Do Air Purifiers Get Rid of Musty Smells: Choose the Right Purifier

Last Updated on April 2, 2024

In a world filled with enticing aromas, a musty smell has a way of sneaking into our lives uninvited. Whether it lingers in the corners of our homes or permeates through our cherished belongings, that unpleasant scent can be a relentless intruder, leaving us longing for fresh air. 

Enter the air purifier, a modern marvel designed to combat such odorous offenders. But do air purifiers get rid of musty smells? Yes, air purifiers can effectively eliminate musty smells, especially if equipped with HEPA filters.

Also, When using an air purifier for eliminate musty smells, choose a model that suits the size of the room or area. 

Here, we will learn all about the musty smells in our home environment also how to remove this smell using an air purifier. You will get some additional info about this feature of an air purifier. 

So, let’s learn about them.

What Causes Musty Smells? 

Musty smells are typically associated with dampness and a lack of proper ventilation. The presence of musty odors often indicates underlying issues that must be addressed. 

Here are some common causes of musty smells:

●   Moisture and Humidity

Excess moisture in the air causes mold growth and emits musty odors. High humidity levels in basements and bathrooms create an ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew.

●   Mold and Mildew

Mildew and mold thrive in bathrooms, basements, and areas affected by water leaks or flooding. These fungi release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that produce a musty smell.

●   Poor Ventilation

Inadequate airflow and ventilation contribute to the accumulation of stagnant air, allowing musty odors to linger. Moisture and odors become trapped without proper ventilation, creating an unpleasant musty smell.

●   Water Damage

Leaky pipes and roof leaks can cause hidden moisture buildup, leading to the growth of mold and mildew. Wet materials, such as carpets, upholstery, and wood, can develop musty odors if not properly dried.

●   Old or Damp Clothing

Storing clothes in damp or poorly ventilated areas can cause them to develop a musty smell over time. Fabrics absorb moisture and provide an environment for mold and mildew growth, resulting in unpleasant odors.

●   Stagnant Air in Closed Spaces

Closed spaces, closets, cabinets, or rooms that are seldom used can suffer from poor air circulation. Stagnant air promotes moisture buildup and allows musty odors to develop.

How to Do Air Purifiers Eliminate Musty Smells?

Air purifiers eliminate musty smells by targeting the underlying causes and neutralizing the odor molecules. Here’s how air purifiers accomplish this:

●   HEPA Filters: Air purifiers equipped with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters to capture tiny particles, including mold spores and mildew, responsible for musty odors.

●   Activated Carbon Filters: Many air purifiers feature activated carbon filters with a porous structure capable of adsorbing and trapping odor-causing molecules, effectively neutralizing musty smells.

●   Odor Elimination Technologies: Some advanced air purifiers utilize additional technologies like ionizers or UV lights to neutralize odor molecules in the air, further eliminating musty smells.

●   Air Circulation and Ventilation: Air purifiers help improve air circulation and ventilation, preventing the stagnation of musty-smelling air and promoting fresher indoor environments.

●   Continuous Filtration: By operating continuously, air purifiers filter the air continuously, effectively removing mold spores, mildew, and other particles that contribute to musty smells.

How to Do Air Purifiers Eliminate Musty Smells

Choosing The Right Air Purifier For Musty Smells

It would help if you chose the right air purifier to eliminate the musty smell in your house or office. Here are the factors to consider when selecting an air purifier:

Room Size And Air Purifier Capacity

It is essential to consider the room size or area where you plan to use the air purifier. Different air purifiers have varying capacities, indicated by the maximum square footage they can effectively cover.

Selecting an air purifier with a capacity that matches or exceeds your room size ensures optimal performance and efficient air purification.

Filter Replacement And Maintenance

Look for air purifiers that have easily replaceable filters. Check the availability as well as the cost of replacement filters. Also, check the recommended frequency for filter changes.

Additionally, some air purifiers come with filter replacement indicators that notify you when it’s time to replace the filters, simplifying maintenance and ensuring consistent air quality.

Noise Level And Energy Efficiency

Consider the noise level of the air purifier, particularly if you plan to use it in a bedroom or office environment where quiet operation is desired. Look for models with low noise levels or a noise reduction feature. 

In addition, energy efficiency is essential to minimize electricity consumption and reduce long-term costs. Look for models with Energy Star certification or energy-saving features.

Additional Features For Odor Elimination

To address odor-related issues, consider an air purifier for a musty smell with additional features designed for odor elimination. Some models include activated carbon filters, which absorb and neutralize odors. 

Other types of air purifiers may have built-in ionizers or UV-C lights that help eliminate odors by targeting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and bacteria in the air. Assess these features to find an air purifier that best suits your odor-elimination needs.

Do Air Purifiers Help With Pet Animal Smells? 

