Dehumidifier vs Air Purifier for Mold

In this article we compare dehumidifiers and air purifiers and their effectiveness for dealing with mold. Both of these air treatment appliances have the capability to help solve a mold problem.

Mold produces spores that become airborne in order to spread.  These mold spores are everywhere, indoors and Outdoors. Some people have allergies to mold spores and may want to pay close attention to the mold spore count in their area.

In addition to problems with itching allergies and sneezing mold can also damage property. Mold can repair require expensive repair and remediation services. One of the most common places for mold form in home is on the windowsill. This is because excess moisture in the air will condense on cold Windows during winter months. Mold can also develop in the attic or basement where there is generally inadequate ventilation.

Since mold spores are airborne, they can be captured by an air filter.  Usually they remain here until the filter is either cleaned or replaced. However, if there is enough moisture in the air the mold can begin to reproduce on the air filter. In this situation the air purifier or ventilation system is actually spreading mold spores every time it turns on. Air purifiers are a great way to lower the number of mold spores in the air. They do need to be maintained regularly to ensure their effectiveness.

Humidity and Mold Growth

Mold needs humid air in order to spread and grow. If you can use a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels below 50% you will be taking a significant step toward preventing the spread and growth. Since regular things like cooking and using the shower increase the humidity inside a home, we recommend using a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will control the humidity levels and consistently keep them below 50%.

The Centers for Disease Control and prevention recommend this level of 50% relative humidity in order to prevent mold growth. They also indicate that an air conditioner can help control humidity levels the same way a dehumidifier will. While this is true, dehumidifiers tend to be much more energy efficient than air conditioners. You can also use dehumidifiers in the winter when an air conditioner would not be practical.

If you need to clean mold off surfaces, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control recommend a cleaning solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach mixed with 1 gallon of water. They have additional tips and warnings here.

Maintenance

Dehumidifiers, like air purifiers, also need regular maintenance. Their water catch bins must be emptied regularly if the dehumidifier is not routed directly to a drain. People often use dehumidifier hoses to accomplish this. The water collection bins must be cleaned to prevent mold growth inside. And dehumidifier hoses must be cleaned regularly to reduce the buildup of mineral deposits.

Both air purifiers and dehumidifiers will help reduce the spread of mold in your home. Both of these appliances require regular maintenance in order to function correctly. They will both help manage allergies to mold as well. We suggest using dehumidifiers and places where moisture is likely to collect. This could be in your basement or bathroom. Additionally you can use an air purifier where you spend the most time. This would most likely be your bedroom since you sleep there at night.

Dehumidifier vs Air Purifier for Mold

Hopefully we have divided you with enough information to make an informed choice about managing your mold exposure in your home. If you have any questions or recommendations of your own please feel free to leave a comment in the section below.

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