Best Air Purifiers for Basement in 2022

Dorian Smith-Garcia Profile image

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Updated June 27, 2022

What factors do you need to consider to select the best air purifier for a basement? Some people opt for a large-room air purifier, to ensure the entire basement is covered. But, more than likely, if you think your basement needs an air purifier, it’s either because there’s a moldy or stale smell that you want to remove. In that case, you first need to consider the best filtration method that’s compatible with your concerns. This means you’ll want to focus on HEPA and activated carbon filters as well as units that contain ultraviolet (UV) light.

Meanwhile, avoid ozone generators as ozone is a known respiratory irritant that can create further health issues for people with conditions like asthma or emphysema. Next, you’ll want to think about the CADR score as you want to pick an air purifier that’s compatible with the total square footage of your basement. Keep reading our best air purifier for basements buying guide to learn more.

Top Air Purifiers for Basement

 #1  Hathaspace HSP-001 Air Purifier

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This air purifier has an effective filtration system that is especially suited to eliminating fumes. Its stylish, clean appearance is ideal for basements, living rooms, and bedrooms.

Pros
  • Stylish design
  • Effective smoke and odor elimination
  • Sleep mode
Cons
  • The air quality sensor sometimes gets stuck

The Hathaspace HSP-001 air purifier combines modern flair with effective performance. This air purifier has an effective filtration system that removes particles as small as 0.3 microns. It cleans out pollutants from spaces of 700 sq. ft every hour. The device has intuitive controls that allow users to change the fan speed. This is a great air purifier for smoke. Additionally, for regular smokers, you may want to check out the leading air purifiers for smoking weed.

The Hathaspace HSP-001 has stylish ambiance lights that can be switched off when needed. Its freestanding design is suitable for placement on the floor or a table. An Auto mode automatically adjusts performance depending on the level of contamination in the room. It has three fan speed settings for precise customization. A built-in sleep mode makes this unit ideal for bedrooms in addition to basements. An air quality indicator on this purifier alerts users about the level of contamination in the room. Many quality whole-house air purifiers and the top-rated air purifiers/humidifiers have similar features.

 #2  Okaysou AirMax10L Pro Air Purifier

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: This air purifier has an extremely effective triple filter system that removes gases, odors, and more. The device has a sophisticated design that enables wide-ranging use.

Pros
  • Excellent coverage
  • Outstanding three-part filtration system
  • Color-coded air quality indicator
Cons
  • Not very good in rooms with smoke

The Okaysou AirMax10L Pro air purifier effectively cleans the air in spaces of up to 1000 sq. ft. This device uses a Nanois 3 air filter, which provides excellent filtration power. It also comes with dual H13 filters and a honeycomb activated carbon filter to capture small particles, dust, and odors. A smart LED sensor reports the air quality in real-time. It also has a Turbo mode that cleans fast, but it’s not effective with smoke. However, compare this against the top-rated Dyson air purifiers to see if this is better.

This Okaysou AirMax10L Pro air purifier has a stylish design with a white color scheme that suits living rooms and offices. A child lock on this device protects it from errant kids. With its Eco mode, this device automatically turns off when it doesn’t detect pollutants. This filter breaks down harmful gases such as formaldehyde and VOCs. A filter replacement alerts users when the filter is clogged up. It has a turbo mode and auto mode for flexible operation.

 #3  Alen FIT50 Air Purifier

Award: BEST FOR ALLERGIES

WHY WE LIKE IT: This air purifier has a powerful filtration system that’s ideal for big basements. An LED color-coded display helps householders to monitor the pollution level and make adjustments as needed.

Pros
  • Unique pollution monitor
  • Medical-grade H13 HEPA filter
  • Stylish design
Cons
  • Not very effective on smoke
  • The air quality display is sometimes misleading

The Alen FIT50 air purifier is a powerful air cleaning system that’s effective in large spaces. It removes pollen, fur, pet hair, and dust particles. This device also includes a medical-grade H13 HEPA filter that removes particles as small as 0.1 microns. It features a color-coded display that helps users monitor the air quality in the room. However, the color-coded LED display sometimes gives faulty results.

