Air Purifier Mold Killer: How Effective Is It?

The World Health Organization has acknowledged that people who are exposed to mold are more likely to develop asthma. Mold may also cause other adverse health conditions, such as memory loss and pulmonary hemorrhage.

Research shows that air purifiers can eliminate harmful elements present in the air. But are they effective enough to work as an air purifier mold killer?

The HEPA air purifiers certainly fall into that category. They are super effective at killing molds because of their ability to trap and kill bacteria as small as 0.3 microns. Moreover, HEPA purifiers remove 99.97% of airborne mold.

We will start the article with a description of mold and how it can negatively affect you. Afterward, we will examine the effectiveness of air purifiers for mold removal.

Let’s get started!

What Are Molds?

Before discussing how effective air purifiers are, let’s talk about mold briefly. As you become more familiar with it, you can easily understand the role air purifiers play in eliminating mold.

A mold is a fungus responsible for decomposing organic matter. As a result of this ability, molds promote new growth in the form of fertilizers. Doesn’t that sound amazing?

What is even more incredible is the fact that they have created penicillin, an antibiotic that saves lives.

Apart from these, mold can serve a variety of other purposes. Unfortunately, not all of those purposes are beneficial.

When conditions are favorable for mold, it is likely to grow and cause extensive damage to your home. Mattresses, carpets, and furniture are the most commonly damaged items.

And you need to clean these materials meticulously if they are mold-infested. Sometimes they are damaged to the point that they can no longer be used.

A combination of rainy weather, moisture, and evaporation is responsible for their growth. Furthermore, molds flourish most when the humidity level exceeds 55%.

Effectiveness of Air Purifiers in Killing Mold

Not every air purifier is effective at killing mold. The only purifier you should consider is one that features high-efficiency particulate air filtration, commonly referred to as HEPA.

You see, molds have different sizes. They usually range from one to five micrometers in size.

While regular air purifiers are good at catching the bigger mold spores, they struggle to capture the smaller ones. It is difficult for them even to identify small pollutants, let alone eliminate them.

This is where a HEPA air purifier comes to the rescue. It leaves no spore undetected. Even the smallest particle with a diameter of .03 microns is visible to the purifier equipped with a HEPA filter.

Another impressive aspect of these filters is that they eliminate 99.97% of all particles in the air, which is incredible.

In addition to killing molds efficiently, HEPA air purifiers offer many other benefits such as reducing asthma symptoms, boosting productivity, and preventing the spread of infections.

How Does an Air Purifier Eliminate Mold?

As we mentioned earlier, only an air purifier with HEPA can get rid of mold. Here’s how it goes –

Regardless of how tiny mold spores are, a HEPA purifier can still capture them. Once the particles are trapped, the filter neutralizes them. The working mechanisms of different air purifier filters are different.

No matter how hard the molds try, they cannot escape. Even if there is a way out, they cannot move since they are immobile.

The trapped environment of the purifier has a harsh, dry, and sterile atmosphere, making it inhospitable to fungi. As a result, they succumb fatally to suffocation.

Do All Air Purifiers Kill Mold?

There is a common misconception that any type of air purifier will kill mold. It is certainly not true.

A wide variety of air purifiers is available on the market. Each of them maintains clean and healthy air in a unique way.

Some filters release negative ions, which attach to particles and knock them down. On the other hand, some will generate ozone as a means of killing spores.

HEPA filtration excels the most in removing mold among all these air purifiers.

Does an Air Purifier Remove Mold Smell?

If molds inhabit your house, you already know what an unpleasant odor they emit. It is a musty smell that almost makes one gag.

Fortunately, air purifiers are capable of removing the smell. HEPA alone won’t suffice in that case, as it can only eradicate bacteria, not the odor they leave.

What your purifier needs are an activated carbon filter. Moreover, make sure the purifier is able to remove VOCs since they are another source of bad odors.

When the purifier is installed with the activated carbon filter, it starts absorbing the musty smell, and soon the smell will be gone.

Nonetheless, if the bad odor is still present, dehumidifiers are your last resort. You may also use natural methods to remove odors, like applying baking soda to the affected areas.

Health Risks Associated with Molds

Mold not only damages your home, but it also poses health risks.

Upon setting up in an area, it spreads and fills the surrounding air with spores. These spores carry even greater danger. Your cilia and mucous block the entry of large molds, but the spores are too small to be noticed.

The other alarming aspect is that you cannot exhale those spores. Once again, it is because of their tiny size.

Spores may adhere to your lung tissue and cause health problems such as –

  • Rashes or itchy skin
  • Wheezing
  • Throat pain or irritation
  • Coughing
  • Breathing problems
  • Irritation or redness of the eyes
  • Insufficiency of breath
  • Sinus blockage

A large number of people have weak immune systems. They are the least capable of fighting mold. People in this category are more prone to sinus and lung infections caused by mold spores.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What purifier kills mold?

HEPA air purifiers are the only purifiers that are effective in eliminating mold. They can capture and destroy molds as minuscule as .3 microns.

However, when buying one of these filters, ensure your purifier has a genuine HEPA filtration system.

The market is flooded with ‘HEPA-like’ and ‘HEPA-style’ air purifiers. None of them is as powerful as a true HEPA filter.

Final Words

As explained in the article, an air purifier is actually pretty effective when used as an air purifier mold killer. However, you must ensure the purifier you choose comes with a HEPA filter. This way, you can effectively get rid of mold since HEPA purifiers can identify even the tiniest of molds and destroy them.

Last Updated on February 21, 2023

Photo of author

Billy J. Weber

Hi. It’s Weber, founder and author of this site Currently you are reading. I am dedicated to provide valuable insights and practical tips to air enthusiasts and anyone interested in improving their indoor air quality.

Leave a Comment