Keep home AC mold-free for healthier air

Aug 21st, 2019 | By | Category: Health & Fitness

Hot summers and heavy humidity have people blasting air conditioning in their homes for relief. The problem with that is when we pump cold air through our home’s ducts, the combination of that with warm, humid air on the outside results in condensation and moisture that can cause mold—a health risk that’s most serious for very old or very young people, and anyone with a compromised immune system. Various experts on indoor air quality have suggestions for protecting homes from mold related to air conditioning. Among them:

  • An indoor digital humidity monitor can give a quick and accurate measurement of the humidity within a home. For greatest comfort and to best reduce the bacteria and odors, humidity levels should be kept between 40 and 55 percent.  A humidity monitor can be purchased for less than $15.
  • Keep the fan setting on “Auto.” Leaving it in the “On” setting runs the system continuously and can cause moisture condensed on the air conditioner coil to be blown back into the home.
  • If your house has a crawlspace, make sure there is a vapor barrier–a plastic covering that lays on top of the dirt surface. This prevents moisture from the dirt floor from evaporating and seeping into the air beneath the home.
  • In many cases you can see or smell mold. It’s most often green or black and has a musty or earthy smell. Use an antimicrobial mixture of household items such as hydrogen peroxide, vinegar or baking soda to kill or prevent the growth of mold. Spray the mixture onto the mold area and remove with a scrub brush or disposable rag while wearing protective covering such as face masks and gloves.