While the North Carolina lifestyle is the envy of many living in colder climates, our sub-tropical weather can do more than relax and soothe. Many homeowners find themselves stuck with unwanted house guests as the seasonal temperatures heat up - mold.
Stopping mold in its tracks is a challenge, but one that needs to be faced before the organisms damage equipment, destroy walls and floors, or harm the health of you and your pets. Cleaning and preventive maintenance of an air conditioning system is important in any climate, but is imperative in North Carolina - as-is the use of a dehumidifier.
Mold can accumulate in several different areas of an air conditioning system, and it's important to have your unit checked and cleaned once or twice a year If mold is able to grow, it makes the air conditioning unit work harder, which costs more and decreases the life expectancy of your system.
Additionally, the spores blow throughout the house, building up over time. This is particularly dangerous for people with asthma or other breathing problems.
There are four kinds of health problems that come from exposure to mold: allergic illness, irritant effects/ infection, and toxic effects. For people who are sensitive to molds, symptoms such as nasal and sinus irritation or congestion, dry hacking cough, wheezing, skin rashes or burning, watery or reddened eyes may occur People with severe allergies to molds may have more serious reactions, such as hay-fever-like symptoms or shortness of breath.
The Environmental Protection Agency suggests not running the HVAC system if mold is suspected, as it could spread the spores throughout the building. But stopping the use of an air conditioning system due to suspected mold growth in North Carolina would create uncomfortable conditions during the summer. That's why regular cleaning and maintenance is crucial to your family's and your employees' health.
Most of us think we only need to prepare against mold if we're going away for the entire summer few realize that, under the right circumstances, mold can form in just 48 hours! Mold spores are extremely dangerous to your health thus prevention is always better than treating it after the fact. Number one on the list should be to install a dehumidifier.
And once it starts, it reproduces every six minutes. So do the math: If you're leaving for more than a week, there's an outside chance you could return to a funny smell that means there's something wrong.
Generally speaking, if you're only leaving for a week or two, all you need to do is set your thermostat at 80 or 82 degrees and you should not have a problem. If you plan to be away for a month or longer, that's when it would be wise to take more serious precautionary measures.