Air purifiers are an important tool in the fight against indoor mold. That’s especially true in regions of the country where record rainfalls fell this summer. In homes and even in the outdoor air (for example, Chicago), high levels of airborne mold this summer are causing more respiratory problems than in recent history. Fortunately, homeowners can fight back against mold in their homes. High-performance air purifiers are one weapon in their arsenals.
From Minnesota to Texas, schools too are facing unusually severe mold problems this year. In Jordan, Minn., an elementary school’s air conditioner malfunctioned and brought in 100 percent outdoor air on the hottest and most humid days of the summer, resulting in a $15,000 repair bill. Experts say stand-alone air purifiers can help in a situation like that because they effectively remove airborne mold spores in humid climates, and HEPA-quality filters installed in a building’s air supply ducts, return registers and fresh air supply will also help. The experts offer other tips too. Humidity control is at the top of the list.
Humidity control at home begins with using exhaust fans or windows to vent humid air. Indoor humidity levels should be kept below 60 percent. Take it easy on watering the plants. And experts such as envirodetectives.com say the same HEPA technology used in a good air purifier also belongs in the vacuum cleaner that cleans your carpets and rugs. Don’t forget to use your nose: if you smell mold, there probably is mold.
Air purifiers can get rid of odors and airborne mold spores, but homeowners may need a plumber or an HVAC contractor to eliminate the moisture on which mold is feeding. Meanwhile, as the rainy summer season draws near an end, the next mold-growth-inducing weather phenomenon is just around the corner: hurricane season. In areas subject to hurricanes, now is the time to consider a backflow valve on your sewage pipe to prevent high water from sending sewage into your home, Arthur Bradley, author of “The Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family,” told Money Magazine. Bradley also advises getting rid of processed wood or other mold-friendly materials that are sitting in the basement. And before the next wet season arrives, build your defenses.” You would be surprised at the difference a good air purifier can make to a moldy room, ” says online retailer AllergyBuyersClub.com.