A cheaper, but less effective alternative, is a window mounted air conditioner/heater unit. Getting an HVAC preventative maintenance plan is a great way to keep an eye on the mold and keep your HVAC system healthy. Mold will also develop if the air conditioning equipment is not properly dehumidifying the air. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that self-cleaning should be considered if the area to be treated is less than 10 square feet. Consider hiring a top-notch heating and air-conditioning … We have conducted basement and entire home mold remediations where the only cause of mold growth was stagnant, humid air due to the fact that the HVAC system had been turned off. As far as killing mold goes, your air conditioner can’t help with that. Mold spores can cause a variety of health complications. There are several ways to prevent mold in basements, but for this article we will focus on the top 2 ways to prevent basement mold growth including: ventilation and air conditioning. Mold loves stale air. Then you need to consider some type of removal or treatment of the affected areas. So keeping your air conditioner running in humid weather and situations is a proactive step to take. However, as the summer temperatures skyrocket, the colder air conditioned air creates condensation. Removing mold from air conditioning vents is quite simple. In summer, when relative humidity exceeds 60%, run a dehumidifier or air conditioner. Leaving the air conditioning running in your home will not only cool your home, it will help remove moisture from the air and help circulate and filter the air. Running fans on low helps circulate air to prevent it from being stagnant, but it does not help reduce humidity. Using a box fan or oscillating fan to keep air moving is a safer option. There are several ways to prevent mold in basements, but for this article we will focus on the top 2 ways to prevent basement mold growth including: ventilation and air conditioning. It can help prevent mold, but once it exists, your air conditioner can’t kill it. The point of ventilation is not to filter or condition the air, but rather to move it around. The most effective, but most expensive, type of basement HVAC system is a centrally-located, ducted unit. Leaving the air conditioning running in your home will not only cool your home, it will help remove moisture from the air and help circulate and filter the air. Table of Contents. … But until it does, the fan is blowing humid air throughout the house. Your air conditioners can do several things––keep your home’s indoor air cooler than outdoor temperatures, help to keep indoor airborne allergens at bay, and help keep your home’s humidity low. An Air Conditioner Prevents Mold The air conditioner works to prevent mold, so it is important that you keep your air conditioner set between 68 and 72 degrees. Use a screwdriver to … The relative humidity in … Window units are better suited to smaller basements that do not have multiple rooms. Question: In the process of selling my home, the buyers requested a home inspection. It can help prevent mold, but once it exists, your air conditioner cannot kill it.. But one thing it can’t do is kill mold. Eliminate Clutter. When mold grows on the coil, the air conditioner loses energy efficiency. Airflow and Ventilation. Dwight Barnett is a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors. Tips for getting rid of dust — not just moving it around. As already mentioned, mold thrives in damp, humid environments. Air conditioning can actually be beneficial for some health conditions. Your air conditioner does several things––keeps your home’s indoor air cooler than outdoor temperatures, helps to keep indoor airborne allergens at bay, and helps keep your home’s humidity low. Two persistent myths that we come across are that your air conditioning unit can kill or grow mold. But in south Florida, it circulates warm moist air, which can spawn mold growth. A closed up home in the summer without air conditioning and little air movement will create the humid, warm and dark conditions necessary for mold growth. (706) 510-0335 Controlling moisture is the key to preventing mold in air conditioners. Mold can get in your home through open doors, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. It is especially important to clean the air ducts. Please do your own research on any product you use in your home or on your skin, and learn all the facts for yourself. In my opinion, the remediation contractor failed you in that he did not warn you of the potential for recontamination. What I gathered from the article is that some people -- those with asthma, hay fever or suppressed immune systems -- can be affected by low levels of mold spores, while the majority are not aware of the spores in the very air they breathe, even when there are elevated levels. Dry Your Home Immediately After You Have A Leak. This means that a moldy air conditioner will actually blow microscopic mold spores into the air you breathe, spreading the spores throughout the rest of your home. All rights reserved. Suggestions for products to use are just that, suggestions. If you have an HVAC system that services the basement, you can help to prevent basement mold just by running it. Honeybee overwintering facilities: 2,200 to 13,931 CFU/m3, Spawning sheds of mushroom farms: 100,000 CFU/m3, Municipal waste-composting facility: 8.2 million CFU/m3. Thank you. My problems started when the mold inspector reported