If you’re reading this article about the best air purifiers for mold, then you must be searching for a top-rated machine to solve your problem.
Given the many options available, it can be confusing as to which air purifier really is the best one for your needs and will help to eliminate any mold issues and provide an ambient, pleasant environment in your home or workplace.
Obviously, with so many air purifying machines available, it can be a difficult task to know which one is most suitable for your needs. That’s why we are here to help. In this post, we will walk you through some crucial questions which you can utilize to help you to decide which product is the right product for you:
How bad is your household mold problem?
Which machine would be the most efficient to solve your problem effectively?
In this article, we will skip the basic info and kick-off the buying guide part. If you want to know more about the concept, you can visit this article about mold and spore definition. Now let’s begin.
Dehumidifier vs. Air Purifier: Which One Should You Get?
There are many reasons to use a dehumidifier instead of an air purifier and vice versa. But when it comes to machines to solve mold problems, you might be concerned as to which one can handle it better. Here are some aspects you should be concerned about:
|What does the machine take in?||Purifies mold, spores and contaminants present in the air.||Sucks in water/moistures in the air.|
|Result after using||Clean the air by purifying the existing air components.||Reduces moisture volume.|
|How does it deal with mold, spore problems||Effectively deals with mold, spore problems by removing the contaminants contemporary.||Eliminates Kill the ideal growing conditions of mold spores.|
Note: To read about the different usage between an air purifier vs. a dehumidifier, as well as more reasons to use this machine over another, you can visit this link for the info.
How to Identify Mold Conditions in Your House?
Humidity is the main condition that mold needs to develop. If you are careful, you should identify the relative humidity rate to know whether your house is in a good condition for mold to grow or not. Read on to know how to do it.
The Cause of High Relative Humidity
There are two causes that may lead to high humidity levels, which is house hygiene and the natural environment.
House hygiene: If the relative humidity variation in your home is caused by unreasonable levels of poor hygiene (such as water leaks, damp clothes, spoiled food, and more), then you can do the necessary cleaning to get rid of the source of the mold problem.
After that, use the air purifier to clean the airborne substances and musty odors that remain. And boom, mold spore problems are basically solved!
Natural environment: If you are living in a high humidity area where the temperature is high, (we’ll show the humidity map below), this is a permanently ideal condition for the mold to build up.
And you cannot stop mold growing, outside or inside the house unless you have effective methods to prevent mold.
Humidity Rate Meaning
It is important to get to know the standard of humidity in your house as based on it, you can know whether your home air is healthy or not. Humidity unit is a percentage (%) and based on the scale of 100%. At a particular scale, it has this meaning:
- Under 25%: Poor humidity level. The air is too dry, being able to cause skin irritation, dry eyes, and has an uncomfortable feel to it.
- 25% – 30%: Fairly fine level. Keep monitoring till the air reaches a healthy humidity rate.
- 30% – 60%: Healthy indoor humidity rate
- 60% – 70%: A bit over the healthy line, at this rate it forms a condition for mold, spores to grow.
- Over 70%: Too high a humidity rate. It can exaggerate and exacerbate respiratory symptoms and be a perfect condition for mold,and spores to spread.
Humidity is unstable and it can change in an area when you are using:
- Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers
- Moisture-generating appliances such as dryers
- Combustion appliances such as stoves
- Moisture indoors will also change when cooking and showering
Normally, in a well-ventilated house, after a time, the humidity rate in these rooms will be back to normal, before the time you use the device. If you want to speed up the moisture removal process, or maintain the right humidity rate, you can have a dehumidifier/ humidifier to help you with this.
Measuring by Devices
Measuring the relative humidity can be done in many ways. Here are some of the easiest:
The Distribution of Humidity Map
Using the map of humidity distribution can help you know the relative moisture of the area you are living in.
If your house is not well isolated from the air outside (regularly open the windows or usually have the doors open), it will be easy to take in moisture from outside, and this at the same time creates the conditions for mold and spores to grow.
This humidity distribution map will let you see the general moisture rate throughout the USA. Since humidity changes as the season changes, you should see the result at daily updated intervals for relative humidity levels in the USA.
Hygro Phone App
If checking by the map is not convenient, you can download the app called “Hygro” available on a mobile phone.
