South Florida is known for its humid weather, and unfortunately, this causes mold in our homes and businesses. It’s a year-long battle, but when it comes to preventing mold in your new HVAC system, November can be one of the troublesome of all.
When fall temperatures stay mild, we don’t use the AC or turn on the heat. So, humidity isn’t being removed from the air, and this results in the growth of mold and mildew.
Why Mold is a Problem
As long as you can’t see the mold, it shouldn’t be a problem, right? Not so fast!
Mold causes health problems by releasing allergens and mycotoxins.
Mold feeds on organic matter and eats away at wood, carpets, and drywall.
Your HVAC system can turn a small mold problem into a household disaster by spreading the spores throughout your home.
Why Mold Grows in Your HVAC System
Mold and mildew are fungi with specific requirements, most of which are easily found in Florida homes. Molds reproduce via spores, which become airborne particles that spread easily.
What Can You Do?
Since mold thrives in a wide range of temperatures and consumes any organic material, the easiest way to prevent them is to reduce moisture levels.
To prevent mold from causing damage to your health and home, here are a few tips to prevent its spread.
Control the humidity in your home:
Use your AC to keep humidity levels below 60 percent.
Avoid carpeting in damp rooms, like kitchens and bathrooms
Mop up any spills
Fix any plumbing leaks
Seal any leaking windows
Use exhaust fans to vent humidity
Ensure dryer vent is clear and exhausts to the building exterior
Prevent the growth of mold in your HVAC system:
Ensure the drain pan is clean and emptying promptly so it isn’t holding water for long periods.
Keep condensate drain clear and flowing to prevent moisture from leaching back into your home.
Replace dirty air filters to maintain adequate airflow. The grime in a dirty filter holds onto spores and gives them a place to grow.
Have a UV-C air purifier installed in your system. These devices kill bacteria, mold spores, and many viruses.
Set your thermostat to “AUTO,” instead of “ON.” This prevents accumulated moisture from the condensate drain from being blown back into your home.
Ensure that airflow throughout your home isn’t blocked, including the return airflow to the air handler. Make sure undercuts in doors are adequate for return airflow from individual rooms to the central intake vent. Move fixtures and furniture away from vents and registers.
Install a whole-house dehumidifier. This removes humidity in the winter months without using cooling your home.