Best Air Purifier For Basements (2021 Review)

If you’ve been on the hunt for an air purifier to improve the air quality in your basement, look no further!

In this proHVACinfo guide, you’ll learn:

  • What are air purifiers for basements? (improve your basement air quality)
  • What are the different types of air purifiers for basements? (we help find what works for you)
  • How do air purifiers for basements work?
  • What do you look for in the best air purifiers for basements? (discover the must-haves)

And much more!

Below you’ll find a quick list of our top 5 recommendations, keep scrolling to learn more.

  1. Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier (Our Top Pick)
  2. Molekule Air (Best High-End)
  3. Hathaspace Smart True HEPA Air Purifier (Best Budget)
  4. RabbitAir MinusA2
  5. AIRMEGA 400S

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

This was a tough decision, but in the end, we decided that the Bissell air320 was the overall winner.

Why?

Bissell have a stellar reputation in the consumer cleaning appliances field, and that expertise has been easily transferred over to their line of air purifiers.

The air320 makes the perfect choice for basement applications, it effectively handles dust – an issue that plagues most homeowners’ basements.

Additionally, thanks to the activated charcoal filter, odors from damp conditions (a common issue in basements) are well neutralized.

The other thing we loved about this air purifier from Bissell is its looks!

It looks beautiful in any room, so if you’re putting it in a finished basement especially, there’s no need to worry about some ugly device cluttering your space. 

What Are Air Purifiers For Basements?

Air purifiers are devices that make use of filters, or filterless technology in order to remove contaminants and odors from the atmosphere.

The clean air is then recirculated into your basement, creating a safer (and much more pleasant) environment.

Air purifiers best suited for basements are those that can take care of both odors and airborne particles.

What Are The Different Types Of Air Purifiers For Basements?

To combat the stale air typically found in basements, we recommend investing in one of the below types of air purifiers:

HEPA

HEPA filters are the gold standard of physical filtering media. True HEPA filters are capable of capturing up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns.

This makes them an excellent choice if your main issue is dust or other airborne particles like pet dander than cause allergy or other breathing issues.

If you are experiencing issues with odor, too, HEPA alone won’t help much. If this is the case, you’ll need to look at a HEPA combination filter.

These usually combine the HEPA filter media with either activated charcoal, UV light, an ionizer, or any other odor neutralizing technology.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal filters are fantastic for removing odor causing volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. Many VOCs are actually hazardous to health, as well as unpleasant, and are the leading cause of musty, stale smells in basements.

While extremely efficient at removing odors and fumes, activated charcoal filters used alone will not remove dust, pollen, pet dander, etc. For this reason, you will find this technology used as a combination with other purification methods.

PECO (Photo Electrochemical Oxidation)

Photo Electrochemical Oxidation, or PECO for short, is a newer technology (relatively speaking), and it works very differently to traditional methods.

PECO based air purifiers destroy contaminants and pollutants, rather than trapping them. This is taken care of by a catalytic reaction.

They prevent the possibility of mold development on filter media, and the reaction even destroys VOCs and airborne chemicals, too.

How Do Air Purifiers For Basements Work?

Air purifiers for basements use either one, or a combination of the above technologies to sanitize the air in your basement.

They will either capture, or directly destroy airborne pollutants such as dust, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, fungal spores, VOCs and many other contaminants that create unpleasant smells or potentially dangerous atmospheric conditions in your basement.

What Do You Look For In The Best Air Purifiers For Basements?

Air purifiers for basements all work so differently, so we’ll focus this section on what every good air purifier for basements should do well.

Purifying Range

Basements tend to be one of the largest rooms in the house, so it’s important to find an air purifier that can clean the entire area appropriately.

All air purifiers are rated according to their “CADR” (Clean Air Delivery Rate), which essentially measures how efficiently they operate.

The CADR, in turn, is measured in “CFM” (cubic feet per minute), which tells you how many cubic feet of air the device can clean every minute.

If you’re looking to sanitize the air in just one area of the basement that is most frequently used, you might not be as concerned about CFM. However, if you’re shopping for an air purifier that can clean the air in an entire basement, be sure you shop for one that has sufficient CADR.

Here’s a handy table showing the EPA’s recommended CADR, based on room size.

EPA-CADR-Chart
Source: EPA

Smart Features

Smart technology is always a plus when it comes to air purifiers for your basement. Many can be set up with mobile apps that alert you when air quality is poor, and also provide options for controlling the device with your cellphone, even when you’re not in the home.

Energy Efficiency

Investing in an energy efficient air purifier for your basement is a smart move. The idea is to leave the purifier running at all times, which ensures the best possible air quality 24/7.

