According to research, black mold is becoming increasingly present in our homes and the buildings we live in. I am fortunate enough to live in a house, but black mold infestation did not pass me by either. It started 3 years ago, and my battle has been going on ever since.
Though the infestation is not overwhelming and I can deal with it quite quickly, I knot that there are some of you out there who have it harder than me!
So, you are thinking of buying a brand new air purifier but are unsure it will do you any good… Well, you’ve come to the right place because today I am going to answer the question of whether or not air purifiers help with black mold. Stay tuned.
How To Detect Black Mold Spores In The Air?
You can detect black mold spores in the air by using an air sampling test. You can purchase a mold sampling testing kit online. The testing kit comes with instructions and will give you step by step directions on how to retrieve your sample. Samples are taken from the air, sent to a laboratory and tested under a microscope.
Even if the mold is not visible to the naked eye, an air test will be able to detect whether you have a mold problem. However, it is important to mention that the levels of mold can change drastically in a short space of time, so a test conducted today might show different results in one weeks’ time.
Do Air Purifiers Help With Black Mold?
Whether or not an air purifier will kill black mold depends on the quality of the air purifier. Research has discovered that high quality air purifiers are capable of getting rid of airborne mold from the indoors. Studies have also found that the quality of air inside our homes is worse than it is outside and since we spend 90% inside enclosed buildings, it is essential that we purchase air purifiers for each room to filter the air and remove airborne mold spores.
While it is said that the majority of air purifiers help to get rid of mold, the most effective are those that contain a HEPA filter. HEPA filters are able to capture 99-99.7% of small particles and 100% of large particles.
How Air Purifiers Kill Black Mold?
Mold spores are extremely tiny at around 1-30 microbes which means that they need small enough filters to eliminate them. Mold spores are difficult due to the rate at which they multiply; therefore, you need an air purifier that is going to attack the mold spores as soon as they are released into the atmosphere.
An air purifier with an antimicrobial treated filter do the job of eliminating mold spores quickly. Also, black mold has a very specific smell and an activated carbon filter in an air purifier will neutralize the odor and freshen the air.
Filter Efficiency: It is important that you don’t compromise on filter efficiency, remember, if you want to eliminate mold from your home; the quality of the air purifier is essential. The most effective purifier to get is one that has a 2-stage filtration system. You should also look for a model that contains an activated carbon filter and a HEPA filter, this will ensure that both the smell and the mold spores are removed from the air simultaneously.
The Area It Covers: Certain air purifiers are made for certain room sizes, so you want to make sure that you get one that is big enough to handle the size of each room that you are putting it in.
Speeds and Cleaning Levels: Different fan speeds helps because it assists in controlling the rate at which the air is circulated in a room. It is advised that the speed is turned up to the highest level during cold, damp months because this is when mold is at its worst.
During warmer seasons, you can reduce the speed level and use natural ventilation methods such as opening the window. You will find some air purifiers with a smart sensor that determines the purity of the air quality and will automatically change the speed of the fan accordingly.
Automatic Mold: An air purifier with an automatic mode means that it has a sensor that monitors the quality of the air. If the purifier senses increased impurities, smoke or odors it will increase or adjust the speed of the fan which means that you can leave the fan to work for you without having to monitor it.
Is Black Mold Dangerous?
Anyone exposed to black mold for a long period of time puts themselves at risk of contracting a number of life-threatening health conditions. Black mold originates from the fungus family, it is either dark green in color or black and has a very obvious smell. If your house is infected with mold, you will know. It has a tendency to grow on surfaces with a high concentration of cellulose including gypsum board, wood, paper and fiberboard.
Black mold needs the right conditions to breed and these include warm, damp environments. You will typically find it in humid areas such as shower cubicles, laundry rooms and bathrooms. You will also find mold after a flooding or a burst pipe and it will appear in areas where it can’t be seen such as underneath carpets and floorboards.
The mold in itself is not actually dangerous; however, it is the toxins released that can cause harm when inhaled. People with a weak immune system or those who suffer from certain types of lung disease are more at risk of becoming affected by inhaling black mold. Some of the health risks associated with black mold include the following:
- Black mold poisoning
- Respiratory infections
What Happens If You Breathe It In?
Black mold poisoning is the result of the over exposure to black mold; its symptoms are similar to a common cold or flu; these include the following:
- A runny nose
- Red eyes
- Nose bleeds
- Itchy eyes or skin
- An itchy or sore throat
Exposure to black mold can also increase the symptoms in people with respiratory conditions such as asthma causing the following:
- Persistent coughing
- Difficulty breathing
- Frequent chest colds
- General lethargy and fatigue
- Allergic reactions
- Inflammation of the sinuses
There are have been some rare cases where people exposed to black mold have experienced the following:
- Light sensitivity
- Cramps and pains
- Memory loss
- Unexplained weight gain
- Nerve issues including numbness in the feet and hands