Whole House Humidifiers and Mold!
Mold needs two basic things to grow, a food source and a water source.
Mold gets food from the environment, it feeds on living and dead organic matter. This can be decomposing organic material or glues, paints, grease, paper, textiles or wood products.
Mold also needs moisture. Often this comes from obvious sources such as floods, roof leaks, plumbing problems, etc. Simple home and plumbing maintenance can take care of some of these issues. A more nuanced source of moisture for mold growth is humidity and temperature gradients. Mold grows the most between 70 and 90 degrees and above 60% humidity.
The misconception about humidifiers is that by increasing the humidity in your home, you are increasing your risk of mold. While logically this seems to be true, we want to debunk some of these myths.
The health and home benefits to having a humidifier installed far outweigh the possibility for mold growth. Often contractors are hesitant to offer humidifiers because they are afraid that they will be on the hook for potential mold growth after construction is done.
Humidity is a major player in your home comfort and your air conditioner is instrumental in managing the level of humidity in your home.
If you have a well maintained air conditioner that is functioning properly it will remove the humidity from your home. If your system is not working correctly and can’t remove the humidity from the air you could continue to turn the temperature down and down and never reach an ideal level of comfort.
Humidity causes temperatures to feel warmer. If your system cannot effectively remove humidity from your home you may never feel comfortable.
Signs that you have too much humidity at home
- Moist air
- Damp or musty smell
- Fog or condensation on your windows
The best recommendation for managing the humidity level in your home is to install a dehumidifier. This works with your air conditioner to remove moisture from the air before it is circulated through your home.
For more on why you need a humidifier click here.