Air Cleaners for Mold
Exposure to airborne mold spores and particles has been linked to a number of diseases. Aspergillus mold, a commonly occurring species, causes a host of diseases that are collectively known as aspergillosis.1 Mold can cause allergic reactions like allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and allergic aspergillus sinusitis, where the immune system overreacts to the present of mold. Even more troubling, mold can actually cause an infection and grow in the human body. Aspergilloma is when mold grows in the human lungs or sinuses.
Air cleaners for mold can reduce the amount of airborne mold, which can reduce exposure to mold.
Air Cleaner in Action
An air cleaner for mold may also be known as an air purifier. Whatever name the device goes by, it must use some method to remove mold particles from the air. The removal method will likely remove more than just mold. This is because the methods that are effective at removing mold from an environment also work against bacteria.
For example, an air cleaner or air purifier for mold may use an ultraviolet lamp to either kill mold spores or delay their ability to germinate. The wavelength of light needed to kill mold spores can be harmful to people, so the air needs to be drawn into a chamber where it can be safely irradiated with ultraviolet light.
An air cleaner for mold may also use a HEPA, or High Efficiency Particulate Air filter to capture airborne mold. A HEPA air purifier works on all manner of airborne particles, as it functions by trapping particles that pass through between fibers. An ULPA filter, or Ultra Low Particulate Air filter, removes even more particles from the air.
Air cleaners for mold can also reduce the prevalence of other irritants and pollutants. Ultraviolet light, electrostatic ionization, and HEPA or ULPA filtration are effective against a wide variety of air pollutants. For molecular or chemical adulterants like benzene or formaldehyde, an activated carbon filter can help.
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Killing mold spores can indirectly improve indoor air quality by limiting the germination of molds indoors. The components of mold which cause allergic reactions are not necessarily destroyed by an air cleaner, but preventing further mold growth will reduce the amount of mold released into the local air.
Mold spores are very small, too small to be seen by the naked eye.5 You will not be able to detect mold spores by sight alone, but there are a number of ways to test the air for mold. Home test kits may consist of a mold growth medium that will readily allow mold spores to grow should they land on the growth plate. This will tell you if there are mold spores in the air, however it will not tell you the source of the mold. It could be mold from your home or it could be mold from another source. To truly prove that the mold is coming from your home or office, a professional mold remediation company needs to sample the suspected areas of mold growth.
If a filter medium remains wet or moist for long periods of time, mold and bacteria can actually flourish on the filter itself. This becomes particularly problematic if the mold or bacteria manage to grow on the downstream side. When this happens, there is no filter to stop the mold or bacteria from being released into the air. In order to avoid this from occurring, air filters should be maintained regularly and not be used to filter moist air.
No, not all molds are harmful. In fact, some molds are beneficial to humans. For example, the Penicillium molds produce penicillin, a powerful antibiotic4. That said, if mold is growing in a home, there is no assurance that the mold will be harmless. The conditions that foster harmless molds are the same that foster dangerous molds.
When mold visibly grows into a living space, it may have thoroughly colonized the area behind the wall or ceiling. Bleaching the area may remove the surface appearance of mold, but there may be more mold in the area behind the wall. Drying the area will limit mold growth. If the area of mold growth is less than 25 square feet, a ten percent chlorine bleach solution may be effective at killing mold.6
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Keep your home fresh and SoClean with the SoClean 3-Stage Air Purifier. Up to 3,000 times more efficient than HEPA standards, the SoClean 3-Stage Air Purifier captures particles down to 10 nanometers and generates cleanroom-level clean air for your home. The easy-to-use design makes it simple to produce quality air wherever you are.
Master Air Purifier Sources:
Air quality sources: Air purification/filtration process sources: HEPA, UPLA, and MERV filter sources:
Air quality sources:https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.5b01236
Air purification/filtration process sources:https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/air-purifiers/buying-guide/index.htm
HEPA, UPLA, and MERV filter sources:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16517004/