This app is really easy to use. Just type the name and search for the right app as in the picture, then download it and allow it to locate your location. After that, the app will show the correct percentage of humidity in the city, or area you live in.
Nevertheless, this app and the map method can only tell you the relative humidity rate outdoors in a vast state or city, so it is not practical to use in the home. Don’t get us wrong, these two methods are not useless.
Still, it helps you to get the idea of the general humidity of the environment and you can refer to this to serve your own purpose.
This app is available on both iOS and Android.
Regarding the methods to read the humidity level in a particular room inside your house, check the ways below.
A Digital Hygrometer
There are many ways to measure humidity indoors such as wet and dry bulb tests, homemade devices, etc. but the easiest and most compact way is using a digital hygrometer.
So here, we will focus on the most easy-to-do method of measuring humidity rate. For a handmade humidity measuring method, you can check this article for the info. And now, here is what this device has to offer.
A digital hygrometer is a device measuring humidity in the air. When you turn it on, the sensor will monitor an electrical current. When it contacts moisture, it will react, detect and then show the number as a percentage on the LCD screen.
Using a digital hygrometer brings about many benefits. It can keep track of the humidity readings of the previous time, which would make it easier for you to compare the results.
To our mind, this device is the easiest way to measure and to understand, you almost have to do nothing other than turn it on and wait for the result.
An Analog Hygrometer
An Analog Hygrometer is a cheaper alternative to the digital hygrometer. The way it works is easy to comprehend, though sound technically.
Inside the device, there is a coil spring attaching to a moisture-sensor. When introduced to the air, the sensor will expand or contract, impact the coil spring and move the needle. The needle runs on a circular dial and shows you the measurement accordingly.
However, Analog Hygrometer is not as accurate and convenient as a Digital Hygrometer as you have to read the number yourself and a number that is not an integer can be read inexactly.
Identifying through Observing
Before mold starts to grow and spread, it shows signs that can be visually recognized and sensed. These signs can be separated into different stages from mild to serious. If your house shows any of these features, it is highly likely that you are suffering from mold problems:
Stage 1: Wet, Damp Wall
A wet or damp wall is easy to recognize. It has a darker color compared with the rest of the wall painting and when touching, it is wet.
The reason for this could be a water leak inside the wall, somewhere. If it doesn’t get fixed soon, mold will grow from inside the wall to the outer surface.
Stage 2: Black Mold on the Wall, Painted Starts to Peel
At this stage, mold is already growing and is visible to see. mold will damage the surface of whatever it clings on. If it is the wall, then you can see its paint layer will be separated and easy to peel off.
But what you see is just the tip of the iceberg. Inside things are embedded, their structure is also filled with mold.
If the weather is dry and remains at the safe humidity level, this mold layer will shrink and stop developing, at the same time being harmless to your health.
It is like mold is falling into a winter sleep. But if it keeps receiving the nutrients (water, moisture) it needs, then it will come to the next stage of reproducing which does harm to your health the most.
Stage 3: The Musty Smell
When mold is fully grown, it will come to the stage of spreading microspores to the air. This stage of mold development does the most damage to your health and is the reason why you can sense obviously the musty, muggy smell.
The spores will travel within the air and end up landing on the surfaces. If the condition is ideal, the circle of life will again take place.
Stage 4: Regularly in Poor Health
“Though small amounts of mold probably won’t hurt us, there is no species of mold that is ‘safe’ when inhaled. Those tiny spores could cause a host of health problems; mostly in people with respiratory problems, allergies, or a compromised immune system” said Dr. Spahr.
As confirmed by doctors, mold can cause common symptoms such as headache, sore throat, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, and fatigue.
For those with a basal respiratory disease, mold spores can worsen the symptoms. In short, if you experience any of the symptoms above regularly and your house has the signs listed above, there is a high chance the reason is because of the mold.
How to Choose the Best Air Purifier for Mold
To make it worth every penny you spend, when deciding to buy a product, remember to look for these features:
1. Product’s Air Capacity
The product’s air capacity shows how strong the air can deliver. The capacity of an air purifier is shown as CFM (cubic feet per meter).
Based on this spec, you can calculate how long the air purifier takes to clean a particular size of a room. Though in the product’s description, they also show you the ideal room size for the machine.
But this number is not so practical as your room can be bigger or smaller than the recommended room standard. That’s why the best way is to calculate your room size by yourself.
