Bacteria, mold, and other microbes thrive in the Coastal Bend’s summer humidity, but that doesn’t mean you have to tolerate them in your home. With a few basic home improvements and good habits, you can enjoy clean, healthy air.
Control the Root Causes
The most effective way to control airborne microbes is to not let them grow in the first place. Start by keeping your indoor humidity between 30 to 50 percent. Repair dripping faucets and leaky pipes. Run your ventilation fans after cooking and showering. Keep houseplants in one room.
If you find patches of mold on your ceilings, behind furniture or under carpets, you’ll most likely need to do more to reduce your humidity. For a damp bathroom, basement or other small area, a portable dehumidifier can help. If you have a persistent humidity problem throughout your home, consider installing a whole-house dehumidifier. These sit inside your HVAC system and remove excess moisture from the air passing through.
Installing a whole-house ventilation system can also help balance your humidity levels and improve your overall air quality.
Upgrade Your Air Quality
Better air filtration and purification will help get rid of the microbes that do develop. Low-efficiency (MERV 1–4) filters keep debris out of your ducts, but don’t trap tiny contaminants you could breath in. For that, you’ll need a filter of MERV 5 or higher. If you have allergies, invest in a MERV 10 or 11 filter.
While you’re dusting and vacuuming, run your air conditioner on either the “on” or the “fan only” setting. This draws your home’s air through the air filter, which removes the dust and microbes kicked up from your cleaning.
While filters work well against mold spores, they’re not as effective against bacteria. To control more airborne microbes, consider an ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) lamp. Installed inside your HVAC system, these lamps emit UV rays that neutralize microbes in the passing air.
If you need help with any indoor air quality problem, contact us at CCAC in the Coastal Bend area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about bacteria and mold and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
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