Mold Growth and High Humidity Go Hand in Hand, and Here’s Why

Posted On: May 05, 2013

Mold is a natural part of the environment and, when growing outside, does its part in helping to break down dead, organic materials as part of nature’s constant recycling process. When found inside your home, however, mold can be a big problem and should be avoided at all costs. Household mold stinks, causes damage if left unchecked, and also carries health risks for you and your family.

Molds require several conditions in order to flourish inside your home, including the presence of mold spores, an organic food source, darkness and warmth, sufficient time and moisture. Since all of the above mentioned items except moisture are typically found in a home, it’s the presence of moisture, which can be regulated, that’s the primary cause of household mold growth. If you can control moisture, you can control mold.

Lots of things add to indoor humidity, from improperly vented appliances such as clothes driers to leaky pipes and water fixtures, to eternally damp basements. High humidity presents an ideal breeding ground for indoor molds. According to the U.S. EPA, the ideal relative humidity for your home is between 30 and 50 percent, and there are lots of ways to achieve this. One of the easiest ways to lower humidity within your home is increased ventilation, which can be accomplished in several ways, including everything from opening the bathroom window when showering to installing heat (or or energy) recovery ventilation. A whole-house dehumidifier is another effective tactic in the war against moisture and mold.

With government studies showing that indoor pollution represents one of today’s major environmental health risks, installing an air cleaning system that combats not only mold and mold spores but also bacteria, allergens and viruses is highly recommended for health-conscious individuals and families. Current technologies utilizing the power of UV lights are also powerful means for eliminating unhealthy indoor air.

There’s no way of getting rid of all mold since it’s a natural part of our environment. Preventing it from growing in your house, however, can be as simple as eliminating the high humidity/moisture problem. For help with this or any other home comfort concerns, please contact us at Ernst Heating & Cooling, proudly serving the Metro-East area for more than six decades.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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