Air Purifiers for Basements: Your Best Choice to Remove Smell & Mold


Your basement is a place where is full of mold, radon, stagnant air and volatile organic compounds, which will have a significant impact on your health and respiratory tract.

In this article, you will not only get 3 best air purifiers for your basement, but also to have a comprehensive understanding of why you need to buy, what you should buy and what benefits you will get.

Table of Contents:

1. 3 Best Air Purifiers for Basement
2. Why Is the Basement Air Unhealthy
3. Health Risks Caused by Basement Air
4. Can an Air Purifier Improve Air Quality
5. Most Popular Air Purifier Technologies
6. How to Choose Basement Air Purifier
7. Other Measures to Improve Basement Air
8. FAQs About Air Purifiers for Basements

Part 1: 3 Best Air Purifiers for Basement

I have listed three best air purifiers for your basement below. Whether you are looking for the effective air cleaners to solve the dust and mold, or absorb the odors in the underground room, the following air purifiers are what you are looking for.

1. Purivortex 201B: Best Cost-Effective Home Air Purifier for Dusty Basement

If you are looking for a cost-effective air purifier, Purivortex 201B is one of your best choices.

This mini air purifier combines 3-stage filtration - pre-filter, activated carbon filter and true HEPA filter, which can remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria and any air particles with a size of 0.3 microns.

Activated carbon filter helps remove gases, odors and chemicals from the air. If you have pets or smokes, an air purifier with activated carbon filter will remove these smells.

The Purivortex 201B is ideal for small undercroft up to 161 sq.ft. If your budget is not high, it is an affordable option with high quality.

2. Purivortex V3: Best Portable Air Purifier for Basement Mold

It is designed for larger basement up to 430 sq.ft. Putting this air purifier in the basement can eliminate the pollutants and absorb the odors and VOCs in the basement air.

This portable air purifier sucks air from every angles, 360 air intake, enabling you to enjoy all-around fresh air instantly.

It is also one of the quietest home air purifiers. The noise of the lowest fan speed is only 23 dB, which won't disturb you.

3. Purivortex AC400: Best Air Purifier for Large Basement up to 1,076 sq.ft

This personal air purifier adopts H13 true HEPA filter, which can remove all particles in the basement air, so that you won't be troubled by the uncomfortable basement air.

Compared with the above two air purifiers, Purivortex AC400 is suitable for larger areas. If your area of underground floor reaches 1,076 square feet, this air purifier will be the best choice for you.

Part 2: Why Is the Basement Air Unhealthy

According to statistics, 32% of American families have basements. Basement air is the most polluted air in your house, even if it is a clean and finished cellar. Its pollution level is often ten times that of the upper floor.

Moreover, these pollutants will rise and destroy the air quality in the upper rooms. But why is the air in the basement unhealthy? What kinds of pollutants are in the air? Let's discuss it together.


Every underground room has mold more or less. Without windows and adequate ventilation, the basement is too wet and becomes a hotbed for mold growth. In addition, mold floats in the air and some people may have allergic reactions to it.


If you store paint cans or fertilizer bags in the lower ground room, they will volatilize organic compounds into the air. In some cases the smell is very obvious, with a strong odor, but sometimes there is no smell at all. You will unconsciously inhale these harmful gases, which will have a serious impact on your health.

Research from EPA shows that the VOC level indoors is 2-5 times higher than that outdoors. Obviously, the VOC level in the basement will be higher with its poor air circulation.


Dust is a problem for the whole house. Dust and other particles deteriorate the air quality in the basement. We tend to ignore the cleanliness of the basement.

Maybe you can't see the dust in the basement. If a person who is allergic to dust enters the sub-basement, his reaction will show you how poor the air quality in the basement is.


Radon is a toxic substance that causes air pollution in lower ground floor. This is a radioactive gas that enters the basement from the soil. It mainly enters the home through cracks in the foundation.

Radon may also be found in water and building materials. Long term inhalation of such gases may increase the risk of lung cancer.

Part 3: Health Risks Caused by Basement Air

Basement air can make breathing difficult due to musty mold and poor ventilation. Breathing in mold spores can cause multiple problems, and the symptoms usually vary from different persons.

It is common for people to experience respiratory problems such as allergies, asthma, sinus infections, and a runny nose.

