In southwest Florida, where outdoor humidity gets close to 100 percent most evenings, regardless of the daytime temperature, a humidity-control and mold-prevention strategy is essential.
Take a look at these mold prevention tips — you may find a few you weren’t aware of or haven’t tried in your home:
- Make sure bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, as well as clothes dryer vents, go to the outside.
- Wipe condensation from windows before it can be absorbed by walls or window casings. Condensation on other surfaces or in summertime may mean you need to point air conditioner supply registers away from surfaces. It may also signal ductwork leaks or air pressure imbalances.
- Replace air conditioner filters often, using higher-efficiency pleated filters. If in doubt about filter choices, contact a local HVAC expert. Or ask during annual preventive maintenance and inspection visits, when your technician will also clean A/C coils and condensate drains, check for mold and handle other maintenance tasks.
- Keep windows closed when using whole-house ventilation equipment and keep interior doors open for proper return air balance. Or call your home-comfort contractor to adjust your whole-house ventilation system to ensure adequate ventilation through the rooms. Balanced supply and return airflow avoids depressurization, when humid outdoor air is drawn inside the house.
- In summer when the air conditioner is on, relative humidity should be under 55 percent during the daytime. If it’s higher, you could have duct system leaks, an oversized or improperly charged A/C system or inadequate airflow over the cooling coil. Oversized air conditioners control humidity poorly at higher thermostat settings, as short cycling inhibits moisture removal. Contact your HVAC expert for diagnosis and consider positive mechanical ventilation.
- Don’t resort to setting the thermostat temperature lower. This lowers indoor surface temperatures, causing condensation. Set your thermostat higher — it also keeps energy costs down. Each one-degree thermostat set-back decreases cooling costs by about 10 percent, according to The Florida Solar Energy Center.
Having trouble with mold or indoor humidity? Contact the pros at Conditioned Air. Visit our website to learn more or give us a call.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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