Best Air Purifier for Basement (Musty and Moldy)

Best Air Purifier for Basement (Musty and Moldy) In 2020

Basement smell like something just died in here? you're not alone. The musty mold and poorly ventilated smell can literally choke the life of a person. When there are no windows to move the stinky sewer out of the way, most owners will turn to air cleaners. In this post, we will show you what is the best air purifier for the basement, what should you look for and what to keep out. See how an air purifier can improve the air quality in your basement for good with just a simple click.

How To Choose The Right Size Air Purifier for Basement?

To begin, you will need to know your basement room size. If you don’t have the floor plan, use a measuring tape and start measuring the width and the length of your basement. Round the number up and multiply both width and length to get the basement total square feet. With the numbers, compared with the official recommended room size figures. The numbers should tally with your basement room size or double of it for 4 air changes per hour. You can learn more about air purifier room size calculation here.

How Do We Measure?
Mold CADR Even though we are using pollen CADR as a benchmark, it will reflect clearly on the air purifier capacity in dealing with mold. While we do not have a minimum bar, obviously the higher the CFM, the higher consideration we will give it. If the particular model did not participate in the CADR test, so be it.
HEPA filter A must-have filter in our book. Many of the biological contaminants are microscopic in size and can only be captured by a True HEPA filter. Without the HEPA filter, microbes like mold and mildew will be left unattended and continue to grow in your basement. Bonus points will be given if the filter comes with antimicrobial treatment.
Carbon filter The only filter that will be able to get rid of smelly odor in the basement. No matter if is a dedicated carbon filter or a carbon pre-filter, if the air cleaner has one, we will consider it. An activated carbon filter is very important as it prevents the musty, rotten smell from lingering and sticking to your basement wall. The better the carbon filter, the higher the priority we will give it.

Who is this for?

An air purifier will be good for everyone that is having breathing difficulty or asthma. If you have a basement and it reeks, you will need one. If any part of your home is having subpar indoor air quality, that would work as well.
Looking for an air cleaner to tackle on your sleeping trouble? Best Air Purifier for Bedroom.
Pollen CADR
Pollen CADR
80 cfm (136 m3/h)
HEPA filter
With
HEPA filter
carbon filter
With
Activated Carbon Filter

Stinky basement can be the owner's biggest headache yet sometimes a simple air purifier would do the trick. In comes PureZone 3-in-1 True HEPA that will cost you less than 100 after discount. That's right, a cleaning device with True HEPA, Activated Carbon Filter, and UV-C Light. No inferior HEPA-type filter or carbon pre-filter here. Even the tiniest microorganisms and harmful smoke will not be able to bypass the filtration. If your basement is constantly invaded by mold and mildew, this air purifier will kill them off, literally.

So what's the catch with PureZone 3-in-1 air purifier? Nothing other than the poor CADR and short filter lifespan. Looking past that, it is the perfect entry-level model to get rid of basement smell with good filtration and decent purifying coverage.

What's cool:

  • Affordable yet come with 200 sq. ft. purifying coverage.
  • True HEPA filter that will target microbes as small as 0.3 microns.
  • Activated carbon filter that will clear out all basement smell.
  • UV-C light will permanently remove mold, mildew, and germs in the air.

What's not:

  • Lacks auto mode so you will have to adjust the speed manually.
  • Pollen CADR is below 100 cfm.
  • Only 6 months filter lifespan.
MRSP/ RSP**
± 139.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 40 p
Online price*
Latest Amazon price
Pollen CADR
Pollen CADR
346 cfm (588 m3/h)
HEPA filter
With
True HEPA filter
carbon filter
With
Carbon Filter

Think GermGuardian AC9200WCA as the premium version to PureZone 3-in-1. It has wide purifying coverage, 3 times more CADR input, and up the game with 5-stage filtration. Of course for a basement air purifier, we will be looking at the 2 main filters. The True HEPA filter with 99.97% filtration efficiency on contaminants as small as 0.3 microns. Also, a carbon filter that will trap even the smokiest fumes and odors in the confined space. GermGuardian AC9200WCA checks it all.

