Mold, the disgusting microscopic fungi that invades your home, exposes you and your family to severe health risks. Although mold comprises the "blue" of bleu cheese, it is neither tasty nor inviting when it's invading your home. Now more than ever, those coping with allergies and asthma sufferers (and even those who aren't allergic to mold) are looking for a solution to their mold troubles. Which brings us to a very common question, do air purifiers eliminate mold?
Inside the home, molds like Alternaria, Aspergillus Chaetomium, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Mucor, Penicillium and Stachybotrys grow frequently in places that are warm, damp, and dark. However, mold itself does not trigger allergic or asthmatic reactions. Instead, the microscopic mold spores (seeds) floating through the air cause coughing, wheezing, stuffy and runny noses in those who are allergic. These awful mold spores make indoor and outdoor air quality unbearable for some. As tiny mold spores float in the air and evade the protective mechanisms of your respiratory system, you'll find comfort in the fact that there are effective ways to reduce and eliminate mold in your home.
Most air purifiers combat the multiplying presence of mold using a very powerful weapon: the HEPA air filter. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters excel at trapping microscopic particles. True or absolute HEPA filters must meet strict standards of efficiency, capturing a minimum of 99.97% of pollutants at 0.3 microns.
As mold spores range between one and five microns in size, HEPA filters are certified and proven to remove all airborne mold spores. Thus, air purifiers effectively eliminate mold. Ensure that your air purifier contains a HEPA filter by looking on the package. Each HEPA filter is marked accordingly and represents the strict guidelines for which HEPA certification requires.
HEPA filters eliminate mold spores by filtering the airborne spores from the air and trapping them within the HEPA filter. To effectively filter mold spores, place an air purifier in places where mold is frequently found: basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and rooms with upholstered furniture. Replace your HEPA filter frequently, as advised on the packaging, to ensure that your air purifier will continue to provide air free and clear of mold spores.
Austin Air HealthMate air purifier include HEPA filters which consistently ranked as #1 in the world. Also included in the Austin Air Healthmate air purifiers is thick, activated carbon filter which means the combination filter not only eliminates airborne contaminants like pollen, mold spores, and pet dander, but also odors, gases, and smoke. This innovative combination provides fresher, cleaner air for you and your family.
For the best filtration of mold spores, an IQAir HealthPro Plus air purifier provides better filtration of smaller particles than any air purifier available today. They HyperHEPA filter traps 99.95% of all particles, 0.003 microns or larger. That's nearly 100x smaller than particles than what a traditional HEPA filter can capture.
Air Purifiers Eliminate Mold Spores, But...
While air purifiers eliminate mold spores, that don't tackle any underlying problem of mold growth. Though mold spores freely float about nearly everywhere you go, actively growing colonies of mold will not only dramatically increase the mold spore count found in the air but they can also produce highly toxic byproducts called mycotoxins. You don't have to have allergies or asthma to suffer severe side effects from exposure to mycotoxins.
To ensure that your home remains mold-free, use hygrometers and humidity gauges to monitor and manage the humidity levels in your home. Mold loves humidity and thrives in areas that are damp and dark. After testing your home's humidity levels, a dehumidifier to lower the humidity and keep it in a range that is inhospitable to mold growth, 40-50%. Place HEPA air purifiers in problem areas to remove airborne particles, and clean way any mold that you find.
Air purifiers offer the perfect solution to filter the majority of mold spores found in indoor air, and while it's a continual task, keeping the number of mold spores in your home low is key in controlling allergic reactions to them.
So, do air purifiers eliminate mold? Mold spores, yes. Active mold growth, no. And as a final caveat. Mold needs a cellulose base to feed. This means that cheaper quality air purifiers, could actually become a breeding ground for mold, particularly if the humidity levels are high enough for active growth. Why? Because inexpensive air purifier filters are often made of paper - cellulose. When choosing an air purifier, don't skimp on quality. You want a sealed system and a certified HEPA filter made from warm rolled glass fibers (fiberglass) or a synthetic material. To see some of the best solutions for removing mold spores, visit our Top Five Allergy Air Purifiers page.
For more in-depth information about mold, cleaning/preventing mold, the health effects of mold, or air filtration, visit any one of these resources.