This Alen FIT50 air purifier comes with an FF-50 SILVER carbon that eliminates odors and toxins. Three fan speeds and a Turbo mode enable customization. With a maximum consumption of 60W, this ENERGY STAR-certified unit is unlikely to have a big impact on energy bills. Featuring moderate noise ratings, which range from 32 dB to 49 dB, the device is ideal for not only basements but living spaces. This air purifier is suitable for spaces of up to 900 sq. ft., cleaning up the air every 30 minutes.

 #4  KVV 001 Air Purifier

Award: BEST FOR BASEMENT HOUSES

WHY WE LIKE IT: This air purifier is very effective in cleaning up big basements in a very short time. It has a child lock that’s ideal for use in homes with young children.

Pros
  • Incredible filtration power
  • Child lock
  • HEPA filter
Cons
  • Obtaining replacement filters is challenging

The KVV air purifier is a commercial-grade device that’s effective in very large rooms. It cleans up the air in a 1700 sq. ft. area in just an hour. This air purifier has a unique design that will suit placement in basements and living spaces. Its freestanding construction is suitable for placement on the floor or table. A quiet sleep mode function is suitable for bedrooms. However, obtaining spare filters for this model can be challenging.

This KVV 001 air purifier has an auto mode that automatically adjusts the fan speed based on the air quality in the room to save power. It produces low white noise that suits bedrooms. With a color-coded air quality display, this device alerts users about the pollution levels in the room. We love the integrated child lock, which prevents children from tampering with the settings. This air filter has three fan speeds, allowing precise customization.

 #5  OdorStop OS2500UV Air Purifier

Award: BEST FOR MOLDY BASEMENTS

WHY WE LIKE IT: This air purifier has UV plates with variable power that provide superior purification power, so it’s ideal for commercial establishments. The device has a heavy-duty aluminum chassis and premium parts that will last.

Pros
  • Extremely durable build quality
  • Variable ozone purification system
  • Very large coverage
Cons
  • Ozone system comes with potential health risks

Consumers with very large basements will appreciate the features of the OdorStop OS2500UV air purifier. This professional-grade model is recommended for areas of up to 2,500 sq. ft, making it a good choice for garages, hotel basements, and home basements. Weighing just 10 pounds, this device is easy to move from place to place. A customizable 12-hour delay timer enables hands-free operation. However, the ozone filtration system requires evacuating the space before purification.

This OdorStop OS2500UV air purifier has a washable filter for easy maintenance. Its 110 CFM fan has a UV ozone system that provides incredible purification power. It’s equipped with ozone plates with variable output ranging from 100-1200 mg/hr, providing robust and customizable air cleaning. It has a sturdy handle to facilitate lifting and comes assembled for a hassle-free setup. The manual dials on this unit enable precisely adjusting the delay timer and ozone output. It boasts a heavy-duty aluminum housing, which stands up to rough handling.

 #6  New Comfort SS7000 Air Purifier

Award: BEST FOR INDUSTRIAL BASEMENTS

WHY WE LIKE IT: This factory-grade system removes living and non-living particles and is recommended in places with musty smells. It has a rust-resistant metal chassis, which is ideal for damp basements.

Pros
  • Extremely effective on odors
  • Heavy-duty design
  • Very large coverage
Cons
  • Require evacuating rooms before purification

The New Comfort SS7000 is an industrial-grade air purifier with incredible purification power. Although this device is specially designed for factories, its characteristics are ideal for large basements. With a UV treatment system that produces 6000-12000 mg/hr of ozone, this device eliminates entrenched odors and microorganisms very fast. However, the ozone system is potentially harmful to people and pets and rooms need to be evacuated before turning it on.

Featuring manual dials, this New Comfort SS7000 air purifier offers simple operation. A handle allows moving the system from place to place. A customizable 120-minute delay switch-off timer provides autopilot operation. Thanks to the ozone adjuster switch, users can adjust the level of purification. It has a rust-resistant stainless steel casing that’s suitable for musty basements. This device also acts against bacteria, viruses, and fungi for a complete all-in-one air cleaning solution.

Beginner’s Guide to Air Purifiers for Basements

What are Air Purifiers for Basements

For most people, the biggest issue they’ll face in their basement is the risk of mold or musty and stale odors. But not all air purifiers can effectively remove mold or odors, this includes even great car air purifiers. This is why checking which filtration method an air purifier uses is crucial for finding the right fit for your needs.