An energy efficient model will have sensors that allow it to monitor air quality and turn itself on and off (at varying intensity levels) to keep the atmosphere clean, without human intervention.

Not only does this ensure clean air, but prevents excessive energy consumption. 

Airborne Contaminant Reduction

In all cases, higher is best. The more contaminants you can remove, the cleaner your basement air will be, and the better it will smell. You shouldn’t settle for anything under 99%, but the closer to 100% you can get, the better the purifier is.

Our Reviews Of The Best Air Purifiers For Basement

Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier (Our Top Pick)

The air320 from Bissell is a fantastic basement air purifier. It features 3 stage filtration, which includes a fabric pre filter, together with an activated charcoal layer and a true HEPA filter.

This combination gives it a 99.97% capture rate of particles less than 0.3 microns in diameter.

The activated charcoal layer is what really helps this purifier to perform in basement conditions. The efficient honeycomb filter structure gives it maximum surface area for capturing harmful gases and odor causing VOCs. The icing on the cake – this purifier can clean a space of up to 1000 square feet.

Pros

  • Huge room coverage
  • No ozone
  • Single touchpoint control

Cons

  • Fan noise
  • Air quality sensor requires frequent cleaning

Molekule Air (Best High-End)

The Molekule Air takes advantage of PECO purifying technology, making it one of the most advanced units on test. The body itself is made from machined aluminum, so not only does it look beautiful, it’s incredibly durable, too.

It boasts mobile app functionality, as well as critical data about air quality, keeping you very much in control of the atmosphere in your basement.

It has a cleaning footprint of 600 square feet, and because it relies on PECO technology, when we say clean, we mean clean!

Traditional filters capture particles, but the Molekule Air destroys them.

Pros

  • Kills bacteria and viruses
  • Premium materials
  • 360 degree capture

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Leather handle likely to break
  • Aftermarket filters will void warranty

Hathaspace Smart True HEPA Air Purifier (Best Budget)

This basement air purifier from Hathaspace offers phenomenal value for money.

It has a 5 stage filtration system, ensuring capture of airborne particles and contaminants as well as removal of odors caused by VOCs.

It has smart functionality as well as an automatic air quality sensor which will turn on the device when air quality levels hit a certain threshold.

As well as the filter media, this purifier also has a built in ionizer, giving you multiple layers of air sanitizing power for your basement.

Pros

  • Superb cleaning power
  • Light weight

Cons

  • Bulky design
  • Power cord is very short

RabbitAir MinusA2

The MinusA2 from RabbitAir was a close contender for first place in this test.

We loved its clever design, which includes a wall mountable slimline body, and the ability to ‘disguise’ it as a piece of art using one of the available covers.

It cleans the air in your basement with a combination of a pre filter, a medium filter, a true HEPA filter, a proprietary germ, toxin, pet dander and odor filter, an activated carbon filter and a negative ion generator that can be turned on or off per your preference.

It offers excellent air cleaning and odor reduction, making it great for basement applications.

Pros

  • Great design
  • Excellent filtration
  • 700 square foot coverage

Cons

  • Remote control feels cheap
  • Wifi connection can be unreliable

AIRMEGA 400S

The AIRMEGA 400s has an enormous 1560 square foot cleaning area, the biggest of any of the devices on test, and it’s capable of doing two full air exchanges in just one hour.

If you’re the type of homeowner who likes to “set it and forget it”, this could be a great choice for you thanks to the adjustable timer settings.

Air cleaning comes in the form of an efficient HEPA/activated charcoal combo filter – simple technology that works reliably.

Not only does it monitor indoor air quality, but it will also keep an eye on the outdoor air quality, too.

This is ideal for understanding when you should and shouldn’t leave doors and windows open.

One of the coolest features is the Amazon Dash replenishment function, which allows you to order replacement filters at the touch of a single button.

Pros

  • Filter life display
  • Choice of color
  • Poor air quality alerts

Cons

  • Bulky design
  • App can be buggy

Final Thoughts On The Best Air Purifiers For Basements

More and more people in search of additional living space in their homes are converting basements.

Basement air is inherently poor quality, so spending more time in a basement without an air purifier cleaning the atmosphere is likely to lead to discomfort, and potentially long term health issues.

By using a quality air purifier for basements, like those we talked about in this proHVACinfo guide, you’ll create a more pleasant environment for your basement.

And an enjoyable environment is key to get the most out of this additional space in your home.

Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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Stephen Marks

Stephen Marks

Stephen is an HVAC and home-repair enthusiast. He's here to answer any of your questions about HVAC!

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