Let’s Talk Mold Prevention
Florida has the perfect climate for the cultivation of mold spores – hot, humid and oftentimes damp. Mold is everywhere, and can grow in almost any temperature, but there are certain features on your air conditioner that can prevent mold spores from taking hold and colonizing your home. Let’s get to know more about these unique air conditioning features!
Think about the last time you had a shower and tried to look in the mirror when you got out. It was fogged up, wasn’t it? In fact, the chances are high that the whole bathroom was seriously steamy, almost sauna-like. While stepping out into a steam-warmed bathroom may be reminiscent of a tropical spa paradise, your humid showers may be a leading cause of mold. Anything that leads to evaporation and condensation promotes the growth of mold, as it creates a moist environment. There are a handful of different ways to deal with humidity and prevent mold growth:
- Try not to keep your house at arctic temperatures. Although this may seem like a great way to prevent mold growth (if it’s not warm it won’t grow, right?), this is actually the opposite. It is true that most mold spores prefer warmer climates, but super cooling your home will result in moisture condensation in areas like floors and ceilings, or on metal pipes. Always remember, moisture = mold.
- Set your AC fan switch to ‘auto’ instead of ‘on’. When the fan is set to ‘on’ it runs continuously, and does not give the moisture that condensed onto the evaporator coil during the cooling cycle time to drain off. Instead, this moisture is re-evaporated and blown right back into your house, increasing humidity levels.
Stale air is perfect for mold growth, as there is nothing to disturb the delicate spores from taking root. Your automatic reaction to get air flowing again might be to open a window, but this can sometimes exacerbate the growth process. When outside humidity levels are high, letting air into your house only serves to increase the humidity inside of your home as well, which in turn promotes mold growth. Rather than opening up a window, try and ensure that all areas of your house are properly ventilated and that your AC reaches every nook and cranny (including the bathroom).
Vacant houses often have higher levels of humidity than the outside climate. A lack of light mixed with stagnant air and moisture is the perfect breeding ground for mold spores, but nobody wants to come home to a house that looks like week old bread. The best way to prevent mold growth when you are out of home is to invest in a dehumidifier and leave it on to control humidity levels in your house while you are away. Certain air conditioners have built in dehumidifiers, so before purchasing a new machine find out if your AC has the settings you need. If you aren’t sure what settings to leave your AC on, or even if your machine has the requirements you need, give us a call and we’ll happily send a home comfort specialist out to assist you.