In particular, three filtration or mitigation methods are best for basements: True HEPA filters, activated carbon filters, and UV light. Using a combination of the above filtration methods is the only effective way to remove mold and odors from your basement. In most cases, you can find an air purifier with a True HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter.

Note that you can also rely on photoelectrochemical oxidation (PECO) filtration to remove mold and odors, but this is proprietary to the Molekule air purifier which tends to be more expensive.

Air Purifiers for Basements vs. Air Purifiers

Is a basement air purifier inherently different from a standard air purifier? Not exactly. The biggest difference between air purifiers that can effectively clean basement air and other models is filtration.

As we mentioned above, if you want to keep your basement mold-free and smelling fresh, you’re going to need an air purifier that at a minimum has both a True HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter. If you want to go the extra distance, a value-added feature like UV light also ensures that particles and microbes aren’t just trapped in a filter but are destroyed.

However, other air purifiers feature only one filtration method or an alternative method that isn’t as effective as the versions we’ve highlighted. For example, ionizers can neutralize odors but don’t completely remove them — rather forcing them to fall to the ground when they come into contact with negative ions.

More importantly, ozone generators should be completely avoided because they release ozone into the air. While the room may smell fresher, the ozone can pose a breathing risk for vulnerable groups. This includes people with compromised respiratory systems. Likewise, some ionizing air purifiers also generate ozone as a byproduct. Even a homemade charcoal air purifier will work, especially if you can’t afford a new device right now.

And while True HEPA filters are incredibly effective at removing particles from the air, they’re only partially effective at removing odors. In contrast, activated carbon is incredibly effective at removing odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air, but not as strong at removing particles — especially particles that are smaller in size. This is why you would want an air purifier with both a True HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter.

How Air Purifiers for Basements Work

Pretty much every air purifier works with the same basic technology. Air is drawn in through an intake portal where it typically is first passed through a washable pre-filter. This pre-filter catches the larger particles before the air continues to the primary filtration system.

The primary filter grabs smaller particles, gases, and molecules. If there’s also a UV component, the air will pass through the light where microbes or mold are killed by the light. The clean air is then released back into the room through an outtake portal.

Note that True HEPA filters can trap particles as small as 0.03 microns in size. This is why they’re incredibly effective at removing dust and mold. And activated carbon is great at absorbing odor-causing particles because it contains carbon that’s been treated with oxygen to increase the overall surface area of the carbon. However, you’ll want to ensure that an activated carbon filter contains several pounds of activated carbon to ensure that it’s effective. If noise is a concern, the best quiet air purifiers are great options as well.

Why You Should Buy an Air Purifier for a Basement

In an ideal world, your basement would have been properly wrapped when your home was being constructed — ensuring that moisture wouldn’t have an opportunity to seep into your home. But the reality is that not all homes are built properly. And if you have an older home, preventative measures put in place when it was first built might not be as effective anymore.

Are Air Purifiers for Basements Worth Buying?

You Want to Remove Moldy Smells from Your Basement: Especially if you want to use your basement, no one wants to smell mold while they’re trying to spend time in a room. An air purifier with both a True HEPA and an activated carbon filter can help banish mold smells.

You Have a Respiratory Condition or Allergy: Many people are allergic to mold, and mold can also be an irritant that triggers asthma attacks. While you really should try to get to the root of your mold problem, a good air purifier can help control mold levels in your air until you can fix the problem for good.

You Want to Prevent Damage to Storage Items: Many people use their basement as an overflow storage space for items that don’t fit anywhere else. Mold can damage those items. Especially if you have keepsakes and family treasures in your basement, a good air purifier can give you an extra barrier of protection.

Why Air Purifiers for Basements May Not Be for You

You Don’t Own a Basement: It’s pretty obvious, but if you don’t have a basement then looking for an air purifier that contains two filters and possibly a UV light mode might not be necessary.

You Would Rather Target the Problem: If your basement smells moldy, that means you have a moisture problem. Yes, an air purifier can help minimize the smell and control mold levels, but it will never completely prevent mold from returning.

You Struggle with User Errors: Air purifiers can be effective at controlling mold levels and removing stale or gross odors from the air — but only if they’re used properly. This means your air purifier should be running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And it also means that you need to regularly replace the filters so that they run at optimal levels.

