Airborne mold spores have been linked to such respiratory disorders as asthma and allergies. Members of the medical community suggest eliminating these irritants in the home as much as possible, and some suggest the installation of an air purifier for mold control. When choosing the best air purifier, there are several features to consider to ensure the best possible mold removal, including the type of air filters used; if the appliance is in compliance with local efficiency standards, such as the HEPA guidelines; and number of stages of air purification offered by the system. With an adequate air purifier, studies have shown the amount of household mold can be reduced to healthy levels.
The efficiency of the air filters used is an important feature when choosing the right air purifier for mold. The average mold spore is between 1 and 5 microns and often passes through inferior air filters. First available in the late 1990s, high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are considered by experts to be the best available at catching mold spores, as they are designed to stop pollutants of much smaller sizes. The consumer can determine the type of air filter used by a specific air purifier for mold by asking the installation contractor or checking the product's packaging.
To ensure the best function possible from the air purifier for mold, it is important to place the device in the areas most prone to dampness and moisture. In many buildings, bathrooms, basements, and kitchens are often hot beds for warm, moist environments, which is ideal for mold spore growth. Other areas commonly affected by moist conditions are any rooms with upholstered furniture and laundry rooms. Some air purifiers are designed to clean the air of an entire building or home, while others are made for smaller areas and can be placed where most needed.
For people with severe asthma or allergies, industrial strength air purifiers may be needed. These units are designed with several stages of filtration to catch mold and are often used in clinics and hospitals. It is not unusual for these systems to pass air through pre-filtering processes, followed by the standard HEPA air filter, and a carbon filter for additional cleaning. The air must also pass through another carbon-based filter and ultraviolet lights before being released into the building's atmosphere. Other than in medical facilities, this type of protection is only found in homes in which a person with a life-threatening respiratory disorder lives.