Indoor mold is a problem that can lead to sickness and home damages. If it can be avoided, most homeowners will do whatever that entails, or will get mold removed immediately.
Who knew one way to help prevent mold could be as easy as setting your thermostat at the right temperature?
The thermostat is primarily used to give your family a retreat from extreme outdoor temperatures, but setting it within a particular range also discourages mold growth.
Below, we’ll cover the connection between household mold and how setting your thermostat at just the right temperature can protect your home and family from ongoing mold problems.
Relationship Between Temperature & Mold
The ideal temperature for mold growth is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The problem is that these are also perfect conditions for humans, meaning that anywhere you’re comfortable, mold will be, too.
But mold needs more than the right temperature to thrive. The real risk factor is moisture.
Moisture can come from any number of sources, including interior flooding, roof leaks and condensation. That’s where your thermostat comes in. A home that is at one extreme or the other of that ideal temperature range can bring its own set of mold issues.
While you can’t eliminate mold in your home by modifying the temperature within, you can regulate the humidity.
Humidity, as you know, is the moisture content in the air. Temperature and humidity aren’t always connected, especially in nature. But in your home, they are related more often.
How to Use Your Thermostat to Prevent Mold
Your thermostat is most likely set somewhere between 60 and 80 degrees, and unless you want to be uncomfortable in your home for a large part of the year, there’s not much that can be done about that.
How warm or cool you like for your home to be is a matter of personal preference, but by adjusting the thermostat slightly, you could prevent mold growth year-round.
- Bad news for those who like to turn the thermostat way down during summer…
Setting the thermostat too low increases condensation in your home. If your home is so cold that condensation is forming on the windows, you’re giving mold an easy way into your home. Mold can quickly form on window sills and the surface of the windows, and it is more likely to start in common areas like the bathroom when condensation is high.
- On the flip side, a temperature that is too high retains more humidity.
If you are naturally cold-natured or keep the air set higher to save money, you could inadvertently be giving mold a foothold due to the higher moisture content in the air. This is arguably a worse problem because humidity can lead to mold anywhere in your home.
- Summer is a problematic time for mold growth for most homes the U.S. Based on the information above, the ideal summer thermostat setting is between 68 and74 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is cool enough to keep you comfortable but warm enough to prevent condensation. There is enough leeway within this range to accommodate your family’s indoor temperature preferences.
- Winter can also be a dangerous time for mold growth since our homes stay closed up tight to keep out the cold.
The same temperatures (68-74) are also suitable for winter. During the colder months, this temperature range works in reverse to prevent mold. It’s warm enough to keep your family cozy, but it will be cool enough to keep humidity down.
In addition to regulating the temperature and humidity within your home, modern HVAC systems alert homeowners when there is an issue that needs to be repaired or when it is time to service the system.
If mold is a serious concern due to health reasons, or if you have battled household mold in the past, it may be a good idea to invest in a newer system with these features.
Side note: Another way your HVAC system can help regulate mold in your home is by keeping the filters changed regularly. Consider upgrading to HEPA filters with a MERV rating of 5-13, or 14 and above for the highest efficiency available.
Find Out if You Have Household Mold
There could already be mold growing within your home due to temperature and moisture issues.
There are many dangers of household mold. It is responsible for allergy-like symptoms, headaches, skin rashes, and more. Mold can also break down household materials like wood and cotton over time, which can lead to costly repairs.
Letting mold live in your home for too long always leads to problems. The sooner it’s found, the less likely it is to cause your family health problems or damage your home.
A mold inspection from Pure Maintenance of St. Louis is the best way to find and eliminate mold from a home.
A professional mold inspection can determine if there is mold in your home. Then the issue becomes finding it — all of it — and getting rid of it. Mold inspection can also determine what type of mold is present, but this usually isn’t as concerning as the amount of mold in your home.
The inspection should include all areas of your home, including the HVAC system and hard to reach areas like the crawl space and inside the walls if necessary. At the conclusion of your home’s inspection, you’ll know if mold is present and what steps need to be taken to either 1) prevent it or 2) get rid of it.
If no mold is found in your home, you’re still left with peace of mind knowing your home is mold-free. There isn’t a price that can be placed on knowing your family is safe, so the cost of a mold inspection is hardly wasted money.
For an experienced, trusted mold removal service that specializes in testing and removal to streamline the process, consider Pure Maintenance of St. Louis.