How Long Will Air Purifiers for Basements Last?

The actual air purifier units can last for years before you decide to replace them. This is especially true if you take care of your air purifier and don’t abuse it. The real question is how frequently do the filters need to be replaced, and how much do those replacement filters cost?

Since you should ideally opt for a dual filtration air purifier with True HEPA and activated carbon filters, you’ll need to be mindful of the different replacement schedules and costs. True HEPA filters must be replaced every six to 12 months and can cost as much as $200. Activated carbon filters must be replaced every three to six months and usually won’t cost more than $50.

If you opt for PECO technology, note that it’s only available in the Molekule air filter, which has both a pre-and primary filter. The pre-filters must be replaced every three months and the primary filter every six months. And the filters range from $80 to $150 depending on the air purifier model.

Additionally, if you need something for your home office, the best air purifiers for offices can provide you with additional benefits.

How to Choose Air Purifiers for Basements

If you’re shopping for a basement air purifier, you want something efficient and incredibly effective at removing mold and odors. While most of the considerations are similar to picking an air purifier for any other task, there are a few key factors you need to keep in mind.

Air Purifiers for Basements Key Factors to Consider

1. What filtration method does the air purifier use?

Hands down, you should at least focus on an air purifier with a combination of True HEPA and an activated carbon filter. This means you’ll effectively remove mold thanks to the True HEPA filter, while the activated carbon filter can help to remove other mysterious odor sources.

2. Do you want UV light?

While not a requirement, UV light can be a great way to ensure that pathogens are also removed from the air. And UV light is effective at killing mold too.

3. What is the CADR score?

CADR is short for clean air delivery rate and it represents not only how effectively an air purifier can clean the air in a room but determines whether a unit is compatible based on square footage. Note though, that CADR scores vary across the various contaminants you’re trying to remove.

You can find different CADR scores for dust, mold, and smoke. 450 is usually the highest CADR score a unit can achieve. Usually, the higher the CADR score, the more powerful an air purifier is at its highest setting. Note that it’s always best to get an air purifier that’s rated for a room slightly larger, like the Alen Breathesmart 75i, which can clean 1,000 sq. ft. You’ll need one that’s powerful enough to effectively clean the air. For an even more powerful device, you’ll want to read our GT3000 air purifier review.

4. Where will you place your air purifier?

For best results, your air purifier should be placed in the center of the room that you want to purify. But if this isn’t possible, it should have at least 24 inches of clearance in all directions to ensure proper airflow.

5. Are there air quality sensors?

You don’t necessarily need an air quality sensor to find a good air purifier that can work in your basement. But unless you spend significant time in your basement, it’s a good idea to have. An air quality sensor can automatically detect changes in the air such as an increase in mold particles.

The air purifier will automatically shift into a higher setting to clean the air and then return to a lower setting once the air quality has returned to normal. This is especially ideal if you don’t spend a lot of time in your basement.

6. How easy is it to use the device?

Most air purifiers are designed to run continuously in the background. But you still want an appliance with a straightforward interface that doesn’t have a steep learning curve. At a minimum, you want an air purifier with a control panel that’s easy to use.

But you might also want an air purifier that comes with a remote or can be paired with a smartphone app. Again, this is helpful if you don’t spend a lot of time in your basement but still want to be able to adjust the controls even if you’re in another room in the house.

7. How loud are the settings?

Air purifiers are powered by fans that help to move air through the filtration system in the unit. Obviously, at the highest settings, they’re going to be louder. But especially if you do use your basement more frequently, you might not want a device that is too noisy. Look for models with low decibel outputs below 50 decibels.

Air Purifiers for Basements FAQs

What is the difference between an air purifier and a dehumidifier?

Dehumidifiers only remove moisture from the air. They don’t filter the air as well. In contrast, air purifiers are designed to filter the air and remove contaminants.

Can an air purifier fix the mold problem in my basement?

Not really. Air purifiers are a good stop-gap measure to control mold growth and remove contaminants from the air. But if you truly want to fix your mold problem, you need to get to the root of where the mold is growing.

What other ways can I purify the air in my basement?

If your basement has windows or a door, open them to help improve air circulation. Along with an air purifier, invest in a good deodorizing spray that also has antifungal properties.
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