What Is The Best Temperature To Prevent Mold From Growing At Home?
The ideal temperature range for mold to grow in your home is 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping the house cooler than that prevents growth. But, temperature is only one factor in spores or other organic toxins cultivating.
Mold, in particular, requires dark places and moisture to grow. That means humidity plays a vital role in your home. And, warm air is always more humid than cold air. That means the summer is when a mold problem is most likely to take hold:
What’s more, a mold problem won’t go away when the weather cools off. A large infestation continues growing year-round. And, over time, you’ll notice physical symptoms from constant exposure.
Related: Mold Toxicity & Physical Symptoms
However, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to prevent this problem and related health issues in your home. Your air conditioner, particularly a ductless mini split, can play a crucial role in preventing it. In this article, you’ll learn how — along with some other non-HVAC-related tips.
At the same time, however, mini splits are often responsible for mold problems in homes and businesses — something to watch for.
We’ll address that problem later in this article. But, if you have any questions about the indoor air quality or ductless system in your Treasure Valley home or business, call us at (208) 779-5596. You don’t need to make an appointment or anything to get more information.
Recommended Air Conditioner Setting For Preventing Mold
Keeping the air conditioner set at 78 degrees or lower prevents mold buildup in the summer. Even when leaving for a few days or vacation, don’t set it above 80. A higher setting won’t provide enough dehumidification from the cooling process to prevent spores from growing.
This may be tricky for people who like to set the AC high to save money. But, you can take some extra steps that we’ll outline below.
Mold And Home Humidity
In general, the sweet spot for relative humidity in a home is between 30 and 60. No higher than 50 is ideal. That’s the range where mold won’t grow quickly. It also makes your home less attractive to cockroaches and other insects.
However, going below 30 percent can cause problems, including dry or cracking skin and nosebleeds. Air that’s too dry also dries out wood, which can damage flooring, furniture, or musical instruments.
Most smart thermostats also give you humidity readings. Or, you can buy humidistats for readings in different parts of your home.
Related: Can Mold Grow Without Moisture?
Controlling Humidity In Your Home
You can set your forced-air system to “Fan Only” if you don’t want to run your AC too much. That setting circulates air without heating or cooling it, so it doesn’t use as much energy. But, it gets rid of standing water in the system.
Also, avoid long showers and use exhaust fans during cooking. That gets rid of a lot of steam that will condense into water and stay in your home.
Room dehumidifiers are inexpensive and especially useful for basements or other areas of your home that get damp. Or, invest in a whole-home unit that works through your furnace or central air.
Finally, get rid of clutter: piles of stuff can become breeding grounds for mold, especially if they’re near a vent or blocking air from it. And, always drain standing water and dry the area around it.
Mold And Your Ductless Mini Split
Mini splits are much more prone to mold buildup than conventional systems. The problem is that the air handlers are warm from the heat transferring from the air to the refrigerant and from all the electronics.
And, there’s a lot of moisture inside them: As water vapor condenses to liquid, not all of it drains out.
The result is a lot of buildup, particularly behind the barrel fans and on the condenser coil. And you don’t get the same kind of airflow as forced-air systems with ducts and vents. So, water is more likely to pool.
People with ductless systems often complain of “stale air,” allergy symptoms, or skin irritation. All the microbial contaminants and biotoxins building up in the unit circulate through the air you breathe when the air handler is running.
For instance, this picture is a perfect example of what we find when we open an air handler:
How To Clean Mold Out Of Your Mini Split
The best way to clean mold out of your mini split is with a professional deep cleaning. In particular, HydroKleen uses specialized tools and non-toxic cleaners to flush mold spores, bacteria, and all sorts of pollutants out of every nook and cranny in your heat pumps and air handlers.
You can prevent buildup by cleaning each air handler’s filter once a month. Getting rid of that dirt improves airflow and prevents mold growth. And a professional HVAC tune-up twice a year keeps things running smoothly all around.
But, neither of those takes the place of professional deep cleaning. That’s the only way to sanitize the entire system without spending a lot more money to have someone take apart the whole system and individually scrub each component.
Mini Split And Heat Pump Cleaning In Caldwell, ID
HydroKleen208 guarantees the best, most effective mini split and heart pump cleaning in Caldwell, ID and across the Treasure Valley. If you’re not satisfied, the cleaning is free, and we’ll pay for a competitor to come out next. Call us at (208) 779-5596 or click below for a free consultation or to schedule your cleaning.