As the dust and mold problem develops, the health problem will also get worse. Other symptoms may include digestive problems, headaches, autoimmune diseases, and even cancer.

Basement air can also spread to the rest of your home, putting your entire family at risk of serious health conditions.

Part 4: Can an Air Purifier Improve Basement Air Quality

Can air purifiers improve air quality of the basement? How to purify air in basement? Are air purifiers good for basement mold and smell?

Air purifiers can help combat pollutants in the undercroft. Poorly ventilated air provides a good environment for bacteria and mold to settle and grow. These smelly and toxic air is bad for your health.

Air purifiers work by purifying the air, eliminating pollutants, allergens, and toxins. Having a high-quality air purifier can help keep your underground room air fresh and prevent mold and dust buildup.

So when we choose the air purifier, which technology should we choose? First, let's take a look at how each technology can combat dirty basement air.

Part 5:Most Popular Basement Air Purifiers Technologies

High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filters

HEPA is a type of pleated mechanical air filter. It is an acronym used to describe a filter that can remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria and any air particles with a size of 0.3 microns (µ m).

For better results, HEPA filters need to be replaced regularly. If it is used in the basement with serious air pollution, it is recommended to replace the filter screen every 3-5 months.

Purivortex AC400, equipped with powerful H13 HEPA filter, can filter most large and tiny particles, like dust, pollen, smoke, hair, pet dander, etc., which can effectively remove air pollutants in rooms below stairs.

However, HEPA filters can only remove particles from the air. It can not absorb odors. You can buy air purifiers with 3-in-1 HEPA filter (like the above 201B). 

Activated Carbon Filters

Activated carbon air filters can help capture odors. Carbon filters capture odors through a process called adsorption, which occurs when molecules attach to the outside of the surface.

The more porous the activated carbon, the better, as this will increase the amount of surface space available for contaminants to latch onto when air passes through the filter.

Activated carbon filter is an ideal choice for odor removal, which is very helpful for air filtration in the basement. It is useful to place an air purifier with carbon filter in the underground room to remove volatile organic compounds, peculiar smell and other harmful gases.

For example, Purivortex 201B combines 3-stage filtration – pre-filter, activated carbon filter and true HEPA filter, which can absorb odors and fresh air in basement.

Air Purifiers with UV Light

Ultraviolet rays can effectively kill micro-organisms in the air, such as molds, bacteria and viruses. Nowadays, many air purifiers combine this technology in the filtration system, which can effectively reduce indoor air pollutants. The ultraviolet air purifier with high-efficiency filter is more efficient, and the mold will disappear soon.

However, although the air purifier with UV lights can improve the sterilization effect, the UV lights have certain disadvantages. One is the possibility of producing ozone, which is harmful to human body and pollutes the environment.

The second is the possibility of radiation, causing direct damage to human skin. Therefore, it is generally not recommended to use air purifiers with UV lights.


Ionizer air purifier usually has many names, such as "ion air purifier", "negative ion air purifier", "air ionizer" and "bipolar needle tip ionizer".

The ion purifier eliminates the ingredients that make basement air smelly by emitting negative ions into the air. It can quickly remove the odor, so it can help you keep the air in the basement fresh.

But wait! It is worth noting that some uncertified ionizers on the market may produce harmful ozone. If you inhale a lot of ozone, it will cause cell damage and even cancer.

Ozone has irritating effects on eyes and respiratory tract, which will lead to damage to lung function and lung tissue. Ozone can also cause vision loss, dizziness and headache. Therefore, we should pay attention to the harms caused by ozone.

In summary, it is advisable to use an air purifier with HEPA+ activated carbon all-in-1 filter.

Part 6: How to Choose the Best Air Purifier for Your Basement

Which air purifier is best for my basement?

How to choose the right size for my 1,000 sq ft basement?

Which air purifier is best for basement smell?

There are many air purifiers with different functions on the market. How to choose an air purifier that is most suitable for your cellar? These are 4 factors you should consider when choosing an air purifier.

Filtration System

It is strongly recommended to use the air purifier with HEPA + activated carbon filter, which can not only filter the dust, dandruff and other particles in the air of the basement, but also absorb the odor.

