Mold in your home can proliferate quickly if given the opportunity. In fact, any time the atmosphere inside your home exceeds the fifty-percent relative humidity level, mold growth becomes a real threat. It follows that one big key to preventing mold growth is circulating air properly to prevent water vapor from accumulating past the all-important fifty-percent threshold. That is why you should be diligent to prevent mold growth by focusing on your home's ventilation system and improving the condition of interior air. Below are two specific things you can do:
Utilize a variable-speed air-handler fan
The air handler in your central air conditioning system is located adjacent to the system's evaporator coil, the area where warm, moist air is cooled and dried before being moved into the interior of the home. The air handler consists of a squirrel cage fan, which is a round wheel with multiple blades lining the interior circumference of the fan, mounted inside sheet-metal housing. An electric motor operates the fan and causes air to flow past the evaporator coil. Traditionally, these motors operated at one speed. However, manufacturers now are able to equip air handlers with variable-speed motors that can push air at several different velocities. This is advantageous from the perspective of preventing moisture accumulation; a fan moving air too quickly will not provide the evaporator coil with the opportunity to remove a sufficient amount of water vapor. A slower fan is much more preferable in high-humidity conditions, as it will allow moisture-laden air to linger in the vicinity of the evaporator coil for a longer period of time. This not only removes more moisture, it also improves your comfort level and costs less to operate.
If your air handler does not come with a variable-speed fan, then you will benefit from contacting an air conditioning installer, like one from Cape Fear Air Conditioning & Heating Co., Inc., for help. They can provide you with advice regarding what options are available and can perform the work of replacing the old single-speed fan with a newer multiple-speed option.
Direct warm, humid air to the exterior of your home
Another way that moist air can plague your home and cause mold as a result is when humid air is not directed to the outside. Several household appliances can produce hot, moisture-laden air; below is a list of these and how you can specifically prevent the undesirable transfer of moisture to the interior of your home:
Clothes dryer. Be sure that your clothes dryer is properly vented to the exterior of your home and isn't clogged. Dryer vents should be as close as possible to the exterior vent, and vent hoses should be kept as straight as possible. In addition, regularly clean your dryer lint trap and other spaces of the dryer to remove accumulations of lint that can redirect humid air into the house.
Washing machine. While your washing machine is less likely to move moist air into your home than into your dryer, be sure to keep the lid closed while operating your washer and repair any drips that might appear in the hot water line near the spigot.
Automatic dishwasher. If you notice excessive amounts of water condensation or steam clouds near your dishwasher during operation, then it may have a leak in the door seal. Thoroughly clean or replace the door seal to prevent hot, humid air from escaping through gaps between the door and dishwasher housing.
Showers and tubs. When taking a bath or shower, use overhead bathroom fans to draw moist air upward out of the room. For the most effective venting, make sure the fan exhaust is routed to exterior stack vents that release air at rooftop level. Releasing the moist air into your attic may encourage mold growth inside the confines of that space.