Many basements, especially in older homes, have a musty smell that is difficult to remove. The musty smell persists even after you’ve tried air purifiers, different sprays, or a good airing out. However, the real issue is that extra moisture which tends to build up in basements and crawl spaces, as well as older homes. That moisture will feed mold spores. These organisms also release chemicals and gasses as they break down organic matter, which results in an’musty odor’. The air purifiers will help to reduce the smell, but it is more efficient to use a dehumidifier to get rid of excess moisture. You can see dehumidifier vs air purifier for more information.
If you notice musty, mildew smells in your home or room, the main culprits are mold (and algae) and bacteria. If you smell musty odors and notice that these organisms are growing, there may be a water leak or an increase in indoor humidity.
A hygrometer can be used to measure and check the level of humidity. You’ll find that many of the top home dehumidifiers from Danby or Stadler form have a built in hygrometer. When you start using your dehumidifier you may notice a decrease in the humidity inside. Walmart outdoor thermometers with humidity meters are the easiest and cheapest ways to test your humidity. However, digital hygrometers can be more accurate.
Older homes often have small cracks or leaks around the foundation or in the brickwork. These can cause an extra moisture to be present, which will make the basement or house smell musty. You may need to regularly use your dehumidifier if you reside in an older home. It may be necessary to run it only periodically. It doesn’t matter what you do, keeping the indoor humidity at 35-40% will greatly reduce if not eliminate musty and moldy smells. A quality air purifier equipped with HEPA or carbon filters can remove any remaining mold spores. These days, portable dehumidifiers can be purchased for under $250.
When trying to remove mold or that musty, mildew-like smell from your home, using a room air purifier and a portable humidifier is a great idea. You will remove both the bacteria and excess moisture from the room air. You should also check around for any possible leaks in the walls, ceiling, or roof and fix them if necessary. If you suffer from chronic allergies or respiratory infections, these symptoms may improve as well, because removing excess moisture will also reduce airborne bacteria, which need moisture to flourish.