GermGuardian AC9200WCA is on the costlier side given its raw performance. The good news is UV-light technology will be bundled in together. That way mold and mildew that is trapped in the air purifier will be eliminated will no chance of reproducing. Well worth the extra dollar you paid.

What's cool:

  • Strong airflow that covers up to 378 sq. ft. of room size.
  • Complete 5-stage filtration with UV-light and ionizer.
  • Impressive 346 cfm pollen CADR.
  • Oustanding True HEPA filter and dedicated carbon filter.

What's not:

  • Cost more than any other basement air purifier here.
  • For the price you paid, there is no auto mode and AQ indicator.
MRSP/ RSP**
± 399 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 128 - 182 p
Online price*
Latest Amazon price
Pollen CADR
Pollen CADR
246 cfm (418 m3/h)
HEPA filter
With
True HEPA filter
carbon filter
With
AOC Carbon Filter

Basement or not Winix 5500-2 air purifier will always do the job. It is well-priced, has decent airflow distribution and all the necessarily filtration to be a good air purifier. The 4-stage filtration consists of a True HEPA filter, carbon filter, and Winix trademark PlasmaWave. If you have any concerns about the airborne dust, allergens, and odor in your basement, place the device in the center, turn it on and you're good to go.

Another good thing about Winix 5500-2 is the energy-efficient auto mode and sleep mode. Ideal for users that seldom comes down to the basement yet would like to make sure all contaminants are captured when you do visit. The air purifier will only run at a higher speed if it detects a usual higher level of particulates.

What's cool:

  • Well-priced for a 4-stage PlasmaWave filtration .
  • Strong airflow output will decent purifiying coverage.
  • True HEPA filter and activated carbon filter that works well against mold.
  • Sensitive auto and sleep mode.
  • Abundants of features including timer, remote control, and AQ indicator.

What's not:

  • Slightly expensive annual filter replacement cost.
MRSP/ RSP**
± 249 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 80 p
Online price*
Latest Amazon price
Pollen CADR
Pollen CADR
220 cfm (374 m3/h)
HEPA filter
With
True HEPA filter
carbon filter
With
AOCTM Carbon Filter

If your basement is infested with mold with visible mold patches on the wall, Winix HR900 True HEPA pet is your answer. Yes we know this is a pet specialize air purifier, it will still work flawlessly in your basement. Spec-wise it is identical to Winix 5500-2 apart from the antimicrobial treatment. The anti-microbial will prevent mold from growing onto the filter and end up releasing more microbes.

To recap on Winix HR900 features, first, you have the pre-filter standing by for dust and hair. Then a True HEPA filter that will capture all kinds of indoor pollutants. Next, the activated carbon filter is great at controlling the musty mold smell. Finally, PlasmaWave technology is there to take down stubborn positive particles by weighing them down.

What's cool:

  • Expensive for a 5-stage PlasmaWave filtration with antimicrobial pre-filter.
  • Strong airflow performance with 300 sq. ft. coverage.
  • AOC carbon filter performance against musty mold smell.
  • Auto mode, Sleep mode, built-in timer, and child lock all comes standard.

What's not:

  • High annual filter replacement cost.
MRSP/ RSP**
± 349 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 100 - 120 p
Online price*
Latest Amazon price
Pollen CADR
Pollen CADR
300 cfm (510 m3/h)
HEPA filter
With
HRF-R3 Honeywell Filter R True HEPA (3 pack)
carbon filter
With
HRF-AP1 Filter A Universal Carbon Pre-filter (1 pack)

If you want a powerful air purifier that is easy to use and would not cost you much, look no further. Honeywell HPA300 True HEPA allergen remover is a powerhouse with a super wide 465 sq. ft. of purifying coverage. It is officially rated at 300+ cfm CADR that even beats some top-end model. It also comes with 3 preset timers if you do not want to left the air purifier running all day. All that for less than 200 dollars after discount.

