It is easy to assume that gas filters (carbon) are a cure-all for all gas and odor problems such as mold or smoke. Gas filters work best on “finite” odors; that is, odors that end. If someone wearing perfume walks into a room and eventually leaves or someone cooks food with an odor, those odors and gasses will only be reduced somewhat when occurring and eliminated only when the perfumed person leaves the room or the cooking stops. But if you spill perfume on the carpeting, live above a restaurant, or have mold growing, you can only reduce these odors slightly. You cannot totally eliminate them because these odors and gasses are constantly present. You must remove the source.
The best way to eliminate a mold or mildew odor is to bring the humidity below 50 with a dehumidifier that will put the mold into a “hibernation” state. This humidity level does not kill the mold, but it stops it from growing and “breathing” that gives off the mycotoxins that we smell. The mold can start to “breathe” again if the humidity level goes above 50 for more than about 72 hours, so constant dehumidifying is necessary.
Even if mold has been stopped from “breathing” or is even killed, unless it is actually removed, the spores can still cause an allergic reaction and using an air purifier is advised. The use of air purifiers will help alleviate some of the symptoms of the mold by reducing the air born mold spores. Also, if it has an activated carbon gas filter it will adsorb some of the mycotoxins from the mold if it is toxic. Keep in mind, however, most carbon gas filters are going to be in the range of 70 to 90 percent efficient at removing the gases from the air. Therefore, as in the case of the mold spores, it will help alleviate some of the symptoms but is not a cure-all.
You will need to eliminate the source by cleaning and removing mold with a vapor steam cleaner in order to reduce the mold spores and possible mycotoxins they are emitting. We recommend the use of an air cleaner to help reduce some of the symptoms until the source is removed by cleaning. Furthermore, it’s use afterwards is warranted if the end user is allergic to mold and wants to maintain a low mold particle count.