Room Coverage & CADR

Air purifier CADR ratings are extremely important since it determines the efficiency of air purifiers. It means how quickly an air purifier is able to remove contaminants, dust, pollens, and smoke in a room.

So how to choose the best air purifiers with ideal CADR ratings for my basement? 

If my basement is 15X15 square feet, which CADR should I choose?

Before answering your questions, we need to know what factors determine the CADR rating of air purifier.

There are three main factors:

# Room area (unit: square footage)
# Ceiling height (unit: ft)
# Air changes per hour (ACH, unit: hour) – It is advised to choose a 2 ACH for regular air cleaning.

How to Calculate Air Purifiers CADR Ratings Based on Your Need?

Formula for CADR in cubic feet/minute: (ACH x Room Area x Ceiling Height)/60 cfm

The following table will show you what CADR ratings of air purifier to choose for your basement.

Room area/sq.ft

Ceiling height/ft



















So if your basement is 15x15 square feet, you need an air purifier with at least 75 cfm.

If you are still confused about how to calculate, click here for more information.

Noise Level

If your basement is used to store items, this may not be a factor to consider; However, if your basement is used as a recreation room or bedroom, you should choose a quiet air purifier.

It is recommended to choose an air purifier with a noise level between 20 to 30 dB, which enables quiet operation. This level of noise is equivalent to whispering and won't bother you.

Part 7: Other Measures to Improve Basement Air

An air purifier is one of the best ways to deodorize an underground room. Besides, there are other means that can help to improve the air quality in the basement. The below methods may not necessarily solve the air quality problems, but it can make the basement smells better to a certain extent.

Keep Dry

In addition to stale air, a damp basement can lead to musty smells and deteriorating air quality. If you work or sleep in such an environment, it will make you feel uncomfortable to breath. More seriously, inhaling mold will make you sick.

High humidity environments can also promote the growth of mold and mildew on ceilings, joists, trusses, drywall or floors.

In addition to using an air purifier in your basement, place a dehumidifier that absorbs excess basement moisture can inhibit the spread and survival of the mold.

Remove VOCs Sources

To improve air quality in your basement, you should avoid storing chemicals and solvents below stairs, such as paints, cleaners, and gasoline.

You should keep these volatile organic compounds in a well-ventilated area. Volatile organic compounds are toxic. Keeping these items in a poorly ventilated basement for long time can easily accumulate and contaminate the basement.

Keep Basement Clean

You can clean your basement frequently, which will reduce the buildup of dust.

In addition, timely replacement of accessories in air purifiers and dehumidifiers can keep the machines working efficiently and help improve the air quality in your basement.

Last but not lease, when cleaning your undercroft, you should wear a mask to prevent you from breathing in polluted air.

Tidy up Your Basement Regularly

If you use your basement as a storage room for old magazines, old clothes, toys, books, etc., you’d better put them in boxes or bags, seal them well, and put them in a dry place.

Keeping your basement organized will also help reduce dust buildup. The less clutter in the underground floor, the less dust will accumulate.

Part 8: FAQs About Air Purifiers for Basements

1. Should I put an air purifier in my basement?

YESSSSSSS! An air purifier benefits a lot to improve the air quality in your basement. It can filter dust and harmful particles in a lower ground floor.

2. Will an air purifier help with basement smell?

YES! Air purifiers are very useful in basements. The air purifier helps to eliminate mold, dust, and other pollutants, improving the air quality of the cellar. If your basement smells musty or damp, you can buy an air purifier with an activated carbon filter. Activated carbon filter can absorb peculiar smell.

3. Do dehumidifiers also work as air purifiers?

This depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

An air purifier will filter particulates out of the air for people with allergies or breathing problems.

A dehumidifier removes moisture out of the air, like in a very damp basement in a house or lower level in a building that’s below the ground.

If your goal is simply to take the humidity out of a room, the choice will be a dehumidifier. Lowering the humidity in the basement can also prevent mold from forming in the underground room.

If your basement is full of dust and bad smell, an air purifier will be a better choice. It can reduce air pollutants and the number of molds effectively.

4. Do air purifier work for mold in basement?

Absolutely YES!! Air purifiers can help to reduce mold spores form the air. The air purifier adopts filtration, ultraviolet, ozone and other technologies, which can effectively kill bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms.

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