When you think about thwarting mold growth, sunlight and ample air flow are your best friends. Proper air flow regulates home temperature and removes impurities. Therefore, something as simple as increasing air flow in your home can prevent mold growth from ever occurring. Wouldn’t that be the best scenario for your family?
I decided to put together this “cheat sheet” of sorts to help you capitalize on and maximize air flow in your home. If you already have or suspect water intrusion, or mold growth, these tips are not for you. For that, I would advise you to hire a mold remediation professional to come out, assess the situation, and offer their professional advice. These tips are uncomplicated changes that you can make without having to hire a contractor or mold professional. They just require you to look at your home a little differently. If you are being proactive about protecting your family, sometimes the simplest changes breed the greatest rewards.
- Go around your house, check all the vents, and make sure they are free of obstructions and debris. This includes moving furniture away from walls, and making sure rooms are not filled with clutter. If the air cannot move through your rooms unhampered, dust and condensation can settle, sit, and become an allergy issue. I also recommend doing this in your closets. You want air to have room to move through your clothes, coats, shoes, etc. This will prevent mildew from forming.
- Air out your rugs. Once a week, take area rugs outside. Shake them or vacuum them out and, if the weather is nice, allow them to sit in the sun for 30 minutes or so. Mold feeds on dust, so removing it frequently is important to your health. Also, the fresh air and sunlight will naturally inhibit mold growth.
- Use overhead fans, or old school propeller fans whenever possible to circulate air. If mold spores cannot settle, you will not end up with mildew and other mold disasters. You can also save your family big bucks on heating and cooling bills by using your fans correctly. During warm months, set your fans to rotate counterclockwise. When you stand below a fan, you should feel the cool breeze blowing down on you and cooling you off. Turning your fan off when you leave a room in the hotter months, will prevent the heat of the motor from counteracting the cooling effect. Yay! You will not have to use your AC as much! In the cooler months, set your fans to rotate clockwise on a low setting. They will essentially “stir” the
air for you by pushing the air at the top of the room down to the perimeter, and bringing the warmer air up from the floor. You can leave your fans running all day in the cooler months, because the heat from the fan motors will help to warm your rooms. Thus, you also set your thermostat lower. Yay! Again.
- Open your windows to let fresh air in. The more “energy efficient” our homes become, the more they tend to hold moisture inside. We are so sealed and insulated these days, that we need to breathe. I often open my kitchen window while washing dishes. It lifts my mood and helps the steam from the hot water escape to the outside. There should be a stable availability of fresh air coming
inside the house at all times to prevent mold. Opening windows in different rooms provides cross air flow—almost like circulation in your home.
These are just a few of many tips to help provide you with a safer, better breathing environment. You can also employ many of them in your office or workspace. Remember, cleansing your environmental air is your first defense against illness from mold and other air-born allergens.