There are several factors you need to consider when choosing an air purifier for a basement which are outlined in this article alongside our picks of the five best basement air purifiers!
Why you need a basement air purifier
Basements are often the least used room in a home and tends to have the worst air quality.
You may think this won’t impact on the air quality of the rest of your home, but it can!
Leaving mold and damp to fester in your basement can mean that a central air system can bring the airborne allergens and irritants into other rooms of your home.
Placing a work horse of an air purifier in the basement will ensure your basement has fresh clean air, reduce the spread of mold and limit damp.
There are several factors you need to consider when choosing an air purifier for a basement which are outlined in this article alongside our best basement air purifier product picks!
1. Alen BreatheSmart Flex – top Choice – best basement air purifier
Ideal for big basements
The Alen BreatheSmart Flex is our choice for best all round basement air purifier. The BreatheSmart has more than enough power to handle most sized basements and is stylish enough to be used in other areas of the home too. This purifier is the best option for someone looking for a versatile, effective and affordable option from a well-respected brand who specialise in air purification!
- Cleans up to 700 Square Feet 2 times per hour
- Lifetime warranty
- Wide selection of 15 colorful panel covers to choose from
- 2 easy filter options – dust, mold, pet odors or PLUS smoke
- Specific filter available for mold/bacteria – highly desirable for basement
- Comforting pink noise generator
- Very quiet – Minimum noise 39 decibels and max noise (top fan speed) 55 decibels
- Good sleep mode and lights out feature for basement setting
2. Coway Airmega 400 – 1,560 sq. ft coverage capability
Strong powerhouse of a unit for largest basements
The Coway Airmega 400 is an incredibly powerful air purifier which is capable of removing odors from larger basements up to 1,560 square feet in size.
This monster of an air purification device is packed full of advanced smart features like auto fan speed selection and air quality monitoring. However, it stills creates a max noise level of a surprisingly low 43.2 decibels and uses only 64 watts.
Great for basements as it has a washable pre-filter which will help extend the life of the main HEPA filter.
Also the Airmega 400 is equipped with an change filter indicator light (which is good for basement use), air quality monitoring and timer for 1, 2, 4 and 8 hours durations.
This makes the Airmega 400 a great fit basement use as you can set a timer and be assured it will turn of and fan speeds will be optimised automatically.
- Capable of changing 1,560 feet of air twice in one hour
- Five fan modes and speeds
- Auto air quality detection and sensor
- Powerful dual suction design
- Washable pre-filter to help extend HEPA filter lifetime
- Good energy consumption levels – good for extended basement use times
- Filter change indicator light – again good for long term use and basement setting
- Very quiet – Minimum noise 22 decibels and max noise (top fan speed) 52 decibels
3. RabbitAir MinusA2 – 700 sq. ft coverage capability
Wall mountable to save basement floorspace usage
The RabbitAir MinusA2 is an ultra-quiet, stylish and versatile air purifier which can be wall mounted, ensuring less floorspace usage in your basement.
The purifier boasts an in-depth six stage air purification process, which makes use of activated carbon to remove even the most stubborn of basement and household smells.
This versatile but smart purifier can change the air in rooms of up to 700 square feet, two times an hour!
- Advanced six stage purification process
- Specific custom filters for Germ defense, Pet allergy, Toxin absorber and Odor remover
- Odor removing filter – specific for basement smells
- Adaptable due to auto modes
- Energy star rated – low energy consumption
- Incredibly quiet 20 to 45 decibels noise range – ultra quiet
- Able to be wall mounted to reduce amount of floorspace used in basement
- Cool range of covers – including Hello Kitty and Peanuts designs
4. Oransi OV200 air purifier – 400 sq. ft
Great option for small to mid-sized basements
The OV200 from US brand Oransi is a great option for mid to small sized basements as it is only 7” deep so can be placed against a wall and will be unobtrusive.
This is important for use in a basement as you want to maximise floorspace availability for storage.
The 10 year warranty will give you peace of mind and the filter replacement indicator is handy to know when to change the HEPA filter if you don’t go into your basement often.
