We usually close up our homes once it starts getting colder, and with new innovations in energy technology, our homes become sealed too tightly which can harbor moisture and raise the humidity levels.
When we turn up our thermostats, it creates warmer air that is often unable to escape from the home, and if your homes indoor air is too tightly insulated, mold will have the perfect environment to grow and thrive in, meaning that the chance that you get mold during the winter will climb. Also, warm condensation and trapped moisture from humidity levels usually dwells in homes for longer periods of time.
When it becomes a little colder in fall and winter, the outdoor environment is conducive to mold spore activity ramping up. Out in nature, the job of mold is to break down dead plant matter. So when leaves begin to fall and plants start to die, the decaying plant matter releases mold spores into the air.
If you have recently replaced your old furnace with an energy efficient furnace, it is important to have a professional come out to check and make sure that the mechanical systems are properly working and ventilating.
Mold growth during the fall and winter seasons can be usually found on sheet rock, drywall, and other surfaces of rooms that are located in ceilings and corners of the home. In most situations, corners of rooms are usually exposed to colder air than the adjoining rooms, and they will have relatively higher levels of humidity. However, the rooms will have the same water vapor pressure which will create conditions that are favorable to mold growth in the winter.
If you begin to see some mold growth during the winter inside of a corner room, another common area is a closet in your home or behind dressers where beds are pushed up against the cold wall, not allowing humidity to escape. This means that the relative humidity of the room’s surface could be up to 70% or higher. On the other side of the spectrum, if the temperature inside of the room is too cold, or if there is a lot of moisture and high water vapor levels, the room may also have a relative humidity level of 70% or higher. Both the relative humidity and the temperature of the room’s surfaces and areas need to be balanced in order to avoid growth of mold.
Here are some tips to help you prevent mold growing in your home this winter:
1) Keep the indoor humidity below 60%. The ideal numbers that it should be between ire 35% and 45%.
2) Place a dehumidifier in your house, as it can lower the moisture levels enough to prevent any kind of mold growth.
3) Set your ceiling fans in reverse.
4) Make sure that any duct-work and filters are kept clean.
5) Don’t let water to stand in condensate pans.
6) Get an HRV heating and re-circulating unit.