Best air scrubber for mold remediation and commercial use

Following a basement flood, water leak or other unwanted water event, mold begins forming in an indoor environment within 24 hours. Once it does, and mold remediation is taken on you’ll be needing one or more air scrubbers to tackle that mold. Air scrubbers remove mold spores that are airborne preventing future mold growth.

Recommended HEPA air scrubber models

Only HEPA-rated air scrubbers (those with an inline HEPA air filter) are capable of air filtration which captures mold spores. Below, we’ve chosen 5 top rated air scrubbers designed to remove mold spores from the air and return air quality to normal levels.

Tip: If odors are also present, choose an air scrubber which has a carbon filter in addition to a HEPA-rated filter.

1 ALORAIR PureAiro HEPA Pro 870 Commercial Air Scrubber

Best Air Scrubber

In addition to 3-stage filtration, the ALORAIR Pro 870 also adds UV-C disinfection technology to the mix. UV-C disinfection is often used in high-end air purifiers. As ALORAIR notes, “UV-C light technology works with filters to enhance the elimination of airborne pollutants. Titanium Dioxide is activated by the UV-C light to decompose remaining odor molecules caused by smoking, cooking, and pets.”

The description continues to note that the 870 “destroys dust, cigarette smoke, pollen, pet dander, and other airborne irritants. UV-C light technology works with filters, captures and destroys pollutants to ensure the whole room benefits from purified air.” Some types of bacteria are also susceptible to UV-C light exposure.

That isn’t where the features end for this air scrubber. It also has a built-in circuit breaker, filter change indicator and an hour meter for jobs charging by unit run-time.

The portable air scrubber has a large 16″ diameter inlet (the largest we are aware of) and an 8″ diameter outlet. An an entire package, the HEPA Pro 870 is impressive. But, all those features come at a price higher than many other units.

  • Airflow: Variable to 550 CFM
  • Filtration: 3-stage (Pre-filter + HEPA filter, optional Carbon filter, UV-C Light)
  • Air filters: 2 filters
  • Best use: Home repair and construction sites, mold and sewage remediation, water and fire damage restoration, salon, and print shop (per manufacturer)
  • Dimensions/weight: 24.2″ x 24″ x 14″ / 37.4 lbs.
  • Inlet diameter: 16″
  • Outlet diameter: 8″

2 BlueDri 550 Commercial Air Scrubber with HEPA Filter

2nd Best Air Scrubber

BlueDri is well known in mold remediation and restoration. This BlueDri 550 model is a highly regarded portable air scrubber capable of removing airborne mold spores, asbestos, particles and dust from the air in harsh working conditions.

Run a single air scrubber, or when multiple air scrubbers are called for, daisy-chain multiple 550s using its GFCI port. Enclosed in a tough roto-molded case lies a 1/3 hp motor which generates between 250 and 550 CFM of airflow. The BlueDri 550 is stackable simplifying transport and storage.

In addition to air scrubbers BlueDri is also known for other remediation products including commercial dehumidifiers and carpet dryers.

  • Airflow: 250-500 CFM
  • Filtration: 3-stage (Pre-filter, optional carbon filter, HEPA filter)
  • Air Filters: 2 or 3 filters
  • Best use: Mold remediation, restoration and construction (per manufacturer)
  • Dimensions/weight: 15. 5″ x 24. 5″ x 24″ / 41.2 lbs.
  • Inlet diameter: 11.5″
  • Outlet diameter: 7.5″

3 ALORAIR PureAiro HEPA Pro 970 Industrial Air Scrubber

AlorAir 970 Air Scrubber

Our third pick, the ALORAIR PureAiro HEPA Pro 970 does everything our second pick does. The difference is the 970 model is capable of moving more air in the same amount of time.

This device has 750 CFM compared with the 870 model’s 550 CFM. It shares the same inlet and outlet duct sizes, filters and UV-C light.

While both the 970 and the 870 have the same ability to remove airborne mold, allergens, gases and other types of particles from the air, the 970 does it in less time. And, since both pieces of equipment share the same plastic housing design, they are stackable with one another.