- 10 year warranty
- Only 7” deep so can be placed against a wall so it doesn’t take up much space in your room
- Simple, lightweight and easy to use
- Ideal for asthma, mold spores, dust remover
- Filter replacement indicator Light off mode – good for basement use
- Auto mode to optimise fan speed
- Very quiet – Minimum noise 30 decibels and max noise (top fan speed) 54 decibels
5. Winix 5300-2 – 360 sq. ft coverage capability
Smart features and auto fan speeds – hands off basement purifier
The Winix 5300-2 is a comprehensive air purifier with a three stage air purification process, advanced smart sensors and a dedicated sleep mode for night time use. A great option in terms of operating noise level as it runs between a quiet 28 decibels to a maximum of 60 decibels.
This a great purifier for use in a basement due to smart features, auto fan speed mode and air quality monitoring. Meaning you can set and forget this purifier to handle optimising basement air quality automatically.
- Smart sensors + auto mode – monitors air quality in basement
- Listed noise range of 28db to 60db when running
- Dedicated sleep mode for night time use – great for basement setting
- 4 fan speeds – versatile
- Three stages cleaning process (no ozone usage)
- Smart sensors and auto mode – good for basement usage
Common basement air quality problems
Poor air quality and low circulation
Basements are often windowless and have low air circulation which means air quality is low and basements are the most common room in which poor air quality goes unnoticed. If you home has a central air system air may be pulled from the basement and pumped into the other rooms of your home, complete with allergens, odors and mold spores!
Stale air – no windows
If you basement doesn’t have windows the air will likely be stale and stagnant. A purifier is a good option to help move air around your basement and filter out unwanted biproducts like germs, mold and dust.
Respiratory health risk
If the air in a basement is left untreated it can cause respiratory issues if breathed in. Poor air quality can worsen conditions like asthma, coughs or impact negatively on sleep.
Mold – prevent spread
If mold in a basement is left untreated it can spread to other rooms or be transported via the air into rooms which are more frequently used. An air purifier will help lessen the impact and spread of mold.
Damp and humid basement air
Damp can damage walls, create unpleasant musty smells and make your basement a thoroughly unpleasant place to be in.
A good air purifier will remove smells via the activated carbon filter, change the air of the basement frequently and keep everything fresh and clean.
Stale odors and stagnant smells
As mentioned basements can be smelly places and often items stored in a basement will take on a musty or moldy smell.
This is particularly bad for clothes and fabrics as the damp smell with permeate fibres of the item and leave them pretty much unwearable due to the basement taint.
Running an air purifier in your basement will keep the rooms air fresh and odor free, meaning items stored in the basement won’t take on a smell or smell musty when you remove them from basement storage.
How a purifier can help?
How purifiers work
A good well equipped air purifier can help with basement issues in a number of ways.
Air purifiers are fans which pull air from a room into the device. The speed at which the air is brought into the purification device will depend on fan speed and CADR of the unit.
Once the air enters the device, it is passed through filters to help remove pollutants, odors, VOCs (volatile organic compound) and particles like dust, hair and pet fur.
All of these pollutants are trapped within the devices, true HEPA filter or carbon pre-filter.
Now that offending pollutants and particles have been removed from the air, the new air which is pushed out of the purifier is clean, fresh and much easier to breathe in.
An air purifier can completely cycle or change the air within a room at an incredible rate, ensuring a room is frequently refreshed with new air regularly.
This change rate is known as CADR and the higher the CADR number the better!
True HEPA filter
Make sure to choose an air purifier equipped with a true HEPA filter. As this filter type will ensure you are getting the best technology available.
Only a HEPA filter will remove up to 99% of allergens as small as 0.3 microns from a rooms air. This will include allergens, mold spores, dust, hair and even skin particles.
Activated Carbon filter
Another key tool in the air purifiers arsenal in the tackle against odors is an activated charcoal filter.
Carbon filters work be adsorbing particles which are causing odors. These particles are trapped on the carbon filter as the carbon is an incredibly porous and adsorbent material which has the ability to trap odors and airborne chemicals present effectively.
The activated carbon filter will also work to remove harmful gases, odors and VOCs from a basements air.