Honeywell HPA300 might not be the best air purifier to get rid of mildew smell in the basement, in other departments it rocks. Powered by a carbon pre-filter and 3 True HEPA filter, no pollutants will be too hard to handle for this purifier. Pick this if you willing to trade-off performance over features.

What's cool:

  • Super high 300 cfm pollen CADR.
  • Wide 465 square feet coverage.
  • Outstanding and long lasting True-HEPA filter.
  • 5 years warranty.

What's not:

  • Uses a weaker carbon pre-filter type.
  • No auto mode, sleep mode and AQ indicator.
  • Use 3 HEPA filter that can be expensive to replace.
MRSP/ RSP**
± 299 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 108 p
Online price*
Latest Amazon price
Pollen CADR
Pollen CADR
135 cfm (229 m3/h)
HEPA filter
With
True HEPA filter
carbon filter
With
Carbon Filter

Levoit LV-PUR131 is like HPA300, but slightly cheaper, slightly less powerful but with slightly more features. Make no mistake, it still comes with a 3-stage filtration with True HEPA filter and activated carbon filter. the 2 very important filters to tackle on your basement odor woes. Adding a 322 sq. ft. coverage, highly flexible timer, an air quality indicator, and a much compact body, there is no wrong going with this model.

So would we recommend Levoit LV-PUR131 air cleaner for basement? Yes, absolutely. However, you should consider HPA300 if you don't mind paying a bit extra for performance.

What's cool:

  • High 322 square feet coverage.
  • Inexpensive with above aberage airflow performance .
  • Genuine True-HEPA filter and Carbon filter.
  • Highly customizable timer.

What's not:

  • Uses a weaker carbon pre-filter type.
  • No auto mode and sleep mode.
  • Short filter lifespan that requires replacing twice a year.
MRSP/ RSP**
± 159.99 p
     Annual filter ^    
± 40 p
Online price*
Latest Amazon price

🏆 Honorable mention

Not what you are looking for? Below are some good air purifiers for basement but is either far too expensive to cover a small room or discontinued.
  • IQAir HealthPro Plus.
  • GermGuardian AC4850PT

📃 Previous holder

  • WInix HR1000
  • GermGuardian AC4100

2020 Best Air Purifier in Basement

Air PurifierOnline Price (Amazon)FiltrationCoverageScore
PureZone 3-in-1 Air Purifier

$$

CHECK PRICE
4-stage200 sq. ft. (19 m2)7.4
GermGuardian AC9200WCA Air Purifier

$$$$

CHECK PRICE
5-stage378 sq. ft. (35 m2)8
Winix 5500-2 Air Purifier

$$$

CHECK PRICE
4-stage360 sq. ft. (33 m2)8.5
Winix HR900 Air Purifier

$$$$

CHECK PRICE
5-stage300 sq. ft. (28 m2)8.4
Honeywell HPA300 Air Purifier

$$$

CHECK PRICE
3-stage465 sq. ft. (43 m2)8.5
Levoit LV-PUR131 Air Purifier

$$$

CHECK PRICE
3-stage322 sq. ft. (30 m2)8

 

Additional Information

Benefits of Basement Air Purifier

Air quality in a basement can be stale, humid, and unhealthy especially those without any windows. An air purifier can change all that by providing fresh air to a much-needed basement. No matter how big or small, finish or unfinished a basement is, having an air purifier can be beneficial to all parties both mentally and physically.

So let's look into all the perks of placing an air purifier in your basement.

