chest. Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Mold exposure is usually not serious, but in rare cases, it can cause pneumonia and pneumonia-like conditions.
How Do Air Purifiers Help With Mold & Mildew?
Air purifiers help with mold and mildew in two major ways: they can remove mold spores from the air and stop them from spreading, and they can remove moisture and other contaminants from the air that cause mold to grow in the first place. The exact way air purifiers do this depends on the kind of air purifiers that you get.
Air purifiers use electricity, mechanical filters, fans, and more to purify the air and remove the things that cause mold. For example, an air purifier that removes moisture from the air will rob any would-be mold of its source of nutrients.
Ozone air purifier
Ozone air purifiers emit a small quantity of ozone. Ozone (O3) has antimicrobial properties and can kill contaminants like bacteria and mold spores. That is one reason why ozone is sometimes used in disinfectants.
However, there is some evidence that prolonged ozone exposure can hurt your lungs and respiratory system, so it is recommended that you do not keep your ozone purifier on for extended periods.
Ionic air purifier
Ionic air purifiers use electrical charges to filter contaminants out of the air. Ionic purifiers have a negatively charged metal plate that attracts positively charged particles that carry contaminants. They are useful for removing mold spores, but they cannot do much for moisture or gaseous odors.
HEPA air purifier
HEPA filters use finely woven fibers to trap contaminants and other things that can contribute to mold. HEPA filters can capture mold spores, but they do not do much about moisture or gasses. HEPA filters are also usually the most expensive kind of air purifier although some can be found for cheaper prices.
Consideration When Choosing an Air Purifier for Mold Allergies
Here is a quick list of things that you need to keep in mind when looking for an air purifier.
- Filter stages and types.
Make sure you know what kind of filter mechanism your air purifier uses, whether it’s a HEPA filter, ionizers, ozone, purifiers, etc. Filters also have a “stage” rating that refers to how many stages of filtering the air goes through.
- Coverage area.
Every purifier has a coverage area which is a measure of how many square feet they can reliably service. In general, a good mid-grade air purifier will be able to work for 500 sq. feet of space. More expensive, larger purifiers might cover up to 1,000 sq. feet.
- Auto mode.
Some air purifiers also have an automatic setting that will sense air condition and turn on/off in response. These kinds of air purifiers might also be able to have a timer set so you can set them for 30 minute, 60 minute, 90 minute, etc. sessions.
How Do You Kill Mold Spores in the Air?
Reducing mold spores indoors is vital for your health, especially if you are sensitive and suffer from mold allergies. Mold spores can stay in the air for up to 48 hours, so you need to treat them quickly, or else they can stick around for a few days.
The easiest way to remove mold spores is by getting some ventilation in the room by opening a window.
If that is not possible, then you can remove mold spores using a HEPA or ionizer air purifier. These filters can remove mold spores from the air and kill them. If you already have mold problems, then substances like vinegar and baking soda are good for killing mold spores.
You can mix the two in a spray bottle and spray it directly on the affected surface to kill mold spores and remove mold on affected surfaces.
People Also Ask (FAQ)
What’s better for mold, an air purifier or a dehumidifier?
Ideally, using both would be best. Air purifiers can remove mold spores, while dehumidifiers can remove moisture that makes mold spores grow.
Will an air purifier help with a musty smell?
It depends. HEPA filters can capture small particles that cause odors, but air purifiers won’t do much against odors that are gaseous in nature.
What humidity level does mold grow in?
In general, mold grows best in humidity levels that are 55% or higher. Keeping humidity levels below this is one of the best ways to prevent the onset of mold.
Does opening windows help with mold?
Yes, opening windows can reduce moisture and remove mold spores, but it will not do much to stop the spread of already growing mold.
What kills mold on drywall?
Simple substances like vinegar and isopropyl alcohol can kill mold. Simply mix either of these substances with water in a spray bottle, apply to the affected area, and wipe away with a cloth. Apply sanitizer to the area afterward.
Mold is a pressing problem and needs to be dealt with quickly. An air purifier can help prevent mold growth by removing mold spores from the air, but you will also need to keep humidity levels in check to prevent mold growth in the long term.
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