High humidity is a feature of the tropical southwest Florida climate. One of the keys to controlling humidity indoors is a central air conditioner and good ventilation. If the AC and ventilation are not optimal, mold and mildew can quickly gain a foothold, leading to potential negative health effects. Inhaling or touching mold spores can cause cause an allergic reaction, leading to hay fever-like symtoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, red eyes and skin irritation. For those with a health conditions such as upper respiratory diseases, including asthma, and compromised immune systems, mold can represent a more serious health risk.
Because it can be difficult to remove mold once it begins to grow on walls and inside air ducts, it's best to prevent its growth in the first place. The best way to prevent mold is to control moisture indoors.
Here are 5 ways to prevent mold growth inside your home:
- Look for water stains in ceilings and under sinks. Locate the cause of the leak and repair it. These are usually caused leaking roofs or plumbing.
- Reduce indoor humidity by properly venting bathrooms, kitchens and laundry areas. Install or upgrade existing exhaust fans if there is excessive condensation.
- Keep your air conditioner maintained and ensure that the condensate line is draining. There should be no standing water in the drain pan.
- Use moisture proof flooring in bathrooms and indoor spas.
- If excess humidity is a concern, consider a whole-home dehumidifier to supplement your AC and HVAC system.