  • Better air circulation - There is no doubt basement air quality can be stale, stuffy, and humid. Having a better air circulation will move fresher air in and push dirty air out or in air cleaner case, into the filters. The improved airflow will also affect the temperature and humidity level in the basement but a thin margin.
  • Less airborne contaminants - Basement is often filled with germs, mold, mildew, and spores. An air purifier will remove all airborne microorganisms so you will not have to inhale to the allergens.
  • Get rid of musty basement smell - Blame it on mold and mildew for creating the unbearable, sewer smell. A high density of the noxious odor can cause a person to be dizzy, lack of focus, and even hallucination. An air purifier will trap the mold and eliminate it with UV-light to prevent it from further spreading.
  • Less dust to deal with - Dust will pile up very quickly especially with an unfinished basement. This is because the airborne dust has nowhere to go and will eventually fall on the shelf, pipes, and floor. An air purifier will reduce the dust in the air by taking in as many harmful particles as it can so there will be less dust to worry about.
  • Remove building materials pollutions - This includes the notorious volatile organic compounds (VOCs), radon, Asbestos, Formaldehyde, Nitrogen dioxide, and lead. Most of these indoor pollutants are exposed through cracked walls, tiles, pipes and insulation boards. Unless you can re-renovate to remove the root cause, an air purifier would be the next best thing to contained toxic chemical fumes.
  • Improved sleep quality - Believe it or not, having clean air in the basement can actually make you sleep better even though you're in a different room. This is because the smoke pollution in the basement can creep its way up through HVAC system. An air purifier with a carbon filter can contain the smoke and odor from getting suck into the ventilation system. The less smoke goes up, the fewer pollutants you will be inhaled to during your sleep.
  • Change your mood - Yes clean air will enhance your mood level as we have reported many times. So even if you don't spend a great deal of time in the basement, it's good to get it sorted before it spreads.

Can Mold Grow In Basements?

Mold thrives in damp and warm temperatures (70 degrees Fahrenheit). A basement is very well suited to the high humidity condition as it is dark with no windows thus no sunlight. Generally, moisture from the basement comes from rain, groundwater, leaking pipes or floods. Because of poor ventilation, most moisture in a room takes a very long time to dry out. The condensation creates a cooler temperature with high dampness that is the perfect mold environment. If your basement is experiencing a high humidity level, get a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture in the air. If mold still continues to spread, get an air purifier to clear our the airborne mold.

Features To Look For in a Basement Air Purifier

There are lots of reasons why an air purifier is critical in improving basement air quality. From air circulation, pollutants removal to clearing out odor, there are so many perks of having an air purifier around. But with many different types of air purifiers in the market and not all of them are created equal. Making a rash decision and you could end up stuck with the device for many years. So what we recommend potential buyers to go through the below features list first before settling on an air purifier.

So let's look into all the perks of placing an air purifier in your basement.

  • Cost, cost, and cost - Most basement does not need an expensive air purifier because of the limited space and less visitation. That said, there's nothing wrong if you could afford an expensive unit.
  • Airflow delivery rate and CADR - Obviously the higher the number the better. If CADR is available, focus on pollen CADR as we used it as a benchmark for mold capturing efficiency.
  • Room size - The air purifier purifying coverage must be sufficient to cater for the entire basement at 2 air changes per hour.
  • True HEPA filter - Only a genuine HEPA filter with 99.97% efficiency rate on particles as small as 0.3 microns would work. No HEPA-type filter will be considered.
  • Carbon filter - An important filter to tackle on smoke and odor through a chemical process called adsorption. The stronger and better the carbon filter is, the faster and more smoke particles it can take in.
  • Ultraviolet Light - Optional filtration. WIth UV-C light, the air purifier can permanently eliminate mold from the air instead of just trapping it.
  • Auto mode - Again an optional feature. Auto mode can be useful in an air purifier because it will automatically adjust the right speed to match the numbers or pollutants in the air. Very useful if you plan to leave the air purifier running all-day in the basement without checking on it.

Air Purifier VS Dehumidifier for Basement

Air Purifiers are good for the basement, so is a dehumidifier. An air purifier will remove airborne contaminants in the basement mainly dust, mold, spore, and chemical fumes. It will also get rid of the musty smell from mold and other microbes. A dehumidifier reduces a basement humidity level by sucking in moisture. This will stop mold and other microorganisms from growth by cutting away their food source. In short, both devices can help allergy sufferers in providing better air quality and circulation. Since there is no overlapping in terms of functionality, you can run an air purifier and dehumidifier at the same time and in the same room.

References

Basement