To do the measurement, first, you need to get some specs: your room size (shown in Width, Height, and Length), the CFM, and ACH of the product.
You can use a tape measure for the most accuracy. Or, you can estimate your room size by eye to get the approximate number, which is easily done. It doesn’t need to be as exact as the real number.
Meanwhile, the CFM specs can be easy or hard to collect. Most air purifiers won’t show this data on the product description, so you need to text its manufacturer to get the number or find it out in the reviews of other users.
Second, you also need to collect ACH spec (air exchange per hour). If the specs show 3 AHC, it means the machine can clean that room (with size as the manufacturer suggests) 3 times in an hour, or in a quarter, etc…
After getting those specs, you can do the calculation to know the ideal room size to use the air purifier in. The math is done as this formula:
CFM * 60 (minute per hour) /(the ceiling’s height)/ACH = Room area (sq.ft)
For example, if you have a product states 300 CFM and x3 ACH, your ceiling is 8 feet in height, then you will have the math as follow:
300 * 60 / 8 / 3 = 750 square feet (the maximum room size for that particular air purifier)
After getting the result, you can calculate your room size and compare it to your real room size. The formula is as follow:
Height * Width = Room area (sp.ft)
For example, your room is 30 feet in length and 15 feet in width, then your room area is:
30 * 15 = 450 square feet (product with 300 CFM and x3 ACH is excellent for the room)
Base on the machine with 300 CFM and x3 ACH, if:
- Your room > 750 sq. ft: the machine will do the air cleaning longer, the ACH is also decrease
- Your room < 750 sq.ft: the machine can clean the air faster, the ACH is also increase
2. Room You Want to Use
Basically, there are common rooms each house will have, which are the bedroom, the working room, the living room, the basement/garage, the kitchen.
So, if you buy an air purifier for mold, you should also consider these aspects to ensure that you have a suitable product for these rooms:
Quietness: Without any doubt, quietness is a top priority feature for an air purifier to be used in the bedroom. Sleep is precious and shouldn’t be disturbed for any reason.
To know how quiet or noisy the machine is, you need to identify its dB (noise level). The noise level to sleep well should rate from 40dBb to 55dB. Louder than this would be very noisy, especially in the quiet ambiance at night.
Turn-off light feature: Next in the list of your top concern features for an air purifier for mold to use in the bedroom is the turn-off light feature.
On most air purifiers, you will find that there is light around the buttons and on the displaying screen. Some can be turned off while some can’t be.
Many people have reviewed that the light is very disturbing and makes it hard for them to sleep. So if you are also one of them, or even you don’t since you cannot tell until you encounter the situation for yourself, you should read about the product to know whether the light can be turned off or not.
Normally, these two features – turn-off light and quietness are indicated under the mode called SLEEP MODE, which when turned on will turn the light off and decrease the noise to a whisper-quiet rate.
Timer: With the purpose of saving energy, a timer would be a helpful function. Lots of people love this function as they don’t need to wake up in the middle of the night to turn off the machine.
High capacity: For a living room, you will need a high-capacity air purifier as it is one of the biggest areas in the house. Usually, the living room is not a separated, closed-space room.
So the clean air pumped out is not concentrated but spread to surrounding space, so the purification will take longer.
For this reason, you will need a strong, high-capacity air purifier that can cover a 500 sq. ft room (consider as a large living room) or larger. Or even better, you can buy two products with lower capacity and place them in different corners of the room.
Basement and Garage
Strong air purifier: For the basement and garage, a high-efficiency air purifier for mold is undeniably necessary as this is where mold and spores grow the most. Other than this, you would also need a machine that works efficiently with dust issues.
To know which machine is good for dust, you can trust those HEPA air purifiers for mold, especially the ones with many purification layers (including 3 essential filters: pre-filter, HEPA filter, charcoal filter).
Or alternatively, you can rely on a product with 150 CADR ratings (which show that the machine works great with dust problems).
Handling smoke, odors: In the kitchen, items that can purify smoke, odors, and smells effectively should be a priority.
The range hood can suck the smoke and smell when cooking but no matter what, the smell and some smoke are still left. However, the air purifier can help you with this issue.
3. Price Range
There are many factors affecting the price which include the brand’s fame, machine’s functions, technology, design, and so on.