elevated spores were four to five times the amount found outside. Leave on the Air Conditioning to Avoid Mold. Limited ventilation in most basements leads to humid, stagnant, smelly air, and will eventually lead to mold growth. Keep the HVAC system on year round, and change the air filters on a regular basis. Because humidity levels vary from day to day, the thermostat should have been left at or below 74 degrees, and the fan should have been set to "On.". To learn more about how mold affects you when you have allergies and asthma check out our posts: How Your Home Can Affect Your Allergies, Asthma and Mold, Why Fall Is The Worst Season For Allergies And Asthma, and Top 8 Reasons Why Clean Air Is More Important Than Ever. There is a common misconception that basement HVAC systems are unnecessary because the temperature inside most basements stays relatively constant throughout the year. Without filtration, the air will accumulate dust, dirt, and mold spores that will create a bigger problem. A guide to treatment and cleaning is available at http://www.epa.gov/mold/index.html. Running an air conditioner in the summer not only cools the air, it also dries the air. HVAC systems can also grow mold inside the system, and you don’t want that! Ventilation. If the HVAC system is well maintained and the filter is changed regularly, it can relieve some lung disease, asthma, and allergy symptoms. If you find mold exists somewhere in your HVAC … Asbestos Surveys (HEPA filter are effective at trapping mold spores.) Why should it matter if mold grows? Humidity is one of the main factors that go into the growth of mold. But one thing it cannot do is kill mold. A certified home inspector shares 10 home-maintenance tips for spring. Because of mold & indoor toxins, people live in homes and work in buildings that make them sick. A.N., Evansville, Ind. Such an accident can cause major structural damage. 12 ways to give your wheels a fresh start. I can guarantee that mold spores are present. Damp, moist areas are a breeding ground for mold. This is the best system if you have a large basement and/or a basement consisting of multiple rooms with doors and walls that restrict airflow. GA Asbestos Regulations Leave on the Air Conditioning to Avoid Mold. Routinely clean and replace furnace or air conditioner filters. After paying a contractor to clean and treat for molds, the follow-up test showed the levels were even higher. If you had simply left the air conditioning running, it would have cooled the home and removed moisture from the air and circulated and filtered the air. Humidity higher than 60% gives mold a perfect environment in which to grow. The best way to keep mold out of your HVAC is to change your air filter on time and use a good quality air filter for your system. NO information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. The main objective of ventilation is air movement. When shopping for a new air conditioning system, look for models that have enhanced moisture removal and a minimum SEER rating of 14. The way dehumidifiers work is that they create heat in order to absorb moisture. Mold can grow and odors can develop in a basement or living space of a home simply because the HVAC system has been turned off. Your air conditioner can control the temperature and humidity in your home, which can prevent mold growth. It seems that soon after the initial inspection, the home was left vacant with the utilities off. Mold can grow inside air conditioners, ducts, and other parts of your HVAC … If the HVAC system is not running, then the air is not being conditioned or filtered. Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, or HVAC, systems are used to control the temperature, and to some degree the humidity, of indoor air. Your air conditioner (AC) can do several things––keep your South Carolina home’s indoor air cooler than outdoor temperatures, help to keep indoor airborne allergens at bay, and help keep your home’s humidity low. Remember, though, that temperature is only one of the two functions of air conditioning. Call Branch Environmental. This is an easy to avoid problem! Remove the Air Conditioner. To learn more about mold’s effects on mental health check out our posts: Mold and Mycotoxins: Effects on the Brain and Nervous System in Adults and Effects of Mold on Children’s Health. Your air conditioner is designed to help dehumidify your home, removing excess moisture and preventing mold’s growth. Normally, mold cleaning and remediation processes disturb the spores, which become airborne and can settle on unclean or untreated surfaces, where they continue to thrive in the humid, warm, dark conditions. As already mentioned, mold thrives in damp, humid environments. Asbestos Abatement Basically, the article states that there are no scientific studies that show molds are unhealthy at typical indoor levels. An article by Dr. Ronald E. Gots that appeared in The Laker magazine underscores the myth surrounding phobias about molds and mold contamination. Without filtration, the air retains mold spores, dust, and other contaminates. To learn more check out our posts: How to Keep Mold Out of Your HVAC system and Top 8 Reasons Why Clean Air Is More Important Than Ever. If your air-conditioning unit is too small, it will run constantly without achieving the desired effect; if it is too big, it will start and stop frequently which will make it difficult to maintain constant temperature … Try these quick home organization tips for