Mold is a type of fungus which can take hold, and take over, your central Arizona home. The requirements for its growth are: spores, food, substantial moisture, and suitable temperature. In order to prevent growth you need to remove one or more of these requirements from the equation. Spores are all around us, and a food source can be anything organic, including paper, wood, or other fibers. The temperature in your home is ideal for growth, which leaves a source of moisture as the easiest element to eliminate. Read on for some tips on how to reduce excess moisture and keep this fungus at bay.
- Monitor and control humidity levels. Purchase an inexpensive moisture meter at your local hardware store, and keep an eye on the humidity level in your home. A reading of 30 to 50 percent is ideal; anything over 60 percent and mold growth may begin.
- Keep your A/C in good repair. A clean, well maintained air conditioner can be an effective weapon against humidity; schedule routine annual maintenance at the start of cooling season.
- Vent to the outside. When showering, cooking or any time steam is present, turn on your exhaust fans to remove excess moisture, ensuring they vent to the outside, rather than to the attic. If no fan is present open a window to help steam escape.
- Repair any leaks quickly. Make a habit of checking exposed plumbing for leaks. Even a small leak can add up if left unchecked.
- Increase ventilation. Ceiling fans, floors fans, open windows and doors work to increase airflow and remove moisture. An energy recovery ventilator (ERV) is a great option for newer, tighter homes, and can work alongside your existing HVAC system.
- Clean up spills as soon as possible. When spills happen, clean and disinfect quickly and avoid leaving any surface damp for more than 24 hours; after that is when growth typically begins.
For more tips on mold prevention, give us a call at Wolff Mechanical. For more than 20 years we have been proudly serving the residents of central Arizona.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).