So, to recap true HEPA filters will capture tiny particles which are releasing doors and purifiers using activated carbon filter will trap particles on the surface of the carbon filter and thus remove the smells from the air of a room.
What to look for in a basement purifier?
Aside from choosing a purifier with a True HEPA filter, activated carbon filter and high CADR levels you may want to think about the following when choosing an air purifier for use in a basement:
Suitable room size capability
Make sure you picked an air purifier with enough power to tackle your basement size. If you pick a purifier which isn’t powerful enough to handle the square foot size of your basement then air won’t be clean or processing quickly or efficiently.
In fact, it is advisable to choose a purifier with more than enough power to handle a size the equivalent of your basement square footage. So, opt for a purifier with more power than you need as this will mean your basement air cleaned even faster.
Our top picks have the following room size capabilities:
Alen BreatheSmart Flex – 700 sq. ft coverage capability
Ideal for big basements
Coway Airmega 400 – 1,560 sq. ft coverage capability
Strong powerhouse of a unit!
RabbitAir MinusA2 – 700 sq. ft coverage capability
Specific custom filters for Germ defense, Pet allergy, Toxin absorber and Odor remover
Oransi OV200 air purifier – 400 sq. ft
Small to mid-sized basements
Winix 5300-2 – 360 sq. ft coverage capability
Smart sensors + auto mode – monitors air quality
Longevity – reliability
As you will be using your purifier in your basement for long time periods it is important to choose a reliable purifier which will last.
Choose a purifier from a well-known and respected brand and invest a little cash. Picking up a cheap purifier from a lesser known brand will likely break, perform unreliably and end up causing headaches!
Filter change indicator light
Pick a purifier with a filter change indicator light. These are often shown on the top of the purifier unit.
This feature is particularly useful when selecting a purifier for basement use as you will likely be checking the purifier infrequently.
Having a visual reminder that the filter needs replacing will be more effective than relying on time based filter change, as it’s likely you will forget the last time the filter was changed!
Quiet fan speeds when running
Although basements are away from main living areas, a noisy purifier can be annoying at night when other household sounds are at a minimum.
Choose a purifier which has a low decibel level when running at high fan speeds.
Anything around 50 decibels is fine.
Our top picks have the following noise levels:
Alen BreatheSmart Flex – Quiet
Minimum noise 39 decibels and max noise (top fan speed) 55 decibels
Coway Airmega 400 – Very quiet
Minimum noise 22 decibels and max noise (top fan speed) 52 decibels
RabbitAir MinusA2 – Ultra-quiet
20 to 45 decibels noise range – ultra quiet
Oransi OV200 air purifier – Quiet
Minimum noise 30 decibels and max noise (top fan speed) 54 decibels
Winix 5300-2 – Good
Listed noise range of 28db to 60db when running
Odor elimination features
Basements can be smelly places so make sure you choose a purifier which is capable of handling unwanted. Opt for a purifier which is fitted with an activated carbon filter.
You may want to set your purifier to only run for certain amounts of time to ensure it’s not always on. Having a timer setting can be a great feature as it means you can set the purifier to run for an allocated number of hours each time you pass it in the basement. This is a great way to top up air freshness in the basement.
Lights out or sleep mode
As no-one will be around the purifier when it is running there is no need for lights or display icons to show. Lots of purifier have lights out settings which can be a good way to ensure your purifier uses the least energy possible when running away in the basement.
Low energy consumption
As a purifier is likely to be running for extended time periods in a basement it needs to be energy efficient. Most purifiers are very low energy usage but here are the levels from our top picks:
Alen BreatheSmart Flex – 36 watts
Coway Airmega 400 – 66 watts
RabbitAir MinusA2 – 50 watts
Oransi OV200 air purifier – 60 watts
Winix 5300-2 – 58 watts
Basement air purifier frequently asked questions
Will a basement purifier help mold in my basement?
Yes, will reduce spread into other rooms of the home
Do I need an dehumidifier + purifier combo?
Yes, if basement is wet and damp
Do air purifiers get rid of basement smells?
Yes, those fitted with activated carbon filters will remove unwanted smells from basements
Are air purifiers safe to leave running for long periods of time?
Yes, but if worried you can fit a surge protector plug