Prevent Mold By Running Your Air Conditioning
May 4, 2015
It’s no secret that mold likes hot, humid climates, such as those found throughout the state of Florida. Mold prevention is not difficult or costly; however, once you have a mold problem, then it becomes costly and difficult to fix. In fact, mold remediation services can cost as much as five figures. You cannot reliably control mold and mildew using only the AC system, but it does make a difference.
To prevent mold and mildew growth, the indoor RH (relative humidity) should not exceed 55 percent. In hot weather, the system manages this with no problem. But the highest relative humidity measures are likely to occur during mild weather, when air conditioning is not needed much during the day. In mild, cool and damp weather, the cooling system is on very little or not at all. This presents a significant problem: moderate weather is the most likely to promote mold growth.
In Florida, the outdoor RH reaches nearly 100 percent at night, regardless of daytime temperatures. Moisture needs to be removed from the home during the day by the air conditioner, or at night with the help of a dehumidifier. You can prevent mold by lowering the relative humidity while maintaining a comfortable environment and reducing the cost of cooling.
- Set the thermostat to the highest temperature that is comfortable for you — HVAC professionals recommend a setting of 78 degrees F, or greater.
- Make sure your thermostat is set to “cool,” rather than “auto.”
- Set your fan to “auto” not “on” (continuous).
- Never leave outside doors or windows open in hot, humid weather while running the AC. It fosters mold growth and can damage the system itself.
- Limit the number of live indoor plants. They produce water vapor and contribute to RH levels.
Another tip: do not try to control mold by lowering the thermostat setting, as this technique will not work. You’ll see two unfavorable results from attempting this trick:
- RH levels will increase with decreasing temperatures.
- Lowering the temperature will decrease the temperature of materials in the walls, floors and ceilings of the home, increasing the potential for moisture condensation.
If you have any questions about mold or ductless mini split units, our team at Titan AC would be happy to assist you. Contact us or connect with us on social media to get answers to your burning questions.