Your air conditioner doesn’t just provide immediate physical relief from the summer heat, it’s actually helping to keep your family safe from a typically unnoticeable predator – mold. Year-round humidity isn’t as big of a problem in the Northwest as it is in other parts of the country, but that doesn’t mean that mold can’t become a problem during an Oregon summer.
Mold can become a health hazard for those with chronic allergies or immune disorders. If mold spores are present in large enough numbers, they can cause a plethora of health effects including: watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, congestion, itching and irritation, difficulty breathing, and more.
How does mold get into your home in the first place? In order for mold to grow, moisture needs to be present. The perfect environment for mold growth is when humidity levels exceed 70%. During the summer months, household moisture can stem from a humid climate and can be exacerbated by a variety of household sources, like poorly ventilated bathrooms or leaky plumbing.
The good news is that mold growth is usually preventable and manageable. Combatting mold growth during the summer can be as easy as turning on your A/C. Simply using your air conditioner to keep your home’s temperature between 68 and 74 degrees and keeping humidity levels between 30-60% prevents the growth of mold.
Most modern air conditioners dehumidify as they cool, however if you experience excessive humidity within your home, there are additional steps you can take to ensure comfortable humidity levels
– Purchase a stand-alone dehumidifier for rooms with excess amounts of moisture and humidity (i.e. basements, bathrooms, kitchens, etc.).
– Ensure your air conditioner has a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating of 14 or more. This rating ensures enhanced moisture removal.
– Make sure your air conditioner is the right size for your home. Oversized systems will fail to remove humidity due to a shorter running cycle. It will take less time for your home to reach a cool temperature if the system is too big, but won’t give the A/C enough time to dehumidify your home.
– Keep up with regular A/C maintenance. If your air conditioner is failing to work at it’s peak efficiency levels, there is more likely to be occurrences of mold growth in your home.
Give Columbia Heating and Cooling a call today to schedule an A/C tune-up. Our certified HVAC technicians can make sure your air conditioner is running properly so it can help keep your home free of mold growth. Or perhaps it’s time to replace your unit with one of our innovative, highly efficient Carrier products to help keep your family comfortable and healthy during these remaining warm months. Give us a call and we’ll provide a FREE ESTIMATE for any replacement unit.