Do Air Purifiers COMPLETELY Remove Mold Indoors?

Josh Mitchell

Written By

Josh Mitchell

Expert Reviewed By

Holly Curell

Last Updated On

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Key Takeaways

  • Air purifiers can help remove microscopic mold spores from the air. 
  • Air purifiers with HEPA filters are recommended as the best type for removing mold spores.
  • Air purifiers only eliminate airborne spores. To get rid of mold completely, you have to address the root cause, which is often humidity. Hence a dehumidifier is also recommended.

Most people I help are interested in air purifiers because they’ve had a run-in with dangerous mold. I understand their concern because mold spores can cause damage to your house and pose a severe health risk to you and your family.

Luckily, air purifiers with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters can capture airborne mold spores and prevent them from circulating, improving your indoor air quality.

I’ve put together a guide below that will help you understand how the best air purifiers can help you eliminate black mold.

How Do Air Purifiers Help With Mold & Mildew?

The best air purifiers remove microscopic spores from the air to stop mold from spreading. They also remove other air contaminants that cause mold to grow in the first place.

You should run an air purifier if you think you have black mold problems, during the mold remediation process, and after the mold has been removed.

The exact way air purifiers remove mold depends on the kind of air purifiers that you get. Ozone air purifiers emit a small quantity of ozone with antimicrobial properties that can kill contaminants like black mold spores.

However, prolonged exposure to high levels of ozone can also cause irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat and damage the respiratory system. Other air purifiers may be a better option.

Ionic air purifiers have a negatively charged metal plate that attracts positively charged particles that carry contaminants like mold, but these can also emit ozone.

True HEPA filters use finely woven fibers to trap contaminants. They are especially effective at capturing mold spores, making them the best air purifier for reducing black mold in your indoor air.

The best purifiers will have a HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter. They can be expensive, but some can be found for cheaper prices.

How To Test For And Identify Mold

Even if you don’t think you have a mold problem, I always tell people it never hurts to check. The best way to avoid health risks associated with mold is to test for it. Here are some steps to follow to help identify and test for mold:

Do A Bleach Swab Test

If you see something you think might be mold, dip a cotton swab in diluted bleach and swipe the area. If the bleached area lightens after a minute or two, you may be dealing with black mold. If the area remains dark, it is more likely to be dirt.

Check The Area For Texture

If the spot fails the swab test, you must determine whether the damage is surface-level or deeper. If the area is sturdy and has the same texture as the surrounding areas, it is likely surface-level mold that can be cleaned with a bleach solution. However, if the area feels soft or crumbles, the fungi may have spread and caused rot.

Look For Leaks

You should check for nearby water leaks if you’ve found black mold in your home. Check all pipes near the moldy area and surrounding rooms, as water can travel in any direction once absorbed into materials like drywall.

Search for wet spots on indoor and outdoor walls and ceilings, paying extra attention to downspouts near walls. Additionally, check the areas around indoor vents for any signs of mold, which may indicate an insulation problem with the air duct.

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 true 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:
    Many air purifiers also have an automatic setting that will sense indoor air quality and turn on/off in response. These kinds of air purifiers might also be able to have a timer set so you can run them for a set amount of time.

Common Symptoms Of Mold Allergies

Many people suffer from mold allergies. The most common signs and symptoms of these allergies include:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy or sore throat
  • Watery and red eyes
  • Dry, irritated skin

These allergies can trigger asthma symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other allergic reactions.

While black mold exposure is usually not severe, people with mold sensitivity can be severely affected. In rare cases, it can lead to pneumonia and pneumonia-like conditions.

Why Do I Have Mold In My House?

Mold can sneak into your house through open doors, windows, vents, and even your heating and air conditioning system.

Mold spores are also notorious hitchhikers that can latch onto your clothes, shoes, and even pets, making their way into your home undetected. When mold spores land on damp surfaces, they’ll have all they need to grow and create a potential full-blown mold infestation.

As someone who has helped countless people who have found black mold in their homes, I know firsthand how concerning it can be to have this toxic substance in your home. What makes it worse is that many everyday household items, such as paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood, create a suitable environment for black mold to thrive.

But they’re not the only culprits. Dust, paint, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery are all materials mold can survive on. So, it’s essential to be vigilant and take action to prevent mold growth in your home.

How Do You Kill Mold Spores In The Air?

Ventilation is the simplest way to remove black mold spores from the air Reducing indoor mold spores is crucial for your health, particularly if you have mold sensitivities. Mold spores can linger in the air for up to 48 hours, so it’s essential to address them promptly.

Opening a window is the easiest way to ventilate a room, but if that isn’t an option, a HEPA or ionizer air purifier can effectively remove and kill mold spores. For an existing mold problem, vinegar and baking soda can be used to kill and remove mold spores. Simply mix the two in a spray bottle and apply directly to the affected surface.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What’s Better For Mold, An Air Purifier or a Dehumidifier?

Air purifiers and dehumidifiers are both useful for removing mold. 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?

Certain air purifiers can help with musty smells. HEPA filters can capture small particles that cause odors, but most air purifiers won’t do much against odors that are gaseous in nature.

What Humidity Level Does Mold Grow In?

Mold grows best in humidity levels of 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?

Opening windows can help with mold. Although an open window can reduce moisture and remove mold spores, it will not do much to stop the spread of active mold growth.

What Kills Mold On Drywall?

Substances like vinegar and isopropyl alcohol can kill mold on drywall. 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.

Conclusions

Mold growth is one of the most severe issues I deal with and always requires immediate action. In extreme cases, I always recommend calling a professional mold removal company that will ensure your home is safe.

Air purifiers can effectively remove mold spores from the air to prevent the growth and spread of mold.

However, while an air purifier can help address the immediate issue of mold spores in the air, air purification alone is not a long-term solution to prevent mold growth. It is crucial to regulate humidity levels with a dehumidifier to prevent mold spores from growing in the first place.

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Josh Mitchell

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Josh Mitchell
My name is Josh and I am obsessed with home appliances. From portable AC units to heaters and air purifiers, I enjoy testing, learning and using these devices to improve the air quality inside my family home.

My Favorite Home Appliance?

Midea U Shaped Window Air Conditioner

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