Best Air Purifiers for Mold
Who likes to deal with mold? After all, it is a nightmare for residential and commercial building owners. It damages the structural integrity of a home as well as causes allergies and infections. Research shows that mold destroys more wood than all termites and fires combined.
Mold is destructive and predominant today, but the average person isn't well-informed on the subject. Here are two important points to consider:
- The lack of a solid understanding of mold and its dangers may lead to exposure without knowing it
- Using chemicals for mold instead of air purifiers for mold is more common but may not be the safest approach
What is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus consisting of small organisms of different colors. It produces spores that spread in the air, indoors and outdoors. Mold spores can enter your home through open windows, doorways, vents, and air conditioning systems.
Indoors, it thrives on moisture and will grow around leaks in roofs, pipes, and windows. It can grow on:
- Paper products
- Ceiling tiles
- Wood products
Outdoors, mold can attach itself to clothing, pets, and shoes. When the spores drop on carpets, rugs, upholstery, and other damp surfaces, the mold spores grow.
Thus, you are likely to see mold in damp places such as kitchens, bathrooms, basements, crawl spaces, and laundry rooms. This sounds like an air purifier for mold is a perfect fit in these places, but let's continue to dig a little deeper in our understanding of mold.
There are over 100,000 different species of mold found indoors and outdoors, but the most common indoor molds are:
- Aspergillus - often grows indoors on powdery food items, drywall, and dust. It's white, green, or gray with dark spots.
- Penicillium - grows on materials with water damage. It has a blue or green appearance.
- Cladosporium - grows in warm or cool areas and appears on wood surfaces and fabric. It's green, brown or black.
Other types of mold not common indoors but you may find in your home include:
- Stachybotrys chartarum
Mold takes a variety of textures and forms. They can be black, white, blue, yellow, green, or purple. On certain occasions, mold may look like a stain or discoloration on a surface.
Are Mold a Bacteria?
On most occasions, people group mold together with bacteria. While they are organisms, they differ in several ways:
- Mold is not a bacteria but a fungus. It has long, multi-celled filaments or hyphae, while bacteria are smaller and numerous in size.
- As a fungus, eukaryotes, it's DNA is usually enclosed in a nucleus separated from the cytoplasm. By contrast, in bacteria, prokaryotes, the nucleus is not separated by cytoplasm.
- Fungi are saprophytes. They get their energy (food and nutrition) from dead organic matter and thrive on damp surfaces such as drywall, wallpaper, and leaking pipes. Bacteria are autotrophic. As such, they can produce their food via chemical energy or light.
What Are the Signs of Mold?
When mold spores start to grow, you'll notice a little spot. Before you know it, the mold spot expands quickly. In most cases, you'll see the mold spot unless it's hidden, such as behind your wallpaper, between the walls, and under the kitchen sink.
As previously stated, mold can vary in terms of texture and color, and as a result some may have spots, while others may appear velvety or powdery. At times you may notice the mold spot but are not sure if it's a splotch of dirt or stain.
Here is how to confirm if the spot is mold:
- The spot has a musty smell
- There's the presence of moisture
- Wallpaper is cracking, peeling, or warping
- Your AC or heating smells weird
- Your allergies or asthma worsens
- Runny nose or sneezing fits
- Your clothes make you itchy
Of the thousands of different types of mold, some are useful and employed for medicinal purposes, while others are harmful.
How To Detect Mold in Air
Can you detect the presence of mold spores in the air? Yes. Research shows that over 70% of homes have mold. More than 50% of houses have mold issues in the U.S., and 28% of the American population carry genes that place them at risk of mold-related health issues.
One detection method is the MOLD ARMOR Do It Yourself Test Kit, which includes the following three testing methods:
- Indoor Air Quality Test
- Surface Sampling Test
- AC and Heating Sample Method
The test kit contains a petri dish swab, mold growth medium, and swab. It can test air quality for unseen mold in your home or business. To test for mold in the air, (first close all doors and windows 24 hours beforehand) take the swab and dip it in the petri dish filled with mold growth medium. It's a safe way to detect mold in the air, results are within 48 hours, and you can have a mail-in lab test identifying the type of mold.