It’s great that air purifiers can help with musty smells, but will an air purifier eliminate the cat urine smell? It is a common concern for pet owners. 

Air purifiers can help with animal litter box smells and are often recommended for households with pets. Animal smells, such as those from urine, dander, or general pet odors, can be unpleasant and difficult to eliminate. 

However, air purifiers can effectively reduce and even eliminate these odors by targeting the airborne particles that cause them. In the next section, we are going to discuss it. 

Types of Odors Air Purifiers Can Remove

Air purifiers are greatly effective at removing various odors, helping create a fresh and clean indoor environment. Here are some common odors that air purifiers can effectively eliminate:

Pet Odors

Air purifiers are highly effective at removing pet odors caused by urine, dander, and general pet smells. They actively capture pet dander, hair, and other airborne particles contributing to pet odors. 

Additionally, air purifiers utilize specialized filters, such as activated carbon filters, which excel at adsorbing and neutralizing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) responsible for pet odors. 

Air purifiers eliminate pet odors by targeting particles and odor-causing molecules, leaving the air fresh and inviting.

Cooking Odors

Air purifiers come to the rescue in eliminating lingering cooking odors. Whether it’s the lingering scent of fried foods, aromatic spices, or strong-smelling ingredients, air purifiers effectively capture the airborne particles and odorous molecules generated during cooking. 

Utilizing a combination of filtration technologies, air purifiers trap the particles and adsorb the odor molecules, effectively purifying the air and leaving it free from cooking odors. 

The result is a more pleasant and odor-free living space, allowing you to enjoy your meals without the worry of lingering cooking smells.

Tobacco Smoke

Air purifiers are highly effective at removing the smell of tobacco smoke, making them valuable for smokers and non-smokers. They efficiently capture smoke particles, including microscopic particles. 

By reducing smoke particles in the air, air purifiers significantly help eliminate the smell of smoking cigarettes and secondhand smoke. 

 Air purifiers also aid in reducing the presence of harmful chemicals and toxins released from tobacco smoke.

Household Odors

Air purifiers are versatile in addressing a wide range of household odors. They effectively filter out particles and volatile compounds responsible for household odors. 

It can be odors from cleaning products, chemicals, paints, or solvents. These particles and volatile compounds can linger in the air, contributing to unpleasant smells and potentially affecting indoor air quality. 

By capturing and removing these odorous substances, air purifiers help to improve the overall air quality within the household, creating a fresher and more pleasant environment.

Mold and Mildew Odor

Air purifiers are crucial in erasing musty odors caused by mold and mildew. They capture mold spores and other allergens in the air, effectively reducing their concentration. 

By reducing the presence of mold spores and allergens, air purifiers help minimize the musty smell associated with mold growth. 

This is especially beneficial for individuals sensitive to mold or allergies. It also helps improve indoor air quality and create a healthier living environment.

Stale or Stagnant Odors

Air purifiers are excellent at freshening up stale or stagnant indoor air. They continuously circulate and filter the air. Removing particles, dust, and allergens that can contribute to a stuffy smell. 

They reduce pollutants and irritants and help create a cleaner and more pleasant environment. 

This is particularly useful in spaces with limited ventilation or stagnant air.

Chemical and VOC Odors

Air purifiers with activated carbon filters excel at eliminating odors from volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are gases emitted by paints, varnishes, cleaning products, and household chemicals. 

These compounds can contribute to unpleasant and lingering odors in indoor spaces. The activated carbon filters in air purifiers have a highly porous structure that absorbs and traps these VOCs. 

Thus, they effectively reduce their presence in the air and eliminate associated odors. This feature makes air purifiers valuable in creating a more pleasant and odor-free environment.


  • Will air purifiers help with dog smell?

Yes, air purifiers can help with dog smells. Dogs contribute to indoor odors through their dander, hair, saliva, and general pet smells. Air purifiers are effective at capturing and removing pet dander and hair.

Additionally, air purifiers can absorb and neutralize the odorous molecules associated with pet odors, including those from dogs. 

  • Do air purifiers help with cat smell?

Yes, of course, they can. Air purifiers are an excellent solution for combating cat smells in indoor spaces. Cats can leave odors from litter boxes, urine, dander, and general pet smells. 

Air purifiers with HEPA and activated carbon filters effectively capture and remove cat dander, hair, and airborne particles. 


Air purifiers are indeed effective in getting rid of musty smells. By addressing the underlying causes and continuously purifying the air, air purifiers provide a valuable solution to combat musty odors and create a fresh and revitalizing indoor environment. Besides, they address the symptoms of musty smells and contribute to overall indoor air quality improvement. Removing mold spores, mildew, and other allergens creates a healthier living environment. 


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Paul M Walker

I, Paul M Walker, am the founder and the author of this little site you are currently on. I work to provide readers with no-fuss and easy-to-follow solutions regarding common air purifier and humidifier problems.

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