Not only does the high humidity in Marion County, Florida, make it uncomfortable to be outside on hot summer days, but it also poses several threats to indoor air quality year-round. Mold thrives in humid environments, and its presence can aggravate allergies, asthma, and other health problems — especially in infants, children, the elderly, and anyone with a compromised immune system. Families living in tropical climates like Florida might need to take extra measures to defend their homes against molds.
Reduce Moisture in the Air
To prevent molds, you need to reduce the moisture in your home. You can tell when there is a humidity issue if you notice signs of condensation. Usually, however, the indoor air will feel warm and thick, even if the thermostat is at an appropriate setting. Fortunately, your air conditioning system can help. As it cools your home, your air conditioner also removes some moisture from the air. Modern air conditioning systems are designed to effectively manage humidity.
Try to keep indoor humidity between 40 and 60 percent. Because dehumidification is not your AC’s primary function, it might need help. If your AC alone cannot effectively maintain ideal humidity levels, consider investing in a whole-home dehumidifier. This type of dehumidifier works directly with your existing HVAC system to reduce humidity throughout your home. As an added benefit, a whole-home dehumidifier will also take some of the load off your AC, reducing demands on it for cooling.
Improve Your Home’s Ventilation
Proper ventilation is another way to prevent mold growth. Bathrooms and kitchens in particular need to be well-ventilated during and after activities that release more moisture into the air, such as cooking or showering with hot water. Use your exhaust fans to control humidity in these areas.
For even more protection, our technicians can install a ventilator in your home. Like a whole-home dehumidifier, a ventilator will work with your HVAC system to benefit your entire home rather than a single room. We recommend ventilators for those who live in hot, humid climates because they help to reduce the humidity in the incoming air. If you opt for an energy-recovery model, your new ventilator will also use the thermal energy of outgoing air to precondition the fresh air it pulls in from outside.
Dry Wet Items Quickly
You might not give much thought to how long wet clothes sit in your washer, but you should. If your washer has an alarm, make sure you turn it on so that it will alert you when the cycle ends. Then be sure to transfer the load to your dryer in a timely manner.
It doesn’t take much time for molds to start growing, so pay attention to other wet items left lying around inside or outside your home. If your bathroom towels are always wet, you might want to switch to quick-drying towels or throw them in the dryer after each use.
Remove Mold Thoroughly
If mold has already appeared in your home, take care of it as soon as possible. You can also hire a professional to take care of the mold or go the DIY route with bleach or detergent. These substances will kill molds and help you scrub it away. Other effective cleaners include Borax, vinegar, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, tea tree oil, and grapefruit seed extract. After cleaning, wipe the area off and allow it to dry completely.
Research the best methods before you start. There will be some differences, for instance, in how you handle mold on tile as opposed to wood, carpet, drywall, or grout. Keep in mind that you might need to remove porous materials altogether. Finally, however you handle molds, it is important that you also resolve the cause(s); otherwise, you might find yourself in the same situation again.
Whether mold is a current problem in your home or merely a potential one, give Sun Kool Air Conditioning, Inc. a call at 352-282-4763. Our technicians can test your indoor air quality, clean your HVAC system, and suggest improvements that will help you to defend your home against various types of molds.
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