We are often asked about the best home air cleaners for preventing mold-related health problems. First, let us say that one of the more important considerations when purchasing an air cleaner for your home is the size of the area that you intend the unit to clean. Although most air cleaners are designed to clean the air in an average size room, they are portable and easily moved from one area or room to the next. Since the best air cleaner for a particular homeowner depends on their specific needs, instead of pointing to one specific model, we’d like to provide you with this air cleaner’s ratings guide so you can see which air cleaners are preferred by other homeowners, and then select the model that best fits your particular situation.
The best home air cleaners for removing mold spores from the air to reduce the risk of mold-related health problems (such as asthma attacks, allergic reactions, bronchitis, pneumonia, and other respiratory disorders) are those with high-efficiency particulate air filters (commonly called HEPA filters). Air cleaners with HEPA filters remove more than 99.97 percent of all particles, 3 microns in size or larger from the air, including things like mold, pollen, dust mites, and pet dander. To visualize the size of 1 micron, one grain of common table salt is about 100 microns.
The following sections list some of the more popular home air purifiers that employ HEPA filters along with their consumer ratings:
Fellowes Air Purifiers – These home air cleaners contain HEPA filters along with carbon filters. Carbon filters assist in odor removal. Some of the Fellowes models also have ionizers that help in removing harmful airborne particles from your home. Air ionizers work by emitting negatively charged ions into the air which attract positively charged particles. Things like dust and such are all positively charged. Once this bond between negative and positive is achieved, the particle becomes heavier than air and can be trapped on an electrostatic plate that is inside the air ionizer. The plate can then be washed clean and re-installed into the machine. Homeowners that purchased these models rated them an average of 4.5 stars out of 5. Most agreed they work well at improving indoor air quality. However, many owners of these machines complained about a high-pitched chirping sound that they found annoying.
Hamilton Beach True Air Allergen Reducers – These home air cleaners have HEPA filters but no carbon filters. Hamilton Beach filters can be vacuumed clean and should never need to be replaced, according to the manufacturer. Homeowners that purchased these models rated them an average of 4.3 stars out of 5. Many owners commented that these models run quietly, unlike many other models, which is a feature that they liked. However, others felt that while the Hamilton Beach machines did make their homes less dusty, they did not experience as much improvement with regard to their allergy symptoms as they had hoped to achieve.
Whirlpool Whispure Air Purifiers – These home air cleaners have HEPA filters and carbon filters. Homeowners that purchased these models rated them an average of 4.3 stars out of 5. Most agreed that the Whirlpool model worked well at removing allergens and other debris from the air. The most common complaints about these models are that they vibrate noisily even though the manufacturer states that they run quietly, and in addition, they tend to generate a lot of heat; some consumers compared the Whirlpool air purifier to a space heater.
Winix Air Purifiers – These home air cleaners have both HEPA filters and carbon filters that remove odors from the air. Homeowners that purchased these models rated them an average of 4.4 stars out of 5. Most owners agreed they worked well at improving indoor air quality. The most common complaint against the Winix air purifiers was in regards to the filters. Customers reported it is difficult to clean them and they are easily bent out of shape and therefore need to be replaced more frequently than the every three years as recommended by the manufacturer.
The best home air cleaners we’ve found are those made by Honeywell. Consumers rate them favorably when comparing them to other air purifiers with HEPA filters, like those that we’ve discussed here in our air cleaner’s ratings guide. Most Honeywells have both HEPA filters as well as carbon filters that will help to remove odors from the air. Many customers that purchased Honeywell air purifiers also mentioned that they work great for removing the odor of cigarette smoke from a room. Some customers said they found Honeywell air purifiers to be a bit loud when running on the highest setting, but most found them quiet enough, especially on the lower settings. Some said they liked the sound and thought it was like a white noise machine and helped them to sleep better at night.
For functionality, one of the best features of this Honeywell air cleaner (the HPA200) is that its filters are readily available in the marketplace. The last thing you need is to have to shut off your air cleaner for a period of time while you search for a new replacement filter. Another great feature is that the Honeywell contains a pre-filter. A pre-filter captures the majority of the larger sized particles, thus extending the life of the HEPA filter. It has an auto-off timer, which will turn the unit off after 2-12 hours of operation. It also has an indicator light that alerts you when the filters need changing or cleaning.
We hope that this article provides you with a basic starting point concerning the purchase of home air cleaners. To learn more about our preferred home air cleaners and to read the very helpful consumer reviews, follow this link to Amazon.com.
To learn more about air cleaners, and for a comparison of ionic air purifiers vs. a mechanical air purifier for mold, just follow the link.