One of the most annoying smells you will experience in your home is the musty scent. It’s not easily noticeable, but breathing in such air can make you sick and hamper your productivity.
Air purifiers are known for keeping the air fresh indoors. But do air purifiers help with musty smell?
Yes, your air purifier can help prevent the musty smell from damaging your home environment. But you do need to take care of the source before you can expect the purifier to work properly.
If you’re facing this in your home, you are in the right place. In this article, we’re going to discuss the source of the smell and how effective air purifiers can be against it.
Source of the Musty Smell
Where does the smell originate from? All kinds of smells need an appropriate environment to form. And the musty smell develops in a place where heat and moisture are present.
The warm and humid condition causes mold and mildew to grow on the walls and other surfaces, which then results in heavy air.
- The Bathroom
This is the first place I’d look at as the source. It has all the elements conducive to musty smell production. Usually, bathrooms are placed at the outermost part of a home, and it gets the outside heat combined with the constant use of water.
If you notice well, you’ll see it doesn’t take more than a few days to develop molds on the floors and walls of the bathroom. Therefore, it’s necessary to keep the bathroom clean and dry as much as possible.
- Places Near the Pipes
The spots near water pipes and the roof are the second prime location for mold and mildew formation. In ideal conditions, these places will be fine. However, if there is any leakage on the roof or in the pipeline, you can expect mold formation pretty quickly.
Rain leaking from the roof and a damaged pipe inside the walls mean there will be no lack of moisture. And the heat from the sun and environment is always there to make things worse.
- The Basement
You can’t ignore the basement as well. Two things are going against it. First of all, it gets the least sunlight and airflow, so there is no chance for the basement to stay dry on its own. Secondly, the basement is near the ground, and if there is any bad spot, moisture will sweep in from under the floor.
- Closet Spaces
Again, the main factor behind the musty smell, i.e., mold formation, is the lack of airflow. What place is more conducive to such conditions than the closet spaces in your home? It’s full of clothes and adjacent to the wall. Therefore, moisture can easily get inside and mix up with the warm temperature.
If you don’t use the closet for a few weeks or so, you can expect some mold formation on your clothes. While this won’t cause a noticeable amount of smell, it can get worse if there are unclean clothes for a long period.
Will an Air Purifier Get Rid of Musty Smells?
Getting rid of smells isn’t the primary role of an air purifier. Mainly it’s supposed to keep the air fresh by filtering the air. However, if there’s mold and mildew in your home, they are the main source of the musty smell.
And as long as the mold is there, an air purifier won’t be effective against the stale smell.
If the prerequisite (cleaning the source) is done, you can use an air purifier to speed up the process. And unlike other smells like pet, urine, or the smell of food, you can actually take advantage of both HEPA and carbon filters. Here’s how both filters fight against smell developed from mold and moisture.
How HEPA Filter Removes Musty Smell
The function of a HEPA filter is to trap particulates in the air, including tiny bacteria living in the mold. These bacteria are born on mold-covered surfaces, and the air takes them away along with the mVOC (microbial volatile organic compounds) dispersed from the mold. And those are responsible for the smell.
A HEPA filter can catch them, and they will eventually die inside the air purifier. In this way, it helps stop smell production. But it doesn’t deal with odor particles. To do that, we need to bring in the carbon filter.
How Carbon Filter Removes Musty Smell
The carbon filter is prepared from chunks of carbon or charcoal and made into powder. This powder is placed inside the air purifier as a thin layer that acts as a filter.
When the air passes through the device, the odor particles are absorbed by the carbon. And you get fresh air without the heavy tone of mold.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do HEPA filters remove the musty odor?
HEPA filters are good at catching particles but equally bad at trapping odors. They will only catch airborne mold particles and smell-producing bacteria. So, in a sense, you can say it does a bit.
2. Do dehumidifiers remove the musty smell?
A dehumidifier is a perfect device if the smell is caused by excess humidity and moisture. The mold will die slowly from the lack of moisture, but it will take some time to get rid of the smell without an air purifier.
3. What else can I do to remove the moldy smell?
There are old traditional methods you can use to fight the mold and the resulting smell. Just take a bit of baking soda and sprinkle it on the source, and it will destroy the bacteria responsible for the smell.
However, if you’re not in a hurry, just maintain good airflow and a dry environment. And it will slowly but surely get rid of the mold and its smell.
If you’re not lazy about keeping your home clean and maintaining ample airflow, you will face the musty smell eventually. The closet and the bathroom are the first two places. But do air purifiers help with musty smell?
Yes, they do. But don’t expect them to work if you don’t fulfill the prerequisites, i.e., a dry and cool environment.
Last Updated on January 10, 2023