Mold is a common problem in homes and other buildings. It can easily proliferate indoors, damaging surfaces and releasing harmful spores into the air we breathe.
Air purifiers are said to be highly effective against mold spores, viruses and many other airborne contaminants, but how exactly do they mitigate mold? How can mold growth be prevented, and what other steps can be taken to eliminate it?
Find out in this article!
Mold and its dangers
What is mold?
Mold is a type of fungus composed of many microorganisms. In nature, mold helps break down organic matter. Unfortunately, that means that if mold is left to grow on wood or fabric indoors, the material may begin to decompose.
Mold thrives in warm, damp, and dark places, microscopic spores that travel through the air. Mold spores are usually harmless in small amounts, but they can proliferate quickly, particularly in humid environments.
The dangers of mold
People who inhale the mold spores floating through the air can have adverse reactions that may be more or less severe, depending on their state of health and level of exposure.
Some people are more sensitive to mold than others. Those with mold allergies and/or asthma tend to have more intense symptoms, which can include coughing, congestion, sneezing, red or itchy eyes, sore throat, skin irritation and sinusitis. Severe reactions can also occur in people who are regularly exposed to large amounts of mold in the course of their work in commercial or medical settings, for example. Mold can also cause fungal infections in people who are immunocompromised or have underlying lung disease.
How air purifiers mitigate mold
While air purifiers can’t address the mold already growing on surfaces, they are a great way to control the proliferation of airborne spores. In fact, air purifiers are the only way to eliminate reproductive mold spores from the air. Mold spores are very easy to track in from outside, so even if you don’t currently have a mold problem in your home, air purifiers can trap any spores that make it inside before they have a chance to settle on a surface and start growing.
Many air purifiers contain HEPA filters, which are very efficient at trapping microscopic airborne particles. HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters are made of dense mesh that can capture 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns or larger in size. Most mold spores tend to be larger than 1 micron, so HEPA filters are very effective at trapping them.
Note that HEPA filters need to be cleaned and changed regularly to maintain optimal efficiency.
Sunlight, which contains UV is a natural disinfectant. Mold usually grows in dark environments and does not thrive in direct sunlight. UV light eliminates mold spores by penetrating through the microorganisms, killing most of the cells and making sure that any that remain are unable to reproduce.
The effectiveness of UV lamps against mold depends on the intensity of the light, its wavelength, and time of exposure. Sanuvox’s UV air purifiers are equipped with proprietary UV J lamps that deliver the maximum UV dosage to the stream of air moving through the device, helping to destroy mold spores and other contaminants.
Other methods for controlling mold
While air purifiers are very effective on mold spores, it’s important to take care of the source of the mold as well as the spores in the air.
Remove visible mold
Visible mold should be removed promptly to prevent it from spreading. On hard surfaces, mold can be removed by cleaning the area with diluted bleach. Note that bleach should never be mixed with other household cleaning products. If mold appears on more porous surfaces that are difficult to clean, it’s best to have it remediated by professionals.
Keep moisture to a minimum
Mold growth can be mitigated by keeping indoor moisture to a minimum. Mold thrives in the damp, so take the following steps to avoid providing it with a favourable environment:
- Take care of leaks as quickly as possible.
- Turn on exhaust fans during moisture-generating activities such as showering and cooking in order to vent the humid air outside.
- Avoid leaving wet items lying around.
- Avoid carpet in the basement. Basements tend to be damp, and carpets in damp rooms are ideal places for moisture build-up and mold growth.
- Use dehumidifiers in problematic rooms to eliminate excess moisture in the air.
Eliminate airborne mold spores with Sanuvox
If you’re concerned about mold in your home, Sanuvox air purifiers are a great way to help to eliminate spores from the air and prevent them from proliferating and causing health problems. So it’s important to take steps such as reducing humidity levels indoors and cleaning up any mold you find.
With Sanuvox’s residential air purifiers, you can breathe easy knowing that you aren’t inhaling any mold spores or allowing them to reproduce inside your home. Our patented UV technology is extremely effective at deactivating and helping to destroy mold spores and contaminants of all kinds. Contact us today to find out more about our air purification solutions!