Mold consists of small black spots or fluffy grey-black growth which you see in damp corners of the house or on wood, carpets, insulation and even on walls. The black spots are the bacteria which have formed due to moisture, creating mold spores. Mold not only looks unsightly, but it’s also dangerous for your health, as inhaling of mold or their spores can cause asthma and arthritis. All that these spores require are a little nutrition and moisture for them to develop and spread. However, when excess moisture is removed from the air, these spores are prevented from developing. Looking for a simple and inexpensive way to prevent or remove mold leads many homeowners to wonder: Are dehumidifiers good for mold?
Why are dehumidifiers good for mold?
Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air, and mold requires moisture to grow. By removing moisture from the air, you essentially create a hostile environment for mold. Dehumidifiers also prevent new spores from activating. One should adjust the dehumidifier levels based on the humidity of the atmosphere. When humidity moves above 60 percent, the humidifier needs to be turned on, even if it’s winter. You can find out the humidity levels where you are by using a humidity sensor; most newer thermostats are equipped with one.
Can dehumidifiers get rid of existing mold?
It’s important to note that a dehumidifier does not remove mold, but only makes it inactive by drying out the air. Dried mold may appear sandy, crusty or web-like. However, if the moisture returns, the mold can reactivate — so getting rid of any existing mold is crucial.
If you witness mold growth, do not panic. While it is dangerous and something that you need to immediately look at, it is fairly easy to get rid of. You can remove mold growth by wiping the surfaces, properly ventilating the place and ensuring that any wet patches are promptly dried. Mold requires humidity levels of over 60% to thrive in. Therefore, when one purchases and uses a humidifier, the levels of humidity can be kept to below 60% to control mold. A dehumidifier dries out the room as it draws the moist air inwards and the liquid in the air is then trapped. If there is no moisture, the mold will not have nutrients and so it remains dormant.
How to prevent new mold growth
In addition to using a dehumidifier to keep the humidity level below 60%, here are other ways to prevent mold growth in your home:
- Regularly cleaning your air conditioner’s drip pan
- Ensuring drains are free from dirt and debris and allow water to drain quickly
- In cold climates, the house should be kept warm, as cold surfaces make the air condense which encourages mold
- Insulation should be added to exterior walls and floors as well as windows to decrease condensation
- Any wet areas such as floors or walls should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. Leaks should be fixed promptly
- The doors between rooms should be opened and ceiling fans should be used for circulation. Furniture should also be moved away from walls to increase circulation.
Ready to purchase a dehumidifier?
Now that you’ve learned the answer to the question “Are dehumidifiers good for mold?”, you may be ready to buy one for your home. A dehumidifier can keep your household healthy by preventing mold growth. Be sure to check out our Best Dehumidifier Reviews to find the right one for your home. You’ll want to ensure it’s the proper size for your room or house for maximum effectiveness. Note that dehumidifiers can also be used to kill fleas, making them a very handy appliance to own.