  • Airflow: Variable to 750 CFM
  • Filtration: 3-stage (Pre-filter + HEPA filter, optional Carbon filter, UV-C Light)
  • Air filters: 2 filters
  • Best use: Larger mold remediation and sewage cleanup jobs and water and fire damage restoration (per manufacturer)
  • Dimensions/weight: 24.2″ x 24″ x 14″ / 39.6 lbs.
  • Inlet diameter: 16″
  • Outlet diameter: 8″

4 XPOWER X-2580 Professional 4-Stage HEPA Mini Air Scrubber

XPOWER X-2580 Mini Air Scrubber

XPOWER makes a number of great air scrubbers. One of our favorites is the X-2580. This unit is smaller in size than the other air scrubbers on this list, measuring 16.6″ x 10.4″ x 18.9″ and weighing in at just under 24 pounds. It’s HEPA destination means it’s suitable for mold removal work.

The commercial grade ½ HP motor develops up-to 550 CFM while only consuming 2.8 amps at its highest load. It has 5 selectable speeds and encased in a strong, stackable, rugged plastic housing.

  • Airflow: 5 speeds, with up-to 550 CFM
  • Filtration: 4-stage (Pre-filter, HEPA filter, optional Activated Carbon filter)
  • Air filters: 3 or 4 filters
  • Best use: Water damage restoration and construction jobs (per manufacturer)
  • Dimensions/weight: 16.6″ x 10.4″ x 18.9″ / 23.6 lbs.
  • Inlet diameter: unk
  • Outlet diameter: unk

5 Dri-Eaz HEPA 700 Air Scrubber

Dri-Eaz HEPA Air Scrubber (700)

Another strong contender for mold removal jobs is the Dri-Eaz HEPA 700. This air scrubber features up to 700 CFM and can work with or without an optional carbon filter.

In contrast to the other portable air scrubbers on this list, the HEPA 700 can be controlled remotely using mobile devices an iPhone or Android device).

Connect up to 8 HEPA 700 air scrubbers with the GFCI protected outlets on the side for large-scale jobs.

  • Airflow: Variable to 700 CFM
  • Filtration: 2-stage (Pre-filter, HEPA filter, optional Carbon filter)
  • Air filters: 2 or 3 filters
  • Best use: Large mold remediation, renovation and job site (per manufacturer)
  • Dimensions/weight: 26″ x 17.16″ x 22.93″ / 42 lbs.
  • Inlet diameter: unk
  • Outlet diameter: unk

Mold and health issues

When working in an environment where mold is present, workers should always be wearing protective clothing, goggles covering the eyes, and a high quality respirator or mask designed for working in the presence of mold.

Related: Health risks from mold exposure

Air scrubber vs air purifier

Both air scrubbers and air purifiers which use HEPA filters are capable of removing mold spores from the air. But, they are not the same. Air purifiers and air scrubbers work by passing contaminated air through a series of filters. 

The finest filters used in both machines are HEPA-rated filters. They trap 99.97% of 0.3-micron sized particulates. Mold spores are larger than that 0.3 micron size and cannot pass through it. And, both air scrubbers and air purifiers optionally employ activated carbon and UV-C light to remove airborne particles, chemicals, fungus and odors. 

So, what makes an air scrubber different from an air purifier? Air scrubbers are not intended for general home use. They utilize industrial-quality components which are up to the rigor of constant use under heavy loads in unforgiving environments.

Those industrial-quality components are loud in contrast to those used in their consumer-friendly siblings. 

Other uses for air scrubbers

While often thought to be specifically for removal of mold spores, air scrubbers have many other uses. Air scrubbers are used at construction sites to remove sawdust, chemicals and other airborne pollutants from the air.

Air scrubbers are also employed following fire damage as they can remove smoke odors and other contaminants which cause respiratory problems. Since structure fires are put out using water, air scrubbers are often doing double duty when both mold and smoke are present.

Some homes are also equipped with air scrubbers that are directly within the HVAC system. The early models of these units carried the name ‘air scrubber’ although they are dramatically different from those used for mold removal, construction, renovation and remodeling work.

During wildfire season, air scrubbers are used in environments where people require a high degree of indoor air quality, often due to respiratory issues.