Humidifiers can cause mold or fungus through lack of proper maintenance. The excess humidity may accumulate on the surface of humidifiers that can contaminate the air. A constant humidity level can prevent the growth of mold.
Water vapor is a gas that’s produced by the evaporation of air. In order to properly understand humidity, one needs to first understand how it works.
A mold is a type of fungus that appears almost everywhere. It can be black, white, or green.
Mold can be found in various colors. It can appear in damp building materials. If it gets into your house or office, it can cause poor air quality.
Molds can usually appear in less than 48 hours. They can also start to grow if the conditions are right.
Aprilaire humidifiers can help keep your home’s humidity at a consistent level. They can regulate it to a maximum of 45%.
This issue usually comes from unseen sources such as floods or roof leaks. Aside from these, a more nuanced issue is the humidity levels that cause mold to develop.
Water and a food source are the basic supplies needed to grow mold.
Humidifiers are useful tools to help relieve respiratory distress and dry sinuses. However, they can also cause issues when used in an environment that is prone to mold.
The function of a humidifier is to create an environment that’s prone to attracting mold spores, bacteria, and germs. This is especially troublesome when used with dehumidifiers since they tend to receive moist and mold-laden water.
Like many other home appliances, a humidifier can become harmful over time. In most cases, it can cause mold growth if it is not used correctly.
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Impact Of Humidity on Mold
Although it can help improve the air quality, a humidifier can still cause mold. If the weather has been very humid, you might start noticing the growth of mold in your home. It can usually be seen on the walls, floors, and furniture due to the moisture.
Mold can thrive in environments with a high level of humidity. This fungus can grow in conditions with a humidity level of 55% or higher.
Due to the humidity levels being too high, many people who use humidifiers regularly end up with excessive moisture and this can cause mold to grow on porous surfaces.
Not cleaning humidifiers properly can also cause mold to form. This issue usually affects people who use them.
Having a humidifier is a lifesaver for people who are lazy. However, if you are one of these individuals, then you should know that using it can quickly and contaminate the air in your home.
Water and oxygen are the nutrients that mold thrives on. The humidity in the air is the main component that keeps sweat from escaping from our bodies.
This concept applies to other surfaces, such as walls and floors. When moisture content exceeds air resistance, it can quickly transform into vapor once exposed to cold air. This phenomenon is very problematic for pipes.
The EPA advises that humidity should be kept at or below 60 percent to help avoid the development of mold. It also says that within the range of 30-50 percent, avoid the possibility of mold.
How to Measure Humidity Levels
Most indoor thermometers can output a variety of useful metrics, but one of the most basic ways to check humidity levels is with a hygrometer.
A psychrometer is a pair of thermometers that measure temperature. The first is a dry bulb thermometer, which measures the ambient temperature. The second is a wet-bulb temperature thermometer.
The temperature difference between the wet and dry parts of the psychrometer can be used to determine the humidity level.
As evaporation begins, the more humid the air is, the more moisture it absorbs. This process works by converting the moisture in the air into electricity.
Types of Humidifiers
There are various types of humidifiers that can help minimize mold growth. Some of them are those that are better at inhibiting its onset and some that are not.
A steam humidifier is different from a regular air conditioner because it uses the concept of humidistat to measure the relative humidity in a space. It senses the drop in humidity and turns on.
Evaporative humidifiers work by drawing air into a reservoir. The air then contacts a filter that sucks the water vapor out of the reservoir.
An ultrasonic humidifier uses a small metal plate to break water particles using an ultrasonic frequency. However, since the vapor doesn’t stay on the plate, it’s exhausted as water vapor.
Instead of using a filter, an impeller uses a pump to circulate air through a disc. As the pump rotates, the air flows through a diffuser.
Do Furnace Humidifiers Cause Mold?
If you have a faulty pipe or an overly humid bathroom, you could be prone to mold growth. Having a humidifier installed can help keep the humidity down, which can prevent the growth of mold.
During cold seasons, your furnace provides hot air, which can keep you and your family comfortable. However, during the winter months, the heated air is very dry and can cause problems with skin and nosebleeds.
A humidifier uses warm air to pick up moisture from a reservoir or a drum. The air carries the water through an evaporative pad or a rotating drum.
How To Remove And Prevent Mold?
Creating a cleaning solution that effectively removes mold from a furnace humidifier is as simple as mixing white vinegar and water. Then, wipe the interior of the humidifier clean using a sponge. You can also remove the mold by washing the pad with water.
1. Proper Maintenance and Cleaning
You must also make sure to thoroughly clean and sanitize your humidifier’s components.
Although humidifiers are useful, they can also be harmful if they are dirty. Your filter and reservoir can allow harmful bacteria and viruses to enter the air.
2. Monitor The Humidity Levels
A humidity level of 30% to 50% is the recommended level for your homes and offices.
As mentioned earlier, molds can grow well under humidity levels that are over 55%.