Mold growing at home can be the cause of serious health problems. Air purifiers are an essential tool to help reduce mold at home.
Having mold in your house is more common than you think. Sometimes, mold infestations are easy to spot while other times, they’re not. Exposure to mold can cause annoying symptoms like a stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. But for those who suffer from allergies or asthma, the reaction to mold can be much more severe.
Luckily, mold levels at home can be controlled quite easily. According to the CDC, you can control mold growth in your own home by simply controlling your home’s humidity levels. A great and effective way to do this is by using an air purifier designed to filter microparticles.
Do air purifiers help with mold?
Air purifiers can help keep your house free of mold by capturing airborne mold spores from the air, and destroying them. To get the best results, the air purifier should be placed in areas where mold is normally found, like bathrooms, basements, and rooms with low air circulation or high moisture. The best air purifiers for mold will also protect you from airborne irritants like dust, pet dander, pollution, and pollen while filtering out the mold.
Ultimately, an air purifier can help improve indoor air quality by trapping mold spores.
Keep in mind that while a good air purifier can help to eliminate small mold buildup, you should always consult a specialist if you suspect that your house or space has a serious mold problem.
Where does mold come from?
Mold, is formed by microscopic fungi that grows on damp surfaces, and can expose you and your family to severe health risks. Although mold can often be used in a “good” way – after all that’s what the “blue” of Roquefort cheese is – it is neither tasty nor inviting when it’s growing on your bathroom’s walls. Particularly so if you suffer from allergies and asthma.
Inside of our homes, molds like Alternaria, Aspergillus Chaetomium, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Mucor, Penicillium and Stachybotrys are often found growing in places that are warm, damp, and dark. However, mold itself does not trigger allergic or asthmatic reactions. Instead, are the microscopic mold spores floating around in the air that cause coughing, wheezing, stuffy and runny noses in those who are allergic. These mold spores can make both indoor and outdoor air quality almost unbearable for some.
As tiny mold spores float in the air and evade the protective mechanisms of your respiratory system, you can find comfort in the fact that we now have very effective ways to reduce and eliminate mold in your home.
To ensure that your home remains mold-free, use hygrometers and humidity gauges to monitor and regulate the humidity levels in your home. Mold loves humidity and thrives in areas that are wet and dark. After testing your home’s humidity levels, use a dehumidifier to lower the humidity level and to keep the humidity in the 40-50% range. Place air purifiers in problem areas to remove any remaining airborne particles, and clean up any mold that you may find.
Mold air purifiers offer the perfect solution to filter out the majority of mold spores that are found in indoor air, and while this is a 24/7 job, keeping the number of mold spores in your home low is key to controlling allergic reactions provoked by them.
Is mold dangerous to our health?
What we get up to in our homes, the condition of home ventilation, and even outdoor pollution sources infiltrating our homes all contribute to the quality of the air we breathe. The World Health Organization carried out an investigation on the impact of dampness and mold on indoor air quality, and found that the presence of mold aggravated symptoms of asthma and other respiratory conditions.
While most individuals aren’t affected by exposure to occasional mold growth, others can experience the following reactions especially when mold growth is prolific:
- Allergies – Inhaling or touching mold spores may cause allergic responses. Symptoms can include a runny nose, red eyes, and skin rashes (dermatitis). Allergic reactions can be immediate upon exposure or delayed until allergens build up in the body.
- Asthma – Mold can trigger asthma symptoms including wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing.
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) flare-ups – Molds can produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which typically include aldehydes, alcohols, and hydrocarbons according to information presented by American Air and Water. Individuals who are sensitive to VOCs may experience MCS symptoms including dizziness, nausea, memory problems, breathing difficulties, flu-like symptoms, rashes, and hives.
- Respiratory problems – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that in 2004 there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, coughing, and wheezing in otherwise healthy people.
Long-term Effects of Mold Exposure
Short-term effects of mold, while serious, are at least relatively easy to spot. Long-term effects of mold exposure on the other hand, may not present obviously as mold-related.
Prolonged mold exposure can cause serious respiratory problems with symptoms like chest tightness and difficulty breathing. Some people who are exposed to high levels of any mold for a long time develop lung hypersensitivity – which leads to scar tissue in the lungs.
According to the CDC and other reputable sources, it’s likely that certain toxic molds present a serious health threat if they develop and multiply within your home. The mold can send dangerous spores called mycotoxins into your living environment. Official names of these mycotoxins include: trichothecenes, beta glucans, nitric oxides, aflatoxins, penicillium, and aspergillus. These mycotoxins can interfere with cell and DNA function, cause respiratory illness, skin rashes, memory problems, and brain damage, among other serious health problems.
6 ultimate tips to reduce mold at home once and for all
The best way to reduce your chance of exposure to dangerous mold is to keep it from forming in your home.
Act quickly to stop mold! If wet or damp areas are dried 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens in most cases mold will not grow.
Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity between 30% and 50% relative humidity. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter.
If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture / water source.
How to reduce humidity
Vent appliances that produce moisture, such as clothes dryers, stoves, and kerosene heaters to the outside whenever possible.
Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers when needed.
Run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering. Use exhaust fans or open windows whenever cooking, running the dishwasher, etc.
How to reduce condensation
- Reduce the humidity.
- Increase ventilation or air movement by opening doors and/or windows, when practical. Use fans as needed.
- Cover cold surfaces, such as cold water pipes, with insulation.
A conclusive note
In summary, 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, a.k.a. cellulose. When choosing an air purifier for your home, make sure you do not skimp on quality.
You want to select an air purifier with a sealed system and a certified filter that is made from fiberglass, ceramic or a synthetic – inert – material.
Modern advancements in air purification technology allowed us to develop KORU Air focusing on maintaining an extremely high air purification effectiveness, while limiting our impact on the planet and on customer’s pockets with a permanent and washable filter perfect to capture even the tiniest mold spores.