Nevertheless, in general, the price range of air purifiers can be classified into 3 categories:
From $120 – $200
With a budget range from $120- $200, you can find an air purifier for mold with some essential features which conclude timer, sleep mode, indicating light, 3-speed modes, and some have an auto mode.
Air purifiers in this price range usually can clean the air in medium and big rooms.
Most air purifiers that cost below $100 are mini size and designed for personal use or for small areas. They still have the functions that are necessary for air purifiers, which are speed mode, detecting function, and indicating light, sleep mode.
An air purifier can be very expensive, you can even find some that costs up to or over $500.
But in paying an exceptionally high price you do reap the benefit of some very useful functions and great performance, such as app connecting, remote control, extra filters, auto mode, or a two- in- one product – air purifier and humidifier, or the latest tech that can solve most air problems (for example, PECO tech from Molekule).
Another aspect to consider when choosing the price range is filter cost. You can use an air purifier for years but the filters need to be changed periodically.
In common, HEPA filters cost around $15 -$20 and a full combo of HEPA and charcoal filters is around $20 – $29.
Some brands have their own signature filter which guarantees to deliver the quality as promised. This means if you use filters from other brands, the air quality propelled out will be different.
And of course, as always, associated with this quality is the rise in price. These brand signature filters in general will be more expensive than the common generic ones.
In short, aside from the product price, you will also need to consider the cost of filters to make sure you have the most economical model with the features you need.
4. Best Kind of Air Purifier for Mold
There are many different kinds of air purifiers, but in this post, we’re just going to pick common types that are most efficient for mold. Furthermore, we also inform you of the good and the not-so-good aspect side of each.
HEPA Air Purifier
HEPA stands for the term High-efficiency particulate air. This is the most standard type of filter that is behind many branches’ tech.
As for the reason why it is most used, it is because of the manufacturing cost and material. Making this filter is both inexpensive and shows the best result.
HEPA filters can capture up to 99,97% of airborne chemicals and irritants. As to why it can do this, this air purifier has multiple stages of filtration, including 3 layers as minimum and 5 as maximum.
One of the filtration steps is a carbon filter, which is used for eliminating all kinds of smells. In short, HEPA air purifiers can offer an environment with virtually no dust anywhere.
However, HEPA filters can only catch impurities. It cannot eliminate them. The pollutants will stay there on the filter surface till the replacement day.
Through time, with the potent air push, these microscopic irritants can pass through the filters and reintroduce to the air.
PECO Air Purifier
It is the short form of Photo Electrochemical Oxidation. This new technology was invented by the Molekule company in recent years, using the light-activated catalytic reaction to destroy any small irritants for eternity.
Furthermore, the machine can eliminate up to 99,99% of particulates as small as 0,1 microns. So far, this is considered to be the most effective technology to clean the air.
If you are curious about what PECO products can do, visit this link and check our review for the top-rated PECO air purifiers.
Ionizing Air Purifier
These kinds of air purifiers impart an electric charge to particles, causing them to stick to the filter’s surface. They help with mold and particulate problems alike pretty effectively.
However, there is one drawback that makes it a bit of a letdown. While operating, these machines generate ozone pollutants as a by-product, and ozone pollutants are claimed to be harmful to respiratory disease or even with healthy individuals.
Reviews of the Best Air Purifier for Mold in 2022:
1. Hathaspace HSP001 Smart True HEPA Air Purifier
If you are looking for a potent, multitask air purifier to sanitize the air in a big room, then the Hathaspace air purifier is the name to put on top of your list.
As a way to bolster the product quality itself, this Hathaspace comes from a reputable manufacturer in the USA that many people used and trusted.
This air purifier can purify a 700 square feet room only in an hour, which not many air purifiers at this size and price range can do. This would be ideal to use in a living room which is actually an open-space area.
Associated with HEPA technology, the Hathaspace can capture 99,97% of harmful substances in the air. It uses a 5-step filtration to deliver the cleanest and most fresh air that you need.
Other than for mold purposes, you can also use this fan to eliminate the heavy smoke and odor when these issues come up. This air purifier is said to be very efficient at this part.
Further to its advantages, you will find that this piece of technology is very pleasing to the ears as it only makes sound at the frequency of 20 dB, which is nearly soundless.
