With an average daily maximum temperature of 80 degrees and a relative humidity of 78 percent, the Corpus Christi area already has two of the main ingredients for mold growth in homes. All that remains is for microscopic airborne spores to infiltrate your residence and establish a breeding ground. In today’s airtight, energy-efficient homes, fungus spores can reach toxic levels and trigger allergic responses and asthma. Eliminating the microscopic organic material that mold feeds on through careful household hygiene is one control strategy. In addition, all interior sources of moisture should be eliminated and water-contaminated areas such as wet carpets should be dried out or removed from the home within 24 to 48 hours.
Your central air conditioner or heat pump can be both a source of contamination and an important tool to control it.
Spores are circulated through your living spaces by your A/C system. Changing your air filter once a month removes spores trapped in the filter. Replacing that filter with one rated at least 8 on the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) scale and up to 11 will remove up to 85 percent of airborne spores.
The evaporator coil in your air conditioner provides a perfect breeding ground for fungus inside tiny wet air passages. The condensate drip pan beneath the air handler coil is another welcoming environment for fungal growth. Contamination in the drip pan disperses spores into air ducts and can plug drain lines, causing a damaging condensate water overflow. The key to minimizing this contamination is to use a good filter to keep the evaporator coil clean and thus reducing the contamination in the drain pan.
Consider upgrading to an air conditioning system that is matched to deliver increased moisture removal. Although this sometimes reduces the stated SEER rating of the equipment it actually can reduce your cooling bill by removing more moisture from the air so that you can feel more comfortable at a warmer temperature. Installing The AC-Enhancer on your new or existing system can help to remove more moisture from the air when the AC starts up, this control device helps reduce indoor humidity that promotes fungus growth.
At CCAC, Inc., we’re Corpus Christi’s local source for household comfort and healthy indoor air quality. Contact us for more information on controlling mold contamination in your home.
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 mold and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock