Make your home mold “unfriendly”

Woman using washing machine

The season ugly mold and mildew love best: summertime.

Make mold unwelcome in your home this summer by following a few simple mold-prevention steps:

  1. Resist the urge to turn off your air conditioning system—or to crank it up to 85 degrees—as you leave for vacation. A hot, humid house is a breeding ground for mold, and you won’t be around to nip it in the bud. Leave your a/c no higher than 78 degrees, whether you’re home or away.
  2. Invest in an indoor humidity monitor to check that the air inside your home does not creep higher than 60% relative humidity (50% is better). If you have a humidity problem, it’s time to install a dehumidifier. You can find portable room dehumidifiers for less than $200 or cover the whole house for less than $2,000 (depending how big your house is, of course).
  3. Close the windows while your a/c is running. Open windows and doors not only let cool air escape, they invite humidity indoors.
  4. Clean up puddles. Standing water in your basement, around your refrigerator or freezer, and under basement windows and doors can raise humidity levels in your home. Also check for foundation leaks.
  5. Run your washer, dryer and dishwasher after dark. Among the biggest culprits of high indoor humidity are appliances that generate heat. Waiting until after dark when the outdoor humidity is lower will help you keep your indoor humidity levels in check.