Also, its light when operating can be turned off, supporting your sleep at maximum.
For trustworthy proof regarding outstanding quality and safeness, the machine is UL-certified and passes all the safety and ozone requirements set by CARB (California Air Resource Board).
However, it does emit ozone, but the volume is under the limit line that is permitted to be indoors. Hence, you don’t need to be worried about whether the machine is harmful or not.
Despite this feature, overall, the Hathaspace air purifier is still one ideal product to have.
If you are living in a new flat that has a heavy VOCs smell, having this air purifier will wipe out your issues within a day. This air purifier handles the smell and odor in the vast room very quickly and efficiently.
2. Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier with True HEPA
Getting tired when you often have to change many filters? Then switch to the Winix 5500-2, which allows you to replace only one filter annually.
To top off its pros list, this beast highlights the potent air suction. Laying your hand at where the air propelled out, you can feel clearly its strong push.
It can cover a room that is as large as 360 square feet, which is the average size of every room in a standard house.
Paired with HEPA filters, the Winix 5500-2 cleans up to 99,97% of components as small as 0.3 microns to every nook and cranny in the room, including our top of the concern issue: musty smell and microscopic spores.
With the plasma wave technology, this machine adds to the air Hydroxyls that can drop the percentage of micron virus, bacteria which cannot or are hard to be filtered.
It turns out the air smells much differently in rooms with this machine presence. It feels like the air is a tank of Oxygen and provides fresh air that virtually has no weird smell, smoke, or dust.
Well, after all, this is an easy-to-predict result since the machine is claimed as a true HEPA filter air purifier.
Moreover, this machine has washable filters, which are the pre-filter and the AOC carbon filter. The washable pre-filter is nothing special as all the HEPA air purifiers also have.
However, the carbon filter is what is worth our saying. At most HEPA air purifiers, this filter is non-washable and needs to be changed periodically. With this machine, you can save money on this.
There is only a small problem that when turning on the Plasmawave mode, this air purifier emits ozone. This function can be turned off, by the way. Furthermore, the product was certified by CARB and the UL as a product meeting ozone and safety standards.
Based on this, we can ascertain that the product is basically harmless to your health. But if you have pets like birds and small-sized pets, we highly recommend you turn off the Plasmawave mode as it can harm the animal.
The Winix 5500-2 with 2 washable filters and strong capacity is ideal to use in rooms that need much air sanitization. The HEPA filter can last up to 12 months. Meanwhile, you can easily and regularly wash the 2 dirty filters which can help the HEPA filter to last longer before replacement.
3. Coway AP-1512HH Mighty Air Purifier
When it comes to the Coway air purifier, its aesthetic design will first get your attention, even among a host of machines.
Furthermore, the machine offers you a wide range of useful functions, offering you the maximum convenience when using. And below are some of the most prominent ones.
As a HEPA air purifier with 4-stage filtration, this machine can capture up to 99,97% of pollutants of all kinds, including germs, particles, odor, pollen, pet hair, and impurities smaller than mold, spore etc.
Another plus feature is that it has an Ionizer function which is considered the last layer of purification. This function will catch the small impurities that have passed the previous filters and bring you clear air that virtually has no pollutants.
Therefore, if you usually sneeze or are allergic to pollen or some sort of thing, this machine can definitely change your situation.
Another convenient function you will find with this Germ guardian is the timer mode. You can adjust it to work up to 8 hours. Then it will automatically turn off when the set time is over.
Furthermore, the auto mode of the machine turns out to be very useful. It can detect the air pollution rate and automatically adjust the resultant speed. It will keep track of the air condition until there is no sign of pollution in 30 minutes.
With this feature, you can pretty much leave the air cleaning job to the air purifier itself and do your stuff while enjoying the fresh, clean indoor air.
Also, this model also has the updated version – the Coway Airmega AP-1512HHS, which has a wifi-enabled feature. If you are attracted to this extra convenience, you can consider buying this item instead.
With a smooth and quiet operating motor, plus ECO mode which can save energy, this Coway air purifier is favorable to use in the bedroom.
While sleeping, it will provide healthy air for you and keep the noise low to a rate that is not disturbing to individuals who are sensitive -to -sound.
