When you or you loved ones are mold sensitive, keeping your home’s indoor air free from mold and contaminants is something we always need to do. Mold survives cold. So to help you with your efforts, here are a 4 simple ways to prep your home for cool days.
1. Mold doesn’t care what season it is.
When temperatures fall, it is normal to close up homes to save on energy costs and to keep the home more comfortable. This works against the desire to use fresh air to dilute toxins and toxicants within the home. Although mold typically grows faster in warmer months due to the presence of favorable temperatures and increased humidity, mold survive colds and will grow in colder months as well. One consideration is that although outside temperatures may be below freezing, indoor temperatures seldom vary far from 70° F. When homes are sealed up tight and don’t have the dehumidifying benefits of air conditioning, humidity levels inside may exceed 60%.
Solution: Make sure your home has some fresh air circulating. We like HRVs (Heat Recovery Ventilators) or ERVs (Energy Recovery Ventilators), as they provide constant fresh air (if desired) and recover up to 80% of the heating.
2. Condensation creates problems
If it is cold outside and warm inside, condensation can occur within the home, especially on the windows. If that condensation collects on organic material such as windows seals or drywall, mold can grow. If you see any discoloration on your window seals or drywall, this can be an indicator of mold growth. A mold swab is the best choice to test this potential visible mold.
Solution: Monitor your humidity levels and keep them below 60%. Dry any condensation as you see it to prevent puddling.
3. Properly prepare your heater
When heaters kick on for the first time of the season, you will often smell a burnt smell. This is the dust and debris burning off that has collected during the warmer months. Before turning your heater on, we recommend changing the air filter. Then turn on the heater and leave the home for a couple of hours. This will allow the dust and debris to burn off without you having to breathe it. Remember, mold spores and fragments travel and collect just like dust.
Solution: Change your filter before turning your heater on. Then leave your home for the first few hours it is on.
4. Pets, dust, and clutter
To improve your indoor air, avoid clutter where dust and allergens build up. If you have piles of “stuff” around your home, you are providing a place for dust to land and accumulate. If you have pets, it’s also likely their fur can be contributing to mold, yeast, and bacteria contamination. Bathe your pets regularly and treat their belongings to mitigate contamination in your environment. We recommend CitriSafe Remedy Pet Shampoo and Mold Treatment Spray.
Solution: Make sure to keep pets bathed and air filters filtering. Reduce dust and clutter, where dust can collect.
The more time you spend inside, the more important the indoor air quality is. Remember, mold survives cold. To learn even more about maintaining your indoor air quality check out our Nine Ways to Improve Air Quality.