maintaining a clutter-free home from basement to attic. Lead & RRP Blog information is NOT intended to provide or replace medical advice. Temperatures are ideal and there’s plenty of moisture for them to grow. Consult a professional if there are any reframing needs due to building codes. Fire & Water Damage, Home vs Mold Inspection It can help prevent the causes of mold by making sure there are no issues that can cause moisture leaks. We’re experts not only at mold removal, but at determining and remediating the underlying causes. ... which can cause mold problems. Even healthy adults who do not have allergies or asthma can be affected by mold and poor indoor air quality. Your air conditioner is designed to help dehumidify your home, removing excess moisture and preventing mold’s growth. Reactions to molds that have been documented are: allergic responses, minor irritant effects and infections in individuals with impaired immune systems. But one thing it cannot do is kill mold. We find & eliminate those toxins so you can get back to living your best life. During the hot, humid summer months, set your air conditioner to between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Window units should fit the window tightly to prevent rain and humid outdoor air from entering the room. Vacuum and clean your home regularly, especially bathrooms and kitchens. We simulated the damage of a tree falling on a roof by dropping a piano from a crane. DIY Water Damage Drying. Here are some steps you can take to control moisture when using an air conditioner. Mold will grow where there is moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been a flood. When the temperature reaches 77ºF, the a/c will still kick on and cool and reduce the humidity. Mold causes serious indoor air quality problems and can make you very sick. How Can My Air Conditioner Prevent Mold? So keeping your air conditioner running in humid weather and situations is a proactive step to take. When black mold grows on walls, floors, carpets and so on, it’s relatively easy to spot. What made the mold grow so fast, and did we get ripped off by the contractor? It can help prevent mold, but once it exists, your air conditioner cannot kill it. Limited ventilation in most basements leads to humid, stagnant, smelly air, and will eventually lead to mold growth. However, in a low ceiling basement, ceiling fans could be dangerous since they might be too close to your head! Since mold presents multiple health risks, it’s important to prevent mold from developing in your air conditioner, and to eradicate it if it does appear. Regular … Even when mold spores were at elevated levels, there were no similar elevated reports of illnesses. info@branchenvironmental.com, Mold Inspections If there is mold on the air conditioner coils, mold spores can easily spread through the ducts in your ventilation system. Your air conditioner is designed to help dehumidify your home, removing excess moisture and preventing mold’s growth. Examples from the article show certain occupations that are exposed to extremely high concentrations of mold spores. So, how do you get the already cool, humid air in a basement dry without cooling it further? Answer: With a little investigation, I was able to gain some additional information about the sale of your home. How To Remove Mold From Air Conditioning Vents. So, how can you control moisture and prevent mold growth in humid climates? AC units vary in the way … The relative humidity in … Jobs Mold can be one of the negative effects of floods or can indicate a problem with your air conditioning system. Your initial reaction to minimize mold may be to keep your air conditioner set to lower temperatures. Clean small amounts of mold from inside the cabinet and/or the grille. Tip #1. Only mold experts can tell you for sure if you have a mold problem. If you find mold exists somewhere in your HVAC system, … *We are an Amazon affiliate company and we do occasionally receive compensation for products that you purchase through links on our website. If leaks are showing up on your ceiling, it's time to fill the insulation gaps. Mold also likes stale air. By making sure that all of the corners and crevices … © 2020 Discovery or its subsidiaries and affiliates. When mold spores are discovered at elevated indoor levels, you need to contact your doctor first to determine if the mold species will affect you or your family. However, when black mold starts growing in your air vents, things get a little trickier. We treat each inspection as an investigation. Basements are magnets for mold, but they don’t have to be! Does dust settle on surfaces minutes after you've cleaned them? This feature means that the unit can turn on and off by itself. To truly reduce humidity, you need air conditioning or a dehumidifier. Exposure to mold may experience an inflammatory response to the mold, especially if you already suffer from asthma, allergies, or a weakened immune system. So keeping your air conditioner running in humid weather and situations is a proactive step to take. It is now known that mold causes mental health problems as well as allergy and asthma symptoms. We’re available by phone weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m, and for emergencies 24×7. The main objective of ventilation is air movement. Save on utility bills and head off carbon monoxide problems with these tips. Sawmills: 1.5 million CFU/m3 (colony-forming units per cubic meter of air). Most air