You can also use the test kit above for a surface sampling test. Identify the surface you would like to test, such as wallpaper, drywall, carpet, or rugs. Take the swab, dip it in the mold growth medium, and dab it on a surface. Wait for 48 hours for the results. Alternatively, you can prepare diluted bleach (16 parts water, 1 part bleach). Dip the swab in diluted bleach and dab it on the selected surface. If the spot lightens, assume it's mold.
How Does Mold Affect People?
Mold exposure may cause various health effects or none at all. For people who are sensitive to mold, it can lead to symptoms such as:
- Stuffy nose
- Red or itchy eyes
- Red or itchy skin
For people who have asthma or allergies, they may experience intense reactions. In occupational settings, severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to mold. For example, farmers working around mold hay may experience severe reactions such as shortness of breath.
In 2004, the Institute of Medicine carried out a study and discovered a link between indoor exposure to mold and coughs, wheezing, and upper respiratory tract symptoms. For people with asthma or hypersensitivity pneumonitis, the symptoms worsened.
How Do You Keep Mold Out of Your Home or Buildings?
According to the CDC and other informed sources, you can take the following steps to control mold growth indoors and prevent a mold problem:
- Fix all leaky pipes, windows, and roofs
- Control humidity levels - 30% to 50%
- Use a de-humidifier or air conditioner during humid months
- Ventilate your kitchen, laundry, and shower- use exhaust fans
- Avoid using carpets and rugs in rooms with lots of moisture
- Hire a flood cleanup and restoration company
- Use an air purifier for mold or air purification system to clean the air
Mold is everywhere and can be dangerous to your health. Air purification systems or air cleaners offer help with this common "mold growing" concern.
Air Purifiers for Mold - Why Do They Work?
Air purifiers that are most effective at removing mold spores use a combination of components and technologies including Pre-filters, HEPA Filters, Activated Carbon Filters, and UV C Light. These systems are great for killing bacteria, removing mold, and prevent mold problems from recurring.
What are the advantages of UV Light for killing mold and removing mold spores versus other methods:
- It kills mold faster
- It's electromagnetic radiation
- You can avoid chemicals
- Testing shows 99.99% efficacy
What Are the Best Air Purifiers for Mold?
Now we've reached the point where you need to make a decision on which air purifiers to choose for destroying mold. Below we present both filterless and filtered designs. Although the filterless option doesn't use traditional HEPA and Carbon Filters, it is still an Irradiation Technology based on UV C Light.
Tests of Airocide air purifiers for mold reduction have taken place on a number of occasions including:
- A clinical study of the Airocide system was conducted at a private high school in Atlanta, Georgia. The objective of the test was to determine the ability of the air purifier technology to reduce the amount of airborne mold/fungi and bacteria and associated odors inside the varsity football locker room.
- The results showed a mold reduction of 60-70% over a 3 week test period.
- A clinical study of the Airocide system was conducted in the tomato cooler of a large produce wholesale company.
- The results supported the hypothesis and showed a mold reduction of 54% in 24 hours and 62% in 48 hours. Airborne bacteria decreased 75% in 24 hours and 100% in 48 hours.
- In an effort to minimize mold complaints, Schreiber West Bend concentrated on cleaning up the atmospheric air in their Main Cream Cheese Packaging Room. Many projects were put into place, with the addition of Airocide air purifiers. Following the completion of the projects and installation of the Airocide units, West Bend went 3 straight months without any Bulk mold complaints.
Filterless UV Light Air Purifiers for Mold
Airpura air purifiers have been used by hospitals and homes around the world as part of their protocol for microorganism containment for the past two decades.
These products are part of a preventative number of measures that can be done to protect yourself from viruses, bacteria and mold. The test results that were performed on the UV600 air purifiers conducted by Dr. Wladyslaw Kowalski, Aerobiological Engineering, LLC, 2015 attest to the air purifier's efficacy at removing some of the world's most deadliest and contagious airborne viruses, bacteria and mold.
An independent study was conducted using the Airpura UV600 to measure the removal rates of mold spores. At the lowest speed of 50 CFM, (lowest speed recommended to allow the maximum dwell time over the filters and the UV lamp), the removal rate of airborne mold spores (including the dangerous black mold) was 99.97%.
HEPA Filter UV Light Air Purifiers For Mold
Airpura's 2020 #1 Best Sellers
The HEPA Filter is in close proximity to a
Dual UV Lamp Source