4. LEVOIT LV-PUR131 Air Purifier for Home Large Room
Looking for a potent and super-electricity saving air purifier? This Leviot LV-PUR131 will be an ideal choice for you.
Levoit LV-PUR131 has a very powerful motor. Within an hour, it can clean a room with a 900 sq. ft area. Also, it is not just efficient with mold spore, and odor, the machine is highly recommended for heavy smoke and pet dander.
If you are living in a high-smoke area which annually has a fire outbreak or forest fire, or if you have any pets around, then this air purifier is your best bet.
While working, this unit makes a very light noise that is nearly invisible to our ears. To be honest, you would barely notice the machine is turned on. This makes it perfect to use in the bedroom, and the baby room or any room that requires quietness.
Above all, being certified by Energy Star, this air purifier is a real energy saver. You can see the difference in the total electric bill if you are having 2 products and one without Energy Star.
And as the brand claimed, this Levoit model is one of the best energy-saving air purifiers presenting on the market.
For more convenience, if you are fond of wi-fi connecting, smart remote control, voice control, and compatible phone app, then the decision of buying the Levoit LV-PUR131s would be ideal for you. All it costs is just a little amount of extra money.
Now that we have discussed the pros, are the cons. It took us a lot of effort to find the machine’s drawback, and frankly we only found one shortfall that is a bummer to unlucky folks who “win the jackpot.”
You might get a faulty product with technical errors which potentially emits strange smells or has weird loud noise. If it happens to you, you need to contact the manufacturer to fix or send you a replacement.
This air purifier is very necessary for you in the living room because it is where the family members usually gather the most. With high capacity air delivered and being a super electricity-saving air purifier, this Levoit can protect clean air for the whole family in a very economical way.
5. LEVOIT Air Purifier for Home Large Room, H13 True HEPA Filter Cleaner
Last on the list and also an impressive product, we have here the LEVOIT Vital 100. This version works as efficiently as the Levoit LV-PUR131 above but with a simpler mode. If you are fond of this simple feature, then this product will match your needs.
At first glance, you might see that this model of LEVOIT is pretty small and it is true. However, it can clean a room that is up to 975 feet square within an hour. It would take a much shorter time to complete 1 time cleaning for a room with a smaller area.
As the product manufacturers claimed, it’s a true HEPA air purifier, and it works just as great as what true HEPA products we mentioned above.
With only 55W electricity used to operate, this air purifier is a real energy saving. Even at its highest speed, the energy it consumes is still minimal.
With this feature, the machine delivers fresh air and saves money for you at the same time.
Plus, it is claimed to be 100% ozone-free. It uses no UV-C light or any technology that produces ozone, ensuring no harm to the users.
What’s the drawback? Sure, this aspect is also essential. As for the size, we notice it is a little small, which leads us to conclude that the machine might be weak.
Though on the advertising, it was said to cover up to 975 square feet, but the number on the manual is just up-to 300 square feet. This can cause profound misunderstanding to users.
Another feature is that when working at the highest speed, because of the noise it makes, to many people it is not ideal to locate in bedrooms or anywhere else that needs silence.
This Levoit model is very simple to use, it doesn’t have many modes which take more steps and could be confusing to use at the beginning. Hence for anyone who loves the simple, clean look and simple way of using, this unit will be a good product to have.
Top-rated Air Purifiers for Mold Specification
|Model||Coverage||Speed Level||Filter layers||Noise Level||Sleep mode||Warranty|
|Hathaspace HSP001||Up to 700 sq.ft||3||4||20 dB - 43 dB||Yes||2 years|
|Winix 5500-2||Up to 360 sq.ft||4||3||From 27.8 dB||Yes||2 years|
|Coway AP-1512HH||Up to 360 sq.ft||3 and ECO mode||3||24.4 dB - 53.8 dB||No||3 years|
|LEVOIT LV-PUR131||Up to 900 sq.ft||3||3||From 27 dB||Yes||1 year|
|LEVOIT VITAL 100||Up to 975 sq.ft||3||3||From 23 dB||Yes||1 year|
A product with a true HEPA filter, carbon filter, along with the size and capacity that suit your needs, is far enough to help you with the mold problem.
And here, we supported you in choosing great and budget-friendly items.
Everything that has to be said is said. Hope that you can find your desired item after going through our best air purifiers for mold. Now it’s time to take action and make your home clean and healthy.