conditioner units feature an “auto” mode, which is the … A poorly maintained system or a dirty filter, however, can circulate harmful bacteria and mold around your home. As a company, we believe that no one should live or work in a building that makes them sick. Molds present at typical indoor levels have never been scientifically shown to cause any other illness. It certainly helps to prevent mold, but once there’s mold in your home or in the HVAC system, it’s there until you take proper action to remove it. Up north that may work, circulating warm dry air. Tend to your chimney with care with these expert tips. Tip #2. What Homeowners Need To Know About Asbestos Removal – A Guide For DIY... 12 Facts about Duct Cleaning – How to Avoid Scams, window mounted air conditioner/heater unit. The buyer refused to complete the deal. Remove the air conditioner from the window. A vacant house also receives little or no sunlight through closed shades and no air movement with the fan off and the doors locked. Your air conditioner can control the temperature and humidity in your home, which can prevent mold growth. Prevent Basement Mold with Air Conditioning and Ventilation, Top 8 Reasons Why Clean Air Is More Important Than Ever, Beyond Mold Inspections, Branch Delivers Mold Investigations, Mold Remediation and Reconstruction Together Saves Time and Money, Home of 10,000 Leaks: Why Water Damage Leads To Mold, 5 Expectations about Mold vs. Clutter … 1) Ensure proper air conditioning: Use quality AC units properly sized for your house. Mold typically develops in air conditioning systems when the system is not regularly maintained, including the regular changing of the air filters and cleaning of the evaporator coils. If the buyer is worried about mold spores, he should check the home or apartment where he lives. Unfortunately, air conditioners can also be a source of moisture. You can also learn more about mold remediation contractors and remedies for contaminated buildings. A wet, humid environment encourages mold to grow and to spread. From hidden mold sources to major contaminants, we can identify exactly what is going on in your home and rid it of environmental toxins, often for good. As already mentioned, mold thrives in damp, humid environments. If you see mold in the air conditioning air ducts, it is recommended that they are cleaned by a licensed HVAC professional as an unclean system that can affect the overall air quality within the home. Not only does mold prevention lower the costs of air conditioning repair and replacement over time, but it also guarantees a healthier home for you and your family. Molds thrive when the humidity levels exceed 70 percent. Why Running Your Air Conditioning Is So Important. If a basement stays closed up, unventilated and unconditioned, the temperature might be within the desired range, but the humidity may be significantly elevated. Air conditioning involves the process of modifying the temperature and humidity of the air to make it more acceptable. Education Center By taking a few simple, preventative steps you can prevent basement mold and save yourself time and money. Keep your air conditioner on at all times to prevent the growth of mold. If you think your system might need cleaning, check out our post 12 Facts about Duct Cleaning – How to Avoid Scams before you decide to have it cleaned. Cast a critical eye on household clutter, and pare down your stuff. Eye-Opening Reality, Mold and Mycotoxins: Effects on the Brain and Nervous System in Adults, Why Fall Is The Worst Season For Allergies And Asthma. In these highly exposed populations, however, there are no reports of brain damage or of many of the other fungal diseases now common in current indoor mold attributions. Consistently Run The Air Conditioning System. The mold acts as insulation and it will take the A/C longer to cool your home. During the hot, humid summer months, set your air conditioner to between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Mold Remediation Regular maintenance prevents breakdowns and keeps your cooling running smoothly. Contact From using leftover coffee beans to preventing dirt from getting underneath fingernails, master gardener Paul James shares his top 14 tips and shortcuts to make spring gardening a breeze. Another thing that you can do to prevent mold from growing on your window air conditioning unit is to get one that has an auto feature. The resulting enclosed dark and damp environment created an almost perfect situation for mold spores to grow. Contact Us. Improving air circulation within the basement is possible by installing ceiling or room fans. Ever wonder why your … You know yourself and your home best. Dehumidifiers do exactly what the name implies, remove moisture from the air. Mold in the air outside can be brought indoors on clothing, shoes, bags, and even pets. Farms: 120,000,000 CFU/m3; it's 10 times greater (1.2 billion CFU/m3) on farms where adverse health effects are reported. Mold also likes stale air. Awesome Ways To Prevent Mold Growth. Clean your AC drain line regularly. In the summer, a closed house with the air-conditioning turned off will have higher humidity levels than an air-conditioned home. UV Lights in the Air Handler The evaporator coil is an ideal environment for biological growths. The answer in most cases is a dehumidifier. “Duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. Never Stop the Air Conditioner. Also, don’t allow the humidity in your home to exceed 50%.