Mold in your home is a serious matter and needs to be dealt with properly. Mold isn’t like dust or grime that builds up because you’re too lazy to break out the cleaning supplies. Mold can have serious health consequences – especially for those with certain health problems and compromised immune systems.
The best way to deal with a mold problem is to prevent it from building up in the first place. Like the old saying goes: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The cost of preventing mold in your house is very small compared to the cost of trying to get it remediated. And preventing mold isn’t all that hard, it just takes a little common sense.
Your house’s HVAC system is the first line of defense against mold. It keeps the air clean and circulating properly throughout your home. It also keeps water flowing where it should be. Here’s how you can help your HVAC system prevent mold:
Change your filters regularly (and use the right filter!)
Changing the air filters in your HVAC system will keep mold spores out of the air. This seems like common sense, but it’s amazing the number of people who neglect this basic task. Air filters are inexpensive and can be found at your local home improvement store. On that note, make sure you buy the correct filter. If it’s too restrictive, you risk burning the fan motor out because the air can’t get through.
Keep your home’s humidity below 65%
Mold thrives in humid, moist environments. You can lower the air’s humidity by either installing a dehumidifier directly into your HVAC system, or buy a stand-alone unit. The type you need greatly depends on the size of the area that needs the humidity reduced. Keep in mind if you buy a stand-alone dehumidifier, you need to either find a place for it to drain, or empty the water tank every couple of hours.
Check your house’s attic and crawl space for humidity as well. Installing a proper ventilation system might be all you need in those areas. Good venting will prevent the build-up of moisture.
Have your HVAC system inspected regularly
If any part of your HVAC system isn’t running correctly, you might be risking mold build-up. There are a lot of areas where moisture can build up, making a perfect breeding ground for mold. The inspection should include ensuring that water is draining properly, there are no leaks and everything that is supposed to be dry is dry.
Keep your house clean
This falls along the lines of “Don’t be lazy.” But something as innocent as dust can help mold grow. Dust is full of organic material, such as dead skin cells, pollen and pet dander. All these provide perfect food for mold to feed on. You don’t even have to do a deep clean. Just dusting and vacuuming can make a big difference.
The power of mold
Don’t underestimate what mold can do to your health. If you suffer from respiratory illnesses like asthma, or have severe allergies, mold can really make you sick. Mold can even make an otherwise very healthy person sick as well.
If you suspect you might have a mold problem, have a professional technician inspect your HVAC system right away. If mold is found early, it is easy to control than waiting until it spreads.