You may not know it, but you already have important mold-control technology installed in your home: your air conditioning unit. Mold doesn’t need much to survive. A food supply, the right temperatures, and sufficient moisture are the only ingredients necessary for fungi to thrive.
Attempts to keep airborne mold spores as small as three microns out of the house are generally not cost-effective. Eliminating food is difficult – you can’t freeze or burn mold out. The most practical approach to mold control is moisture control. In addition to taking the heat out of the air, your air conditioning system extracts the water vapor that mold needs to survive.
Here are some top ways to effectively use your air conditioner in the war against mold:
Select A High-Efficiency Air Conditioner
Consider upgrading to high-efficiency air conditioning with a SEER rating above 14 (preferably 16 or above). You will not only save money on energy costs. High-efficiency units remove the humidity that mold thrives in more effectively than standard-efficiency models. Many units include a special enhanced moisture-control cycle activated by a humidistat that monitors the humidity in the air.
Optimize the Size for Your Home
Make sure your HVAC contractor properly sizes your air conditioning system to match the cooling load in your home. Over-sized units cycle on and off frequently, reducing the efficiency of humidity extraction and causing other problems. A unit must operate for at least three continuous minutes before the moisture-control function begins to optimize.
Use the Air Conditioner’s Auto Function
Set the air conditioning unit to operate in the “auto” position, not “on.” In auto operation, the blower fan stops intermittently, allowing time for humidity condensed out of the air to drain off the coils. In the “on” setting, the fan operates continuously and may evaporate some of the condensation and recirculate it back into your living spaces.
Set The Temperature Higher… Your Wallet & Body Will Thank You
Keep the thermostat at 78 degrees or above. A higher thermostat setting and slightly warmer air temperature results in drier indoor air. In the cooling mode, temperatures lower than 78 degrees generate more humid air and cool indoor surfaces, increasing condensation that breeds mold.
By following these guidelines, your air conditioner can decrease the threat of mold in your home, giving your family a healthier living environment.